Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Taking STEAM Programs On The Road

Early this year, I learned that my library was one of the lucky recipients of an ALSC & Dollar General Literacy Foundation “Strengthening Communities Through Libraries” grant. We used the funds to create STEAM programming kits to be used alone or in different combinations for outreach programs. Our vision was to take these kits into after-school care sites serving disadvantaged populations and deliver the same type of STEAM programs we would at the library. We put out feelers to multiple sites, asking if we could come once per month to deliver a program. We thought that we would be lucky to get our foot in the door at a couple of places. In reality, we got ten enthusiastic “yes, please come” replies within days. And that’s how we ended up doing fifty extra STEAM programs that reached hundreds of kids in just five months. Every month, we developed a basic…

Blogger Ericka Chilcoat

Thoughts on Graduation

graduation, graduates, cap and gown

This is the time of year when you can’t avoid the evidence-it’s graduation time. You either know someone who is graduating or someone you know is going to a graduation. A friend’s child barely made it across the finish line and there’s relief. Others are in the throes of meeting final requirements, getting signatures, and making arrangements for the big day and beyond.

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Building Strong Summer Partnerships

Library outreach allows us to bring services and programs to children outside of library walls and to reach patrons in new settings. Children’s outreach can have an even greater impact in the summer months when school is out and energies can be focused on new learning activities. Summer outreach opportunities can also provide unique possibilities in terms of establishing new partnerships as you work with community organizations to bring summer library programming directly to their audiences. Whether they are summer camp sites, nonprofit organizations, neighborhood recreational centers, and more; there are a variety of community partnerships to forge in the summer to help expand the scope of the library and provide programming for youth. However, these opportunities can also bring about challenges in working with new community partners. Here are a few tips that may help you make the most of establishing new outreach partnerships over the coming months. 1. …


Scholar Card: The Key to Academic Success!

It’s been an incredible week at San Francisco Public Library since the launch of the Scholar Card. What’s the Scholar Card, you might ask? This is an exclusive SFPL library card for all San Francisco Unified School District students in PreK – High School. With over 57,000 SFUSD students and 130 public schools in San Francisco, our goal is for every SFUSD student to activate their Scholar Card. Ambitious? We think not. What’s made this week so incredible is the positive response from SFUSD administrators, teachers, teacher librarians, parents, caregivers, and our own youth-serving librarians. With a streamlined library application process (read: no paper application and no parent/guardian signature required), we are hopeful that this will the key for students to access the myriad of resources that help them achieve academic success. With Scholar Cards, for free, students can:        Access Library research databases        Access language learning tools        Receive…

Awards & Scholarships

What an Honor!

On Monday, the Institute of Museum and Library Services named Rochester Public Library (RPL) as one of this year’s 30 finalists for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. This prestigious award honors institutions for their extraordinary public service and remarkable contributions to their communities. Four of our outstanding programs serve children and teens and we’ve blogged about them here! RPL identified the need for a LGBTQIA Safe Space within the community through conversations with the public and consultation with local organizations. Articulated needs included accurate information, safe spaces to gather, special events, and LGBTQIA materials. RPL responded with improvements to book collections, displays, and book lists. RPL also began offering: q club, a safe and welcoming meet-up for teens; Parents Empower Pride, a program for parents of LGBTQIA children; Rainbow Family Meet-Up, a gathering for LGBTQIA families; and special events like PrideProm, LGBTQIA speakers, and training programs. In…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): Starting Small and Building

A little over a year ago, I wrote a blog post about collaboration between school and public libraries. I talked about Nashville’s Limitless Libraries and how I wished my students had access to a similar program here in Clarksville (about an hour away from Nashville).  In this blog post, I am happy to report that wishes do come true!