Diversity

Talking with Young Children (0-5) about Race

As youth serving librarians, we have a unique opportunity to build relationships and interact with young children and their families. This opportunity allows us to support families in many ways: building literacy skills, learning the importance of play, enjoying library programs, and of course much more.  Among the “much more” is the opportunity to speak with young children about race, to speak with caregivers about how to talk about race, and to model talking about race with children for their caregivers. It’s Never Too Early to Talk with Children about Race Research indicates both that children notice racial differences from a very young age (Winkler, 2009) and that if caregivers do not openly talk about race with children, children make up their own, often erroneous, meaning from what they see (Bigler, as cited in Dwyer, 2013). But, many caregivers/librarians/teachers, particularly white folks, are uncomfortable talking about race. They may feel…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

CSK Every Day – Peace, Non-Violent Social Change + Brotherhood

Coretta Scott King April 27, 1927 – January 30, 2006 Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.  — Coretta Today, we celebrate one of the greatest civil rights leaders who ever lived.  While Coretta Scott King was the wife of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, her works, efforts, and message resonate powerfully through history.  Her works continued almost four decades beyond her husband’s death.  Think on what you can do to keep her legacy alive. As public librarians serving tomorrow’s leaders, it is essential that we bring Coretta’s message to our youngest library patrons.  Weave her message into the fabric of our programming.  Committing to the path of the children’s librarian is not an act that we can carry out once and for all, but an act that must be renewed every day. Peace, Non-Violent Social Change…

Early Literacy

Songs by Librarians for Librarians

In January 2018, the New York Public Library (NYPL) released their first-ever album of original children’s music, NYPL Sings! Former NYPL children’s librarian Emily Elizabeth Lazio wanted to showcase the multifaceted talents of NYPL staff who, in addition to making books and learning come alive for our young patrons and their families every day, wrote and performed all the songs on this album. The album was made possible through the NYPL Innovation Project, generously supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation, which supports Library staff for creative, unique ideas that improve programs, services and processes at NYPL. The early literacy team and education department at NYPL served as project managers, and over forty past and present staff members lent their songwriting, instrumental, vocal, and performance skills! Each song on the album represents a different way for caregivers to prepare their children for a lifetime of learning.  NYPL focuses on singing…

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 Jonathan Dolce

We’ve Got the Power! – Bridging Last Summer with This Summer

The Children Of Fear Are Not Alone Last year’s summer reading theme was Build a Better World.  Its message must not be lost. I have been actively involved in Central Florida public libraries since 1993, and it had to have been one of the most rewarding themes – ever. Recent events are showing us that children are growing up in an increasingly frightening world.  And they must not bear this alone. Last summer, my co-workers and I took our show on the road with a message of hope, and I’d like to share how you can couple Libraries Rock with real social impact. Before that, though, let’s review a couple of things.   Power and Truth In 1927, Max Ehrmann wrote the poem Desiderata in which he wrote: “Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.” And, yet…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Do You Ever Say “No”?

Do you ever say “no” to your patrons? This question has haunted public libraries since we adopted the contemporary business model that states “the client is always right.” Moreover, it is part of the common core of public libraries to offer as much welcoming a place for our customers as we can provide. However, what happens when a customer is infringing into the positive experience of another client? More interestingly, how do we respond to this infringement when the parties involved are caregivers? It’s time to use redirection in public libraries. Redirection in Public Libraries As a Youth Services Librarian, I have worked with our Library’s staff to use redirection when witnessing in older children a behavior that might disrupt the library experience of other patrons. In other words, we avoid saying “no.” Instead, we use a narrative that help us reach the desired behavior using redirection and using positive…

ALA Midwinter 2018

Storytime Goddesses at #alamw18

  After my first ALA Annual, my friend, (shoutout Debby) said we had to join Twitter to connect with all the librarians and book people there! I signed up- and started all these wonderful library connections! Including hearing about really cool unofficial events– like a “Storytime Deep Dive” in the Networking Uncommons hosted by the amazing Mel (of Mel’s Desk!!!) She magnanimously hosted an informal storytime chat where children’s librarians and youth services team members got together to talk about storytime gripes and philosophies. It was really great to talk to children’s library staff from around the US- in the hour or two I sat there, we had a children’s librarian from Hawaii and one from Alaska! While I love fangirling to children’s authors and illustrators, it means so much more to sit down with people who write the blogs that I consult for storytime, programming, and general library ideas!…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Celebrating Pura Belpré’s Birthday!

Celebrating Pura Belpré’s Birthday! February 2nd is Pura Belpré’s birthday – for those of you playing along at home, she’d have 119 candles on the cake!  Continuing my unofficial, non-sequential series of how to incorporate multicultural offerings in every program, we’re going to see how we can make Pura’s award winners come to life!  But first… Who was Pura Belpré? For those of you just joining us, Pura Belpré was born in Cidra, Puerto Rico.  By serendipitous circumstances, she ended up in New York City for her sister’s wedding and was hired by a public library.  Huge emphasis on this, folks: it was 1920 and they were looking to hire young women from ethnically diverse backgrounds!  Imagine that!  Almost 100 years ago! Her career took her from the Bronx to the Lower East Side, where she spread the love of stories in English and Spanish – which had never been done before.  As…