Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

No- and Low-Tech Backpacks as Outreach

In summer 2019, the Children and Technology committee wrote about bridging the digital divide with circulating tech.  Current events have forced us to evaluate our resources, services, and access. In times of change and uncertainty, libraries connect families with resources and experiences they may not otherwise have. In addition to virtual programs, libraries must connect with families without the time or ability to connect online. One way to do this is providing prepackaged, circulating materials like backpacks and kits. Serving Underserved Populations The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoting the 2020-2021 calendar year to creating a vibrant, dynamic toolkit that provides ALSC members with up-to-date resources for working with marginalized populations.  So far, we’ve focused on: Children with autism and sensory processing disorders Families experiencing financial insecurity and homelessness Spanish speaking populations, and Access to technology Today, we’d like to share how backpacks and kits…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

New Toolkit to Address Accessibility to Technology

The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoting the 2020-2021 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. The LSCUTC committee welcomed a collaboration with ALSC’s Children and Technology Committee, who created this month’s toolkit. February’s Toolkit focuses on accessibility to technology and its impact on children. With the onset of COVID-19, gaps in the digital divide became chasms. The inequities that technology – or lack thereof – created became impossible to ignore.  When librarians transitioned to providing online programming, it became all the more apparent that large swaths of children were missing out…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Spanish-Speaking Toolkit Follow-up: Interview

This month, we are following up on our Toolkit for Spanish Speaking Populations with an interview with Amelia Martinez. She is both part of the Spanish-speaking community and serves the Spanish-speaking community and brings a wealth of insight to working with underserved populations.  What is your current position? How long have you worked in your library/community?  I am a Public Service Assistant (Cultural Focus) at the Whatcom County Library System. I started working for the library system 10 years ago. Prior to the library, I worked at a Migrant Head Start as a teacher aid. Before that, I worked for 5 years as a Community Health Worker for Sea Mar Community Clinic. I learned how challenging it is to access services for a lot of Hispanic families. It’s hard when you come from a different country and you are dealing with a language barrier. You are learning everything including the…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Toolkit: Spanish-Speaking Populations

San Mateo County Libraries Spanish Section

The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoting the 2020-2021 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. This month, our LSCUTC Toolkit focuses on resources for serving Spanish-speaking populations. According to Census data, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States with approximately 42 million speakers (Source: Census.gov).  Most of our resources focus on creating an inclusive space for Spanish-speaking families through materials, programs, and outreach. When working with specific communities, be aware of the importance of cultural authenticity in your approach, partnerships, and resources. Building trust and relationships with…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

An Interview with Rex Ogle

Last month, the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee (LSUCTC) rolled out its second toolkit page for children’s librarians. This page was devoted to providing programs and services for children facing homelessness and/or financial insecurity.  Author Rex Ogle, who wrote the debut memoir Free Lunch about his experiences with poverty during childhood, offered a few additions to our toolkit. We invited him to chat with us about how librarians can help children in this often overlooked population. 

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

New Toolkit to Help Youth Experiencing Financial Insecurity and Homelessness

Colorful mural on wall of homeless shelter

The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers (LSUCTC) committee is devoting the 2020-2021 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. October’s LSUCTC Toolkit focuses on youth and families experiencing homelessness and financial insecurity. One national estimate concluded that the number of public school children in grades pre-kindergarten through 12th who experienced homelessness during the 2017-2018 school year was a staggering 1.5 million (source: National Overview from the National Center for Homeless Education). With the current instability brought about by the pandemic, it seems reasonable to assume these numbers have increased. Youth experiencing homelessness may try…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

LSUCTC Toolkit: seeking topic suggestions

In July, the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee announced our plan for the 2020-2021 calendar year:  creating a vibrant, dynamic toolkit that provides ALSC members with up-to-date resources for working with marginalized populations.  As a dynamic document, these pages will continue to grow and develop as we find new resources, share our experiences, and continue to learn from each other. In August, we released our first toolkit page with resources for autism and other sensory processing disorders.  In developing this resource, we realized that in order to provide relevant, meaningful content we need to also provide ourselves time and space to curate those resources.   As much as we would love to bring you a new toolkit page every month, we’ve found it’s much more realistic to plan for a new resource every other month.  In the other months, we hope to highlight a program or “unpack”…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Toolkit: Autism and Sensory Processing Disorders

The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoting the 2020-2021 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. This month, our focus is serving children who have autism and other sensory processing disorders.  As our understanding of these children and their needs increases, libraries are recognizing an important role in supporting these families in their community.  This may involve specialized resources, adapted programming, and community partnerships to support children and their caregivers.  We are hoping to use this opportunity to bring awareness to the unique considerations of library service to this population, provide support…