The Children's Services Division is offering membership scholarships to develop cultural and geographical diversity in our membership. CSD supports OLA's Equity, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. Our intention is to improve the recruitment and retention of members from diverse cultural/ethnic backgrounds and/or historically marginalized and underrepresented groups.
For more information and link to application go to our Scholarships page.
A few years ago, Martín Blasco from Washington County Cooperative Services (WCCLS) coordinated a group of staff from most of the member libraries to take a course offered by Library Journal called Diversity and Cultural Competency Training: Collections and Readers Advisory. This was before Covid, so we met as a group and discussed the class as we went along. (We even had SNACKS.) One aspect of this course dealt with how to do a diversity audit of a young adult collection. I am definitely not a diversity expert and I’m not a diversity audit expert. I am someone from a small, rural library who took a course and audited a collection, and I’d like to share some of what I took away from the experience.
Undertaking a diversity audit of your library collection can sound like a truly daunting, impossible task. In fact, it IS daunting to consider putting every title in your building under the intense scrutiny required by a diversity audit. Even in my little library, we have over 30,000 items. Fortunately, you don’t have to do the whole building and you don’t have to do it alone!
Before undertaking an audit of your collections, I think it’s important to know WHY you’re doing the audit and what you hope to do with the information. Knowing why you’re doing it can help to motivate you and help to focus your audit. Are there collections you are planning to refresh? Are there collections that you think need to be more diverse? Or is there a particular segment of your service population that you want to make sure you have relevant books for?
Setting up and conducting the audit was fairly simple for our library. We exported the collection data (Title, author, publication date) into an Excel spreadsheet. We then added columns after the title to enter a “1” for each type of diversity represented by the book. Similarly, the math was pretty simple. If you have 100 books and 20 of them are categorized as diverse, you have a 20% diversity rating. For our library, it made sense to print the spreadsheet and check the boxes by hand. Then a different person updated the spreadsheet with the notes and did the math. You could also split the collection into sections and share it among different staff. It’s a great project to work on a little bit at a time, when you have a little down time. It took me about 6 weeks to complete an audit of about 2000 books
Going forward, instead of doing more diversity audits of different collections, we decided to focus on making sure that every time we order, we do so with diversity in mind. In this way, we can address diversity across all of the library’s collections on a regular basis. For most books in the library, the time of purchase is when we are most involved with the content of the book, so that makes it a perfect time to address its diversity (or lack thereof). Our main selector specifically looks for diverse book lists and regularly uses content from the We Need Diverse Books blog and Lee & Low Books.
The final piece that we added to our collections procedures is to take diversity into mind when weeding. If a high-quality diverse title hasn’t circulated, we give it more time than we would a non-diverse title, and we check to see if we’ve been putting it on display, including it on reading lists and otherwise giving it a good chance to circulate. On the flip side, we try to weed books with harmful stereotypes or outdated, overused tropes as soon as possible.
For more information:
Here are links to different ways to make kaleidoscopes:
Science Works: How to Build a Kaleidoscope
The Ashland Science Works museum has great DYI instructions for a kaleidoscope. This project uses a toilet paper roll and aluminum foil (or shiny cardstock). They put translucent beads into a plastic bag and rubber band it to the roll. This website also explores the science of the kaleidoscope.
Science for Kids: How to Make a Kaleidoscope
This method uses a toilet paper roll and mylar sheets. The author had children draw on a round piece of paper and uses a straw to attach it to the roll. She paints her roll to beautify it. There is a video of her making the kaleidoscope.
DIY Kaleidoscope Craft for Kids
This method uses a paper towel roll and aluminum foil. The author cuts clear plastic circles from a salad greens lid. She glues the clear plastic circle to the open end of the paper towel roll. She inserts translucent beads into the tube and puts the second clear plastic circle into the roll. Then, she inserts aluminum foil covered cardboard. To make it look pretty, she attaches a piece of colorful paper onto the paper towel roll with tape.
