gameboard

Last week in the first post in this month’s YALSAblog Professional Learning series on working with teens at risk, I posted a set of resources to read, listen to, and view. This week it’s time to start a discussion about working with teens at risk AND steps to take in order to work with teens at risk.  

One of the barriers I hear from teen librarians is they feel they don’t have the support from their libraries to go outside of the library and provide library services and services and programs to teens at risk, nor do some of the libraries have in their strategic plan or priorities to focus on providing services/programs to these populations.  Reading and learning more about what the Madison Public Library is doing specifically with teens who are incarcerated with the Making Justice program really made me think how a library is recognizing a marginalized population that is limited to services and programming and bringing those services and programs in.  With the institution as a whole acknowledging and focusing services and programs specifically to this population says a lot about how it feels about working with teens at risk as well as promoting and using this program as a model.

This week let’s talk about this:

  • What barriers might you face within your library to focus services on working with teens at risk either in the library or outside the library? Maybe your barrier is that you are interested in working with working with teens at risk and don’t have administrative support or don’t know even where to start.
  • What did the resources from last week get you thinking about in relation to those barriers?
  • What are some examples of work people are doing in their libraries with teens who are at risk? Is it something that your library acknowledges, recognizes and supports (is outreach and working with teens at risk in your library’s strategic plan for example or a specific focus for your library?)
  • What questions or comments do you have from what others are writing?

It would be great to have a discussion on this topic, so feel free to post your own thoughts as well as replying to others.

  1. What kind of outreach services do you provide for teens?

I’m one of three School Outreach Librarians (plus our Coordinator), which means I am a liaison between Brooklyn PreK-12 school communities and Brooklyn Public Library.  Specifically, I focus on the eastern neighborhoods of Brooklyn (including East New York, Brownsville, Bushwick, and Canarsie).  A large part of my job is devoted to working with schools enrolled in the MyLibraryNYC program, a collaboration with the NYC Department of Education.

Our outreach to teens involves a variety of programs and services, including in-class lessons on research methods, booktalks, using digital and print resources, and accessing job and career assistance through the library.  I consider students, families/caregivers, and faculty to be part of the school community; taking a holistic approach to outreach is essential because outreach to one part of the community informs the whole.

I’ve been in my current role as School Outreach Librarian for only six months, but previously I was a Young Adult Librarian at Brooklyn Public Library’s New Lots branch in East New York.  My time there helped prepare me for school outreach, especially because I still work within that same and surrounding neighborhoods.  I love to build partnerships with other departments internally, as well as outside organizations.  While at New Lots, I hosted The Octavia Project’s inaugural free month-long summer workshop for young women (including trans*, genderfluid, and questioning folks, etc.) ages 13-18 that focused on STEAM skill-building.  I also programmed regular weekly visits from Protecting the East, (a project within the CBO, United Community Centers), that does outreach surrounding HIV education and prevention, and sexual health generally, in addition to training peer educators.  One of the last connections I forged before leaving the branch was with a local family shelter who hosted a weekly drop-in “teen summit” to provide general support to teens in and out of the shelter.  I also put together a deposit collection of books that were delivered to the shelter as a temporary collection to be used by shelter residents.

  1. Describe a day in the life of you providing outreach.

The stock answer is true: there is no typical day.  I could be teaching in-class workshops, training teachers during their professional development period, and representing our team at parent/teacher conferences and education fairs, to name a few common occurrences.  Specifically, here are a few snapshots of things I could be doing on any given day to provide outreach to teens:  visiting a non-secure juvenile detention facility to give a one-on-one consultation to a student who will soon be re-entering the community so he knows about the resources and services that Brooklyn Public Library can offer him; designing a workshop on comics and storytelling for middle schoolers with Interference Archive, for Cypress Hills Community School’s annual Write to Read Day; hosting a professional development workshop for educators on teaching LGBTQIA+ topics in the classroom and incorporating them into the school community.

