Blogger Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla

A Meeting of the Minds at KidLib Camp

Next Thursday, August 3rd, Darien Library will host the ninth annual KidLib Camp. KidLib is a free unconference for youth services librarians, the brainchild of Gretchen Caserotti way back in 2009. The one day event, which lasts from 9-4 p.m., is a chance for professionals from public libraries and schools to get together and talk about the things that matter to them. The day is billed as an “un” conference because the topics for discussion are not predetermined. Participants suggest topics they’d like to talk about when they sign up to attend, and then in the morning before the day begins, everyone votes for their three favorites. The library provides coffee and lunch, and attendees provide the day’s discussions! Since 2012, we’ve kicked off KidLib with a brief keynote address, with educators from The Carle, Sesame Workshop, and past ALSC and ALA Presidents addressing the group at the start of…

ALA Annual 2017

Membership Meeting and Leadership & ALSC at Annual

I’ve been employed with ALSC for just one month and Annual came so fast! Before I could even blink, hotel confirmations were in, material was printed, and trunks were packed. Prior to my employment with ALSC, I knew about ALA as an organization, but I truthfully did not have much knowledge regarding Annual Conference. It’s mind blowing the amount of work that gets put into this; from staff, to members, to volunteers.  A large portion of my professional background comes from the YMCA. I worked for both the YMCA of Greater New York and the YMCA of Metro Chicago. A common thread that I find between both YMCA associations and ALSC is this aspect of inclusivity. Both the YMCA and ALSC (also ALA as a whole) put diversity and advocacy as organizational objectives. I’m very excited that during two key ALSC meetings we will be discussing these topics. During the…

Books

Books of Comfort for Children in Crisis

Cover image of child being consoled by an adult

For me, one of the most comforting lines in children’s literature occurs at the conclusion of Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Max, who has been out and about in his wild rumpus returns home and finds his supper waiting for him, “and it was still hot”. But for many children such comfort has been stripped from them for any number of reasons, natural disaster, death, horrific loss…

Blogger Heather Acerro

Meeting the Needs of Transgender Youth

On May 15th, educators from University of Minnesota Extension visited Rochester Public Library (MN) to deliver the workshop “Lessons from the Field: Meeting the Needs of Transgender Youth” to 77 youth workers from the area. This workshop focused on providing gender-inclusive environments in order to support healthy habits and positive body image for transgender youth. You’ve seen the statistics for transgender youth, so you know they are at great risk of harassment, assault, homelessness, and substance abuse. For transgender youth, having supportive adults and a safe environment can improve their well-being considerably. The report discussed yesterday is brand new and provides background information as well as steps that you can take as a youth worker. To read the report visit University of Minnesota Extension: Children, Youth & Family Consortium and click on Children’s Mental Heath eReview: Transgender Youth. Some more library tips for serving LGBTQIA youth and families can be…

ALA Midwinter 2017

#alamw17 “Absence tells a child that their stories don’t matter” – Aisha Saeed

Micah Bazant's "Everyone Is Welcome Here" poster

Today’s ALSC Mini Institute session “Passing the Mic: Muslim Voices in Children’s Literature and Lessons Learned in the Pursuit of Equity and Inclusion” offered highly personal and deeply moving accounts of what it felt like to grow up either invisible in popular media and books or, even worse, seeing your religion and culture reviled or ridiculed when they were mentioned. Authors Hena Khan and Aisha Saeed, and Zareen Jaffery, Executive Editor of the new Simon & Schuster imprint, Salaam Reads gave suggestions for anyone who wants to make sure that Muslim children feel welcome in our libraries. One important step is visibly indicating that your institution is a caring and safe space, for example through displaying books, programming and posters such as this one: Aisha Saeed shared a delightful story of her young son’s joy upon discovering Hena Khan’s It’s Ramadan, Curious George. As a huge fan of all things…

Blogger Nina Lindsay

Open Forum on Diversity, Inclusion, and Our Work, Post-Election

Because the World Is At Their Fingertips and the World Can Be a Scary Place

It has been a tumultuous week for all of us who work to create a better future for children through libraries. We know, from the responses to the Unity. Kindness. Peace. booklist shared last week that you are stepping up to support your community in the face of violence witnessed or enacted, and in response to fear, trauma, and confusion.  And we know that we as librarians, and as ALSC, have much more to do. Our work as an organization must firmly defend the rights of all children and forge paths to equity for marginalized communities.