Friday, August 28, 2015

Special Populations Toolkit from ALSC

Gay dads and child
How does your library welcome LGBTQ families?
The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) has developed a FREE online toolkit by the Library Service to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers (LSSPCC) Committee.

As reported on the ALSC Blog, "This toolkit offers a wide variety of information about serving many different types of groups in your library community, including homeschoolers, Spanish-speaking families, LGBTQ families, children with autism, children with incarcerated parents, children with print disabilities, and more.  While this is by no means an exhaustive list of special populations that are served in all of our library communities, it’s a great place to start."
Hand-holding through prison cell bars
How might your library better serve
children with incarcerated parents?

This toolkit is a great resource for library staff working with children and their families. Renee Grassi, an Illinois public librarian and occasional presenter in Wisconsin (here and here), describes the features of the toolkit developed by her fellow LSSPCC committee members:

"In this toolkit, you will find a brief introduction in each section, which will provide librarians and library workers with context and background information needed before beginning to serve these groups in your community.  In addition, each section has a list of subject headings and keywords that will help make catalog and online searching on this topic a lot easier.  We have included short lists of subject area experts, if you are interested in connecting with people in our field and finding out more about that particular area of outreach.  We have even included information about existing partnerships, which are examples of the successes some libraries have found connecting with local organizations to serve these special populations. There are numerous lists of additional print and digital resources for further learning beyond the toolkit itself." (Source: ALSC Blog)

Read more about the LSSPCC committee here:

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team