Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Guiding Pre-Service Teachers to Quality Literature for Underserved Populations

Twenty years ago, I graduated from college and entered the world of public education, bright-eyed and eager. After nearly two decades in that field, I returned to academia and began working with pre-service teachers at Bowling Green State University. It’s unsurprising that pre-service teachers want to know so much, and it often feels overwhelming trying to fill those gaps of knowledge. I’ve found myself, though, focusing on exposing undergraduate education majors to children’s literature that highlights and reflects the experiences of marginalized populations. 

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

New Year, New Connections

The holiday season is over. Brand-new smart phones, laptops and gadgets are in the hands of many young people. Despite the flood of tech presents that were gifted this season, it is important to be mindful that there are still many families that do not have reliable Internet access in their homes. For years, librarians have been talking about the digital divide, referring to the gap that exists between people who have access to computers and the Internet and those who do not. More recently, the focus has shifted to also include the quality of connection to the Internet. According to Pew Research Center, school-age children in lower-income households are especially likely to lack broadband access. Roughly one-third of households with children ages 6 to 17, whose annual income falls below $30,000 a year, do not have a high-speed internet connection at home. This is compared with just 6% of…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Partnerships with arts organizations to enhance programs

As mentioned in my February 2, 2018 ALSC post (Arts enhance experiences for under-served populations), the arts provide many entry points for youth participation. It encourages individuality, exploration and the process is as important as the outcome. This past year, my colleague Becca Tanen,  DC Public Library’s Children’s Librarian for the Center for Accessibility, wanted to explore theater based activities for program enhancement. So she decided to do a partnership with a theater company. After researching organizations with experience creating universally designed programs, she reached out to Imagination Stage (IStage) for the partnership with this endeavor. IStage is one of DC’s renowned regional youth theater organizations, Partnership Goals and Process The partnership goals were to learn new program ideas through theater and to offer a different type of activity for all children – meaning there are no barriers to participation. Below Becca describes her experience with this collaboration. “The workshops were…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

The Basics and Libraries

My community has just launched a regional initiative based on The Basics. Our library is just starting to join the discussion and we are seeing that The Basics make a wonderful partner to Every Child Ready to Read which we already use in our community and with our storytimes. The simple language and videos that show diverse families putting The Basics into practice can be a powerful tool for libraries. We are looking forward to working within our community as a part of this initiative. The Basics The Basics began in Boston in 2015 and has been spreading across the country and world ever since. “The Basics are five fun, simple, and powerful ways to help all our children aged 0-3 grow to be happy and smart.”                   One of the key principals and the way libraries have been invited into this…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Children’s Librarians are Experts at Designing Innovative Services!

Children’s librarians are heroes!  Since I have been doing this work, I’ve met many champions in the profession—people like YOU who go the extra mile to make sure that all your patron bases are being served.  Since serving on the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee, I have seen librarians come up with exemplary programs to serve incarcerated youth, indigenous tribes, refugee families, and children in a low-income housing authority just to name a few. I’m sure there are more innovative programs that we need to hear about. Maybe it’s yours, but you need a little money to get started.    The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee (LSUCTC) are now accepting online applications for the 2018 Light the Way: Library Outreach to the Underserved grant. This $3,000 grant, made possible by Candlewick Press in…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

On the Road to Early Learning

The future of the economy is in STEM, that’s where the jobs of tomorrow will be according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment in occupations related to STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—is projected to grow exponentially for the foreseeable future. It has been well documented that underprivileged children have a steep hill to climb to match their more affluent peers about STEAM education. In Chicago, the Chicago Public Library STEAM team is helping to bridge the gap in the neediest neighborhoods. The STEAM Team is a group of outreach library staff who travel to Head Starts and Early Learning Sites throughout the city of Chicago to conduct STEAM-powered storytimes for pre-school aged children. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. Introducing these skills to kids at a young age helps make them more successful in everyday life. The STEAM Team had their first…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Working With Teen Parents at Your Library: Where to Begin

Teens don’t stop being teens once they become parents. Libraries around the country are finding ways to serve teen parents in their dual roles as teenagers and parents. If your library is considering programming for young parents, or you are continuing to think about how your library acts as an inclusive space, here are some things to keep in mind. Why Serve Teenage Parents Adolescence presents challenges with physical/mental health, finishing education, finding employment, and more. In addition to the struggles of growing up, young mothers are responsible for health care, child care, the material necessities for childcare, and raising their child. They struggle with isolation from their peers. Libraries are uniquely positioned to be a resource that patrons can use to help them succeed as young adults and parents. Where to Start Finding Community Partners- Reaching out to groups and organizations in your community is not only crucial to…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Top Ten Things You Should Know: Kids with an Incarcerated Parent

A lot of us will serve youth who have a parent who is or has been incarcerated. Sometimes we know, and sometimes we don’t. This list of tips from the Avary Project can help guide us toward being more appropriately responsive to these kids. With their permission, the entire post is copied here: The circumstances of a parent’s arrest are irrelevant – don’t EVER ask. Asking about why a parent is serving time in jail can make the child feel uncomfortable or judged and can even damage trust, even if this is not your intention.  When discussing family oriented situations, be respectful by letting the child lead the interaction. If a conversation does develop, focus as much as possible on the child’s emotional experience of not having mom or dad around, not the details of what happened. All kids need one-on-one attention. When a family is dealing with turmoil at home, regular one-on-one…