Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Growing Together with your Community

Libraries often need to overcome barriers in order to provide services to those who need them most, but how? There’s no specific answer that will work for every library, so instead we suggest focusing on the idea of planning library services as a growing experience. By this we mean that success is easier to find when we consider the uniqueness of our individual communities and tailor our offerings accordingly, essentially growing our offered services to be more of what our communities want, as opposed to planning exclusively around what we might think they need. The suggestions below include specific examples of ways to employ this mindset, and we hope that they can aid other youth services professionals (especially those looking to reach underserved families) in their planning process. Research and Repeat Growing with your community involves research, and lots of it!  Luckily, research includes everything from sitting down at a…

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

It’s a Beautiful Day in Your Neighborhood: Creating a Serviceable Service Map

It's a Beautiful Day in Your Neighborhood

My system is rethinking, relaunching, and rediscovering what our community and neighborhoods are like right now, and how the library can fit into our local communities. It feels like the perfect time to start this work, as our neighborhoods have been pretty closed off the last couple of years to keep us safe. I warned my staff when our fiscal year started in October, that pretty much all they would hear from me this year is the word: Resetting. And that word is perfect as a launch to reset yourself in the community, and reconnect.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Serving Underserved Communities: EDI in Action

child running towards a large tower of boxes

This year, the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee transitioned our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) goal. We started with providing authentic resources, then moved to empowering library (and library adjacent) staff to hone, develop, and take action on their advocacy skills. Above all, we’re providing support and different ways to interact with our resources, like presentations, chats, and our monthly blog posts. Over the past 18 months, we developed vibrant toolkits to help connect library communities with resources for different underserved populations.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Overwhelmed by: Advocacy

a stack of books supporting a heavy desk

Our committee, Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers, is part of Priority Group 1: Child Advocacy. We are dedicated to lifting all library staff up to advocate from any position for underserved children and their caregivers. In our toolkits and blog posts, we detail the process of researching your community, listening to your community, and comparing the needs to your current and potential library services. The later piece of evaluating your own organization is crucial for conducting outreach, programs, and services to underserved communities.  We have two committee members, Erika Lehtonen and Melody Leung, who have worked together to create a list of tips when conducting advocacy through an equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) lens. Spend time understanding your organization and the people in it. No matter if you are a library director, school librarian, public librarian, library staff, or in library adjacent industries; concentrate on building relationships…

Blogger Elizabeth Serrano

Big Acts of Kindness

ALSC Logo with Heart

I think the phrase “small act of kindness” is interesting. How can any act of kindness be considered small? What does “small” mean? Small to whom? In a recent blog post, I highlighted the ways ALSC, as an organization, has delivered on our core values. I’ve also highlighted some of the ways in which I’ve seen members of our ALSC community share with one another this year. Now, similarly, through an ALSC lens, I’d like to list some of the big acts of kindness I’ve seen: Being the staff member tasked with monitoring the @wearealsc Twitter is sometimes challenging, but it’s so worth it when I see our community exchange ideas and encourage one another in and outside of #librarylife. From a “good luck” tweet on an upcoming job interview to a “that looks amazing” tweet when someone bakes a yummy looking pie– these are big acts of kindness to…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Passive Programming Builds Community

Winter and spring breaks are coming up, which means our libraries might be more crowded than usual! This is a great time to engage library users, but can also be a bit stressful when trying to manage many age groups simultaneously. Your regularly scheduled toddler storytime now might include older siblings attending, and your children’s section might be filled much earlier than usual. So, how do you balance all of your patrons’ needs simultaneously? Passive programming! But, passive programming is so much more than a tool to help you multitask; it helps build community.

ALA Midwinter 2020

Community at #alamw20

What a day! It may have rained all day– I didn’t step outside until 5 pm- and that was just for a donut run! (Keep track readers- I grabbed three today), but things were full steam ahead at the conference! I spent the day running through the convention center and getting my usual amount of lost, while still attending some cool presentations about stress management, ALSC leadership, and of course grabbing a million books. What stuck out to me today was all the community of ALA! Everywhere you looked were people hugging and screaming and being so happy to see each other again. I loved seeing that! Through my conference years, I have met lots of conference friends– and when you don’t bring coworkers or grad school friends with you– it’s nice to know that there is community everywhere. It makes the conference seem a bit less lonely and overwhelming!…