Blogger Elizabeth Serrano

Social Justice Practice in Youth Librarianship – #ALSCForum Archive

alsc archived forum

On August 14th ALSC held a community forum on Social Justice Practice in Youth Librarianship. The forum was perfect in that it discussed a crucial topic in librarianship that touches on all of our objectives from our 2017-2020 Strategic Plan. Diversity, Inclusion and Advocacy Dr. Nicole A. Cooke, an Assistant Professor and MS/LIS Program Director at the School of Information Sciences, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, talked about her courses and teachings on how to have “hard conversations” on race, diversity, and social justice. She explains that she helps prepare her students to be culturally competent and “be comfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable.” She presented us with, Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race by Derald Wing Sue, as a guide on how to have these conversations about race and that if we remain silent, we “allow the conversation to happen without…

Blogger Lisa Nowlain

The Tougaloo Nine

The past few weeks have been violent and frightening. I’ve been trying to think about what I can do as a youth worker in the political and social context of our country, and ALSC has been providing some great resources as has SLJ. It can be helpful to look back in our history as a profession and think about how our profession is not neutral and we need to be active about where we are now. This American Libraries article, Desegregating Libraries in the American South, deserves a second look. Below is an image of the Tougaloo Nine, who sat-in at the all-white Jackson (Miss.) Public Library. When they were marched to the courthouse, a crowd of 100 black supporters were pistol-whipped and bitten by dogs, helping to galvanize desegregation in Mississippi. While purchasing diverse books and finding ways to put them into children’s hands is an important aspect of…

Blogger Nina Lindsay

Intellectual Freedom and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

It is summer, and my libraries have been slinging lunches along with fun. We’ve been doing it for years, and it’s been hard for me to describe exactly why serving lunch in the library feels so right; until I read Mack Freedman’s post on Libraries and Summer Food Programs at ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom blog this May.   It had never occurred to me to look at food service through an Intellectual Freedom lens, but he points out accurately that these programs “enable a level of access to the library’s services that would otherwise be unavailable due to the effects that hunger can have on learning and involvement.” So I was glad to see ALA Council adopt Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Interpretations to the Library Bill of Rights at Annual conference.  It provides a framework for exploring why we provide the services we do in the way we do,…

Early Literacy

Drag Queen Story Hour

Drag Queens at the Library? Yes! Drag Queens at the library reading picture books? Definitely YES!! Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) was created in San Francisco, CA by Michelle Tea and RADAR Productions.  It has since expanded to New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and a multitude of other cities. Libraries all over the country are embracing this program with open arms! DQSH is a delightful celebration of diversity and gender fluidity. It gives children and their families and caregivers positive role models who break gender stereotypes, and encourage children to be exactly who they want to be. Check out below to see what three librarians think about bringing the program to their libraries, and to see a few photos!   From the New York Public Library, Early Literacy Coordinator, Eva Shapiro, says “Drag Queen Story Hour is a wonderful addition to the New York Public Library’s early literacy programming. This…

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…