Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Strengthening Underserved Communities through Collaboration Between Librarians and Media Specialists.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, access to knowledge and information is crucial for the growth and development of every individual, especially our underserved populations. Librarians in public libraries and media specialists in schools play significant roles in fostering the love for learning, promoting literacy, and empowering communities. When these professionals collaborate, their partnerships can become a force for positive change, extending informative and educational opportunities to those who need it most. In this blog post, we will explore what synergy between librarians and media specialists in supporting underserved communities may look like.   Before delving into a partnership, you should understand the uniqueness of both Librarians in public libraries and Media Specialists in schools. This is vital because it allows for targeted support and resource allocation in their respective environments. Recognizing their distinct roles enables the development of specialized programs and services that cater to the diverse needs of their…

ALA Annual Conference 2023

Growth Abounds at #alaac23

Have you heard of GELS? It’s an acronym from the Connecticut State Library that represents their initiative Growing Equitable Library Services. This session was presented by Kymberlee Powe, their Children’s/YA Consultant, one of the programs co-creators. What does growing equitable library services mean? We often hear the phrase “Libraries are for everyone,” but we don’t always think about how big that term really is. Everyone means everyone, including groups that we may not know much about or who we may be personally uncomfortable with. We need to consciously think about how services for everyone actually exist in our libraries. The very idea of equity is about everyone getting what they need to succeed, which may look very different for different individuals or groups. This workshop series is all about helping libraries become strength-based, trauma-informed, antiracist, social- and emotionally-conscious community institutions. Content was purposefully selected with the ultimate goal of growing…

ALA Annual Conference 2023

Creating a Diversi-TEAM at #alaac23

No matter the size of your library or your community, diversity is an important part of our experiences. This session was presented by Joselyn Williams and Chris Robinson. Their key idea: No one should be made to feel less than, unwelcomed, or judged. No characteristic or trait should outweigh your worth as a person. Examples included gender, race, ethnicity, age, cultural background, religion, political views, native language, sexual orientation, disabilities, education, and more. The Diversi-TEAM concept combines two elements: diversity and team. In this case, TEAM stands for Through Education Achieve More. This underscores the importance of education in addressing problems with insensitivity and microaggressions. Often, we aren’t aware of our microaggressions. The first step: being aware of our biases and understanding what counts as a microaggression. As an individual and as a leader, you can be the first example. By doing the hard work to recognize your biases and…

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Share Queer Joy

I am afraid to put up a Pride display. That feels unprofessional to admit, but it’s true. I live and work in a very liberal area, and yet I am still afraid. From book bans to anti-trans bills to storytime protests, it is a very scary time to be under the LGBTQIA umbrella, an umbrella that feels paper thin against the onslaughts of contemporary hatred. This June, let us shine a light on books of queer joy. That joy can be so hard to keep alight on our own.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Universal Design in Storytimes-An Open Invitation to Play!

Have you ever broken a bone?  Or accidentally injured your eye and needed to wear a patch?  If so, you may have unexpectedly developed empathy for individuals who navigate everyday life with disabilities. Using universal design to create storytimes events helps libraries plan for successful participation and play. By using universal design, all people are assured opportunities to engage at the library!


Aspiring to Build Antiracist Children’s Library Collections

Welcome to Ask ALSC, where the Managing Youth Services Committee asks leaders in children’s libraries to share their response to an issue or situation.  We hope to showcase a range of responses to topics that may affect ALSC members. If you’d like to respond to today’s topics, or suggest a topic for the future, please leave a comment. Over the past decade, diversity in children’s book publishing has expanded exponentially. Now, in 2023, it is clear to see that publishers have begun to value diversity, and most children’s librarians are on board. Organizations like We Need Diverse Books provide resources & programs to support diversity in the kidlit world. Representation is important for children of all backgrounds & identities, but it is time to move beyond representation in our collections and begin to work toward Antiracist children’s collections in our libraries. I use the term Antiracist because because fighting against…

Blogger Tess Prendergast

Exploring refugee child experiences through picture books

Mirrors and Windows You have likely come across the metaphor “mirrors and windows” as it relates to children’s books before. It is a metaphor coined by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop when she discussed how books can mirror a child’s own experiences – thereby legitimizing them by showing that people similar to themselves are important enough to be in books.  Additionally, she said that books can also be windows through which children can see the lives and experiences of children who are different from themselves. (Bishop, 1990). I am going to apply this wonderful metaphor to some of my favorite picture books about refugee child experiences.  Come with me as I explore the ways in which these books can be mirrors (for children with refugee backgrounds to see reflections of their family’s lives) as well as windows (for other children to grow in their understanding of people who have refugee backgrounds)….