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Youth/Adult Library Services

Resources for Public Library Youth Services Staff

Click HERE for the Summer Reading & Learning guide

Click HERE for the Social Emotional and Mindful Learning guide-Sensory Support Group

Click HERE for the Food Literacy guide

Click HERE for NH "Divisive Concepts" Guidance & Resources

Click HERE for Bobbi Slossar - Technology Guides

Outstanding Librarian Website

Outreach and collaborations to make you and your library outstanding

This website started as a home for resources following an Outreach and Collaboration presentation at School Library Journal's Leadership Basecamp at Simmons University, Boston Massachusetts in 2019. In 2020 the website grew as the pandemic made outreach libraries main method of service to their communities. 

A new project is actively using picture books to build bridges. The Welcoming Library is a pop-up community conversation about immigration. That conversation is driven by a collection of acclaimed immigration-themed picture books and their embedded discussion questions. Here’s some examples of the discussion questions affixed to the books’ endpapers:

From the first generation Vietnamese American Picture Book A DIFFERENT POND: The kids at school say that the father’s English sounds like a “thick, dirty river.”  The boy thinks his father’s English sounds like “gentle rain.” Why do the boy and his fellow students see the father differently?

From GOLDEN DOMES & SILVER LANTERNS: A MUSLIM BOOK OF COLORS: The girl and her mother read the Quran.  Are there books that you read with your family that offer lessons on being a better person?

FROM TIA ISA WANTS A CAR: The girl says, “soon is when our family will join us, so I know soon is a very long time.”  What do you think she means? Have you wanted something to happen “soon,” but it felt like a long time?

From MY TWO BLANKETS: The first time the girl in the park smiles and waves at Cartwheel [Cartwheel is a “new arrival” Somali girl], Cartwheel does not smile or wave back.  Imagine that you waved at someone new and they didn’t wave back. What are some reasons they might not wave back? Would you try again

The picture book collection, its pop-up display unit (with celebratory flags and banners), and programming and educational tools, packs into a crate and travels between schools, libraries, and community centers in a given region. The Welcoming Library invites readers of all ages to explore literature as a means to celebrate our commonalities and differences and to create an environment of welcoming. Is it working?  Here are the reader survey results so far:

67% inspired by the book or project to be actively welcoming in their communities.

100% saw similarities between the book’s family and their own.

100% learned something new about a featured culture or community.

100% want to read more books like these.

You will find this quote from poet Amit Majmudar, everywhere on the website:

“The true meeting takes place when the book opens, and a stranger reads about — and comprehends — a stranger.”

The Welcoming Library comes in two red totes. One contains 29 books with discussion questions. The second the Ambassador’s notebook, banner and easily assembled bookshelf. This special collection is available to be hosted at your library (schools included) or organization). To borrow, contact Deborah Dutcher, Library Services Consultant. The New Hampshire State Library Welcoming Library was made possible with support from the Hesed Foundation.

 

ALSC New American Toolkit

New Americans

Library Services to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers

February 2022

Toolkit

Encountering Hate Speech in the Library

Following an incident last week at the New Hanover County Public Library Pine Valley Branch in Wilmington, North Carolina where the Proud Boys protested a Pride Month storytime—from my counterpart Jasmine Rockwell at the NC State Library following her meeting with the library’s staff:

  • Understand whatever laws govern protests & share that with all library staff. Communicate with local law enforcement about what their role and capacity is by law should a protest take place at a library.  
  • Understand and make clear what all is library property and which might be more general public property, and which policies or local law govern which. This may also mean getting the city/county attorney involved to give an interpretation.
  • Ensure that all policies are linked to all calendar events. 
  • Have a program policy that reflects and corresponds to the collection development policy, and also has a challenge form. 

Here are some resources we gathered to share. Some of these might be familiar to you. 

ALA ODLOS Hate Crimes Resources (pg. 1): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hWCJBNxAz9GIAWHrCaXd8ljlwGFRaTNlngak4VkrFVc/edit

 

Manager’s Handbook Handling Traumatic Events: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/worklife/reference-materials/traumaticevents.pdf

Hateful Conduct in Libraries: Supporting Library Workers and Patrons: https://www.ala.org/advocacy/hatefulconduct

Supporting library staff

As with many other areas, staff support is based on both policy and practice. An organization committed to the well-being of its staff makes it clear that there is a difference between public service and public abuse.

Administrators, supervisors, and front-line workers should be empowered to set and oversee clear boundaries of acceptable behavior in the workplace, particularly when directed toward staff. Human Resources training should address those boundaries, how staff might re-assert them, or use strategies to disengage or seek other assistance if they feel threatened. Strategies should be established for staff to step in for or back up each other.

Despite the presence of thoughtful policies, things will still go wrong. This provides an opportunity to debrief the situation, check in with the feelings of staff about the incident, and develop new strategies.

Ongoing training should use real-life examples of microaggressions, harassment, and hateful conduct as a way to educate staff and work toward being more prepared for possible future incidents. Consult human resources to determine what trainings are required by your state and if there are any laws or regulations concerning staff member exemptions.

There are many free resources to continually learn about these issues. The section “Resources for Further Development” lists a few starting places. In addition, ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services offers presentations, workshops, and consultations for libraries looking to begin or deepen their work on equity, diversity, and inclusion issues. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom offers webinars and consultations for libraries looking for guidance on policy development or crisis issues.

Refer to the “Assistance and Consultation” section to learn more.

Supporting library staff

Encountering hate speech and hateful conduct, even if not directed at you, can have an adverse emotional and mental impact. Talking about the experience with colleagues or supervisors may help you process the incident, and it may also help the next person that encounters a similar situation. Management and administration should model that self-care is a priority in the workplace and encourage staff to practice this, as well. In the short-term after an incident, this may include actions such as encouraging the staff member(s) to take a mental health day, granting them an extension on a project, or personally checking in with individuals in your unit.

Colleagues should give each other space to voice their concerns. It’s likely that colleagues will have varying emotional responses to an incident; these responses should be validated and acknowledged, as they are informed by each person’s life experiences.

Additional resources:

Responding to and Preparing for Controversial Programs and Speakers Q&A https://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/controversialprogramsqa

 

Working with the Media: https://www.ala.org/tools/challengesupport/media

 

How to Respond to Challenges and Concerns About Library Resources: https://www.ala.org/tools/challengesupport/respond#:~:text=Listen%20thoughtfully%20and%20respectfully.,to%20agree%20with%20the%20individual

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the New Hampshire State Library.