ALA Annual Conference 2023

Creating Welcoming Spaces at #alaac23

Immigrant and refugee communities are a large portion of our communities and our libraries. But are we doing everything we can to make our libraries a welcoming environment for those families? Sarah Polen and Jacquie Kociubuk outlined actionable strategies for libraries in their session Welcoming Spaces: Creating Welcoming Environments for Immigrant and Refugee Families.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Toolkit: New Americans – Read Alouds

Black, brown, and white hand overlap atop an American flag

The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoting the 2021-2022 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.

ALSC Board

ALSC: Serving Immigrant & Refugee Children and Their Families

I love August.  Nice and hot so that dip in the pool or lake feels refreshing and invigorating, not cold once we slip into September.  Not a whiff of the melancholy I feel once the hot weather leaves for another year.  I hope you are enjoying August as well and looking forward to the conclusion of another successful Summer Reading/Learning. In case you think ALSC sits back and relaxes in August, I wanted to be sure to tell you about some exciting news and upcoming events.

ALA Annual 2018

Libraries Support Immigrant Families: News from #alaac18

On June 19, a “Resolution on Cessation of Family Separations for Refugees Arriving at the United States Borders” was shared on the REFORMA listserv with a call to “distribute far and wide to your divisions, round table, and other library boards” and to “get endorsements for the resolution.” The ALSC Board then reviewed and discussed the resolution on ALA Connect in the days leading up to the ALA Annual Conference. The resolution was entered into the consent agenda for ALSC Board I at ALA Annual, which took place today, Saturday, June 23. At that meeting, the ALSC Board endorsed the resolution, which has been amended and renamed “Resolution to Reunite Detained Migrant Children with their Parents.” The resolution is currently planned to go before Council, sponsored by the Committee on Library Advocacy, on Tuesday at ALA Annual in New Orleans. Because this is an evolving news item, the specifics of…

Blogger Nicole Martin

Child Soldier and the Refugee Experience

I just finished the great graphic novel Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War by Michel Chikwanine and Jessica Dee Humphreys and would encourage everyone reading this to pick it up. The story recounts how 5 year old Michel was kidnapped near his school by rebel militiamen in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He eventually escapes, but not after being forced to commit violent acts which haunt him. The book does cover very difficult territory, but does a good job of explaining the history of the conflict and not exhibiting images too disturbing or violent for it’s intended audience. This is an important story to tell and equally important to get into the hands of tween and teen readers. The book begins with Michel arriving in North America, and ends with more details about his journey to safety. He was first a refugee in Uganda, then years later in Canada, and…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Library Service to Refugees and Immigrants

In light of the current political and social landscape around the world, there has been an increase of refugees abroad and here at home. With the imminent arrival of more refugee children and families from Syria and other war-torn regions, how can we assist these families in assimilating to their new home? How do we find out what their needs are so we can provide them with critical information about literacy, social services, jobs and other resources? Libraries have long been a champion of freedom of access to materials for all walks of life. How do we leverage our commitment to equitable access to meet the needs of refugees, many of whom are vulnerable children? Certainly the efforts of REFORMA have been well documented in promoting library services to Latinos and Spanish-speaking refugees. It has provided children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala backpacks of books and other resources when they arrive…