Blogger Ariel Barreras

ESL at Home: English Language Learner Family Literacy Kits

Like many communities across the country, my library’s community has a growing immigrant population, particularly families with young children. Immigrating to a new country comes with many challenges and libraries can be of service to this population through programming and collection development. To help this population, I have recently added ELL (English Language Learner) Family Literacy Kits to our children’s collection through the help of generous grant funding. This is a completely new program at my library and we are excited to see where it takes us! In this post, I will tell you about what is included in each kit and how this can serve immigrant families.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

No- and Low-Tech Backpacks as Outreach

In summer 2019, the Children and Technology committee wrote about bridging the digital divide with circulating tech.  Current events have forced us to evaluate our resources, services, and access. In times of change and uncertainty, libraries connect families with resources and experiences they may not otherwise have. In addition to virtual programs, libraries must connect with families without the time or ability to connect online. One way to do this is providing prepackaged, circulating materials like backpacks and kits. Serving Underserved Populations The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoting the 2020-2021 calendar year to creating a vibrant, dynamic toolkit that provides ALSC members with up-to-date resources for working with marginalized populations.  So far, we’ve focused on: Children with autism and sensory processing disorders Families experiencing financial insecurity and homelessness Spanish speaking populations, and Access to technology Today, we’d like to share how backpacks and kits…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

English Learners Family Storytime

What do you do when your evening storytime is not drawing the crowd it used to? It might be time to interrupt your regularly scheduled programming and reevaluate. That’s exactly what we did at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, and the outcome is our new English Learners Family Storytime! Our regular Tuesday evening storytime was a sight to behold, with great picture books, fun songs, and colorful flannel board stories and rhymes. However, attendance was dropping. We knew we wanted to reverse that trend, but how? From the start, we recognized that families are busy with other after-dinner activities. We also recognized that our library serves a diverse community with multi-generational families who speak English as a 2nd or 3rd language. Occasionally, these children and caregivers struggled to communicate their needs with us at the service desk, and we knew this was an audience we wanted to cultivate and better…