Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Overwhelmed by: Outreach to Migrant Communities

Outreach to underserved communities is an overwhelming endeavor. Our committee does not want to make it look easy because it truly is not. However, we truly believe that all library staff can do this type of work with the right tools and support. This is why one of our focuses this year is to bridge the gap between tangible resources (like our existing toolkits) and how to get started. Melody Leung and Marika Jeffrey wrote an article in this summer’s issue of  Children and Libraries with some guiding questions to help evaluate your community, develop fruitful partnerships, and implement programs and outreach with specific communities in mind.  Guiding questions can be helpful but specific examples might help bring those concepts to life. Here is a specific example about reaching out to a migrant community: Getting Started  Four years ago, I started working in a rural community in Washington State. To…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

New Toolkit to Address Accessibility to Technology

The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoting the 2020-2021 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. The LSCUTC committee welcomed a collaboration with ALSC’s Children and Technology Committee, who created this month’s toolkit. February’s Toolkit focuses on accessibility to technology and its impact on children. With the onset of COVID-19, gaps in the digital divide became chasms. The inequities that technology – or lack thereof – created became impossible to ignore.  When librarians transitioned to providing online programming, it became all the more apparent that large swaths of children were missing out…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Spanish-Speaking Toolkit Follow-up: Interview

This month, we are following up on our Toolkit for Spanish Speaking Populations with an interview with Amelia Martinez. She is both part of the Spanish-speaking community and serves the Spanish-speaking community and brings a wealth of insight to working with underserved populations.  What is your current position? How long have you worked in your library/community?  I am a Public Service Assistant (Cultural Focus) at the Whatcom County Library System. I started working for the library system 10 years ago. Prior to the library, I worked at a Migrant Head Start as a teacher aid. Before that, I worked for 5 years as a Community Health Worker for Sea Mar Community Clinic. I learned how challenging it is to access services for a lot of Hispanic families. It’s hard when you come from a different country and you are dealing with a language barrier. You are learning everything including the…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Toolkit: Spanish-Speaking Populations

San Mateo County Libraries Spanish Section

The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoting the 2020-2021 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. This month, our LSCUTC Toolkit focuses on resources for serving Spanish-speaking populations. According to Census data, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States with approximately 42 million speakers (Source: Census.gov).  Most of our resources focus on creating an inclusive space for Spanish-speaking families through materials, programs, and outreach. When working with specific communities, be aware of the importance of cultural authenticity in your approach, partnerships, and resources. Building trust and relationships with…

Blogger Liza Purdy

Feeding Body, Mind and Spirit: Lunch at the Library

This has been a rough summer for most of us, I think. The reality that the pandemic is not going away anytime soon has started to really sink in. We’ve seen businesses open only to shutter again after a few short weeks. The hope of school returning as normal in the fall has faded, bringing challenges to many families. It’s been a hard reality to swallow. In our community, as in many others, we are still reeling from 2019. We had significant property loss due to wild fires in the fall, and a tragic school shooting at Saugus High School on November 19, which resulted in the injury of five high school students and the death of three. We were traumatized before the pandemic hit. We are now hunkering down now for another semester of online classes, unemployment, social distancing and life in the “new normal.” Graciously, there have been…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Toolkit: Autism and Sensory Processing Disorders

The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoting the 2020-2021 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. This month, our focus is serving children who have autism and other sensory processing disorders.  As our understanding of these children and their needs increases, libraries are recognizing an important role in supporting these families in their community.  This may involve specialized resources, adapted programming, and community partnerships to support children and their caregivers.  We are hoping to use this opportunity to bring awareness to the unique considerations of library service to this population, provide support…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Inclusive Read-alouds

The COVID-19 epidemic has caused libraries to find different options to connect with patrons through social distancing.  With many public libraries beginning to make ebooks available with unrestricted due dates, and with many publishing companies opening up content for users, parents can have access to several great titles to share with their children.    Public libraries across the country have also been using social media to connect with younger patrons. Many libraries adapted story time programs to digital story time on Facebook and Instagram Live to reach local patrons and national onlookers alike.     Librarians may also participate in read-alouds to the public as long as they adhere to the standards put forth by publishing companies. Here is a list of those standards from a School Library Journal article, dated March 18, 2020.     Here are ten of our favorite recent titles that highlight the experiences of children in marginalized…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Serving the Underserved during the Pandemic

In the current changing landscape for families and libraries affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, librarians are suddenly tasked with providing resources and activities in a digital environment. Providing robust programs for marginalized or underserved populations is especially a challenge, and we wanted to provide resources for librarians that may assist in addressing the needs of these populations.