Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

The Vital Role of Literature for Juvenile Offenders

Juvenile detention centers play a crucial role in the rehabilitation and development of young offenders. However, one aspect that is often overlooked is the importance of providing access to books and other reading materials for these young people. Research conducted by criminal justice scholars emphasizes the need for a correctional system that focuses on rehabilitation rather than just punishment.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Nontraditional Times for Traditional Programs

Libraries are a melting pot, a representation of a beautifully diverse society. As we progress further into the 21st Century, this fact, this statement, is becoming more and more understood. A focus, and a very important one, has been put on equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in collections and spaces. However, do we take EDI components and take them into our library programs–namely the time and topic of our programs? What does this look like? Well, it means getting creative. It means thinking outside of the box. To be honest, I never really thought of programs outside of the 9 to 5 time frame until I became a working mom. I work until 6 PM most nights; it is impossible to take my daughter to what we view as a traditional storytime. I know I’m not just the only person this applies to. Many of your library patrons are in…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Summer Reading: Let’s Work Together

When my role was a Children’s Librarian, I was working at my first branch in the inner city inNew York. Children and their caregivers would often come to the library with long reading listshoping that we had anything on their list at the branch. We often would ask the students comingin during the summer if we could make a copy of their summer reading list. We did so due toeach school and potentially each grade/class had a different summer reading list. What aburden to caregivers to try to locate several titles? During my second summer, I had a thoughtbubble moment. I thought, “Why isn’t the public library working with our public schools increating a summer reading list?” Public libraries and schools are natural partners in creating andpromoting summer reading and reading lists. Libraries offer a wealth of resources for childrenand their caregivers, including books, summer programs, summer themed events andincentives….

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Advocacy Efforts through Intellectual Freedom

Although “Banned Books Week” is over for this year and most of us have stowed away the caution tape displays, I am inspired to think more about intellectual freedom as an effective advocacy tool during the entire year. What if I just want to talk to others about why kids need to see themselves in the books they read? What if I just want to talk about access and equity? What if I just want to talk about what might happen if we hide all the “uncomfortable” books away? Many of us have updated our collection development policies, printed out the ALA’s Library Bill of Rights, purchased additional copies of challenged books and stand at the ready to defend our collections. But, are we really ready to have the hard conversations?   In my everyday life, few things spark a conversation more than a spunky youth services librarian wearing a “It’s…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Public Awareness and Advocacy at #ALAAC

The Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee didn’t formally meet at ALA Annual in Chicago this year but there were many opportunities for public awareness and advocacy throughout the conference experience that I am rounding up here with links to ALSC bloggers fabulous write-ups. Mental health is important: in the workplace, in personal life and for your patrons. While there’s much debate on how much mental health services libraries should provide- there’s no question that mental health resources are important for all.  View Lacy Wolfe’s blog about how graphic novels are “medicine” for mental health and Jaime Eastman’s blog posts about building joy and taking time for self care. When meeting friends old and new at conference, I try to delve beyond the “how are you/ where do you work,” and ask more pointed questions like, “what challenges are you facing right now?” and “is there any way I can support…