Pairing STEAM with Stories: 46 Hands-On Activities for Children by Elizabeth McChesney (Ordered from the State Library of Oregon) Kaleidoscopes: page 12-13
This book has directions for a kaleidoscope that only uses mylar glued to cardboard. The author draws a picture on white paper and tapes it to the kaleidoscope. This version is simpler than the others because it does not place the mylar in a tube.
Here are my tips after trying several ways to make a kaleidoscope:
Join us for the Oregon Library Association, Children's Services Division (CSD) virtual winter 2021 board meeting. Here is the link to the Zoom meeting. You must be an OLA member to access it. We start at 2:00 pm PST and would love to have you join in the conversation.
Here is our rough draft agenda:
Spring Workshop/Training ideas
Brainstorming Spring fundraiser
ORCA committee members needed from CSD membership
CSD Communications/Web Editor updates
Hope to see you there!
The CSD board
The Oregon Reader’s Choice Award (ORCA) was founded in 2010. The award is intended to be a fun and exciting way for Oregon youth in grades 3-12 to become enthusiastic and discriminating readers. During the course of the school year, Oregon students choose their favorite book in a real-life democratic process. Books must be nominated for inclusion on the ORCA ballot. In order to be considered, the book needs to have a copyright date of three years prior to when the ballots are announced. Oregon students, teachers, and librarians are all able to nominate books.
The nominations are reviewed by a committee of librarians and educators. The committee creates the final ballots based upon a number of criteria, including literary quality, creativity, reading enjoyment, and reading level.
The role of the ORCA committee is to read titles and contribute titles to the division lists of potential nominees. The bulk of committee work is done now -- January - April. This year, the committee is considering books with a 2019 publication date. Committee members commit to a two-year term with the option of a second term. There are openings for CSD, OYAN, and OASL members at the 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 reading levels.
Interested? Please contact Lori Lieberman, ORCA Chair for 2020-2022
National Day of Racial Healing is on January 19, 2021. Check out this link to a WebJunction article that includes 9 ways your library and community can recognize the event. The ALA has put out a Library Action Kit for ideas and activities. Here is a booklist from the Center for the Study of Multicultural Literature of their best books of 2020. This blog post by Youth Services Shout Out has a wonderful list about race, justice, kids and libraries. Here is the link to the Heal Our Communities website.
Join the Community Conversation
Join us on ALA's social media channels on January 19 for a conversation around the National Day of Racial Healing and add to the conversation using #LibrariesRespond and #NDORH. As a community, we'd like to talk about:
If you're looking for ways to get started, consider exploring the Race Matters: Organizational Self-Assessment.
ALA_ALSC: Each year the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children's books, recordings, and digital media.
American Indians in Children's Literature: Established in 2006 by Dr. Debbie Reese of Nambé Pueblo, American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) provides critical analysis of Indigenous peoples in children's and young adult books. Dr. Jean Mendoza joined AICL as a co-editor in 2016. Here is a link to the blog with 2020 best books by native authors/illustrators.
Bank Street College of Education: The Children’s Book Committee was founded more than 100 years ago to help parents, teachers, and librarians choose the books that children will find captivating and transforming. Every year it produces comprehensive annotated book lists for children aged infant through 16. Their list of 2020 best books is organized by age. One of the few lists that recommends books for children 5 and under in its own category.
Booklist: The December 15 Starred Review issue is free and open to all. It can serve as an invaluable overview and checklist of books not to be missed for 2020. Youth starred reviews start on page 56. Here it is as a PDF.
Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature: A curated list of best multicultural books of 2020 from Dr. Claudette Shackelford McLinn, Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada, Lettycia Terrones, Dr. Sujin Huggins, and Dr. Naomi Caldwell. Here is is as a PDF.
Chicago Public Library: A team of librarians select the best books each year. The lists are in bibliocommons. Two added bonuses, the board book list and Spanish language book list round out the selections.
