ALA Annual Conference 2023

Creating Welcoming Spaces at #alaac23

Immigrant and refugee communities are a large portion of our communities and our libraries. But are we doing everything we can to make our libraries a welcoming environment for those families? Sarah Polen and Jacquie Kociubuk outlined actionable strategies for libraries in their session Welcoming Spaces: Creating Welcoming Environments for Immigrant and Refugee Families.

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Thank you and grateful for Public Libraries

Over 20 years ago I was new to America. Everything was new. I left behind my family and friends in India. I was fortunate that even before I learned to drive, I was introduced to the Public Library. I was not used to Public Libraries as we do not have them in India. I was used to school, college and university libraries, circulating libraries run out of garages or special libraries to which we had to purchase membership.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

ToolKit: New Americans- Social Work & Libraries

Wholeperson

“Whole Person Librarianship” Libraries in underserved communities have been known for being safe spaces, particularly for the underserved population. Usually, these safe spaces are jewels for New Americans. As we all know, libraries provide so many of the resources needed for New Americans to become acclimated to their new home. As a librarian or a library worker, how many times we have helped patrons find resources for health and food benefits, child care, employment training and etc.? Too many times to count. As a librarian or a library worker, it seems to come with the job. However, outside of those patrons who may only need help with an application, we may also encounter those patrons who may need medical attention or are facing some type of trauma. These situations are sensitive and may need the expertise of a professional. Here is where we are able to connect all of the…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Toolkit: New Americans – Read Alouds

Black, brown, and white hand overlap atop an American flag

The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoting the 2021-2022 calendar year to creating a vibrant, dynamic toolkit that provides ALSC members with up-to-date resources for working with marginalized populations.  Each toolkit page will provide professional and leisure reading recommendations, support for programming, and materials for families.  As dynamic documents, these pages will continue to grow and develop as we find new resources, share our experiences, and continue to learn.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Toolkit: New Americans

Word cloud of "Welcome" in multiple languages in a heart shape.

The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoted to creating vibrant, dynamic toolkits that provide ALSC members with up-to-date resources for working with traditionally marginalized populations.  Each section of these toolkits will provide professional and leisure reading recommendations, support for programming, and materials for families.  As dynamic documents, these pages will continue to grow and develop as we find new resources, share our experiences, and continue to learn. The focus of this year’s toolkit is on serving children and their caregivers who are new to America. There are approximately 44 million people living in America who were born in different countries. People identifying as new Americans may fall into many categories, some of which may be: refugee, asylum seekers, migrants, or immigrants. As our understanding of different needs increases, libraries are recognizing an important role in supporting new American communities.  These supports may include specialized resources,…