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schedules with little free time to read or visit the library, often their reading is proscribed by coursework, or superseded by after school activities, hanging out with their friends or college applications.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…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Therapy Dogs in the Library: A Pawsitive Experience

Once a month, the Calabasas Library opens it doors to trained therapy dogs. Families and children sign up for their own one-on-one time to quite literally read with dogs. It’s one of the most beloved programs at the library, a partnership built over a decade. Last year, when the library celebrated its 20th anniversary, the therapy dogs were there during the festivities. Of course they were, they are a part of the library community. Why Therapy Dogs for Literacy? The idea of using therapy dogs for literacy is not new. The program the Calabasas Library uses, Pet Partners, was founded in 1977 and provides millions of trained therapy animal visits a year across a variety of settings. It’s their “Read To Me” literacy program, however, that the Calabasas Library utilizes. Read To Me was founded on the idea that children’s literacy can benefit from trained therapy animals. David E. Williams…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

New Year, New Connections

The holiday season is over. Brand-new smart phones, laptops and gadgets are in the hands of many young people. Despite the flood of tech presents that were gifted this season, it is important to be mindful that there are still many families that do not have reliable Internet access in their homes. For years, librarians have been talking about the digital divide, referring to the gap that exists between people who have access to computers and the Internet and those who do not. More recently, the focus has shifted to also include the quality of connection to the Internet. According to Pew Research Center, school-age children in lower-income households are especially likely to lack broadband access. Roughly one-third of households with children ages 6 to 17, whose annual income falls below $30,000 a year, do not have a high-speed internet connection at home. This is compared with just 6% of…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Municipal Partnerships: Making the Most of Your City

Looking to start a new partnership to liven up your programming or outreach? You may not have to look much further than city hall. Many cities have departments that make wonderful library partners, and these partnerships allow us to show kids all that the community has to offer. At the Newton Free Library in Newton, Massachusetts, the youth services department had several partnerships with other city offices. Here, we’ll look at our partnerships with Historic Newton and the mayor’s office during our 2017 Build a Better World summer reading program. Historic Newton When I was tasked with planning an “around your neighborhood” storytime for summer reading, I started looking for a partner in the neighborhood to take over the activity portion of storytime. Historic Newton was a perfect fit. Historic Newton is a city organization that preserves Newton’s history through two museums and various other initiatives. They have education and…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Partnerships with arts organizations to enhance programs

As mentioned in my February 2, 2018 ALSC post (Arts enhance experiences for under-served populations), the arts provide many entry points for youth participation. It encourages individuality, exploration and the process is as important as the outcome. This past year, my colleague Becca Tanen,  DC Public Library’s Children’s Librarian for the Center for Accessibility, wanted to explore theater based activities for program enhancement. So she decided to do a partnership with a theater company. After researching organizations with experience creating universally designed programs, she reached out to Imagination Stage (IStage) for the partnership with this endeavor. IStage is one of DC’s renowned regional youth theater organizations, Partnership Goals and Process The partnership goals were to learn new program ideas through theater and to offer a different type of activity for all children – meaning there are no barriers to participation. Below Becca describes her experience with this collaboration. “The workshops were…

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Children’s Librarians are Experts at …School Readiness

The King County Library System has been partnering with its local Child Care Resources to bring Kaleidoscope Play and Learn to the communities we serve. Kaleidoscope Play & Learn is a school readiness program coordinated by Washington State’s Child Care Resources.  Many children ages birth to 5 are not enrolled in formal early learning programs or licensed child care.   The purpose of Kaleidoscope Play & Learn (KP&L) is to work with family, friend and neighbor caregivers, and parents to provide support in preparing their children for success in school and life through quality early childhood experiences.  The program consists of weekly, facilitated groups of 90 minutes or more.  Each session begins with child-directed play and concludes with a coordinated large group activity.  At the library the large group activity is story time, of course!  Children and caregivers participate in open-ended, child-directed play, choosing from a variety of play centers, which…

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Daddy & Me: A Partnership with Brooklyn Public Library and NYC Department of Corrections

On any given day, the New York City Jails have a population of almost ten thousand inmates.* The Brooklyn Public Library, along with the New York Public Library, have dedicated outreach teams that provide library services through a partnership with the NYC Department of Corrections. In addition to offering library lending services inside the facilities, the library has attempted to create ways to connect the people who are detained to their families and communities. This includes the library Televisit program, which allows families to visit select library locations in order to communicate to incarcerated individuals via video chats, and the Daddy & Me Program that takes place in the jail facilities. Recently I joined my colleague Nick Franklin, the coordinator of Jail and Prison Services for the Brooklyn Public Library, on a bus trip to the NYC Jail located on Rikers Island. We were on our way to Family Day,…