Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

The Importance of Pronouns

Author and illustrator Maya Christina Gonzalez is known for her award-winning bilingual (English/Spanish) books such as My Colors, My World and I Know the River Loves Me.  But this Progressive Educator and Independent Scholar/Researcher has also delved into the world of pronouns.  Call Me Tree was written without any gender identifying pronouns and she has since written substantially on the topic as well as writing and illustrating three children’s books on the topic — They She He Me:  Free to Be!, The Gender Wheel, and They, She, He Easy as ABC.  I asked Gonzalez to tell us about the importance of pronouns and that resulted in the following conversation. Maya, why are pronouns so important in creating a gender-inclusive environment? I believe, as we go through these changing times, keeping track of the big picture helps us make important connections and gives us a guide to steer by. When it…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

It’s Only Natural! Bringing the Outdoors In to the Library

The next time you take a walk/hike/bike ride in nature, pause and notice how you feel. Do you feel calmer? Happier? More energized? Believe it or not, being in this kind of environment can have the same effect on children. The benefits are numerous: it builds confidence, promotes creativity and imagination, gets them moving, helps them think, and reduces stress. When I took my current job in an urban library system, I learned about an initiative that had already been created there called NatureConnect. The purpose is to try to create anytime activities around nature or somehow incorporate nature into our programming. Being downtown in a city as well as on the 2nd floor of the building definitely creates unique challenges for me as we don’t have easy access to the outdoors like our branch libraries do. I’ve worked very hard to create indoor nature experiences for kids by creating…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

The Benefits of Community Partnerships

September is here, school bells are ringing, public youth services librarians are wrapping up their Summer Reading programs and the ambitious may have already begun brainstorming for next summer’s program. As you evaluate and plan for your programs, think about the benefits of involving community partners in reaching your goals. Summer Reading is not just a program, for my library it’s also our biggest public awareness campaign. One of the goals I had for our 2022 Summer Reading Program was to increase community partner involvement through a couple avenues, business sponsorships and outreach. For 2022,  local businesses sponsored the Summer Reading Program by donating prizes, off-site programming spaces, and food for various events. The reciprocal benefits of engaging with community partners are invaluable in library success. Our sponsors enable us to provide more engaging programming through funds and in-kind donations, and in return we provide them placements on our promotional…

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 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.