Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Understanding Trauma in Underserved Children and Their Caregivers: The Vital Role of Librarians

Trauma is an all-too-common experience for many children and their caregivers, particularly those in underserved communities. The effects of trauma can be profound and long-lasting, influencing every aspect of a child’s development and a caregiver’s ability to provide support. Libraries, as we know, have a unique role to play in recognizing and addressing trauma. By developing specialized programs and resources, librarians can provide support to those in need. Also, those who support the supporters. The ALSC Library Services to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee is currently constructing a toolkit designed to help librarians and library workers understand and address trauma, allowing families healing and growth. What is trauma? According to Merriam-Webster, Trauma is 1 a: an injury (such as a wound) to living tissue caused by an extrinsic agent b: a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury c: an emotional…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

The Partnership Parade: Teaming up for Sustainable Summer Library Services

As the final school bells of the year begin to ring, a collective sigh slinks its way through the ranks of youth library workers everywhere. Some are in relief: we’ve planned it all and we’re ready to go. Some are riddled with stress: did we do enough? Are we really ready to take on our role as informal educators for the next three months? The start of Summer Reading, Summer with the Library, Summer Learning, and every other name umbrellaed by conjoining the wide-ranging ideas of ‘reading’ ‘learning’ and ‘libraries’ is upon us, and though we might be ready for all that summer brings, are the families in our communities also prepared on the same page? For many families, the start of summer brings to fruition feelings of joy, rest, warmth, and exploration, but for many others it also brings to the forefront unique insecurities and unsureness. Children who were…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Is Your Summer Reading Program equitable?

I look at the calendar and I inwardly shudder. T-minus twenty-three (23) days until summer reading begins! Scholastic boxes are arriving. We are actively training new staff. We are brainstorming decoration ideas to the theme “Adventure Begins at Your Library.” It is an exciting time to be in a library. However, I personally always have an existential crisis when it comes time to a formal summer reading program. It’s not that I do not support having a program. I firmly acknowledge the summer slide and what the lack of consistent reading and learning does to a children’s educational progress. I know it is an opportunity for kiddos to read whatever they want and that is key to developing a love of reading. But my issue is always with the program itself.  Last year, I began a personal mission to start looking at how equitable my library’s summer reading was. We…

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…