Author Spotlight

34th Annual Virginia Hamilton Conference

Last week, I attended the 34th Annual Virginia Hamilton Conference at Kent State University, focusing on multicultural literature for children and young adults.  Living in Northeast Ohio, I have attended several times in the past; however, this year I am a newly minted member of the Conference’s Advisory Board and got to see a bit “behind the curtain” of the event as well. In addition, this year was unusual.  The typical April date was changed to October to be combined with a Literacy Conference Kent State was hosting this year, and that content was also included in breakdown sessions. The Conference began Thursday evening with dinner, the Arnold Adoff Poetry Awards, and one of the Conference’s three keynote speakers, poet Marilyn Nelson. Present to pick up their poetry awards, and to read excerpts from their work, were winner Nikki Grimes (One Last Word) and honor recipients Hope Anita Smith (My Daddy…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Hispanic Heritage Month: Guided by our Leaders

Hispanic Heritage Month Continues! First, though, I always like to explain the “why”.  Why, Jonathan must we celebrate this every year? Here’s a quote for you that encapsulates the “why” the best, IMHO: Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year.  More than a time to celebrate the contributions of Hispanic Americans, this is a time to celebrate the continued inclusion of diverse materials into your everyday programming.  Inclusion does not have to be like hiding the pill.  As a matter of fact, it should never feel forced.  If it does not feel genuine to you, it will come across that way to your audience.  So, how to proceed?  Where do you seek inspiration or than this amazing blog? Inspiration from Leaders The 2018 Estela & Raúl Mora Award winners were announced just a few days ago.  What better way to explore your options than to draw inspiration…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Hispanic Heritage Month 2018! İCelebramos!

Hispanic Heritage Month is here! Let’s celebrate!  Hispanic Heritage Month comes every year, from September 15 to October 15.  There’s tons we can do to celebrate, include our Hispanic patrons.  Hispanic Heritage Month is about bringing everyone together to recognize all that Hispanic Americans have brought to American culture. And WHY celebrate, you may ask? — https://www.ajc.com/news/fast-facts-hispanic-heritage-month/lzbTmY6zExcR2wAmeb24wL/ Resources for All Not sure where to begin?  Let’s start at the top!  There’s a multitude of resources for all, whether you are confident in your Spanish or not. The Library of Congress has a great page complete with its own calendar that you could adapt to your own programming.  Remember, this is about inclusion.  Make our Hispanic patrons feel welcome, and relevant!  The Library of Congress site has something for everyone.  Select from images, to multimedia, to lesson plans that are easy to adapt to children’s programming. The Smithsonian Latino Center has another…

Commitment to Client Group

The ALSC Equity Fellowship

ALSC Equity Fellowship

This month I wanted to share a new and amazing opportunity for potential ALSC members of color. This post was written by members of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion within ALSC Implementation Task Force. The current ALSC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force was charged with implementing a number of recommendations from the first EDI Task Force. One those recommendations was a scholarship for ALSC members of color. We debated quite a long time about making this broad or deep, meaning, should we take this earmarked money and spread it widely to ensure lots of people get their memberships paid for, or should we select a smaller number of recipients and give them a deeper mentorship experience and pay for conference attendance. We looked at a number of factors including; long term culture change, why people aren’t getting involved in the committee process, and the historically white nature of the profession. In the end,…

ALA Annual 2018

The Inclusive Makerspace #WeNeedDiverseMakerspaces #alaac18

It’s been another jam-packed, amazing day at the 2018 ALA Conference! This afternoon I attended The Inclusive Makerspace #WeNeedDiverseBooks session led by Gina Seymour, a School Library Media Specialist. She offered some great advice on making your Makerspace or hands on learning activities accessible for a wide variety of youth, including those with disabilities or language barriers. Gina provided many simple tips with big impact, like providing triangular anti-roll crayons, instruction sheets with a visual cue for each step, and printing instructions in both English and Spanish. Other suggestions included labeling all craft materials used in making with not only a word but an image of what is inside. She emphasized how making can promote the 3 E’s: Equity, Education and Excitement. This session made me think of how my library could reassess our own maker-based activities and  programming so that everyone can be successful and feel welcome. Thinking of…

Books

2018 Pura Belpre Award Celebracion

One of best sessions at each ALA Annual Conference #alaac18 is this Celebracion! Each author and illustrator gave insite into their work then we were treated to a performance by the folk group Vive Mi Terra from New Orleans.  Their  name — “Feel My Country” — is so apropos as we celebrate these latino titles and honor all children by celebrating mulicultural experiences. #alscleftbehind    

Diversity

Talking with Young Children (0-5) about Race

As youth serving librarians, we have a unique opportunity to build relationships and interact with young children and their families. This opportunity allows us to support families in many ways: building literacy skills, learning the importance of play, enjoying library programs, and of course much more.  Among the “much more” is the opportunity to speak with young children about race, to speak with caregivers about how to talk about race, and to model talking about race with children for their caregivers. It’s Never Too Early to Talk with Children about Race Research indicates both that children notice racial differences from a very young age (Winkler, 2009) and that if caregivers do not openly talk about race with children, children make up their own, often erroneous, meaning from what they see (Bigler, as cited in Dwyer, 2013). But, many caregivers/librarians/teachers, particularly white folks, are uncomfortable talking about race. They may feel…