Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Toolkit: New Americans

Word cloud of "Welcome" in multiple languages in a heart shape.

The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoted to creating vibrant, dynamic toolkits that provide ALSC members with up-to-date resources for working with traditionally marginalized populations.  Each section of these toolkits 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 focus of this year’s toolkit is on serving children and their caregivers who are new to America. There are approximately 44 million people living in America who were born in different countries. People identifying as new Americans may fall into many categories, some of which may be: refugee, asylum seekers, migrants, or immigrants.

As our understanding of different needs increases, libraries are recognizing an important role in supporting new American communities.  These supports may include specialized resources, adapted programming, and community partnerships to support children and their caregivers. 

The toolkit will be released in three sections:

Section 1: Professional and Community Resources

Section 2: Recommended Read-alouds

Section 3: Programming and Outreach Examples.

The portion of the toolkit available to you today, focuses on professional and community resources. The community resources have been broken up into the following categories:

  • Programs and Services
  • Communications and Marketing
  • Library Materials Collection
  • Stakeholders and Partnerships
  • Equipping Staff

Highlight Resource

If your library is just beginning its journey serving children and families new to America, a great resource to get started is the I’m Your Neighbor website. This website includes book lists that feature children from different cultures and communities. Many titles include educator guides, author interviews, and engagement ideas. The information at I’m Your Neighbor is a great way to build your library’s collection of inclusive titles. We hope this will start you down the path to build a welcoming environment for everyone!

We would love your help!  Please email us with your recommendations, favorite resources, and inspiring community outreach endeavors:  We would love to add your recommendations to our Toolkit sheets.  If you are willing to share your successful programming ideas and experiences, we would love to highlight those as well.

Want to chat about our toolkit resources or how to serve underserved populations? Sign up for our next ALSC Chat on February 22nd at 2pm PST/ 3pm MST/ 4pm CST/ 5pm PST.

Kymberlee Powe is the Children/ YA Consultant at the Connecticut State Library. She loves reading, embroidery, crime shows, and has just begun her journey into the world of crochet. The opinions in this article are her own.

Jaime Eastman is a Public Services Librarian, Senior at the Plano Public Library. She can be found making painstaking progress on her cross stitch sunset, taking walks when the Texas weather cooperates, or anticipating her next travel plans. She is looking forward to connecting with ALSC members this year.

Mariel Matthews is a Children’s Librarian with The New York Public Library, Grand Concourse. She is a member of the Library Services to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers  Committee (ALSC), Library Services to Children of African Decent (BCALA) Committee and Professional Development Committee (BCALA). Currently, she is enjoying the creativity of virtual story times.

One comment

  1. Joe Prince

    Truly fabulous. Great job, LSUCTC!

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