  1. What resources would you recommend for someone new to outreach to look for ideas for inspiration as well as best practices?

The best way to learn about outreach is to jump in and do outreach.  But, there are certainly some great resources on which I rely.  Media scholar, danah boyd’s, blog and her book It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens are essential reading for anyone working with teens.  At the Intersections: A Collaborative Resource on LGBTQ Youth Homelessness report shines a light on the connection between youth homelessness and teens’ personal identities.  Finally, half of doing outreach is being knowledgeable about available resources and how they can be accessed, empowering teens by letting them know their individual rights and how to be their own advocates.  The US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights website is a go-to resource in this capacity. The department’s mission is “to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence through vigorous enforcement of civil rights in our nation’s schools.”  The site has information on students’ rights, as well as ways to file a discrimination/harassment complaint, and resources for community engagement.  They have materials in many languages.

  1. What are some of your favorite things you have heard from teens while providing outreach services?

One 9th grader told me my last name sounded like a creature from Harry Potter.  I received a thank you card from a reluctant reader who told me she was grateful for my recommendation of the graphic novel version of Coraline (by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Craig Russell) because she doesn’t like to read but she now reads it every day, and she was excited that I was able to determine what kind of book she would like to read based on her interests.  Many teens often tell me they had no idea the library had more than just books, and that always makes me feel like I’m doing my job.

bookriot_bkmatch_crop (3)

gameboard

Welcome to the second in YALSA’s new monthly professional learning series. Each month we’ll highlight a topic and give readers the chance to learn about it as well as discuss it with others. Here’s how it works:

  • On the first of each month the YALSA Blog will post an overview of the topic of the month. That overview will include links to resources to read, watch, listen to, etc.
  • If you are interested in participating in the learning during the month, comment on the initial blog post to say something like, “yes, I’m in.”
  • Each week the facilitator of the topic – that’s me this month – will check-in with participants with a post that poses questions and helps to focus conversation on the topic.
  • Participants can converse with others about the topic by commenting on those posts.

We hope this is a low-stress way to learn something new or expand your knowledge on a topic. There is no pressure, just a desire to learn and discuss your learning.

Onto this month’s theme – Working with teens who may be at risk

In 2013 YALSA published the Future of Library Services For and With Teens: A Call to Action. That report, based on a year of research, prodded library staff working with teens to think differently about the teens they serve (and don’t serve) and think more broadly about who they are, where they are and what their needs may be.  Like the Future’s Report itself, this isn’t something that just happens, it takes time, conversations with your colleagues, really looking at your community and also thinking outside the box. 

The resources below should help you to begin thinking differently about your services for and with teens. It’s up to you what you read and/or watch. Pick and choose from the selections as a way to get started and to focus on what you think is most useful. You may make your way through them all, you may not. I’ve included some ideas of what to consider while you read or view so as to help provide context and focus.

Definition of “at risk youth” There are a lot of definitions of “at risk” youth and they can be loaded as well as sounding negative toward youth.  A broad definition can be that at risk teens can be at risk for not completing high school, may struggle socio economically, homeless, involved in drugs and/or alcohol, in foster care, court involved and each of these can put them at further risk and trauma.

Read More →

“Challenge yourself at #PLA2016 to be extraordinary because extraordinary libraries
create extraordinary communities.”  This was the theme for the bi-annual conference and it seemed to have genuinely expressed just that.

