SEL – three little letters that encompass so much! According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), “Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships and make responsible and caring decisions.”1
June is Pride Month—it began as a commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, started by trans women of color, and is a month of celebration and affirmation for the LGBTQ+ community. Many children realize their gender identity and sexual orientation at a young age, even if they don’t have the words for it. Every child deserves to feel safe and accepted at all times, but especially in the library.
As library professionals, it is our job to encourage our students and patrons to read, read, read. But, are we encouraging ourselves to read? Do you ever find yourself in a reading slump?
The ALSC Mentoring program seeks to match individuals with an interest in library service to children together to learn from each other and support ALSC’s goals. Each person comes to the program with their own hopes, ideas and experiences and the program is well structured to support both mentor and mentee in connecting productively over a fairly short period of time, January- June.
As many students are heading back to in-person and/or hybrid learning after a year of learning on-line, how can we support and collaborate with school librarians to make these transitions successful for our children? One of the easiest ways to support your school librarians is to educate yourself about the standards they use when teaching children. We know that teachers in every subject and discipline use standards that address exactly the concepts and skills a child needs to show learning and mastery in that subject. Just as there are standards for every educational subject, there are also national standards for librarians.
When Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) closed to the public nearly a year ago, children’s librarians scrambled to adapt programming to the virtual world. Library Lab STEM programs began with a cooking demonstration showing the chemical reactions in Snickerdoodle cookies and expanded to a variety of science and coding experiments.
For almost a year now, school and youth services librarians have been working hard to teach lessons, create programs, and share those programs online. From virtual storytime and other programming to Zoom book clubs—we have had to change everything we do to suit a virtual environment. At this point in the pandemic, we are all very familiar with platforms like Zoom, Facebook Live, and Instagram Live… and we are all getting a little bored with them too. Need to add a little life into your virtual programming? Check out these virtual tools.
I’m not sure if we can universally agree on this, but one of the best feelings for a librarian (if not THE best feeling) is finding that perfect book for someone. As a school librarian, I’m always chasing this feeling for my students…but I’m also chasing it for the classroom teachers in my school. A teacher will ask me, “Hey Laura, I’m teaching a unit on neighborhoods – do you have any books you’d recommend for me to share with my class?” Or they’ll ask if I can share the books myself during Library class to support the work they’re doing throughout the day. It never fails to make my heart race excitedly when I know I’ve found the best title to suit a lesson.