For those looking to program with purpose, the entire process begins and ends with your community. Similarly to how we perform diversity audits on our collections, it’s important to also take a critical eye to the programs and services we offer. As professionals we understand that every community is different and has different needs, and that our offerings ought to be tailored to those needs. It can be easy to go on “auto-pilot” when it comes to programming, especially when we have recurring programs such as LEGO® Clubs or storytimes, however we should remember to look at all programs from time to time to evaluate their effectiveness. Programming with purpose means that ideally every program we offer has some kind of goal for our community behind it. The first two questions I always ask myself when planning programs are: 1. Which population in my community am I serving/who is this…
Chat Time!: Reaching Underserved Communities
Every library has its superusers. You know them—the people and families you see weekly, exchanging one pile of books for another, or attending every program that piques their interests.
Back to School Outreach
Summer reading is coming to an end, and school is starting up soon. In fact, where I live, some schools start next week! As we transition into fall, the start of a new semester gives librarians ample opportunities to reach out beyond our typical users and let non or infrequent users know about our programs and services. Here are some tips that have worked for me over the years.
Program in a Post: Dot Art
With this post and around $20-$50, you can take a super simple art activity to any outreach location. Supplies: Dot markers/bingo daubers Stencils (optional) Markers (optional) Paper Set up: Similar to Art Links, Squart, Art on the Spot, and Cotton Swab Pointillism, this is a perfect outreach activity. Throw your supplies into a small tote and off you go. Find a table somewhere (park, school, etc.), set out your supplies, and make a few samples. We love to take this one out on the ArtCart with a tray for the stencils & markers. Program prep: Just gather your supplies. Go and make some dots!
Sailing Into Summer READing 2022
Raising a Sunken Ship Years and years ago when I was a wee volunteer at a public library in Central Florida, I was lucky enough to be a part of a crew that put on a puppet show by the name of “Foghorn Follies“. They brought me on board as a hand in the show. Little did I know, but one day, when I raised anchor and sailed off to become a librarian, I’d once more sound the foghorn and gather unsuspecting audiences for the corniest puppet show this side of the St. John’s River. But first, Atlantis! Years ago, like, 40 of them, there was a Six Flags Great Adventure park in Florida called “Atlantis”. It was here that the Kiddie Kingdom featured a King’s Sandbox and where the Foghorn Follies show was moored. While the show only lasted two seasons, a librarian fell in love with the show,…
Building Better Outreach #PLA2022
I came into my current position about 4 months with a goal to restart and revive youth outreach programs. One of the first PLA programs of the day was Clear and Kind: Boundaries in Outreach Work presented by Kate Morgan of King County Library System and Rachel Beckman of Sno-Isle Libraries.
Serving Expectant Parents & Families with Newborns From Where We Are Today
It is important that expectant parents and those with newborns know they are welcome at the library, even as pandemic precautions persist. Luckily, there is someone there to help them – YOU! Acknowledging them with a simple “hello” can be a high point of their day, especially if they are feeling overwhelmed. A sympathetic “some days are like that!” may lower the pressure when they are dealing with a fussy child. Life in the library is beginning to look more familiar as things begin to “open up more.”. There are still precautions to take to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy until this pandemic is over. Keeping this is mind may have an impact on your library’s ability to do in-person programming and outreach for families with infants since they are at a higher risk. Programs may be offered as a series, once a month or quarterly. Keep your…
Toolkit: New Americans
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,…