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 : Diversity Audits

overwhelmed by books

Serving marginalized and underserved communities is multi-pronged. One prong is through a literary perspective where collections reflect the communities we are trying to serve, whether they step foot into the library or not. Diversity audits. We know them; we respect the reasons for them. And the very thought of them is almost debilitating. A diversity audit is a count of titles to see what percentage of your collection is what. What percentage of your collection features white cis protagonists? What percentage of the collections features people who are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or portrays body neutrality? Auditing your collection can provide great data to help you answer questions like, “What percentage of my collection features characters who are Native/ First Nation/ Indigenous?” A deeper audit may answer the question, “What percentage of my collection features characters who are native that aren’t historical?”  To collect this information, many libraries…

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Jolly Holidays All Year Round

After battling the elements to get to the branch (snow, snow, and more snow), I spent several days last week changing my seasonal displays. I am lucky to work (and live) in a truly diverse community that has for a long time featured large Catholic and Jewish populations and now boasts a growing African American community along with immigrant groups from Turkey and southern India.  I’m always excited to feature diverse books, and offering mirrors and windows to a diversifying neighborhood always seems very worthwhile. Nothing makes this clearer than my holiday displays.  I recently dismantled my Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, and Presidents’ Day books, plumped up my Black History Display, and looked ahead to upcoming holidays…and what a plethora are approaching!  Not to forget: February 26th: Purim March 14th: Pi Day March 17th: St. Patrick’s Day March 20th: Norwuz March 27th: First day of Passover March 28th: Holi…

Blogger Alyson Feldman-Piltch

Multiculturalism & Diversity: What and Why 2.0

Hello, ALSC Readers! I promise, I am not being lazy and recycling old posts, but last month’s refresher post on Collection Resources (check it out here) brought in a few suggestions of additional resources, both online and offline. In researching some of these resources, and a few others shared with me by a teacher, I noticed that some of the sites used the words “multicultural” and “diverse” interchangeably, when they should not be. In 2014, I authored my first guest blog post for ALSC entitled: “Multiculturalism & Diversity: What is the Difference, and Why it’s Important”. In the post I wrote about the difference between diversity and multiculturalism, and the important role authenticity plays in a story’s perspective. In citing works by both Rudine Sims Bishop and Jacqueline Woodson, I offered the following definition: Multicultural literature can be a mirror, a window, and a sliding glass door 1: it can be…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Hispanic Heritage Month 2020

Two Weeks In! We’re two weeks in to Hispanic Heritage Month 2020. I’m sure you’ve had some amazing successes – but please do not give up!  This is no time to kick back and plan for Halloween! I want you to consider – strongly – reading resources that focus on Hispanic-American art as well as the art of graphic novels.  Graphic novels set themselves up years ago – decades at this point – as not just a form of storytelling, but an artful way to bring imagery to life.  This month, why not celebrate the contributions of superior graphic novel artists from the Hispanic-American culture?  Or the most prolific Hispanic-American illustrators? Where is a non-Latinx to begin? So, where is a non-Latinx to begin? Consider your award winners first, such as… The Américas Award “The Américas Award encourages and commends authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality and classroom-ready children’s and…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Inclusive Read-alouds

The COVID-19 epidemic has caused libraries to find different options to connect with patrons through social distancing.  With many public libraries beginning to make ebooks available with unrestricted due dates, and with many publishing companies opening up content for users, parents can have access to several great titles to share with their children.    Public libraries across the country have also been using social media to connect with younger patrons. Many libraries adapted story time programs to digital story time on Facebook and Instagram Live to reach local patrons and national onlookers alike.     Librarians may also participate in read-alouds to the public as long as they adhere to the standards put forth by publishing companies. Here is a list of those standards from a School Library Journal article, dated March 18, 2020.     Here are ten of our favorite recent titles that highlight the experiences of children in marginalized…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Partnering to Expand Inclusiveness in Your Collection: Girls of the Crescent

When putting together a library collection many librarians strive to collect a variety of materials full of the latest and greatest books. In a youth collection this also means collecting books to suit all reading levels and building an inclusive collection that is reflective of everyone in the library community. Building an inclusive collection of materials is important in all library collections, but it is especially important in a youth collection because a child who does not see themselves in the world of literature may be discouraged enough not to read. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to find inclusive books and that’s when it’s helpful to build a partnership that will improve your collection. Rochester Hills Public Library was approached by two high school Muslim girls named Mena and Zena Nasiri, who were always avid readers, but grew up longing to see themselves in literature. They decided to make…