Blogger Chelsey Roos

Library Work Has a Trauma Problem – Can It Be Fixed?

The public might think of libraries as calm and gentle, but library workers know the truth: library work can cause trauma. Most of us have had at least one experience – if not many experiences – that broke our hearts, wore us out, or left us feeling alone and unsupported. A groundbreaking new study from Urban Libraries Unite has sought to dig deep into that trauma and explain why it’s happening. They also propose four changes to help mitigate library staff trauma and make sure that library staff do not feel alone in their experiences.

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Busting Myths About Autism

April is Autism Acceptance Month! Over the last decade, libraries have done a lot of work to better support autistic families. Many libraries have started sensory storytimes and programs. Some allow autistic families to visit the library before official open hours to provide a less overstimulating experience. Other libraries have converted extra space into entire sensory rooms. However, a lot of misinformation about autism continues to circulate, and it affects how libraries serve their communities. Let’s bust some autism myths together.

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Has COVID Changed How Kids Read?

Have you noticed a change in how the kids and families you serve are reading in the COVID era? Two years into the pandemic, we’ve had an intense educational disruption. Some kids were in remote learning for months. Others have been going back and forth between in-person and remote, or in-person and almost nothing. Some families have moved to homeschooling. Some kids have had parents and caregivers on hand to help them through the chaos. Others haven’t. Has all this added up to changes in what and how our kids are reading?

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Why Is Children’s Literature Still Fat-phobic?

Close your eyes and throw a dart in the children’s section, and you’ll probably hit a book that has fat-phobia. It may have a snide comment about a fat character – or a book with no fat characters at all. I’m not sure which one is worse. It’s practically a tradition in children’s literature to depict fatness as synonymous with gluttony, with ugliness, with stupidity, or with evil. In Harry Potter, you have major and minor fat villains: Dudley, Umbridge, Crabbe and Goyle. Stuart Gibb’s best-selling Funjungle series features a b-side villain referred to as “Large Marge” throughout the series, who is regularly derided as idiotic and incompetent. And if we started talking about fatness and Roald Dahl, we’d be here all day. Where does this fatphobia come from, and why do we put up with it?

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Programs for Gratitude

Gratitude feels a little hard to come by this year. Maybe it’s just me. Normally at this time, I’d be prepping for programs to put on during Thanksgiving break. But programs around the holiday can be tricky. COVID restrictions might have changed how your library is able to program (it has for my system), and you might be short-staffed (from vacations, illness, or disaster service work). And that’s not even to mention the racism and colonialism involved in the holiday’s history. For these reasons, here are some programs (passive, with low staff involvement, and the ability to socially-distance) that you can do to celebrate thankfulness and gratitude.