Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Unmasking Your Potential: Defeating Imposter Syndrome in Underserved Communities

Imposter syndrome, that nagging feeling of inadequacy and self-doubt despite evident accomplishments, can be particularly challenging when working with underserved children and their caregivers. In such roles, the weight of responsibility to make a meaningful impact can often intensify feelings of unworthiness or incompetence. However, recognizing and addressing imposter syndrome is essential for us to serve the communities we work in effectively. Now, I am no expert however, I have been a victim of imposter syndrome myself and I have had to unpack my issues and leave them at the door. I would like to break down what I have learned regarding understanding imposter syndrome in this context and offer strategies to overcome it. Hopefully, this will empower librarians and library workers to make a real difference in the lives of those they serve.

Guest Blogger

Art Therapy for Tweens

Starting off the new year can be both exciting and exhausting for children and adults. One way to alleviate the transition of getting back into the routine of returning to school after winter break, is a program we call “Art Therapy!” This program is for children ages 10 and up along with their older sibling and/or adult caregiver. Every month Children’s Librarian, Jennifer Chang leads the Art Therapy program at Cupertino Library. She is always thoughtful when selecting the art project for the month so that it appeals to both tweens and their adult caregiver. Attendees have been able to paint a bird bath dish, bookmarks, coasters, and canvas watercoloring.

Blogger Jaime Eastman

Personalized Self-Care for Success: A Guide to Prioritizing You

A cross stitch reads "I'm not a hot mess I'm a spicy disaster" surrounded by flowers and pepper plants.

Have you ever told someone it’s not selfish to practice self-care? On the other hand, how often have you prioritized your own self-care? Be honest. Even if it’s not as often as you’d like, that’s okay. As we move into winter breaks, holiday travel, and wrapping up another year, personalized self-care is hard. I’m struggling with it, too. Let’s talk about how we can make it better.

ALA Annual Conference 2023

Prioritizing Mental Health at #alaac23 and Your Library

Without doubt, there are many factors impacting the mental health of librarians and our patrons. Sophie Leveque and Diana Beltrao de Macedo of Boston Public Library are prioritizing access to free mental health resources through the library. How are they doing it? By combining digital and physical resources for patrons to explore mental health support on their own.

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Radicalizing Self-Care in Librarianship

“…I thought about the fact that although books don’t have feelings, the librarians forced to remove them from the shelves do.” Xochitl Gonzalez, “The Librarians Are Not Okay.” The Atlantic, March 15, 2023 Book challenges, protests against gender and racial inclusivity, salary stagnation, skyrocketing inflation, opiate overdoses, bad branch managers, years of being ‘essential workers’ -– we all know there isn’t a bath long or bubbly enough to repair the damage that long-term chronic stress does to the body and mind. Public librarians are housekeepers, zookeepers, referees, therapists, mandated reporters, front line emergency workers, cleaners of unidentified effluvia and other duties as assigned.  This is why bubbles-and-polish commodified self-care simply does not suffice. Most of us have, at this point, heard about the Urban Librarians Unite’s 2022 Urban Trauma Study, so I will not go into great detail about it here. In short, public-facing librarians experience significant trauma on a daily…

Everyday Advocacy

Supporting Staff Well-being

Welcome to Ask ALSC, where the Managing Youth Services Committee asks leaders in children’s libraries to share their response to an issue or situation.  We hope to showcase a range of responses to topics that may affect ALSC members. If you’d like to respond to today’s topics, or suggest a topic for the future, please leave a comment. *Disclaimer* I am not a healthcare professional. I am a reader and a hard-working mental health advocate, both personally and professionally. Self-care and wellness are frequent buzzwords in articles discussing the workplace. Why? What’s changed (other than the obvious) to warrant an uptick in administrative discussions surrounding mental health and career? And why should we as managers devote time and space to discussions on well-being? There are a myriad of reasons why we should all be focused on mental health, but for brevity and deliverability, I will focus on three. I’m sure…

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Serving the Whole Child

I recently had the opportunity to attend a discussion at the City Club of Cleveland pertaining to the Whole Child Framework adopted by the Ohio Department of Education.  Meryl Johnson, a member of the Ohio State Board of Education, Dr. Tracy Nájera, executive director of the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio, and Joseph Spiccia, superintendent of the Wickliffe City School District were members of a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Lisa Damour, author, psychologist, and Senior Advisor to the Schubert Center for Child Studies, Case Western Reserve University.

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Mental Health in our Patrons and our Colleagues

In honor of May as Mental Health Awareness Month, here are two stories about mental health in the library. Children Can Have Mental Health Needs A young patron of about eleven or twelve sidled up to me quietly at the children’s desk and asked me in a soft voice for books about, “um, you know…depression.” Immediately my mind went to worrying for this young person. I’ve had depression from a very young age – younger than the girl in front of me. My heart leapt in a kind of panic, a panic of wanting to rescue this young person from all the hardship I’ve experienced with my own depression.  I had to take a moment to make myself be calm. I started asking her normal reference interview questions. Did she want fact books or stories? Was there anything she had read recently that she’d liked? We went walking up and…