The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoting the 2020-2021 calendar year to creating a vibrant, dynamic toolkit that provides ALSC members with up-to-date resources for working with marginalized populations. Each toolkit page will provide professional and leisure reading recommendations, support for programming, and materials for families. As dynamic documents, these pages will continue to grow and develop as we find new resources, share our experiences, and continue to learn.
The LSCUTC committee welcomed a collaboration with ALSC’s Children and Technology Committee, who created this month’s toolkit. February’s Toolkit focuses on accessibility to technology and its impact on children. With the onset of COVID-19, gaps in the digital divide became chasms. The inequities that technology – or lack thereof – created became impossible to ignore.
When librarians transitioned to providing online programming, it became all the more apparent that large swaths of children were missing out on crucial learning opportunities. The materials in this toolkit both address internet inequity and provide resources that introduce children to technology or offer low-tech options for programs.
What you will find in this toolkit:
- Picture books, early chapter books, and middle grade books for children of various ages and their caregivers.
- Professional resources such as articles and books that provide research-based information and ideas for addressing technology gaps.
- Materials you can purchase for your library’s children’s room and to use in your library programming that are low-tech or no-tech.
- Recommended webinars that target digital equity.
If your library is just beginning to formulate a plan for providing children with access to technology, we encourage you to look at the New York Public Library’s Hotspot Lending program and the Houston Public Library’s Laptop Lending program. Though these programs may seem challenging when budgets are tight, this toolkit offers several organizations that provide grants that could mitigate the costs associated with technology endeavors.
Take a moment to visit the LSUCTC Toolkit for all our recommended resources!
We would love your help! Please email us with your recommendations, favorite resources, and inspiring community outreach endeavors: firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to add your recommendations to our Toolkit sheet. If you are willing to share your successful programming ideas and experiences, we would love to highlight those as well.
Joe Prince is the co-chair of the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers. He merely posted this on behalf of the Children and Technology Committee. 🙂