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. 

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

A Partnership Every Kid Can Rely On: Schools and Public Libraries!

It’s been a tough time to be a school-aged kid. School libraries are losing their librarians at an astounding rate, and schools with libraries don’t always have the time to utilize their resources. Public librarians can support kids and school libraries by stepping in to help: class visits and outreach into the schools lets kids and teachers know we are here and available, and by working with teachers and school librarians, we can offer kids an expanded selection of books and topics. A lot of time is spent trying to find the right person to talk to in each school. If the school doesn’t have a dedicated librarian, look for other partners. Some schools have a community coordinator or a parent coordinator to work on relationships between the community at large and the school community. Some schools have class trip organizers for each grade. Once you find a person or…

Blogger Meg Smith

Summertime Kids Means Summertime Fun

Though 4th of July has come and gone, summer reading is still in full swing. A critical part of our summer reading initiatives is our outreach programming to provide resources to youth unable to visit the library. One of our most successful outreach programs is our involvement with Summertime Kids. The Friends of the Cumberland County Public Library, Inc. recently received a $10,000.00 Summertime Kids Grant through Cumberland Community Foundation, Inc. to provide books and book bags to youth involved in Summertime Kids camps. Summertime Kids camps provide summer resources and experiences to youth from underserved communities, and public library staff partner with camp sites to provide books and book bags to participants. During Summertime Kids programming, youth services staff encourage campers to develop their skills in choosing reading materials as participants select two books they take home to begin or add to their home libraries. Children and teens also…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Spring Ahead with Outreach Opportunities

Spring is Here! Prior to the start of Summer Reading Club, Spring is typically filled with planning for the busy summer months. However, this season also allows us time to evaluate existing library partnerships and motivation to create new meaningful connections in the community. When it comes to Youth Services Outreach, the possibilities are endless. There are so many passionate librarians that are thinking outside of the box and finding ways to reach all residents. There are inspiring stories of librarians offering storytime in laundromats or creating floating book collections in barbershops. There are even partnerships between libraries and grocery stores and foodbanks. It’s an exciting time to work in Outreach Services, as we can see the positive impact these efforts make in our communities. One of the most important pieces of Outreach, is establishing relationships. Visiting different daycares and classrooms throughout the year is wonderful, and a service that…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Meeting Young Adults Where They Are

Ask many librarians what group of patrons is the most difficult to connect with and you might get a variety of answers. Obviously it varies based on location, public transit (or lack thereof), range of services offered etc. In my system a common response is high schoolers. They have packed schedules with little free time to read or visit the library, often their reading is proscribed by coursework, or superseded by after school activities, hanging out with their friends or college applications. Our Teen New Book shelf is jam packed of the latest and greatest titles with very little movement. I am fortunate enough to work in a town, Grandville, Michigan, where the public library is highly valued and a community hub. My colleague Kris Vogelar, created a wonderful partnership many years ago called A+ Partners in Education. This group pairs local schools with our Youth Staff at the beginning…