Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Embracing Diversity During Autism Acceptance Month

Happy Autism Acceptance Month! When you think of an autistic person*, who are you envisioning? Maybe Sheldon from Big Bang Theory? Or Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rain Man? In popular culture, we tend to have a stereotype about who is autistic. That person is usually white, male, heterosexual, and cis-sexual, but in reality, the autistic community is incredibly diverse! Take the time this Autism Acceptance Month and update your recommended reading lists, your displays, and your storytime selections to reflect all kinds of autistic experiences.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Unmasking Your Potential: Defeating Imposter Syndrome in Underserved Communities

Imposter syndrome, that nagging feeling of inadequacy and self-doubt despite evident accomplishments, can be particularly challenging when working with underserved children and their caregivers. In such roles, the weight of responsibility to make a meaningful impact can often intensify feelings of unworthiness or incompetence. However, recognizing and addressing imposter syndrome is essential for us to serve the communities we work in effectively. Now, I am no expert however, I have been a victim of imposter syndrome myself and I have had to unpack my issues and leave them at the door. I would like to break down what I have learned regarding understanding imposter syndrome in this context and offer strategies to overcome it. Hopefully, this will empower librarians and library workers to make a real difference in the lives of those they serve.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Programming for Families During Black History Month

February 26, 2024 Planning Black history programs in February provides a unique opportunity to create informative and creative celebrations of the contributions of Black Americans, engaging children and families alike. Developing programs that embrace cultural diversity offers teachable moments and exposes our community to its richness. The following program offerings cater to all ages and are planned for the University City Regional Library this year in Charlotte, NC. It also includes programs from previous years. As you prepare for upcoming Black History programs or events aimed at fostering inclusivity, I encourage you to consider the program ideas outlined here to inspire your planning process. Children’s Literacy Festival: Black History Month Children’s Literary Festival Invite families and children to explore the world of Black children’s authors and illustrators through hosting a children’s literacy festival. I partnered with the skilled artist and art teacher, Shaya Locke to create projects inspired by selected…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Three Ways to Connect with the Disability Community in 2024

Make 2024 the year that you solidify your library’s support of families with disabilities. Many library staff want to reach out to disabled children and caregivers, but become overwhelmed trying to pick their first step. Before you plan a new sensory storytime, revamp your large print collection, or look into making your children’s programs more accessible, reach out to one of these three groups in your area to find out what your community really needs.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Nontraditional Times for Traditional Programs

Libraries are a melting pot, a representation of a beautifully diverse society. As we progress further into the 21st Century, this fact, this statement, is becoming more and more understood. A focus, and a very important one, has been put on equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in collections and spaces. However, do we take EDI components and take them into our library programs–namely the time and topic of our programs? What does this look like? Well, it means getting creative. It means thinking outside of the box. To be honest, I never really thought of programs outside of the 9 to 5 time frame until I became a working mom. I work until 6 PM most nights; it is impossible to take my daughter to what we view as a traditional storytime. I know I’m not just the only person this applies to. Many of your library patrons are in…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Summer Reading: Let’s Work Together

When my role was a Children’s Librarian, I was working at my first branch in the inner city inNew York. Children and their caregivers would often come to the library with long reading listshoping that we had anything on their list at the branch. We often would ask the students comingin during the summer if we could make a copy of their summer reading list. We did so due toeach school and potentially each grade/class had a different summer reading list. What aburden to caregivers to try to locate several titles? During my second summer, I had a thoughtbubble moment. I thought, “Why isn’t the public library working with our public schools increating a summer reading list?” Public libraries and schools are natural partners in creating andpromoting summer reading and reading lists. Libraries offer a wealth of resources for childrenand their caregivers, including books, summer programs, summer themed events andincentives….

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Mobile Outreach to Underserved Families: No Budget? No Problem!

Library outreach in 2023 continues to evolve and include services for underserved families more than ever. While there was previously a strong lack of information on the topic, there are now many more librarians researching, writing articles, and sharing their processes and success stories to enable others in the profession to continue this important and wonderful work. Many library systems offer robust outreach services and allocate funding for it into their budgets, but there are also many libraries both big and small that don’t receive adequate funding to purchase and operate a bookmobile or hire dedicated outreach staff. While funding and support are incredible to have, it simply isn’t always there to start, and that’s ok! Luckily, there are many outreach services that librarians can provide at little to no cost. Bookmobiles & More Many libraries have fully embraced the idea of on-the-go librarianship and outreach, and bookmobiles have been…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Strengthening Underserved Communities through Collaboration Between Librarians and Media Specialists.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, access to knowledge and information is crucial for the growth and development of every individual, especially our underserved populations. Librarians in public libraries and media specialists in schools play significant roles in fostering the love for learning, promoting literacy, and empowering communities. When these professionals collaborate, their partnerships can become a force for positive change, extending informative and educational opportunities to those who need it most. In this blog post, we will explore what synergy between librarians and media specialists in supporting underserved communities may look like.   Before delving into a partnership, you should understand the uniqueness of both Librarians in public libraries and Media Specialists in schools. This is vital because it allows for targeted support and resource allocation in their respective environments. Recognizing their distinct roles enables the development of specialized programs and services that cater to the diverse needs of their…