Reading with Our Ears

June is Audiobook Appreciation Month, so this format of reading is on my mind even more than usual. I had wanted to share something highlighting audiobooks, but was lacking inspiration until recently when I was cleaning out old email messages (because Outlook keeps “yelling” at me that my inbox is too large) and came across an article I emailed to myself back in 2014. It sparked an idea for this blog post. Audiobooks have been consistently increasing in popularity for several years. For the 11th year in a row, the Audio Publishers Association has reported that audiobook revenue percentage in the American market has grown double digits. It’s been estimated that the North American children’s audiobook market will rise from nearly $100 million to over $650 million by 2028. It’s safe to say – this is a growing market. The popularity of podcasts and the lack of available CD players,…

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Connecting Families to Resources

Libraries are no longer just hallowed halls of books and learning. They have adapted throughout time, always meeting the needs of the patrons and the greater community.  First, computers, then internet access.  Nowadays, it’s common practice for libraries to offer services such as homework help and career services, food programming with local food banks, and even resource closets with household supplies.  They partner with government agencies, local housing networks, and more. 

Blogger Laura Schulte-Cooper

Silent Censorship in a New Era of Book Challenges: Your Stories Wanted

United for Libraries defines silent censorship as “…librarian choices to not purchase new materials, to weed ones already available to patrons, or to not sponsor a program for fear of a challenge from the community.” As this type of censorship is “silent,” it likely occurs way more often than we are aware. What are some real-life examples of silent censorship? What pressures are library workers and educators serving youth struggling with in their day-to-day operations? What tips, techniques, and proactive practices can help fellow practitioners avoid the pitfalls of this censorship and confidently provide the resources that vulnerable users may need? Share Your Experience For an upcoming article in Children and Libraries (CAL), Sharon Verbeten, CAL editor, is soliciting submissions from ALSC members and ALSC Blog readers on the topic of silent censorship. Your comments, examples, and anecdotes related to silent censorship and experiences in your public or school libraries…

Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

Summer Learning with Lego®

The Webster Groves Missouri School District offers a Summer Exploration Experience (SEE) for elementary students in grades first through fifth for five weeks at the beginning of the summer. Historically, this program has allowed teachers the opportunity to create their own curriculum based on Project Based Learning (PBL) methods. PBL is a “teaching method in which complex real-world problems are used as the vehicle to promote student learning of concepts and principles as opposed to direct presentation of facts and concepts.” All SEE teachers are trained in the PBL method of teaching before the summer session begins allowing for ample time to build a unit from scratch. Teachers can take the time to develop units that they can incorporate into their yearly curriculum or create a unit based on a topic of interest. The most important aspect of creating a PBL unit is that the teachers and their students have…

Children and Libraries (CAL)

Dear Reader, Meet CAL

Hey ALSC Members, have you read Children and Libraries lately? Children and Libraries (CAL) is ALSC’s quarterly journal written by members just like you. When I was a fresh MLIS graduate and working as the only children’s librarian at my first job it was hard to find peers that I could rely on. Having already been a member of ALSC, however, I relied (and still do!) heavily on CAL. While I didn’t know many youth librarians in the field yet, I now recognize many names in each issue of CAL – for the articles they are authoring and the great work they are doing. Children and Libraries is an excellent form of continuing education for any librarian working with youth whether you’re new to the field or looking for new tips and best practices. 

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Radicalizing Self-Care in Librarianship

“…I thought about the fact that although books don’t have feelings, the librarians forced to remove them from the shelves do.” Xochitl Gonzalez, “The Librarians Are Not Okay.” The Atlantic, March 15, 2023 Book challenges, protests against gender and racial inclusivity, salary stagnation, skyrocketing inflation, opiate overdoses, bad branch managers, years of being ‘essential workers’ -– we all know there isn’t a bath long or bubbly enough to repair the damage that long-term chronic stress does to the body and mind. Public librarians are housekeepers, zookeepers, referees, therapists, mandated reporters, front line emergency workers, cleaners of unidentified effluvia and other duties as assigned.  This is why bubbles-and-polish commodified self-care simply does not suffice. Most of us have, at this point, heard about the Urban Librarians Unite’s 2022 Urban Trauma Study, so I will not go into great detail about it here. In short, public-facing librarians experience significant trauma on a daily…