Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

An Interview with Rex Ogle

Last month, the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee (LSUCTC) rolled out its second toolkit page for children’s librarians. This page was devoted to providing programs and services for children facing homelessness and/or financial insecurity.  Author Rex Ogle, who wrote the debut memoir Free Lunch about his experiences with poverty during childhood, offered a few additions to our toolkit. We invited him to chat with us about how librarians can help children in this often overlooked population. 

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

New Toolkit to Help Youth Experiencing Financial Insecurity and Homelessness

Colorful mural on wall of homeless shelter

The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers (LSUCTC) 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. October’s LSUCTC Toolkit focuses on youth and families experiencing homelessness and financial insecurity. One national estimate concluded that the number of public school children in grades pre-kindergarten through 12th who experienced homelessness during the 2017-2018 school year was a staggering 1.5 million (source: National Overview from the National Center for Homeless Education). With the current instability brought about by the pandemic, it seems reasonable to assume these numbers have increased. Youth experiencing homelessness may try…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

LSUCTC Toolkit: seeking topic suggestions

In July, the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee announced our plan for the 2020-2021 calendar year:  creating a vibrant, dynamic toolkit that provides ALSC members with up-to-date resources for working with marginalized populations.  As a dynamic document, these pages will continue to grow and develop as we find new resources, share our experiences, and continue to learn from each other. In August, we released our first toolkit page with resources for autism and other sensory processing disorders.  In developing this resource, we realized that in order to provide relevant, meaningful content we need to also provide ourselves time and space to curate those resources.   As much as we would love to bring you a new toolkit page every month, we’ve found it’s much more realistic to plan for a new resource every other month.  In the other months, we hope to highlight a program or “unpack”…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Toolkit: Autism and Sensory Processing Disorders

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. This month, our focus is serving children who have autism and other sensory processing disorders.  As our understanding of these children and their needs increases, libraries are recognizing an important role in supporting these families in their community.  This may involve specialized resources, adapted programming, and community partnerships to support children and their caregivers.  We are hoping to use this opportunity to bring awareness to the unique considerations of library service to this population, provide support…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

New Year, New Us

In the past several years, one of the critical responsibilities of the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers (LSUCTC) Committee was to administer and oversee all components of the Light the Way grant. It was a mighty responsibility, and one we quite enjoyed. With the grant moving to the Programs & Services Recognition Committee this year, our committee saw this as an opportunity to provide more resources to children’s librarians who serve marginalized populations. In 2015, our committee rolled out a toolkit for librarians. It was filled with resources, community organizations, and research related to eight different underserved populations. Long have we sought to revisit these resources and update them. Last year, we solicited feedback from ALSC members about the toolkit, and we were disheartened by two pieces of evidence: 1.) the information in our toolkit was perceived as outdated and/or not particularly useful and, perhaps more alarmingly,…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

No-Tech No-Touch: Real Life Programming in a Pandemic

Our library is talking about how to serve children in more tech-free ways. Everyone loves a good scavenger hunt, but how do we give our community some of the fun passive activities we are used to while keeping our staff and families safe? I know we are all missing our kiddos and their grown-ups and they are missing us. We want to feel connected and lately the virtual connection doesn’t feel like enough. So I looked around to see what other libraries are doing and here are a few of the things I found. Scavenger Hunts: Check lists like hunts from Glenside Public Library District are easy to replicate and hunt lists could be tucked into books if locations are doing curbside check outs. Neighborhood hunts have also been very popular and are simple to participate in, the Northbrook Public Library’s Bear Hunt  is cute and book based. Quite a few libraries have…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Inclusive Read-alouds

The COVID-19 epidemic has caused libraries to find different options to connect with patrons through social distancing.  With many public libraries beginning to make ebooks available with unrestricted due dates, and with many publishing companies opening up content for users, parents can have access to several great titles to share with their children.    Public libraries across the country have also been using social media to connect with younger patrons. Many libraries adapted story time programs to digital story time on Facebook and Instagram Live to reach local patrons and national onlookers alike.     Librarians may also participate in read-alouds to the public as long as they adhere to the standards put forth by publishing companies. Here is a list of those standards from a School Library Journal article, dated March 18, 2020.     Here are ten of our favorite recent titles that highlight the experiences of children in marginalized…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Serving the Underserved during the Pandemic

In the current changing landscape for families and libraries affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, librarians are suddenly tasked with providing resources and activities in a digital environment. Providing robust programs for marginalized or underserved populations is especially a challenge, and we wanted to provide resources for librarians that may assist in addressing the needs of these populations.