The season of thanks and giving is upon us! In this second year of the pandemic, gratitude is grander, more profound, and even sweeter. In the Public Awareness and Advocacy committee, we are particularly grateful for ALSC and all children’s services workers. ALSC staff and volunteers have kept up the great work in the midst of shutdowns, furloughs, and staff shortages. It is because of them we are able to join together (usually virtually) and continue to do the work of supporting our libraries and communities. They have continued meeting regularly, posting to the blog, and doing good work on behalf of children’s service workers everywhere. Children’s services workers have provided virtual and outdoor programs, take home crafts, and online reference without skipping a beat. Their hard work on behalf of their community has kept children and families engaged. This holiday season, the ALSC Public Awareness and Advocacy committee is…
Recently New York Public Libraries made national news when it announced that it would be ending late fees in their continued efforts to promote equality. Dayton Metro Library in Ohio, where I work, ended fines for overdue items on January 1, 2018. Within 6 months our system noted that while our revenue from fees and fines were lower as expected, the overall loss was worth it in light of improved patron interactions and increased access to materials for young patrons.
More of our patrons are getting vaccinated against Covid-19 and our library systems are slowly easing back to normal operating hours and codes of conduct. Children’s librarians are still walking a tightrope of safely providing services while dealing with the reality that our charges (children ages 0-12 years old) are not able to get vaccinated yet. Outdoor programming is great for families that can make it work for their schedules and register far enough in advance to avoid being put on a waitlist. However most of my families do not fit into that category. This summer my library has maintained our focus on “take and make” crafts and projects, and put an increased amount of effort into creating engaging passive programs that families can participate in during their brief visits to pick up books and report summer reading challenge points.
Library associations are key advocates for the future of libraries. These associations are made of membership from academic, public, school, special, and state libraries. However, in order to communicate an effective message, the many must become one. One Voice leads to stronger membership, stronger professional development, stronger legislative cohesiveness, and stronger advocacy effectiveness. The State Ecosystem Task Force of the Committee on Library Advocacy (COLA) was created to help build stronger relationships between associations, state library organizations, and ALA. The task force created One Voice: The Toolkit to help library organizations access and extend the strength of their ecosystems. What is a library ecosystem? The Library Ecosystem definition from the ALA Ecosystem Initiative Website is as follows: A library ecosystem is the interconnected network of all types of libraries, library workers, volunteers, and associations that provide and facilitate library services for community members; families; K-20 learners; college and university communities;…
We’ve learned a lot in the last year about being flexible and working remotely. As we gear up for the second round of virtual visits, we reached out to Children’s Librarians at the King County Library System to hear what they’re planning. Thanks to Jenn Carter (JC), Sharon Chastain (SC), Jennifer Duffy (JD), and Mie-Mie Wu (MW) for sharing their experiences and ideas. What’s one of your favorite in-school visit memories?
Hello youth services librarians and library staff. National Library Week is right around the corner. This year, the annual advocacy event will take place from April 4-10, with the theme, “Welcome to Your Library.” In 1958, the first year that National Library Week was established with the theme, “Wake Up and Read” – it was the first event of its kind to promote literacy and celebrate libraries at the national level (1).
Each year the American Indian Library Association and Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association team up to offer a total of 4 grants worth $750 each to encourage libraries, schools, and community organizations who serve Asian American, Pacific Islander American, and/or American Indian children and families to conduct intergenerational programs to celebrate the cultural heritage of their communities.
Once again, the Public Awareness & Advocacy Committee is excited to share another hard working ALSC committee with you! ALSC process committees create valuable programs, publications, and resources for youth librarians. While we love our book awards, we also love our toolkits, webinars, best practices, and networking opportunities… and all of this value is for members, by members! Previously we have featured the School Age Programs & Services Committee and the Library Services to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee. This month we wanted to highlight the work done by the Early and Family Literacy Committee. Current Co-Chairs Lori Romero and Joanna Ward were kind enough to answer some questions about their committee and the work they do.