The children librarian’s role has never been more critical than it is right now. Today, we are seeing increased potential for ethnic intolerance, and racial tensions encouraged by a climate that is categorically contrary to the library profession’s fundamental values, specifically diversity, equity and inclusion.
In an environment where great emphasis is put on statistics like door count and program attendance, it is tempting for public library staff to view school counterparts either as competition, or conduits to promote our programs. A better approach to the numbers game is to collaborate together on programming, which can mean adapting public library programs for a school setting.
Some kids and parents from marginalized communities, particularly those who are undocumented, see libraries as an extension of the government and therefore are reluctant to ask for help regarding issues related to opposing government policies. These vulnerable communities are among those that need the services and resources of the library the most. What are the best ways to communicate that libraries are safe spaces?
As a member of ALSC’S Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee, I have had the opportunity to connect with Ashley Soliwoda, a Girl Scout who is currently working on her Gold Award project. I am so impressed with the wonderful work Ashley is doing in her community and hope you will enjoy reading about her in the interview below.
Being a manager or supervisor comes with a host of responsibilities, and one I’ve been thinking about lately is managing physical space. Whether it’s ensuring communal work spaces are staying organized, or paying attention to the cleanliness of your shelves and room, managers need to remember that they’re the leaders of the place in addition to the people. This doesn’t mean you should take it upon yourself to clean up a messy staff workroom every Friday, but you should set expectations about levels of organization. For example, does your staff take several weeks to return program materials (markers, crayons, tablecloths) back where they belong? If so, it’s time to ask that items be put away no more than a few days after a program. Do you notice that a bin labeled “glue sticks” or “scissors” seems to have also accumulated yarn or stickers? Make it clear that materials should go…
Part of the charge for the Advocacy and Legislation Committee is to empower ALSC members in their advocacy efforts. We aim to do this, in part, by sharing stories from the field, stories of other librarians doing advocacy work on a local or state level.
I hosted my second ever roadshow at the annual California Library Association conference #CLASwingIntoAction. This is a great way to fund conference attendance, support ALSC and meet other librarians. You too can host a roadshow!
If you’re responsible for collection development, should you a buy a popular book with problematic content?