Incorporating Intellectual Freedom into Outreach

Incorporating intellectual freedom into outreach in a fun and engaging manner is an essential component of bringing our core values into the community, and bringing the library beyond its physical borders. Some of the tips listed below can be applied broadly to all types of outreach and communication/collaboration with outside agencies and organizations.

The Virginia Hamilton Conference Creative Outreach Grants

The Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth celebrates its 35th anniversary on April 30th at Kent State University.  The Conference is the longest running event in the country that focuses exclusively on multicultural literature for children and young adults. Besides offering workshops on a myriad of topics, the Conference offers several awards, including the Virginia Hamilton and Arnold Adoff Creative Outreach Grants for Teachers and Librarians.  The application deadline is February 28th, and you or a colleague may be eligible. Each year, two $1000 grants are awarded—one to a K-12 teacher and another to a school or public librarian.  According to the Conference website, criteria for a proposal includes a program that: Promotes awareness of multicultural themes and issues through outstanding literature; Illustrates the use of exemplary multicultural literature, particularly but not exclusively the works of Virginia Hamilton; Demonstrates effective organization, methods and/or library service; Includes a plan…

Outreach with Early Education Organizations as Library Advocacy

Outreach and advocacy tend to go hand in hand, right? We’re intentional advocates when we’re out in the community. We table. We show-off or model a variety of useful resources, often targeted to the groups were engaging. We play and we talk with families about the library and how our work matches up with their needs. The whole time, we’re telling our story, and promoting its vitality to members of the community. In essence, we’re building relationships with new users. This topic is on my mind a lot because it adds meaning and purpose to the outreach I do. So, today I’d like to pose a question I’ve asked myself frequently: what does advocacy look like when we outreach to daycares, preschools, head starts, or other early education organizations – especially when our main role is to facilitate a storytime with children? I serve a heavily populated urban community, so…

The ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved” Grant is now open!

Does your library need funding to launch or expand a service/program for an underserved population? Is your idea innovative and impactful to your community? Apply now for the Light the Way Grant! The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee (LSUCTC) are now accepting online applications for the 2020 Light the Way: Library Outreach to the Underserved grant. This $3,000 grant, made possible by Candlewick Press in honor of Newbery Medalist and Geisel Honoree author Kate DiCamillo, will go to a library conducting exemplary outreach to underserved populations through a new program or an expansion of work already being done. Applicants must be members of the American Library Association and applications must be submitted by December 1, 2019.   Contact the co-chairs of the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee, Erin Lovelace and Joe Prince, with…

Spring Ahead with Outreach Opportunities

Spring is Here! Prior to the start of Summer Reading Club, Spring is typically filled with planning for the busy summer months. However, this season also allows us time to evaluate existing library partnerships and motivation to create new meaningful connections in the community. When it comes to Youth Services Outreach, the possibilities are endless. There are so many passionate librarians that are thinking outside of the box and finding ways to reach all residents. There are inspiring stories of librarians offering storytime in laundromats or creating floating book collections in barbershops. There are even partnerships between libraries and grocery stores and foodbanks. It’s an exciting time to work in Outreach Services, as we can see the positive impact these efforts make in our communities. One of the most important pieces of Outreach, is establishing relationships. Visiting different daycares and classrooms throughout the year is wonderful, and a service that…

Children’s Librarians are Experts at Partnerships: Meeting the Needs of Special Education Classrooms through Outreach and Advocacy

Last fall, I was approached by a teacher at Asbury Elementary, a public, K-5 school in my library’s service area, about bringing library resources into his special education classroom. As someone with almost no training in special education, forming this partnership has given me a greater awareness of how to best meet the needs of children who experience disabilities, both in the context of school outreach as well as in a traditional public library setting. I’m inspired to gather and share resources with my colleagues on how to effectively reach and serve children who experience a range of developmental, emotional, and physical disabilities, and how quality intersectional literature can aid educators and caregivers in understanding complex identities. Background Enacted in 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) establishes the provision of a free and appropriate public school education for eligible students ages 3–21. According to the The National Center…