There Will Be Laughter in My Library

So this week marks my first week working in a library. Cue creepy cheering people:

Since it is a youth programming position, I’ve decided to spend some time focusing on ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) in the hope that what I learn I can put into practice in my work environment.

ALSC currently has approximately 60 active committees broken down into seven groups ranging from media studies to book awards to public awareness. Of most notable interest is the Newberry award committee. Committees are formed by ALSC members, who must first be ALA members (side note: there is a student rate for both ALA and ALSC membership).

ALSC has a variety of reading lists available on their website. Since we’re interested in implementing more STEAM programming in my work library, I checked out their list of recommended STEAM books. The list even had some bi-lingual titles en Español y Inglés.

CAL From

Children and Libraries, ALSC’s journal, (also called CAL, for those Doctor Who fans out there), focuses on showcasing “current scholarly research and practice in library service to children”. While non-ALA members are not able to access articles more recent than five journals back, the wonderful Rebecca Crown Library holds a subscription, through which I was able to access the newest journals.

The articles span a wide range of topics — according to CAL’s policies and procedures, “ The text normally takes the form of original articles, bibliographic essays, presentations from division programs, and columns from division committees. The articles may be refereed or solicited by the editor [Refereed meaning submitted articles are double-blind read by two reviewers to determine publication].”

The most recent fall edition (it’s fall already?!) focused on diversity in our libraries, not just on the side of the patron/member, but also within the workers at libraries. One article in particular, Allie Jane Bruce’s On Being White, pointed out that, while most librarians (especially youth librarians) are white females, we need to be able to teach diversity to the children we work with through books and programs as well as be open to diversity ourselves. It offered ideas to get started on this trajectory, like attending diversity training and participating in conversations on race.

The summer edition was more of a loose collection of articles, ranging from social networks to library gardening programs to LGBT family story time ideas. Whatever Youth Services information you’re looking for, CAL is definitely at the forefront of researching new library technology and programs.