Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

What time is it? Tool time.

Yes, that’s a Home Improvement reference. But it’s also a good time to talk about tools to help kids, teens, and maybe even a few librarians (me) manage their time. Time tools. Time Management Tools Most people struggle with time management to some degree. Many people with learning differences such as ADHD have an even tougher time than neurotypical folks. And different learning styles are pretty common knowledge (visual, kinesthetic, aural, etc.), but I had never considered how those might affect our sense of time. At a workshop put on by the PACER Center, assistive technology specialists Tara Bruss and Sarah Giffen-Hunter shared a spreadsheet they created. In it, they compare over a hundred apps, devices, and software that take into account these differences. The spreadsheet includes tools for creating task lists, reminders, alarms, time tracking, and more. You can see device compatibility, prices, and descriptions, too. I mean, it’s a pretty…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Summer Reading for All!

Summer reading is almost here with all of the busy days, fantastic programs, and hours of summer learning that it brings. For almost everyone, the time for summer reading planning is over. Now, it’s all about execution. But before summer reading gets into full swing, take a step back and ask yourself: are the planned summer reading activities for everyone? Or, another way of looking at this question, are the current activities representative of the entire community? Incorporating more underserved communities into summer reading doesn’t have to mean a retooling of the entire summer reading calendar. Instead, a lot of progress can be made with relatively small efforts. One of the best ways can be to incorporate more diverse voices into SRP. This can mean subbing in a book at storytime or book club from an author whose background is typically underrepresented or making sure that diversity shows through in…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Congratulations to the 2018 Light the Way Grant Winner

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has announced that New Carrollton Public Library is the recipient of the 2017-2018 ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved” Grant. As the winner of the grant, the library will receive $3,000 for their Literacy & Library Skills for Refugee Families program. Literacy & Library Skills for Refugee Families started in April 2017. The program was initiated during a time when the library, (located in New Carrollton, MD), was being renovated. With the encouragement of  library administration, Program Coordinator, Meisywe Cavanaugh, decided to start visiting  a community housing center about five miles from the main library. Cavanaugh found that there was a large population of refugee families and young children living in this area. Currently, families who attend the library program are from: Afghanistan, Syria, Bhutan, Myanmar, Ethiopia and other Arabic speaking…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Universal Design Environments for Early Learners

Introduction About four years ago I attended the Birth to Three Institute. A former program of Head Start. I went to a very informative workshop, “Adapting and Embracing the Environment: Fostering Participation for Children with Disabilities”. Th“e session was led by Linda Brault, Project Director, WestEd and Senta Greene, Executive Director of Full Circle Consulting Systems, Inc. Session Information The most important information I left with from this session is that you don’t need a lot of money or anything fancy to create a universal design play space for toddlers. If you treat each child as an individual, you can create multiple possibilities for engagement. And “multiple” is the key word to keep in mind. Are there multiple ways for the child: 1) to enter and interact in the environment, 2) access materials and toys, and 3) play, among of things to consider? During this interactive session, each group received…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Arts enhance experiences for under-served populations

Before becoming a children’s librarian, I was an arts administrator at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. From these experiences, I learned about the power of the arts. Arts Education When you hear “arts education” you may think school, but you should also think library. Libraries are wonderful venues for promoting and exploring the arts. Libraries host live performances and offer arts experiences. Below are some resources to create programs and gain ideas for your own activities. As librarians, we believe everyone has a gift that should be encouraged and the arts promote creativity and celebrates differences. Art forms have structures, but the exploration does not have to be structured. The arts allows for a variety of entry points for everyone. For example, there are over 50 types of poems so plenty to explore but you can also use free form. VSAarts, an organization that…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Bilingual Outreach at the Doctor’s Office

One of the most formidable aspects of public library work is reaching out to community members who are not current library users. This challenge can be made more daunting when trying to reach immigrant and non-English speaking populations who may not be present at more typical outreach events like back-to-school nights. Meeting these groups where they are is important as many times they have not previously used libraries and are not sure what services we provide or if they are able to get a library card. To bridge this gap, Alexandria Library staff members have been visiting a local doctor’s office in a low-income Hispanic neighborhood for the last three years. Every Monday morning at 8:30am, Patricia Amaya and Christian Reynolds arrive wearing aprons embroidered with the library logo to engage parents and children while they wait for their appointments. Patricia, a native Spanish speaker, talks with adults about what the…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Sensory Storytime on a Shoestring

What does it take to do a sensory storytime? Not a whole lot! Our award season for our committee’s annual ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way” Grant is closing, and we typically see many hyped-up proposals for sensory storytime programs. This is not to say that we don’t take such proposals seriously, because we do, but we think that people feel like they need a ton of money and resources to pull off a successful sensory storytime when in fact all you need is a little bit of planning and a wee bit of money. After all, a sensory storytime should aim to be inclusive. To that end, if you’re using a visual schedule, a varied format that incorporates multimodal sensory integration, and repetition, then you are probably appealing to children with varying sensory processing abilities and thus, already doing a sensory storytime, just not in name. Don’t wait for the…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Last Year’s “Light the Way” Grant Winner: Partnering with Juvenile Detention Facilities to Provide Maker-Space Outreach and Programming Using Music

The J. Lewis Crozer Library in Chester and the Middletown Free Library are located just over six miles apart in southeastern Pennsylvania. However, the libraries’ service populations are very different. The city of Chester has an unemployment rate of 9% and a poverty rate of 33%, with almost half of those under the age of 18 living in poverty. The city of 34,000 is also among the most diverse in the state, with a population that is approximately 75% African American, 17.2% White, and 9% Hispanic. Middletown has a suburban population of 15,807, which is 93.7% White and 3.1% African-American, and a median annual income of $77,000. However, the two libraries have a shared goal of expanding outreach and programming offerings for young people who are underserved by libraries.