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.

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Encouraging A Culture of Rereading in Your Library

It happened again this week: a caregiver told a young reader to put a book back. “You’ve already read that one,” they said. “Go put that back and find something new.” I’ve heard many well-meaning adults say this to a child in their charge, often once they’re standing at the self-check. And I understand what they’re thinking – they want their little reader to grow by reading something new. But research on reading tells us that rereading is actually great for developing readers. How can we create a rereading culture that subtly (and not-so-subtly) encourages grown-ups to take home that Dog Man for the fortieth time?

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Three Ways to Connect with the Disability Community in 2024

Make 2024 the year that you solidify your library’s support of families with disabilities. Many library staff want to reach out to disabled children and caregivers, but become overwhelmed trying to pick their first step. Before you plan a new sensory storytime, revamp your large print collection, or look into making your children’s programs more accessible, reach out to one of these three groups in your area to find out what your community really needs.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Mobile Outreach to Underserved Families: No Budget? No Problem!

Library outreach in 2023 continues to evolve and include services for underserved families more than ever. While there was previously a strong lack of information on the topic, there are now many more librarians researching, writing articles, and sharing their processes and success stories to enable others in the profession to continue this important and wonderful work. Many library systems offer robust outreach services and allocate funding for it into their budgets, but there are also many libraries both big and small that don’t receive adequate funding to purchase and operate a bookmobile or hire dedicated outreach staff. While funding and support are incredible to have, it simply isn’t always there to start, and that’s ok! Luckily, there are many outreach services that librarians can provide at little to no cost. Bookmobiles & More Many libraries have fully embraced the idea of on-the-go librarianship and outreach, and bookmobiles have been…

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Class Visit Basics

School is back in session and the class visit requests are rolling in. School librarians are pros at managing class visits. But for many public librarians, class visits may feel a little less comfortable than our regular storytime jams and STEAM programs that happen in our own, well-known program rooms. If you’re new to class visits or if it’s simply been a little while, join me for Class Visits 101: how to prepare, books to share, and the magic of brain breaks.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Equitable Programming

As library and library-adjacent staff, we all probably have a shared mission of making a positive impact on our communities in equitable and inclusive ways. However, how do we ensure that all of our programs, outreach, and services are as equitable as we can make them?  Last month, members of the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee, Georgette Spratling and Ewa Wojciechowska, shared how to grow with your community.  As you listen to community members and actively engage with families, there may be opportunities for larger projects and more partnerships to make them possible. This is a great time to ask yourself and your team questions to ensure that the overall approach will bring the largest impact you can make on those who could benefit the most.  Big Picture: Is this program reaching an underserved community where they are?  Example: A library is hosting bilingual Spanish storytime…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Growing Together with your Community

Libraries often need to overcome barriers in order to provide services to those who need them most, but how? There’s no specific answer that will work for every library, so instead we suggest focusing on the idea of planning library services as a growing experience. By this we mean that success is easier to find when we consider the uniqueness of our individual communities and tailor our offerings accordingly, essentially growing our offered services to be more of what our communities want, as opposed to planning exclusively around what we might think they need. The suggestions below include specific examples of ways to employ this mindset, and we hope that they can aid other youth services professionals (especially those looking to reach underserved families) in their planning process. Research and Repeat Growing with your community involves research, and lots of it!  Luckily, research includes everything from sitting down at a…