Outreach and Advocacy

What’s Your Advocacy Passion?

girl with megaphone

After celebrating the patriotic holidays of summer, the end of July is a perfect time to reflect on service and advocacy.  Librarians can use what we are passionate about to make libraries and services richer and more diverse.  The ALSC Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee members have many advocacy passions. If you haven’t discovered yours yet, check out some of ours below: •Bilingual Services and Programming for Spanish Speakers— From bilingual storytimes to Spanish language collections to advocating for services, the place to learn about services to Spanish-speakers is REFORMA, one of ALA’s National Associations of Librarians of Color that anyone can join. •Digital Literacy— The Public Library Association is a great resource for digital literacy and they have created DigitalLearn.org as a one stop shop for teaching digital literacy. •Embedded Librarianship— Both academic and public libraries can benefit from embedded librarians, in online classes and in their communities.  The…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Enticing Summer Reading Alternative Programming For Kids Who “Hate” To Read

Summer is the busiest time of year for public youth services librarians across the country: we stack our calendars with programming and guest performers, bust out all the themed decorations, and break out our best book-themed t-shirts. All of this, of course, to the ultimate end of building in our young patrons a lifetime relationship with books.

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

5 Ways Covid Has Affected Summer Programming

Library summer programs have changed a lot in the last few years. Maybe that’s a good thing? More Take and Makes When programming shut down, many libraries began offering take-and-make bags for patrons. This proved to be so popular that even when programming started back, libraries continued to offer take-and-makes to patrons of all ages.  Outdoor Programming For libraries with the space, outdoor programming became a welcome, more safe alternative to indoor programming. Even in the heat of the summer, library staff brought programs outside to a more covid-safe environment.  Less Programming When libraries began opening back up and offering programming, many library staff took a look at their regular pre-pandemic programming with a critical eye. Were we prioritizing quantity over quality? Maybe higher quality, less frequent programming is the answer.  Tracking Apps  While many libraries were already using online tracking programs for their summer reading, some used their library’s…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Unite Against Book Bans by Reporting Challenges

Over the past year challenges to books in school and public libraries have garnered a lot of media attention. Most of these challenges are books that feature characters that identify as LGBTQ+ and that address racism in its many forms. Article III of the Library Bill of Rights states: Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

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It’s Spring Break! Now what??

It’s that time again! Spring Break! We all have muddled through winter and children and their parents are ready to get out and enjoy a week off in warmer weather. This is your opportunity to capitalize on the change of season!  Caregivers are looking for ways to keep their kiddos busy during spring break and this is a great time to make connections.

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PSA: You Know Who’s Awesome? You Are!

It’s been a tough few years, with more uncertainties ahead. We’d like to take a moment to pause and pass out virtual gold stars to you, and you, and you! How are you so awesome? Give yourself a star for every time: All your planning went sideways. You did the pivot dance.  You learned a new kind of technology. You experimented with new ways to deliver services. You stepped up to provide patron services you normally didn’t do. You helped keep your library open with the bare minimum of staffing. You kept your calm on the outside when your inside was screaming. We’d wager that you have enough gold stars to wallpaper your library. Queue the thunderous applause! Is it any wonder that you feel so tired? Now that you’ve paused to reflect on everything you’ve achieved (yay you!), how are you holding up?

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Walk The Line: Religious Holidays and Children’s Programming

Every year, as the autumn chill settles in the air, librarians everywhere begin anew the endless debate over the recognition of religious holidays in our public libraries. Since public libraries (like public universities or public schools) are technically government funded, their activities are limited by the provisions of the U.S. Constitution. In the case of issues surrounding religious holidays, the limiting provision is called the Establishment Clause, in which the government is forbidden from “an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” (U.S. Const. amend. 1). These ten words have been some of the most controversial in American history, and far be it for us to discuss all the aspects of that here, but the essential part to know is this: as a public institution, we are obligated to walk the narrow path of neither encouraging nor discouraging any one religion.(1) The reality is that the relationship between…