Among the primary benefits of being an ALSC member have always been the opportunities to network and get involved in the work of our organizations. However, lately, those opportunities have taken on even greater importance. The recent rise of book challenges and censorship in communities across the country is a call to youth services librarians to come together as we stand up in defense of the freedom of children across our nation to access diverse books and information that represent the richness of humanity and against blatant attempts to erase our history and diversity.
Have you recently run a successful virtual program and are looking for more people to share the idea with? Do you have a research passion on the side related to children’s experiences with bibliotherapy? Are you itching to interview a favorite author or talk about your experiences with library mentorship? A great way to scratch that itch, and work on growing your professional network through writing, is by getting published within ALSC. ALA in general has a plethora of ways to get published, but ALSC specifically has three pathways to publication to fit your schedule, desires, and the length of your content.
Welcome to Ask ALSC, where the Managing Youth Services Committee asks leaders in children’s libraries to share their response to an issue or situation. We hope to showcase a range of responses to topics that may affect ALSC members. If you’d like to respond to today’s topics, or suggest a topic for the future, please leave a comment. As libraries reopen, some have in-person storytimes, while other libraries are still exclusively online. Others have created a hybrid using both. No matter which way storytime is presented, we are all looking for fresh and inventive ways to help children learn and have a positive time during storytimes. One simple and fun way to welcome children back is to include yoga. Incorporating yoga in storytime is very easy to plan, given some simple dos and don’ts. Here are a few resources to help guide you.
Serving marginalized and underserved communities is multi-pronged. One prong is through a literary perspective where collections reflect the communities we are trying to serve, whether they step foot into the library or not. Diversity audits. We know them; we respect the reasons for them. And the very thought of them is almost debilitating. A diversity audit is a count of titles to see what percentage of your collection is what. What percentage of your collection features white cis protagonists? What percentage of the collections features people who are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or portrays body neutrality? Auditing your collection can provide great data to help you answer questions like, “What percentage of my collection features characters who are Native/ First Nation/ Indigenous?” A deeper audit may answer the question, “What percentage of my collection features characters who are native that aren’t historical?” To collect this information, many libraries…
Children and Libraries (CAL) is the journal of the Association for Library Services to Children. “[I]t primarily serves as a vehicle for continuing education for librarians working with children, and showcases current scholarly research and practice in library service to children and significant activities and initiatives of the Association” (http://www.ala.org/alsc/publications-resources/cal).
Plant based diets are on the rise and so is the demand for vegan books for kids. Below is a short bibliography featuring the best books that I have found. If you only have a few dollars to spend, the starred titles are highly recommended.
My library is currently undergoing a top-to-bottom renovation, and it’s gotten me thinking: if money were no object, what would your dream library look like? Do you have one specific creative project you’d love to do? Or have you been yearning for a completely new youth space? Here are my top four library design dreams.
Earlier this year, my library opened a food pantry as one of the services we offer. It’s been a huge success, a lot of work but a huge payoff for our patrons. Last month, I hosted a food pantry storytime to help promote our pantry. I don’t get to do storytime too often anymore and it was a lot of fun. Here’s what we did!