Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

Advocacy (for yourself and the library) in Difficult Times

In 2021, Amanda Jones was named School Library Journal School Librarian of the Year. A little more than one year later and Ms. Jones is now embroiled in legal actions due to online harassment related to her work in promoting the right to read and diverse library collections. The lead article in the November/December 2022 issue of American Libraries, “When It Happens To You,” is about what to do when you get caught in the middle of a book challenge. It’s all well and good to say “stand up and fight for the right to read”! But that is often easier said than done and, in these divisive times, can be very scary. Read on for some tools we hope will help in this situation.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

ALSC Institute – Overwhelmed by Underserved Communities: Participant Responses

Photo of Tammie Benham, Melody Leung, and Georgette Spratling presenting at the ALSC Institute in Kansas City

Members of our committee (Georgette Spratling, Melody Leung, Tammie Benham) presented at last month’s ALSC Institute! We showcased our toolkit for Getting Started with Underserved Communities Thank you to everyone who came to our workshops. We were able to learn about barriers our fellow library practitioners face when working with underserved communities as well as gauge where we all are in our practice.  Below is a summary of participant responses from our collective reflection. The questions asked align with an advocacy framework we presented to help empower library staff to work with underserved communities. If you have your own responses, we’d love to see them in the comments below!  What is the most overwhelming part about working with underserved communities?  What underserved communities do you want to work with? (Check out our toolkits for some examples or inspiration) Imagine a real or hypothetical program/outreach/initiative?  Are there barriers in your organization…

Outreach and Advocacy

What’s Your Advocacy Passion?

girl with megaphone

After celebrating the patriotic holidays of summer, the end of July is a perfect time to reflect on service and advocacy.  Librarians can use what we are passionate about to make libraries and services richer and more diverse.  The ALSC Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee members have many advocacy passions. If you haven’t discovered yours yet, check out some of ours below: •Bilingual Services and Programming for Spanish Speakers— From bilingual storytimes to Spanish language collections to advocating for services, the place to learn about services to Spanish-speakers is REFORMA, one of ALA’s National Associations of Librarians of Color that anyone can join. •Digital Literacy— The Public Library Association is a great resource for digital literacy and they have created DigitalLearn.org as a one stop shop for teaching digital literacy. •Embedded Librarianship— Both academic and public libraries can benefit from embedded librarians, in online classes and in their communities.  The…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Balancing Advocacy With Self Care

photo of 2021-2022 library service to underserved children and their caregivers committee members.

Advocating for initiatives, programs, services, and outreach to underserved populations can be emotionally and physically draining. It is the extra effort we do to lead with equity in mind. Are you overwhelmed by advocacy? Read our blog post about advocacy tips.  Today, our 2021-2022 members of the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee would like to celebrate the end of the committee year with self care tips and reflections. Do you have some tips to share too? Feel free to use the comments to add your own! 

- ALA Annual Conference 2022

TikTok and Libraries: A Powerful Partnership…was a Powerful Presentation!

Monday was my last day at #ALAAC2022, and I started it with a really informative presentation about using TikTok in your library. When the pandemic first started, I created a TikTok account but never used it.  (I am not sure I even remember my login information.)  Delving into a new social media platform can sometimes be daunting, so, I was really excited to attend TikTok and Libraries: A Powerful Partnership and to learn how to use TikTok to promote books and my library.  Presentations about TikTok seem to be just as popular as the social media platform itself—it was a packed house in the Convention Center!

Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

BOOK CHALLENGES: UPDATE YOUR GAME PLAN!

It doesn’t take a librarian to notice the surge in news stories about book challenges in public and school libraries, disputed materials vanishing from shelves and librarians getting fired. The stories are everywhere, but are you ready if this happens to you?  Let’s flip a popular catchphrase to show that “sometimes the best offense is a good defense.”

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Busting Myths About Autism

April is Autism Acceptance Month! Over the last decade, libraries have done a lot of work to better support autistic families. Many libraries have started sensory storytimes and programs. Some allow autistic families to visit the library before official open hours to provide a less overstimulating experience. Other libraries have converted extra space into entire sensory rooms. However, a lot of misinformation about autism continues to circulate, and it affects how libraries serve their communities. Let’s bust some autism myths together.