Blogger Chelsey Roos

Storytime Safety Plans and Other Things I Didn’t Learn in Library School

In library school, I took a lot of children’s classes. A class about evaluating children’s literature. A class about planning programs. Even a class devoted entirely to storytelling. But there are some things I never learned in school. I never learned how to make safety plans to escort a performer out of a library event turned threatening. I never learned how to respond to online accusations about the supposed predatory nature of LGBTQIA+ books. As book challenges sky-rocket and board meetings become hostile, what does it look like for new library staff to be well-prepared for the profession?

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 Amy Steinbauer

Everyone is Welcome at PRIDE!

One of the things that patrons missed the most during the pandemic has been the ability to browse and see displays. My library has been offering a robust collection of “Grab and Go” items of curated books and bundles to offer patrons in even the most limited iterations of pandemic library service, a little something extra to take home. The pandemic has also made us rethink the physicality of the building. In before times, displays were in shelves or on bulletin boards, but now, we need to think about where people see us. As a result, we have been putting more displays on our windows! Window displays or “Library on the Glass” as I have coined it, can be anything from booklists, pictures of book covers, patron-created Haikus, notes of love for the library, etc. Since we opened fully for browsing and hanging at the library on June 1st, it…

Guest Blogger

#ALSC20 Awesome Afternoon with #OwnVoices

Authors Kacen Callender, Kyle Lukoff, and author-illustrator Christian Robinson kicked off the afternoon with a conversation about LGBTQIA #OwnVoices stories with moderator Ellie Krug. The panelists discussed how they approach the concept of “mattering” in their work. Lukoff said he doesn’t often outwardly state that, “we matter… because I know we do.” He starts with the assumption that these characters matter, that they know that they matter, and he tells their stories. Callender expressed how they received emotional wounds as a kid, how they still trying to heal; that’s one reason they write for children who are experiencing these, too. Robinson discussed his book “You Matter.” He said that book came out of a question, “what did I most want to tell children? … you matter because you are here, because you exist,” not because of anything a child does. The panelists also offered advice for librarians to help and…

Early Literacy

Drag Queen Story Hour

Drag Queens at the Library? Yes! Drag Queens at the library reading picture books? Definitely YES!! Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) was created in San Francisco, CA by Michelle Tea and RADAR Productions.  It has since expanded to New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and a multitude of other cities. Libraries all over the country are embracing this program with open arms! DQSH is a delightful celebration of diversity and gender fluidity. It gives children and their families and caregivers positive role models who break gender stereotypes, and encourage children to be exactly who they want to be. Check out below to see what three librarians think about bringing the program to their libraries, and to see a few photos!   From the New York Public Library, Early Literacy Coordinator, Eva Shapiro, says “Drag Queen Story Hour is a wonderful addition to the New York Public Library’s early literacy programming. This…

ALA Midwinter 2017

Welcoming rainbow families in your library #alamw17

I’m belatedly blogging about the incredibly valuable ALSC Mini Institute session on Friday, “Serving ALL Families in Your Library: Inclusive Library Collections & Programs for LGBTQ Families & Children,” presented by Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo (University of Alabama) and Megan Roberts (LGBT Center of Raleigh Library). Whether you know it or not, if you serve young people in your library this session is relevant to your work. In the US there are over 125,000 same-sex couples raising children, between 2-3.7 million children under the age of 18 growing up with an LGBTQ parent or parents, and LGBTQ families are present in 96% of counties, many in rural and suburban communities, not just major cities. There are also the legions of LGBTQ young people growing up everywhere around the country. For ease of discussion, Campbell Naidoo and Roberts used the term “rainbow families,” and I’ll do the same here. What do these…

Awards & Scholarships

Stories. Acceptance. Love.

I’m not even sure what to say. I know that I don’t need to tell you that times are hard. Or why the work that we do with LGBTQIA youth is important. Or why we need diverse books. You know. You know all of that. After hearing news of the tragedy at Pulse in Orlando this weekend, I had to disconnect from the outside world. I found comfort in home, family, and a rainbow read. I had been reading True Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan, so I picked it up and lost myself in the coming out story of a young man who just needs acceptance and love. It was a good book, full of humanity and pain and joy. Kids and teens need books that they can relate to, that they can see themselves in. We all need these things. Stories. Acceptance. Love. Right now the…