Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Toolkit: New Americans – Read Alouds

Black, brown, and white hand overlap atop an American flag

The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoting the 2021-2022 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.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Toolkit: New Americans

Word cloud of "Welcome" in multiple languages in a heart shape.

The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoted to creating vibrant, dynamic toolkits that provide ALSC members with up-to-date resources for working with traditionally marginalized populations.  Each section of these toolkits 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. The focus of this year’s toolkit is on serving children and their caregivers who are new to America. There are approximately 44 million people living in America who were born in different countries. People identifying as new Americans may fall into many categories, some of which may be: refugee, asylum seekers, migrants, or immigrants. As our understanding of different needs increases, libraries are recognizing an important role in supporting new American communities.  These supports may include specialized resources,…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Serving Underserved Communities: EDI in Action

child running towards a large tower of boxes

This year, the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee transitioned our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) goal. We started with providing authentic resources, then moved to empowering library (and library adjacent) staff to hone, develop, and take action on their advocacy skills. Above all, we’re providing support and different ways to interact with our resources, like presentations, chats, and our monthly blog posts. Over the past 18 months, we developed vibrant toolkits to help connect library communities with resources for different underserved populations.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Overwhelmed by : Diversity Audits

overwhelmed by books

Serving marginalized and underserved communities is multi-pronged. One prong is through a literary perspective where collections reflect the communities we are trying to serve, whether they step foot into the library or not. Diversity audits. We know them; we respect the reasons for them. And the very thought of them is almost debilitating. A diversity audit is a count of titles to see what percentage of your collection is what. What percentage of your collection features white cis protagonists? What percentage of the collections features people who are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or portrays body neutrality? Auditing your collection can provide great data to help you answer questions like, “What percentage of my collection features characters who are Native/ First Nation/ Indigenous?” A deeper audit may answer the question, “What percentage of my collection features characters who are native that aren’t historical?”  To collect this information, many libraries…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Overwhelmed by: Advocacy

a stack of books supporting a heavy desk

Our committee, Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers, is part of Priority Group 1: Child Advocacy. We are dedicated to lifting all library staff up to advocate from any position for underserved children and their caregivers. In our toolkits and blog posts, we detail the process of researching your community, listening to your community, and comparing the needs to your current and potential library services. The later piece of evaluating your own organization is crucial for conducting outreach, programs, and services to underserved communities.  We have two committee members, Erika Lehtonen and Melody Leung, who have worked together to create a list of tips when conducting advocacy through an equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) lens. Spend time understanding your organization and the people in it. No matter if you are a library director, school librarian, public librarian, library staff, or in library adjacent industries; concentrate on building relationships…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Overwhelmed By: Professional Connections

Bulletin board with sticky notes

Reaching traditionally marginalized or underserved communities is overwhelming. We don’t want to make this work look easy; it truly isn’t. However, we believe library staff at any level can do it with the right tools and support. This year, we’re bridging the gap between tangible resources and getting started. Today, we’ll focus on building professional connections.

Administrative and Management Skills

Overwhelmed By: Researching Your Community

Reaching traditionally marginalized or underserved communities is overwhelming. We don’t want to make this work look easy; it truly isn’t. However, we believe library staff at all levels can do this work with the right tools and support. This year, we’re bridging the gap between tangible resources and getting started. Today, we’ll focus on researching your community.