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 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…

Blogger Elizabeth Serrano

Engaging the Latino Community #PLA2018

PLA presentation photo

(Re)Building Latina/o Outreach: Steps to Engaging Your Community After attending my first Pura Belprè Celebration last year at Annual, I promised myself to attend more sessions and events which revolved around my culture. On Thursday at PLA 2018, I attended a great session called (Re)Building Latina/o Outreach: Steps to Engaging Your Community. What was great about the presentation was that many of the suggestions didn’t only apply to the Latino community – they applied to all types of cultures we might be serving in our spaces.

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…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Teaching Children Banned Words

Enlightening & Teaching 2017 was a whirlwind year, with many, many unprecedented changes, challenges and fear.  To help our youngest patrons, it is critically important that we aid in their enlightenment, making them more socially aware, teaching them new concepts, and making them more culturally competent. For 2018, I encourage you to explore these terms through your youth programming.  This will aid not only the children, but their parents as well.  So, let’s go!  Following each term will be suggestions for aiding you deliver these important concepts: Diversity My wife – Marianne Dolce, a highly successful school media specialist  – showed me how to take a picture book or a story and build a theme from it – to reverse the storytime building process, and thereby integrate diverse materials into storytime – Every. Single Week. Read up on ALA’s “Importance of Diversity” Entitlement These quick “fables” help teach children all…

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…