Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

Incorporating Intellectual Freedom into Outreach

Incorporating intellectual freedom into outreach in a fun and engaging manner is an essential component of bringing our core values into the community, and bringing the library beyond its physical borders. Some of the tips listed below can be applied broadly to all types of outreach and communication/collaboration with outside agencies and organizations.

Tip 1: Ask. Just ask. We can guess what our community members need in terms of outreach but asking is part of developing relationships which in turn help your outreach programs.

Tip 2: Be clear! In working with neighboring daycare centers or providers, be sure expectations are clear on both sides.

Tip 3: Plan ahead! Outreach to children’s hospitals may require specialized training with Child Life Specialists. Collaboration with religious centers may require extra planning to be permitted on their campuses in cases of increased security.

Tip 4: Do your research. Check out ALA and ALSC’s resources for advocacy, equity and diversity, such as Services to LBGTQ+ People ( and Cultural Programming to Support Diversity (, and Storytime-Palooza! Racial Diversity and Inclusion in Storytime

Also Planet Picture Book, English translations of picture books from around the world (

Tip 5: Don’t self-censor. If you’re providing a storytime, select books that are great read-alouds and showcase the diversity of our community.

Tip 6: Get inspired! Listen to Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop speak on the topic of multicultural literature and do your best to provide mirrors, windows and sliding doors to families:

Sample Programs

Pick and choose the parts that work for you! The storytime outreaches below are designed for preschool age children.

Theme: Families
Introduce the topic: Today we will be talking about people in our families.
Read: Monday is One Day by Arthur A. Levine
Read: One Family by George Shannon

Alternate Titles: The Family Book by Todd Parr

Book for Older Children: Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña;
Books for Display:
Silas’ Seven Grandparents by Anita Horrocks; Home is a Window by Stephanie Ledyard; Pet Dad by Elanna Allen; My Papa is a Princess by Doug Cenko; What’s Special About Me, Mama? By Kristina Evans; Little Brothers & Little Sisters by Monica Arnaldo; When Aidan Became A Brother by Kyle Lukoff; Families, Families, Families by Suzanne Lang; We Are Family by Patrica Hegarty; Maisie’s Scrapbook by Samuel Narh

Extension Activity: Sing Baby Shark and go beyond Mama, Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa.


Theme: Everybody, Everywhere
Introduce the Topic: Today we will travel the world through books!
Read: Around the World in a Bathtub by Wade Bradford
Read: Whoever You Are by Mem Fox

Alternate Titles: Can You Say Peace? by Karen Katz

Book for Older Children: Everything & Everywhere: A Fact-Filled Adventure for Curious Globe-Trotters by Marc Martin
Books for Display: Littles and How They Grow by Kelly DiPucchio; Everybody Cooks Rice by Norah Dooley; Little Humans by Brandon Stanton; Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World by Selby Beeler; At the Same Moment Around the World by Clotilde Perrin; Same Same but Different by Jenny sue Kostecki-Shaw; Grandma’s List by Portia Dery; One House for All by Inese Zandere

Extension Activity: Show children select pages from This is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from Around the World by Matt Lamothe and ask children what they eat for breakfast or what games they play.


Our guest bloggers today are Meagan Albright and Allison G. Kaplan, members of the ALSC IF Committee. Meagan is a Youth Services Librarian III at the Nova Southeastern University Alvin Sherman Library, Research and Information Technology Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Allison is Faculty Associate in the Information School at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competency: Programming Skills

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