Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Play Café: Storytime & Special Populations

Have you ever prepped for a storytime and no one has shown up? Have you tried a new flyer, a new day, a new time — and still no traction? You read blog posts with tips for crowd control and think, Must be nice… I feel you, friend. In the Oakland Public Library system, some branches regularly pack the room while others sing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” to, well, crickets. But we know there are toddlers in the neighborhood — strollers are everywhere.  A David and Lucile Packard Foundation study told us that caregivers in our community are looking for the things storytime can provide: networking and community building, early literacy support, all in a safe, free environment. Clearly our message wasn’t working. So we made some changes. We stopped saying “Storytime,” which is meaningful in some communities but was insider jargon in ours. We renamed it “Play Café,” a…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Housing Community Outreach

My library is currently serving 16 Child Care Centers on a bimonthly basis and are hoping to start reaching our children and their families in a new way. We are working on a program where we provide storytimes, early literacy workshops and play programs at a housing community in our service area. We would ideally  provide a small collection of gift and donation books that can be used by the community I reached out to a fellow librarian who has done some community based outreach to ask a few questions. Me: Describe your program including population served and services provided. Cammy: STAR (Summertime Access to Reading) was created by School Board Chairwoman, Carrie Coyner. Little Free Libraries (LFL) were planted all over the county and filled with books to insure that children within neighborhoods have constant access to books. Each LFL also had community events through the summer. My library…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

The ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved” Grant is now open!

For many public libraries, grants are a vital revenue stream. And when funding is limited, grants become highly competitive. Every library and even every grant writer has their own strategy. I encourage everyone to try their hand at grant writing, even if you’ve never written one before. As the facilitator of your program, you are best equipped to tell that program’s story, and convey your library’s need.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Did Anyone Get Burnt This Summer?

As librarians, this is always our busy season. Camps are winding down, families are back from vacations, children are getting restless and bored, parents are getting stressed out, and back to school is on the horizon. These pressures can really take a toll. While we are busy working with children during our work day, imagine those who have the job of caregiver both day and night. All staff can face the summer burnout, and as a manager I try to keep an eye out for stressed out staff, but I also look for signs in parents and caregivers as well. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison found that mothers of children with autism had significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol compared to mothers of children without disabilities. Such hormone levels have been associated with chronic health problems and can affect glucose regulation, immune functioning, and mental…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Serving Children with Disabilities in Libraries: A Beginner’s Guide

Where should I begin? This can sometimes be the most challenging part about developing library services to children with disabilities.  In fact, the most common question I receive is about where to start.  While there isn’t a one-stop-shop when it comes to expanding your knowledge in this area, I’m pleased to say that there is a plethora of resources out there that can help you on your journey to becoming an advocate for children with disabilities.  Basically, what that means is that the first step is to learn.  And you’re in luck–here are some of my favorite resources to help you do just that!