Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Last Year’s “Light the Way” Grant Winner: Partnering with Juvenile Detention Facilities to Provide Maker-Space Outreach and Programming Using Music

The J. Lewis Crozer Library in Chester and the Middletown Free Library are located just over six miles apart in southeastern Pennsylvania. However, the libraries’ service populations are very different. The city of Chester has an unemployment rate of 9% and a poverty rate of 33%, with almost half of those under the age of 18 living in poverty. The city of 34,000 is also among the most diverse in the state, with a population that is approximately 75% African American, 17.2% White, and 9% Hispanic. Middletown has a suburban population of 15,807, which is 93.7% White and 3.1% African-American, and a median annual income of $77,000. However, the two libraries have a shared goal of expanding outreach and programming offerings for young people who are underserved by libraries.

Blogger Public Awareness Committee

Strengthening Communities Through Libraries: STEAM Programming Toolkit and Minigrants

Science. Technology. Engineering. Art. Math. Libraries all over are offering children and families the opportunity to experience STEAM programming on a daily basis. The beauty of these interdisciplinary programs is that they allow children a chance to explore, learn, and think creatively in a vibrant community space.     Last year, ALSC received funding from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to provide twelve minigrants to ALSC members. These minigrants enabled libraries to provide out-of-school time STEAM learning for children in their communities. This year, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has again presented ALSC with a $124,528 Youth Literacy grant.   If you have a fabulous idea for STEAM learning at your library and are in need of funding for your brilliant plans, you can apply for one of twelve $5,000 minigrants here: . Applications are due by October 20th, so start brainstorming today!   ALSC has also developed the Librarian…

Blogger Renee Grassi

Autism Welcome Here: Grant Opportunity

                If your library is looking to fund a new project or service that welcomes people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at your library, consider the Autism Welcome Here Grant. The “Autism Welcome Here: Library Programs, Services and More” grant honors the groundbreaking work of Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected co-founder, Meg Kolaya, for her contributions in promoting inclusion, connecting libraries with the autism community, and bringing awareness of the needs of individuals with ASD and their families to the library community. It is sponsored by Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected. All types of libraries, either in the U.S. or Canada, are encouraged to apply.  Proposals can fund projects or services directed at any age group.  Applicants may propose to initiate a new, creative program or service, bring an established, successful program or service to their library for the first time, or enhance…

ALA Annual 2017

From Alabama to Chicago and Back Again

Thanks to a grant from ALSC and Penguin Random House, I was able to attend my first national library conference.  I have been working in children’s libraries since 2005 as a page, and I’ve been hooked ever since! At the end of 2014, I became the Head of the Children’s Department at Homewood Public Library outside of Birmingham, Alabama. Living in Alabama in the summer with 90 degree weather and 90% humidity made me especially excited for the conference!  I have never been to Chicago, and I relished the opportunity to visit the windy city. Here are my six favorite experiences from ALA 2017: 1. Visiting the Harold Washington Library! The new children’s space at the Harold Washington Library opened recently to patrons, and it is an inspiring and innovative space.  Among the shelves of books are dozens of play spaces for all ages ranging from birth to tweens.  Parents…

ALA Annual 2017

Go for the Gold: My ALA Penguin Random House Grant Experience

When I became a children’s librarian in 2014, I tried to adopt the mantra of  just try things. I took that attitude and applied for the Penguin Random House Young Readers Grant (and many other grants and programs). I was fortunate enough to win the grant and attend my first full ALA conference in Chicago. I had attended conferences before but there were five special perks from this grant that I would not have received elsewhere: The full experience. Because the 2017 conference was in my hometown of Chicago ,many of my friends and colleagues attended for a day or two. With my stipend, I was able to attend the entire conference from start to finish and truly reap all the benefits. (Example: a notebook full of awesome ideas I have already started to implement and a pile of amazing ARC’s). Opportunity to attend separate from my library. The stipend paid for my conference…

Blogger Laura Schulte-Cooper

Grant Program for Libraries to Support Computer Science & Computational Thinking

Competitive Grant Program Sponsored by Google

ALA has announced a competitive grant program, sponsored by Google, that will fund a cohort of 25-50 school and public libraries to design computational thinking and computer science programs for and with youth, including underrepresented youth.  The grant application will open in late July.  If you’d like to get notification when the application is open, sign up via this online form. The $500,000 program is part of Phase III of Libraries Ready to Code, an ongoing collaboration between ALA and Google to ensure library staff are prepared to develop and deliver programming that promotes computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) among youth, two skills that will be required for challenges and jobs of the future. ALSC is partnering with ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy, AASL, and YALSA to implement this program. Learn more.

Blogger Meg Smith

NASA @ My Library Offers Spectacular Science

As a NASA @ My Library grant recipient, Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center receives STEM kits, technology, and resources to share with our community. Our role as a NASA @ My Library Partner aligns with our mission, “the library opens windows to the world by encouraging expression, enlightenment, and exploration,” with NASA @ My Library’s goal to strengthen STEM learning opportunities for library patrons in underserved areas. Our Youth Services Leadership team, composed of professional librarians from all eight public library locations, has already met to review grant requirements, collaborate on programming initiatives, and to coordinate these NASA-related STEM programs through system-wide planning. Our public library’s partnership with Fascinate-U Children’s Museum will offer opportunities for museum and public library collaboration through STEM programming. Our staff will partner with a local Title One public elementary school, with a high percentage of minority students and the county’s only elementary school with…

Blogger Meg Smith

Summertime Kids Brings Books to the Underserved

Outreach is a vital component of summer reading programs, but sometimes it can be a challenge for libraries to connect to busy day care groups in our communities. One way we have strengthened our partnership with local agencies serving youth is through our public library participation in the Summertime Kids program. Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center has received a $5000.00 grant from the Cumberland Community Foundation to participate in Summertime Kids. What is Summertime Kids? Summertime Kids supports youth from low-income and underserved communities and provides opportunities for them to experience unique life lessons through enriched summer experiences. Summertime Kids also supports children with various developmental and physical abilities. Summertime Kids partners with the Autism Society of Cumberland County-Camp Sunshine Summer Developmental Day Program to provide resources and support to young people living on the autism spectrum. Vision Resource Center – Out of Sight Camp supports children with…