When I present sessions, I like to begin by using opening activities that show commonality among participants and allow space for relationships to grow. One such activity is a simple invitation for participants to share a recipe for cooking either beans or rice. Beans and rice are some of the most common foods on the planet and used in a variety of dishes in many different cultures. Beans and rice are so widely recognized and readily available it’s easy to forget they are often a primary food source. For just one moment, imagine you are the caregiver of a family who has juggled competing interests, figured out transportation, time, and energy obstacles to attend story time at the public library. The stay-and-play activity after storytime involves playing in enough rice to feed everyone in the room. It’s not a choking hazard, it engages the senses, it’s relatively inexpensive, and it…
Tag: Underserved populations
Programming with Purpose through Community Engagement
For those looking to program with purpose, the entire process begins and ends with your community. Similarly to how we perform diversity audits on our collections, it’s important to also take a critical eye to the programs and services we offer. As professionals we understand that every community is different and has different needs, and that our offerings ought to be tailored to those needs. It can be easy to go on “auto-pilot” when it comes to programming, especially when we have recurring programs such as LEGO® Clubs or storytimes, however we should remember to look at all programs from time to time to evaluate their effectiveness. Programming with purpose means that ideally every program we offer has some kind of goal for our community behind it. The first two questions I always ask myself when planning programs are: 1. Which population in my community am I serving/who is this…
Balancing Advocacy With Self Care
Advocating for initiatives, programs, services, and outreach to underserved populations can be emotionally and physically draining. It is the extra effort we do to lead with equity in mind. Are you overwhelmed by advocacy? Read our blog post about advocacy tips. Today, our 2021-2022 members of the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee would like to celebrate the end of the committee year with self care tips and reflections. Do you have some tips to share too? Feel free to use the comments to add your own!
ToolKit: New Americans- Social Work & Libraries
“Whole Person Librarianship” Libraries in underserved communities have been known for being safe spaces, particularly for the underserved population. Usually, these safe spaces are jewels for New Americans. As we all know, libraries provide so many of the resources needed for New Americans to become acclimated to their new home. As a librarian or a library worker, how many times we have helped patrons find resources for health and food benefits, child care, employment training and etc.? Too many times to count. As a librarian or a library worker, it seems to come with the job. However, outside of those patrons who may only need help with an application, we may also encounter those patrons who may need medical attention or are facing some type of trauma. These situations are sensitive and may need the expertise of a professional. Here is where we are able to connect all of the…
Toolkit: New Americans – Read Alouds
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.
Toolkit for New Americans: Interview with Nadege Vilsaint, Executive Director for Prosperity Social Community Development Group, Inc.
Image courtesy of Nadege Vilsaint
Toolkit: New Americans
The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoted to creating vibrant, dynamic toolkits that provide ALSC members with up-to-date resources for working with traditionally marginalized populations. Each section of these toolkits 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. The focus of this year’s toolkit is on serving children and their caregivers who are new to America. There are approximately 44 million people living in America who were born in different countries. People identifying as new Americans may fall into many categories, some of which may be: refugee, asylum seekers, migrants, or immigrants. As our understanding of different needs increases, libraries are recognizing an important role in supporting new American communities. These supports may include specialized resources,…
Serving Underserved Communities: EDI in Action
This year, the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee transitioned our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) goal. We started with providing authentic resources, then moved to empowering library (and library adjacent) staff to hone, develop, and take action on their advocacy skills. Above all, we’re providing support and different ways to interact with our resources, like presentations, chats, and our monthly blog posts. Over the past 18 months, we developed vibrant toolkits to help connect library communities with resources for different underserved populations.