Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Making the Most of the Resource Fair

Libraries have been working hard to provide the best services to young children and families. We offer amazing early literacy based storytimes and programming. We have fantastic board and picture book collections. Maybe we offer play spaces or even circulate toys. Some of us are providing special programming for caregivers and training for early childhood providers. We’re getting out and partnering with schools and organizations. Now, how do we let our communities know about all of these amazing services? One excellent opportunity is the community resource fair. Resource fairs can take many forms. They may be for families or educators, might be all non-profits or include vendors from businesses, they may focus on specific age groups, they can be information based or as part of a larger recreational program. Whatever the format, a resource fair is an opportunity to showcase the services your library offers families. If you are new…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Children in Crisis: Literacy brings Hope

Supporting Detained Children It’s little wonder that on ALSC’s listserv that the topic of supporting children caught up in a web of immigration policy came up.  Frankly, it’s in the youth services librarian’s DNA.  We do all we can every day for every child who walks through our library’s doors.  And for those we encounter in our outreach efforts, we do that much more.  It is not an unreasonable leap that librarians nationwide would want to get library materials and services to detained children. Why Literacy Behind Bars is so Important Before we delve into efforts by REFORMA and other non-profits and NGOs, the question that you need to be ready for is simply “why?” If children are being detained, whatever the circumstance, literacy is integral – key – to their chances for success. Here’s your top-5 why’s and ALL of these are about kids right here: 2/3 of students…

Blogger Meg Smith

Grant Revitalizes Deposit Collections after Hurricane Matthew

Sometimes our programs and services can be discontinued through no fault of our own, and we have to think outside the box to re-envision this work. This was the case for us when Hurricane Matthew caused major flooding to our community in 2016. Our deposit collection services, located in the lower level of our Headquarters Library of Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center in Fayetteville, N.C., sustained severe damage when flooding damaged all central operations. Deposit collections provided a lending library of rotating, gently used, discarded children’s materials. These collections were sent to child care facilities and other community organizations serving youth. These child care facilities qualified for services because the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education ranked these centers with low ratings of one, two, or three stars. Each facility also served a minimum of ten children. The majority of users receiving deposit collection services…

Blogger Renee Grassi

Make it Okay: Mental Health Awareness Month

                            Did you know? One in five children today has a diagnosable mental health condition. One half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of fourteen. Nearly one in ten children have an anxiety disorder. 37% of students with a mental health condition ages fourteen and older drop out of school–the highest rate of any disability group. Why is mental health important to the work we do in libraries? Mental health is an essential part of children’s overall health and a key indicator for lifelong success. It has a complex relationship with kids’ physical health and their ability to succeed in school, at work and in society. However, if a child is experiencing a mental illness, a person can’t tell just by looking. If mental illness goes untreated, the implications are severe for the a child’s quality of…

Blogger ALSC Membership Committee

Take ALSC on a Road(show): Represent ALSC at a local event

Do you like meeting new people? Do you find yourself randomly talking about children’s librarianship topics? Do you want to spread your love of ALSC? If you answered yes to any of these questions, than an ALSC Roadshow is something you should do! No, that does not mean you will be singing about ALSC on the side of the road (though we all know that children’s librarians are natural performers). ALSC provides limited funding to members who are interested in staffing booths, presenting programs or coordinating social events at conferences, alumni events, or even local get-togethers! All you need to do is a fill out a request by visiting the roadshow portion of the ALSC website- http://www.ala.org/alsc/member-center/roadshow or filling out the form here. Requests can be for materials only, or for funds for a special event or to cover conference registration! Requestors must be ALSC member and all requests must…

Awards & Scholarships

National Medal for Museum and Library Service

It has been a big, huge, enormous, gigantic, week at Rochester (MN) Public Library. After our second year of being named a finalist , we are honored to be a winner of the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Service! Let that soak in. And then read it again: We are honored to be a winner of the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Service! That is a great sentence, but it is nowhere near the whole story. This award is the result of years of listening to our community, living our strategic plan & core values, being agile, taking risks, failing, succeeding, measuring outcomes, and listening some more. We strive to increase equity by targeting services to those who have limited access due to language, finances, health, safety, literacy, or other…

Early Literacy

Getting Creative: Utilizing Volunteers in Early Literacy Outreach

If your library, like ours, is working with too few staff and is receiving more requests for outreach visits, it might be time to get creative. About a year ago, we attended a wonderful state library conference session presented by Deschutes County in which they described their volunteer outreach program. While their library system is much more robust than our single library, we saw potential in their model for our needs. Below is a series of questions, with some of our answers, that served as a foundation for developing our program. While this outline is by no means exhaustive, and will require customization for your organization, we hope this can spark ideas for your own creative solutions.

Blogger Alyson Feldman-Piltch

Tales from a 6th grade Bookclub

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to obtain a through a private donor for a program with our local Catholic school- St. John’s. After meeting with the Head of School we decided to offer a bookclub to all Upper School students (6,7,8 graders) that would begin in January after winter vacation The club meets once a month on Fridays in the school after classes are done for the day.  Six students signed up and each month I lead them through a conversation and activity based on a book, that they get to keep thanks to the donor funds. My favorite activity was trying to draw portraits using our feet after reading Dusti Bowling’s Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus. Afterwards we looked at the works of different artists born without arms.  Other activities have included choreographing their own dance pieces and 90 second book summary videos. My favorite…