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

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.

Blogger Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla

Teaching Empathy and Zootopia

Disney’s Zootopia was a massive hit earlier this year, becoming one of the top-grossing films of 2016 and garnering a near-perfect 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, an impressive feat in a divided age. The film, which follows a rabbit named Judy who becomes the first of her kind to join the police force in the Metropolis Zootopia, is laugh-out-loud funny, as evidenced by everyone’s favorite sloth joke video.

Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

Reviews & Common Sense Media

During late March and early April, the ALSC Discussion List was active with comments and concerns around Common Sense Media (CSM) and that organization’s reviews of children’s materials.  I followed this discussion with particular interest for two reasons. First, the organization is located in the city where I work.  Second, when they were just getting started, members of the organization came to our library to meet with us to discuss their values and seek our support.   We declined as we believed that their practice of labeling was in violation of the ALA Bill of Rights and the core values of library services for children. I do not intend to rehash all of the comments and statements of the online discussion (sigh of relief on your part!).  Hopefully, most of you followed it and certainly many of you actively participated.  I found it to be a robust and lively exchange.  That…