Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

Intellectual Freedom & Information Literacy in Valentine’s Day Programs

It’s February, and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, some of us are preparing for storytimes and programs that either celebrate the day itself, or look at concepts of love, family and friendship. ALSC’s Intellectual Freedom Committee recently released the Intellectual Freedom Programming Toolkit, created to help you incorporate concepts of intellectual freedom and information literacy into staple programs like these. Here’s 3 ideas inspired by the toolkit that you can use to incorporate these principles into your existing Valentine’s Day storytimes.

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Addressing Covid-19 Worries in the Back-to-School Season

I wrote this in quarantine. My toddler had a close contact exposure to Covid-19 in her daycare class and we kept the whole family home out of an abundance of caution. (Everyone is healthy.) It’s a situation many of our patrons and staff may face now that kids have returned to school or pre-school. The Delta variant put a different spin on the usual back-to-school and fall programming, with many libraries still only allowing outdoor or virtual programming. How can we support our patrons during this fraught back-to-school season? First, remember to take care of yourselves. Burnout, compassion fatigue, Covid fatigue—whatever you call it, it’s real. Try to take some time for yourself whether it’s a staycation, regular exercise, or enjoying a hobby. Next, understand the behaviors associated with stress and worry in your patrons. If folks share with you, validate their feelings. Fellow Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee…


Glimmers of Hope: Sidewalk Stories

Hope! I can feel it in the air! Spring is upon us, COVID numbers are down, vaccinations are rising, and we here in California are moving down the color tiers of restrictions. We moved from the unrelenting purple tier to red last week, and more and more places are opening their doors to the public for the first time in a year! We are gearing up for our own rapidly approaching re-opening date at my library. Our doors are still closed to the public at the time of this writing. We have, however, started to do some outdoor programs, most notably Sidewalk Stories! The name is the program’s descriptor. We plunk down hula hoops at socially distanced intervals, crank up the sound system, make a little barrier, and away we go! We’ve completed three weeks of stories so far. I’ve learned a few things that I wanted to share in…


Connecting Communities to Other Virtual Storytime Providers

If you read this blog regularly, then you are aware that ALSC is currently creating a Virtual Storytime Services Resource Guide, offering tips and ideas for supporting virtual early childhood programming during the pandemic and beyond. However, not all libraries may be able to create their own virtual content.  Maybe they can film some short videos but feel like it is not enough.   Or perhaps a library wants to supplement their own offerings with the plethora of material available elsewhere.  There are also marginalized and under-served groups that require libraries to work creatively to meet their needs. To that end, one portion of the Virtual Storytime Services Resource Guide will focus on “Connecting Communities to Other Virtual Storytime Providers,” items that will meet these needs.  The work group focused on resources offered in different languages, including American Sign Language, as well as websites that encourage parents to take on…

ALA Midwinter 2018

Community, equity, and storytimes #alamw19

This is the Midwinter session I was most excited for, and it did not disappoint! CiKeithia Pugh, from The Seattle Public Library, opened the session by reminding us that access and inclusion are not equity. It will take intentional, focused work to shift power to our communities. Pugh encouraged us to ask ourselves how we’re sharing power in our work. It’s something I’ll be reflecting on. As librarians, it falls to us to make sure that the things we say we value are reflected in practice. We need to be mindful of dominant power structures: how they affect our work, our own role as individuals connected to a powerful institution, the ways we cling to the power we hold. When we use data to create programs, are we evaluating what we’re not being told? Pugh encourages librarians to supplement every statistic with community-led data. It’s all a part of her…