Administrative and Management Skills

Overwhelmed By: Researching Your Community

Reaching traditionally marginalized or underserved communities is overwhelming. We don’t want to make this work look easy; it truly isn’t. However, we believe library staff at all levels can do this work with the right tools and support. This year, we’re bridging the gap between tangible resources and getting started. Today, we’ll focus on researching your community.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Play Café: Storytime & Special Populations

Have you ever prepped for a storytime and no one has shown up? Have you tried a new flyer, a new day, a new time — and still no traction? You read blog posts with tips for crowd control and think, Must be nice… I feel you, friend. In the Oakland Public Library system, some branches regularly pack the room while others sing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” to, well, crickets. But we know there are toddlers in the neighborhood — strollers are everywhere.  A David and Lucile Packard Foundation study told us that caregivers in our community are looking for the things storytime can provide: networking and community building, early literacy support, all in a safe, free environment. Clearly our message wasn’t working. So we made some changes. We stopped saying “Storytime,” which is meaningful in some communities but was insider jargon in ours. We renamed it “Play Café,” a…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Did Anyone Get Burnt This Summer?

As librarians, this is always our busy season. Camps are winding down, families are back from vacations, children are getting restless and bored, parents are getting stressed out, and back to school is on the horizon. These pressures can really take a toll. While we are busy working with children during our work day, imagine those who have the job of caregiver both day and night. All staff can face the summer burnout, and as a manager I try to keep an eye out for stressed out staff, but I also look for signs in parents and caregivers as well. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison found that mothers of children with autism had significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol compared to mothers of children without disabilities. Such hormone levels have been associated with chronic health problems and can affect glucose regulation, immune functioning, and mental…


Code for Parents

pie graph of Latinos in STEM

Why code I’m Mexican-American and grew up with very traditional, hard-working parents who constantly reminded me of the importance of creating a stable future for my family and myself. As an ALSC Special Populations Committee member, my job is to make sure programming remains inclusive—reaching all children and informing all parents, including the Spanish-speaking. In order for Spanish-speaking parents to support and encourage their child to learn to code, they must first understand the importance of code in today’s world. That is why it is critical to provide approachable Spanish-language resources and craft a clear message. In the advertising world, they say a good ad communicates one benefit of the product. As copywriter Luke Sullivan puts it, Jeep = rugged, Porsche = fast, “and Volvos, they’re…what? If you said ‘safe,’ you’ve given the same answer I’ve received from literally every other person I’ve ever asked. Ever.” What can we say…