Youth Services Leadership – Influence and Support

Session Description

Libraries are focused on being responsive to community needs and building programs and services in partnership with community members, including caregivers and youth. Community demographics are changing rapidly—highlighting the mismatch between youth life experiences and those of library staff they encounter. How are we changing our practices to support staff and influence change? What are the opportunities and the challenges? Join three youth services library leaders in an interactive session to explore these issues.

Bernie Farrell, Youth Services Coordinator, Hennepin County Library, Minnesota
Renee Grassi, Youth Services Manager, Dakota County Library, Minnesota
Kelsey Johnson-Kaiser, Youth Services Manager, St. Paul Public Library, Minnesota

You Look Like Me! Challenges, Strengths, and Opportunities for BIPOC Library Staff Working with Children

Session Description

In a field overwhelmingly staffed by white women, Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) library staff providing service to children have unique challenges, strengths, and opportunities. Panelists, representing a broad spectrum of job titles and work environments, will share their own experiences. This program is intended for BIPOC attendees, who will have opportunities to connect, share, and learn more about how to find support, pursue their own professional goals, and grow in the profession.

Adilene Estrada-Huerta, Bilingual Outreach Youth Services Librarian, Sacramento Public Library, California
Alia Jones, Sr. Library Services Assistant, The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County, Ohio
Ariana Sani Hussain, Teacher-Librarian, The Blake School, Minnesota
Hanna Lee, Youth Services Coordinator, First Regional Library, Mississippi

Universal Design for Learning and Storytime: An Inclusive Approach to Early Literacy at the Library

Session Description

Children’s librarians know the value of storytime for promoting early literacy growth in young children, and recent research continues to back this up. At the same time, other research points out that children with disabilities rarely attend storytime. This session will present evidence from empirical studies and use Universal Design for Learning to frame new ways for participants to build on their inclusive storytime strategies and encourage more participation from children with disabilities and their families.

Tess Prendergast, PhD, Lecturer in Librarianship, University of British Columbia
Melissa Pebly, EdD, Assistant Professor of Practice, Portland State University, College of Education, Department of Special Education
Milly Romeijn-Stout, PhD Candidate, University of Washington Information School

Diversity Needs Jewish Books: A Missing Piece of the Diversity Conversation

Session Description

The FBI reports that 58% of all religious hate crimes target Jewish people despite the fact that only 2% of America’s population identifies as Jewish. This hate can be fought with education and the building of empathy through literature. Jewish books are about far more than the Holocaust and the holidays. They provide windows and mirrors into many other cultures (not all Jews are white or European). Learn more about this often-misunderstood category of literature and how you can make it a part of your diverse collection.

Susan Kusel, Librarian, Temple Rodef Shalom Library
Rebecca Levitan, Librarian [Pikesville Branch], Baltimore County Public Library
Heidi Rabinowitz, Director, Feldman Children’s Library, Congregation B’nai Israel
Sylvie Shaffer, Librarian, Capitol Hill Day School