School Library Journal recently published the results of a survey asking librarians about diversity in their children’s and young adult book collections. The survey administrators defined a diverse collection as one with books that feature “protagonists and experiences involving under-represented ethnicities, disabilities, cultural or religious backgrounds, gender nonconformity, or LGBTQIA+ orientations.”
Image credit: School Library Journal
Out of the 1,156 school and public librarians who responded to the survey, 8 in 10 say that it is “very important” to develop a diverse book collection for children and teens. Nearly three-quarters (72%) consider it a personal mission to create a diverse collection for their patrons. Many librarians have institutional support as well – about half of respondents working in both public (54%) and school (50%) libraries have school- or district-wide collection development goals that focus on inclusive collections.
Librarians are putting their beliefs into practice when it comes to buying books for their collections. About two-thirds (68%) of respondents report purchasing more diverse children’s and young adult books in the past year than in previous years. Nearly all (98%) of the librarians who responded say that they are involved in the recommendation or purchasing process of children’s and young adult books for their collections, and more than 4 in 5 (84%) have the final say on which books are purchased.
While the respondents enjoy some power when it comes to diversifying their collections, it does not come without difficulty. More than 1 in 10 (13%) find it “difficult” or “very difficult” to find diverse children’s and young adult titles, particularly those featuring Native or Indigenous peoples, English Language Learners, and characters with disabilities. Aside from difficulty finding books, about 1 in 7 (15%) respondents say that they chose not to buy a book with diverse characters because of the potential that the book might be challenged.
New in our webinar training archive is Understanding Teens 101, with Catherine Boddie and Bridget Kiely, Young Adult Service Librarians from the Arapahoe Library District in Colorado. This video offers a crash course on understanding teen behavior and strategies for applying your know-how so all staff can offer the best teen services at your library. Catherine and Bridget touch on everything from adolescent neuroscience to behavioral issues. Whether you’re a teen expert or teen averse attend for some useful takeaways for your day to day work in the library.
Teens aged 12-18 can nominate their favorite titles to be considered as a 2019 Teens’ Top Ten nominee via the public nomination form. Book title nominations submitted in the current year will be used for consideration of the following year’s list of nominees. Teens can submit a book title now through January 1, 2019 to be included in the pool of the 2019 nominee candidates. For books to be eligible for consideration, they must be published between January 1– December 31, 2018.
Teen Read Week kicks off today with the theme “It’s Written in the Stars: READ!”
Wyoming’s libraries will celebrate Teen Read Week (October 7-13, 2018) with special events and programs spotlighting all the great resources and activities available at the library and to encourage teens from around the area to read for their enjoyment.
Teen Read Week is a time to celebrate reading for fun while encouraging teens to take advantage of reading in all its forms — books, magazines, e-books, audiobooks and more! It is also a great opportunity to encourage teens to become regular library users.
Teens, parents and other community members are invited to participate in special programs and events during Teen Read Week at their local Wyoming public library.
Parents of teens are also encouraged to celebrate Teen Read Week at home:
Set aside time each day for the family to read.
Give books or magazine subscriptions to your teen as a gift or reward.
Build an in-home library (thrift stores and yard sales offer an inexpensive way to do that).
Listen to audiobooks on trips.
Create a cozy reading corner somewhere in your home.
Use meal time to talk about books that you’re reading.
Parents and caregivers can be role models by making time to read, too.
Incorporate reading into teen chores, such as reading a recipe when cooking, reading instructions for how-to projects, reading sales fliers to develop a shopping list, and more.
Teen Read Week is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. It is held annually in October, the same week as Columbus Day. For more information, visit www.ala.org/teenread.
Does the little one have the sniffles and can’t go to the library? The Riverton Branch Library has you covered. Their children’s department has taken storytime online on their YouTube channel. They’ll post once a month a Toddler Move and Groove, and a Preschool Tales and Tunes. Enjoy their first two offerings below, and subscribe to their channel for future installments.
In November 2018, WebJunction will host a four-week online training program preparing up to 100 library staff to be facilitators who will guide their peers through the Supercharged Storytimes self-paced course, coming in October. This training program is a part of WebJunction’s updated Supercharged Storytimes for All project.
Learn how to lead a group of your staff, peers, or volunteers through the newly updated and expanded Supercharged Storytimes self-paced course (available in October). Supercharged Storytimes is a research-based program that helps storytime providers enhance children’s early literacy development through intentional emphasis on key early literacy concepts that promote learning.
Via August 2018’s The Scoop newsletter from the Idaho Commission for Libraries. The Scoop is a monthly e-mail newsletter containing fun, inspiring, and innovative ideas for library youth services. Subscribe to The Scoop to get it sent to your email inbox each month or via RSS.
Check out these great tips about serving diverse patrons in the library, written by librarians in the field for the Association for Library Services for Children (ALSC) Blog:
Did you miss Paige Bredenkamp’s Wyoming Library Association conference session on “Supporting Youth Services in Libraries?” Or were you there and just want another look at the information? Paige has her presentation online for you.
From the Idaho Commission for Libraries’s June The Scoop newsletter. Guess what? These are many of the same reasons Wyoming librarians provide Summer Reading learning opportunities. And we’re pretty sure 100% of the librarians in OUR state wanna change the world for the better, too!
The Incredibles are joining the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries nationwide to encourage the public to obtain a free library card as Honorary Chairs of Library Card Sign-up Month this September. The Incredibles will use their superpowers to remind families, students and people of all ages that signing up for a library card is a great step toward a truly super lifestyle.
Providing free access to books, e-books, databases, homework help, study spaces, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) programs, and more, a Wyoming public library card is one of the most cost-effective back-to-school supplies available. Library Card Sign-up Month is a time to highlight the supportive role libraries and librarians play in transforming lives and communities through education. Studies show that children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to utilize libraries as a source of lifelong learning.
Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, the ALA and libraries unite together in a national effort to ensure every child signs up for their own library card. For more information visit ala.org/librarycardsignup.