November/December Youth News

November/December Youth News

YouthShare: News You Can Use

by Katelyn Patterson

 

Summer Reading Program Updates

What better time to plan your summer than in the dead of winter! You are probably aware that theme of the 2017 Collaborative Summer Library Program manual is “Build A Better World.” I am quite excited about this theme as I think there are lots of possibilities, especially for STEM programs. Kwame Alexander will be the 2017 National Summer Reading Champion. You can find information on the 2017 Teen Video Challenge here.

CTLS will be offering a combination Summer Reading Program workshop and Youthshare at several locations around the state. We are currently working out dates and locations and will be sharing those soon.

The Texas State Library and Archives will be providing a webinar on the Teen Manual on January 5th. You can learn more about that here.

I will highlight an activity from this year’s manual here every month. Keep an eye out for our announcement of dates and locations for our face-to-face workshop to help get you prepared for your best summer yet!

Haul Out the Holly?

It’s that time of year again! “When the world falls in love,” sings Frank Sinatra. Does your library get festive around this time with decorations and special programs? Even though we are in the throes of the (my personal favorite) holiday season, I would like to give you an alternative perspective to consider. In the future, consider going holiday free.

I know what you are thinking. No Santa visit? No special storytime? No Christmas tree in the lobby? No fun Christmas craft? Yes, that is exactly what I am suggesting.

To state why very succinctly, these kinds of programs exclude individuals, specifically those whose religion doesn’t celebrate the day or those who practice no religion at all. And despite the argument that Christmas has become largely secular, this belief varies greatly from individual to individual.

Perhaps no one in your community has made a complaint about this before. Consider that no one has complained because they don’t bother coming to programs in December because they expect to be excluded. Perhaps you don’t know anyone in your community that might be offended by these symbols. Though we strive to know our communities, there is no possible way we can know everyone and their preferences. Perhaps you want to reflect what the majority of your patrons want. While it is most likely safe to assume that only a handful of individuals in your community might be excluded from a special Christmas program, we have always been in the business of fighting for inclusivity for everyone. Simply revisiting ALA’s Library Bill of Rights reminds us of this. In fact, for every plan/program/decision that gets made at your library all year round, take a moment to ask yourself and others on staff, “How could someone be excluded by this choice?”

There are ample opportunities for our patrons to revel in the joys of the holidays. Some radio stations play nothing but Christmas carols. Decorations are at every turn. Special holiday events are happening every day during December in our communities. I know because my calendar is full!

Instead, consider focusing on the broader themes of the season. Decorate with snowflakes or have an adult coloring program with these beautiful snowflake coloring pages from Dover. Offer cookies, hot cocoa, and cider. Or have a program on making upcycled gift wrap, cards, and gifts.

Consider making the library a welcoming place for everyone during the holidays. For some, the public library might be the only place they can go to be free of the festivities.

Further reading:

YouthLinks

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s