Guest Blogger

Oregon Libraries at #PLA2022

Since Portland is hosting the conference this year, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give shout-outs to some great sessions from library workers in the state. While I’ve lived in Oregon since 2015, there are plenty of libraries I haven’t visited and library workers I haven’t met yet. I’ve really enjoyed networking with colleagues and learning about the wonderful goings-on in our beautiful state.

In “Diversity Counts: An Audit Tool That Adds Up,” a panel of Deschutes Public Library (DPL) staff shared multiple iterations of their internal Diversity Audit Tool (DAT). Assessment of the first iteration revealed inconsistencies in usage and a lack of staff accountability, so the team refined the DAT. They also had librarians across the system evaluate the same three titles to calibrate—brilliant, no? Currently, DPL uses this tool to audit booklists but librarians hope to expand to full collection audits as well as to find ways to share results of the audits with the public. Notably, the panelists also pointed to the need for more diverse youth nonfiction—and called on publishers to do better.

Librarians from my own system—Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS)—and Wilsonville Public Library presented “Fostering Readers: Research-based Literacy Activities in English/Spanish for K-3rd Graders.” As a sort of next step after Every Child Ready to Read, Fostering Readers combines key elements and key strategies to create a flexible curriculum for supporting emerging readers. Created by two licensed teachers who are also reading specialists and two practicing children’s librarians, the LSTA-funded project took two years of research and hard work to complete. Check out the project website for more information, including ready-to-use lesson plans and more.

I know there were a few other sessions featuring Oregon library workers but, unfortunately, I missed those. Thankfully, fellow conference blogger Aryssa Damron has you covered for at least one.

(Blog manager: Post edited for clarity 3/31/22 1:36pm)

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

Guest conference blogger Alec Chunn (he/him) is a Children’s Librarian at the Tualatin (OR) Public Library. He’s new to the Portland area, so he’s looked forward to meeting other local librarians and reconnecting with colleagues. He attended the conference in-person. His favorite snack is Bear Naked granola bites (any flavor).  

#PLA2022 Conference Bloggers offered great overviews during the conference. Today we offer five more posts from the Public Library Association gathering in Portland last week. (This is post 2 of 5.) To see more posts, just search the ALSC Blog using the keyword #PLA2022.

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