Aspiring to Build Antiracist Children’s Library Collections

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. Over the past decade, diversity in children’s book publishing has expanded exponentially. Now, in 2023, it is clear to see that publishers have begun to value diversity, and most children’s librarians are on board. Organizations like We Need Diverse Books provide resources & programs to support diversity in the kidlit world. Representation is important for children of all backgrounds & identities, but it is time to move beyond representation in our collections and begin to work toward Antiracist children’s collections in our libraries. I use the term Antiracist because because fighting against…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee


 INTERVIEW WITH DR. CLAUDETTE S. McLINN Dr. Claudette S. McLinn is Founder and Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature (CSMCL). Since 2011, Dr. McLinn created the CSMCL Día Grant with an African American Focus, which is funded by CSMCL in partnership with the ALA/Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC) and author Pat Mora, the founder of Children’s Day, Book Day/ El día de los niños, El día de los libros; often known as Día.  Día is celebrated every year on April 30.  Here, we will ask her a few questions about this grant. 1. What brought about this grant in 2011? I became interested in Día because of the concept of family, children, and literacy. I love that families and children share literacy activities together in any library, school, or public setting. Thinking that it would be a good idea, I wanted to…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Accessible Tech for Youth at the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library

This post is by guest blogger Ivy Kuhrman, the Young Adult Librarian at the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library in New York City. The ALSC Children and Technology committee invited Ivy to write this piece to share information about the Andrew Heiskell Library’s innovative use of accessible technology in their youth services. The Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library provides free library services to patrons living in New York City and Long Island who are blind, low vision, or otherwise unable to read standard print. In addition to free and accessible reading materials in both braille and audio formats and a robust calendar of library programming for all ages, we offer access to a wealth of accessible technology for patrons at the library and beyond!

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Practice Picture Books

Picture of a practice picture book with label instructions.

One of the reasons that I love my job is that I can connect my passions with serving my community. In particular, I’ve had this dream of practice picture books as an early literacy service since around 2017, but something always came up and I never got to it. When I became a manager, this dream got put on the back burner’s back-est of back burners. Until now. I often hear parents or caregivers say that they want their toddlers/preschoolers to move past board books and into picture books, but they are concerned that the books are too delicate for their child’s use. They know the toddler death grip is real or notorious destructive preschoolers may accidentally or not, tear or rip the pages of picture books. These fears may sound important to patrons who don’t want to destroy precious books or who may worry about a fine, but at…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Summer Reading Crunch Time Décor!

Summer Reading Crunch Time! By now, you should have a pretty good idea of what your SRP program for 2023 looks like. You’ve got your performers lined up, got your giveaway items and prizes. However, let’s say you are like me and are biting off that proverbial chew of decorating the children’s section. I am in the lucky position of having two whole small branch libraries that I get to help decorate for summer reading; that was sarcasm. That aside, it occurred to me to write a bit about the creative process. My painting students are frequently treated to it, so I thought of you, the audience at home. It’s Always a Process and Frequently Involves Cardboard This process gives a few options and rely on just a few factors. Here’s a flowchart for you to guide you! If you dawdle and or procrastinate, here is what your creative process…


Early and Family Literacy Research Findings

The charge of the Early and Family Literacy committee is to collect current research in early and family Literacy and disseminate it to our peers. During my research gathering and collecting I came across these studies of note: In Joint Book Reading, Library Visits and Letter Teaching in Families: Relations to Parent Education and Children’s Reading Behavior by Maximilian Prost and Et Al. This study looked into the family literacy activities in preschoolers  and how that correlates to the amount of independent reading a child does and their reading  comprehension.The findings of the study supported that literacy activities at home, library visits, library programs and book giveaway programs have proven to be beneficial to early reading skills of children as early as preschool age. In Effectiveness of Parent Coaching on The Literacy Skills of Hong Kong Chinese Children with and without Dyslexia  by Yijun and Et Al. This research looks into the…