Everyday Advocacy

Supporting Staff Well-being

Welcome to Ask ALSC, where the Managing Youth Services Committee asks leaders in children’s libraries to share their response to an issue or situation.  We hope to showcase a range of responses to topics that may affect ALSC members. If you’d like to respond to today’s topics, or suggest a topic for the future, please leave a comment. *Disclaimer* I am not a healthcare professional. I am a reader and a hard-working mental health advocate, both personally and professionally. Self-care and wellness are frequent buzzwords in articles discussing the workplace. Why? What’s changed (other than the obvious) to warrant an uptick in administrative discussions surrounding mental health and career? And why should we as managers devote time and space to discussions on well-being? There are a myriad of reasons why we should all be focused on mental health, but for brevity and deliverability, I will focus on three. I’m sure…

Blogger Tess Prendergast

COVID Babies in the Library

In a Disability Scoop article about so-called “COVID-babies”, author Adam Clark explores various ways that the pandemic has affected children’s development. Clark begins with a vignette about a two-year old named Charlie who is in speech therapy to help him learn to speak more than one-word utterances. Nancy Polow, one of the speech-pathologists interviewed in the article, is quoted as saying “I have never seen such an influx of infants and toddlers unable to communicate. We call these children COVID babies.” The good news is that lots of the kids like Charlie who are now turning up at speech therapy centers quickly make strides. After reading this, I found some emerging evidence that being gestated during the early part of the pandemic is associated with some developmental lags. Babies born to two groups of mothers (those who were and those who were not infected with COVID during their pregnancies) were…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Planning for SRP 2023 STEMming Summer Slide

Summer slide. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but it is still a thing. Ideally, addressing summer slide should be a part of your annual goals or tasks, much like summer reading or Banned Books Week. Even more ideal, if there is such a thing, is partnering with schools and other local agencies. First, though, as my old college professor used to say, we can’t discuss a topic without defining it first. So, here we go. What is summer slide and why should I care? Summer slide, and I think Colorado Dept of Education puts it best is: (T)he tendency for students, especially those from low-income families, to lose some of theachievement gains they made during the previous school year. Why you should care Summer slide can affect almost any child. However, the children it impacts the most are the most socioeconomically disadvantaged. Here’s a thousand words…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

It’s Just Stories, Isn’t It?

At some point working in a children’s library setting, this may happen to you. Whether it’s the library board, the city council, an administrator, or even one of your customers, they will observe a story time program, be suitably impressed by your event, and ask quite innocently about what exactly you are doing. To the uninitiated, what happens in the room is fun and entertaining. A great place to be in and of itself, but we all know there is lot more to it. Admittedly, in one way or another, these questioners are the ones who pay for what we do, so this provides a great opportunity to inform and enlighten. It’s time to break out your best elevator speech that lends method to the madness. Here at the library, during our infant, toddler, and preschool programming we build a foundation so when young children are taught to read, they…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

19 Positive Summer Reading Activities During COVID

chalk board with words what's your story

Adapt If COVID has taught me anything, it is to keep in mind the one-word slogan of Navy SEALS: Adapt. We are public librarians. We adapt. We adapted during the digital age to maintain our relevance. COVID is not going to stop us. Irrespective of where you are right now, summer reading has boiled down to three options: passive, curbside or virtual. We remain in the unique position of being able to touch the lives and hearts of our community. We have a responsibility to remain positive, and to disseminate hope. Read on to see how 19 positive summer reading activities during COVID can make the difference. 1 – Radio I’ll never forget growing up the impact just one radio station had on my hometown. The station was 45 minutes away by car, but everyone in my school knew it; always had it on. You couldn’t see the DJs, but…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Thirty Minutes or Less: Simple Acts of Daily Advocacy

dry erase board with learning outcomes

I don’t know about y’all, but my proverbial shelf is full. Full to overflowing most workdays, with never enough time to get it all done. Adding hours of advocacy work on top of the programming, collection development, space maintenance, displays, outreach, desk shifts, readers advisory, marketing, etc. always feels like something I am just a little more behind on than I’d like to be.  Advocacy is often the work that falls off the shelf.  I work in a small, rural library, which means I am a one-woman Children’s department. I’m very fortunate that I get to work with an incredibly collaborative staff at our library. I never have a problem getting a program covered or asking for help with decorating. However, when it comes to advocacy, I realized that no one else can do it for me. I am the subject matter expert. It is my responsibility to keep the…

Blogger Public Awareness Committee

Introducing the Championing Children’s Services Toolkit!

We all know at least one advocacy fact to be true: advocacy season never ends! As children’s librarians and support staff, we are often the first to advocate for children and their right to read, right to access, and more. ALSC’s Public Awareness Committee is proud to announce the completion and unveiling of nearly two years of work: the Championing Children’s Services Toolkit!