The Cybil Awards: The Cybil Awards combine literary merit with popular appeal.
Deschutes Public Library: Deschutes Public Library suggests their favorite 2020 reads, perfect for gifting to children. They also have gift guides for teens and adults.
Goodreads: The Goodreads Choice Awards represent the votes of readers. There are two children's categories: Middle Grade and Children's and Picture Books.
Happy Valley Library: The staff at the Happy Valley Library in Happy Valley, Oregon compiled their favorite books of 2020.
The Horn Book: The editors and reviewers of the Horn Book select their picks for the best books of 2020. There are thirty books that "offer comfort, hope, inspiration, laughter, escapism, realism, community, sustenance, challenge, warmth, and more. "
Jane Addams Children's Book Award: From the website, "the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award annually recognizes children’s books of literary and aesthetic excellence that effectively engage children in thinking about peace, social justice, global community, and equity for all people. A national committee of members with passion for and expertise in children’s literature and social justice is responsible for making the choices each year."
Kirkus: Best picture books of 2020. Best middle grade books of 2020.
Multnomah County Library: MCL has a fantastic list of books for 2020. You will need to select kids to narrow your search to children's materials. The list has the same feel as the NPR list. It shows the book covers and when you hover over the cover, it gives a brief description of the work.
Nerdy Book Club: This blog shares their love of children's and young adult books. Their tenth annual best of the year recommendations include literature for early readers, nonfiction picture books, fiction picture books, and graphic novels.
The New York Public Library: Their expert librarians selected the year's best books for kids, teens, and adults.
New York Times: The 25 best children's books of 2020 from the editors of the NY Times.
NPR: Each fall, they reach out to their staffers and trusted critics and ask them to nominate their favorite books of the year. They respond with hundreds of titles. Then, the editors and producers at NPR Books sit down with a huge spreadsheet of responses; they select favorites, resolve duplications, note omissions and consider the overall mix and balance of books recommended. This link is to their kids' book recommendations for 2020.
Publisher's Weekly: Curated from from Publishers Weekly’s reviews of children’s and young adult books published in 2020, their selections for the top 50 books of the year include picture books and graphic novels, fiction and nonfiction, debuts and bestsellers for readers of all ages. Their list is arranged by picture books, middle readers and young adults.
Salem Public Library: Library staff at the Salem Public Library in Salem, Oregon put together a graphic of the best books of 2020 for pre-k to 6th grade.
School Library Journal: Lots of hours going over those starred reviews. They also have a PDF version.
Washington Post: Authors and reviewers share their favorite middle grade, nonfiction and picture books.
100 Scope Notes: Travis Jonker, a school librarian, posts his favorite books of the year on the School Library Journal blog about children's literature.
Korie Buerkle's acceptance speech.
For more information about Korie's award, please go to the CSD's Lampman Award page.
Hi folks, it’s the time of year when we try our best to think of others. Children's services staff have been working above and beyond in this difficult year. Nominate one of them for the 2021 Lampman Award. Or do you have a favorite Oregon children's author who deserves the award?
The award is given in memory of Evelyn Sibley Lampman (1907-1980), noted Oregon teacher, journalist, and author of children’s books.
The Evelyn Sibley Lampman Award was established in 1982 to honor a living Oregon author, librarian, or educator who has made a significant contribution to Oregon in the fields of children’s literature and library services. It is awarded annually by the Children’s Services Division of the Oregon Library Association.
Submit your nominations here: firstname.lastname@example.org
CSD Lampman chair
ALA_PLA Free Webinar, Libraries & Public Media: Family Engagement to Advance Young Children’s Computational Thinking
A free webinar from ALA_PLA for libraries interested in advancing young children's computational thinking with programming for families.
Sign up here: https://wgbh.zoom.us/.../tJ0pdeCoqD0pHdeLFdEA3V1...
American Library Association
Don't miss a beat! Stay current with kids-lib, CSD's electronic mailing list.