Blogger Abby Johnson

Steer Around the Sharks #PLA2020

Have you ever seen a Deafblind person surf? Hmm. Neither had the surfing schools that Haben Girma approached about taking surf lessons. But Girma being Deafblind was not her barrier to surfing. What was stopping her from surfing was that people were not willing to try to make surfing inclusive. Until she found a company that was willing to work with her and teach her how to surf. This morning, we had the extreme pleasure of listening to Haben Girma, a disability rights lawyer who was the first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law. Again and again, she implored us to break down barriers and make the choice to be inclusive to all. She is a phenomenal speaker and shared many moments from her personal life, from learning how to surf (with a guide accompanying her to steer her around other surfers and sharks) to salsa dancing to insisting…

Call to Action

Don’t reimagine education, start over! #PLA2020

Dr. Bettina Love rocked the PLA audience this morning! So many takeaways as she traced the evolution of racism in education—from pulling indigenous children away from their families and insisting on assimilation to requiring English-only programs, to charter schools and “corporate reforms.” Meritocracy hurts all of our kids, but black and brown kids disproportionately. Dr. Love compared the “educational survival complex” with the prison complex. Her conclusion is that “education can’t save us, we have to save education.” She called in white people to move from being allies to becoming co-conspirators. The education system is too broken to reimagine; we need to spend our unearned white privilege and stand up like the abolitionists once did, boldly helping black and brown leaders start over with a system whose goal is wellness for staff and students. If we link anti-racism, wellness, joy and creativity, we can “freedom dream” a blueprint for education…


Civil Rights #PLA2020

I visited the somber and stunning Civil Rights space at Nashville PL, a tribute to the lunch counter sit-ins of 1960. 60 years ago this month, lunch counter sit-ins began in Greensboro, NC, here in Nashville, TN, and in other cities which still practiced legally sanctioned, overt segregation. The participants were mostly Black university students. Photos, arrest warrants and newspaper clippings line the walls, and a series of videos plays in a corner of the room. The central lunch counter installation has the nonviolent principles of conduct etched into the glass panels including “Do not strike back or curse if abused.“ After visiting the room, my colleague/friend and I walked over to the nearby restored Woolworths restaurant for lunch. We gratefully accepted a fact sheet about the site and its history in the sit-ins as we were seated at a table, a white-presenting woman and Asian-presenting woman. As we looked around at…


Yawáyro Book Kits

The Yawáyro Book Kits are a collaborative project of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians and the Santa Clarita Public Library. Funding for the kits was provided by a Talk Story grant from the American Indian Library Association and the Asian Pacific Americans Library Association. The goal of the project is to foster cultural awareness and literacy of Indigenous People through a curated selection of book titles about, and/or by Indigenous Peoples with discussion questions and other supplemental materials to be used by families, classrooms and other community groups. The book kits are available at the three branches of the Santa Clarita Public Library, as well as the Tribe’s offices in the San Fernando Valley and will soon expand to the Palmdale office. Yawáyro has been a successful collaboration between our library and the Tribe. The project started as a result of the Santa Clarita Public Library approaching the Tribe…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Risking Everything: explaining migration and internment

Risking Everything For freedom, a new life, or just a chance at life, people worldwide migrate.  Be it climate change, political strife, or economics, we live in an age of mass migration.  How we react to it as information professionals and caretakers of our community’s children is critical.  Daily, we are being tapped for explanations for these crises as well as internment.  This tugs at our heart strings, and reminds us of US’ origins and populations fleeing religious persecution in 17th century Europe. Or fleeing famine during the Irish Potato Famine. Internment Explaining internment to grade-schooled aged children can be difficult at best.  But one selection that can help illustrate the feelings behind this: The One and Only Ivan.  There’s even a movie of it, but here’s the book trailer:                                        …

ALSC Board

ALSC: Serving Immigrant & Refugee Children and Their Families

I love August.  Nice and hot so that dip in the pool or lake feels refreshing and invigorating, not cold once we slip into September.  Not a whiff of the melancholy I feel once the hot weather leaves for another year.  I hope you are enjoying August as well and looking forward to the conclusion of another successful Summer Reading/Learning. In case you think ALSC sits back and relaxes in August, I wanted to be sure to tell you about some exciting news and upcoming events.