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The 2019 American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Conference was held in Louisville, Ky., in November. While the weather in Louisville was decidedly frosty, the atmosphere in the convention center was warm and enthusiastic.
As the central event from a series of programs focusing on South Asian culture, we presented an Interfaith Discussion about Holy Books from different religions, hosted at the Sikh Temple in Palatine. Speakers from Buddhist (Tripitaka), Christian (Bible), Hindu (Gita), Jewish (Torah), Muslim (Qur'an) and Sikh (Guru Granth Sahib) faiths discussed their holy books, with a question-and-answer session afterward.
PRISM is a monthly program aimed toward LGBTQ+ teens and straight allies in our county with the goals of providing a safe place for all. Our young adults are given the opportunity to create their own supportive, inclusive community in an area which often denies such.
PRISM allows teens, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity, to connect and discuss issues that are relevant to their lives in a relaxing, social setting; the program empowers teens to advocate for LGBTQ+ equality and justice.
Let me start by saying that I am white. I am privileged beyond belief. I have never had to be afraid of being judged, dismissed or killed because of the color of my skin.
I feel too ignorant to speak on something as important as racism, and I want to stay in my lane. But I feel that for libraries to remain silent on what is going on in the world is to be complicit. That goes for tiny, rural libraries too.
Library workers are invited to apply for the American Library Association’s Great Stories Club series on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT), a thematic reading and discussion program that engages underserved teens through literature-based library outreach programs and racial healing work.
Last fall, we attended the School Library Journal Leadership Summit in Brooklyn, N.Y. The theme of the conference was “Make Good Trouble.” During that whirlwind weekend of learning, we attended a breakout session with Cicely Lewis, the school librarian who started the movement known as Read Woke.
According to an article Ms. Lewis wrote for School Library Journal, woke books:
In honor of Black History Month in February, the Portland Library held an all-ages event with screenings, games and activities celebrating black superheroes. We screened episodes of “Static Shock,” a TV show from the early '00s that featured a black superhero, and had an array of games, coloring pages and a book display.
We have held the event for the past four years, and it has grown in popularity each time.
Our library has a collection of American Girl Dolls and a multicultural collection with artifacts from all over the world. Both circulating collections are very popular.
We decided to create a program linking the artifacts to the historical American Girl dolls based on the characters’ causes, the beliefs they stood for, and what their corresponding books are about.
ALA will join the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and organizations across the country in observing the 2019 National Day of Racial Healing on Tuesday, Jan. 22. On that day, thousands will celebrate our common humanity and take collective action toward a more just and equitable world. (Read the proclamation by ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo.)
Since January 2015, the Allegheny County (Pa.) Library Association has allowed children to check out American Girl dolls, along with educational pamphlets about the time period they represent. The dolls come with clothes, hairbrushes, books, a carrying case and a journal where users can write about their experiences with the dolls.
In this free, 60-minute webinar, presenters will discuss the Great Stories Club program and application process, in advance of the July 9 application deadline. Learn more about the Great Stories Club.
Webinar topics will include:
ALA invites libraries to apply for a pilot of the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Great Stories Club, a thematic reading and discussion program series that will engage underserved teens through literature-based library outreach programs and racial healing work.
The TRHT GSC is supported by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.