AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Libraries Welcome all Families: a conversation with urban high school students about representation in the CT Nutmeg Nominees

Jillian Woychowski is the Library Media Specialist at West Haven High School and a member of the ALA Interdivisional Committee for School and Public Library Cooperation. Kymberlee Powe is the Head of Children’s and Teen Library Services at the West Haven Public Library I am very lucky as a school librarian to work so well with my public librarians.  Our city’s children’s and teen services librarian has held card drives and visits me on a regular basis.  We’ve coordinated getting materials for each other and worked together on summer reading. We also share the experience of serving on our state book award committee.  I served on the high school level 2018 Nutmeg committee and Kym just wrapped serving on the middle grades committee for 2020 (see nutmegaward.org). Being on the committee for a state book is a serious time commitment, requiring reading 75-150 books and monthly meetings to discuss them. For…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Libraries Welcome all Families: Collaborating on Inclusive Summer Initiatives

By SPLC Committee members April Witteveen, Natasha Carty, Jill Woychowski, and Robin Gibson Public libraries are beginning to look ahead to their summer reading or summer learning programs. Through school and public library collaboration librarians can identify approaches for success using an equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) lens. In order to reach as many students as possible with information about library summer programs, a great strategy is to collaborate on school visits. Natasha Carty, who’s been a public librarian, school teacher, and now a school librarian, has seen the value of these visits from all angles. As a public youth librarian, Carty’s school visits resulted in a 50% increase in participation. She’s now looking forward to inviting her local public librarians to school to promote their summer reading program, and she will be investigating if there are ways to get students registered for the program while still in school. Carty…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Libraries Welcome all Families: Makerspace Mondays!

The AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School and Public Library Cooperation is now focusing its work on equity, diversity, and inclusion projects that include library partnerships. This blog post is the first in this new series. The YALSA Call to Action Futures Report challenges libraries to “leverage new technologies and become kitchens for ‘mixing resources’ in order to empower teens to build skills, develop understanding, create and share, and overcome adversity.” In Hampstead, MD, a small town in Carroll County, the media center at Shiloh Middle School assumed that “kitchen” motif on Monday afternoons once a month, as Media Specialist, Holly Furhman, and Amanda Krumrine, Library Associate II, Carroll County Public Library (CCPL), partnered to provide a variety of STEM experiences to middle schoolers on Makerspace Mondays. Makerspace Mondays was born out of the realization that tweens attending this middle school did not have transportation to the CCPL during the week…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Children’s Librarians are Experts on Partnerships: Community Partnerships to Fund Collection Development for English Learners in Urban Connecticut

Jillian Woychowski is a School Library Media Specialist at West Haven High School and is a member of the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School-Public Library Cooperation. One of the most difficult moments of the month was observing my English Learners come to check out books with their classes and not be able to find anything they could read at the high school level. It broke my heart to see dejection on their faces. It did not matter that I myself could not understand the words they were saying; I could just see it. Students perform better academically in literature courses when they see themselves in the materials and simply enjoy independent reading more. While I had some titles of interest for my Latinx students topically, all of them were in English. I set out to add books to my school library collection to assist my Spanish-speaking students. To purchase fiction…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Children’s Librarians are Experts at Partnerships: Meeting the Needs of Special Education Classrooms through Outreach and Advocacy

Last fall, I was approached by a teacher at Asbury Elementary, a public, K-5 school in my library’s service area, about bringing library resources into his special education classroom. As someone with almost no training in special education, forming this partnership has given me a greater awareness of how to best meet the needs of children who experience disabilities, both in the context of school outreach as well as in a traditional public library setting. I’m inspired to gather and share resources with my colleagues on how to effectively reach and serve children who experience a range of developmental, emotional, and physical disabilities, and how quality intersectional literature can aid educators and caregivers in understanding complex identities. Background Enacted in 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) establishes the provision of a free and appropriate public school education for eligible students ages 3–21. According to the The National Center…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): Making Connections to Award Winners

A close friendship between two librarians, a school librarian and a teen services librarian, led to the creation of the Jane Addams Book Club, a collaborative program between Southold Free Library and the Southold Junior/Senior High School Library, featured in the Public Library and School Library Collaboration Toolkit. Students in grades 5-7 read the winners of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, which recognizes children’s literature that encourages young people to think critically about “peace, social justice, global community, and equity for all people.” Through lively discussion, database research, and making connections to their own lives, students learned how social justice and equity can impact their lives and the wider global community. The book club met at the public library and book club members used both the public and school library resources for their research. The subject matter of the books wasn’t the only topic up for discussion. Book club…

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): Brunch and Books

Thanks in part to the Library Linx partnership program featured in the Public Library and School Library Collaboration toolkit, Deschutes Public Libraries (OR) have seen a significant increase in collaborative programming with area schools. One great success has been my involvement with a local high school. Eila Overcash, teacher-librarian at Summit High School, had a great brainstorm about three years ago. She wanted to attract new students to her media center as well as capitalize on the interest of the strong corps of readers she served every day. She began a weekly Brunch and Books program during the school’s lunch period; teens could drop by the library for tasty snacks, book-related craft projects or games, and connect with other students. Eila invited me to come to Brunch and Books once a month to do book talks and share library news. This fall will mark my third year visiting Summit High….

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Growth Mindset

I attended the Early Learning with Families development training this May. This meeting focused on two subjects: Elements of Playtime and Growth Mindset. This blog will refer to Growth Mindset. Growth Mindset Think about the term “mindset.” Now, think about the way people perceive themselves in terms of their intelligence, talents, and personal potential. Dr. Carol Dweck compares fixed mindset and growth mindset when assessing the responses people give to a frustrating experience in her book Mindset.  According to Dweck, people with a fixed mindset find it difficult recovering from failure. Moreover, they feel they deserve the poor experience for being foolish or just because life is unfair and there isn’t much they can do to change bad experiences. On the other hand, Dweck reports that people with a growth mindset see failure as an opportunity to learn and try things differently next time. [1] [1]See Dweck (2006) especially the…