I began the conference by leading a preconference titled “Emerging Adults in Our Libraries: Who are They and Where do we Find Them?” and while the theme doesn’t specifically pertain to teen services I think a lot of teen librarians (and this was part of the impetus for the research for the presentation) will attest to the reality that this is something they see and think a lot about with serving teens; what happens to them in terms of services and programs after they “age out” of teen services?  This was a central focus of the research that myself and three other librarians embarked upon in 2015 by launching a nation wide survey into the work libraries are doing with and for emerging adults (ages 18-25/30).  The presentation at PLA introduced our research findings, had participants do an activity based on real life scenarios we heard from librarians with our research, participants shared out possible solutions and then an expert panel spoke about the work they are doing with emerging adults and their families as well.  Tomas Mejia, Director of Migrant Education at the Department of Education, Colorado, Clayton Gonzalez, Director of Programs, Urban Peak (a Denver, Colorado nonprofit that provides a full convergence of services for youth age 15 through 25 experiencing homelessness or at risk for becoming homeless) and Alberto Pellicer, Early Literacy Librarian, Denver Public Library.  A blog has been created that includes information from the preconference, articles about this population, outreach to this population, and opportunities for other librarians to share the work they are doing with this population.

The Bubbler @ Madison Public Libraries: A System-Wide Approach to Learning through Making was a great introduction into the work that Madison, Wisconsin Public Library is doing with and for peoples of all ages with technology programming, DIY programs, an artist in residence program and more.  The Bubbler is a program and not a specific space, the programs take place in the Central Library, the 7 branches, schools, juvenile justice centers and in the community.  There is a BIG focus on this kind of work with teens in schools, in the library and in the juvenile justice system and this is a library recognized effort.  Making Justice  is a community-based learning program for court-involved teens that includes weekly workshops and an artist-in-residence opportunity.  They are doing all kinds of programming opportunities for teens involved in the juvenile justice system with music programming, bringing in hand drawn animation stations and more.  The Bubbler is through an IMLS and NEA grants. Check out the Teen Bubbler site.

making justice

I visited the Denver Public Library and had a chance to see the Idea Lab in action during time for teens in the space; Monday through Friday 3:00-6:00 pm.  The SM Energy ideaLAB is a makerspace and digital media lab at the Central Library. With equipment and software, people can make videos, games, music, art, crafts, and more. The lab is free to anyone – no library card necessary!  Not too many barriers for teens to use the space in terms of not having a library card, no problem.

Sustainable Connected Learning for Youth focused on the initiative that the Cuyahoga County Library System has rolled out as a pilot in five locations with Connected Learning. The Information and Technology Department spearheaded this initiative by training staff in the focus areas of Connected Learning as well as provided ideas and worked with staff in identifying program ideas like STEAM programming, mentoring/social component and on the fly programming.

The article in School Library Journal in March 2016 introduced some of us to the work Denver Public Library is doing with asset mapping and I joined the session, Teen Asset Mapping: A Community Development Approach to Teen Services Expansion to learn more about what they are doing.  The Director of Denver Public Library and a staff consisting of librarians (one being the only Teen Librarian on the staff at DPL) and library associates worked tirelessly on this project beginning in 2013 with the idea that they weren’t providing teen services and wanted to but what would that look like in a city with a strong number of organizations that do provide teen services/programs.  The idea was to identify what the assets for teens are in Denver; this would be outside library organizations and find out what exactly they are doing with and for teens.  They developed questions and interviewed over 40 organizations and through the responses created a list of categories like juvenile justice system, teen parents, homeless youth, along with services/programs being provided.  What came out of the research was a better understanding of what services/programs there were in Denver and what services/programs weren’t being offered and what needs there may be.  The staff at DPL did an incredible amount of work on this and they are accessible; contact them through the link above as well as check out the resources they have available for more in depth information.

The American Library Association (ALA) defines outreach as providing library services and programs outside the walls of the library to underserved and underrepresented populations; populations such as new and non-readers, LBGT teens, teens of color, poor and homeless teens, and teens who are incarcerated. As these populations are often marginalized and underserved, it is crucial for libraries to recognize these populations and provide services and programs to them where they are.

The President of YALSA, Candice Mack, is focusing her year as President with an initiative, “3-2-1 Impact: Inclusive and Impactful Teen Services,” which will focus on building the capacity of libraries to plan, deliver and evaluate programs and services for and with underserved teen populations.  Visit YALSA’s wiki to find and share information about serving diverse teens and building cultural competence.

Each month I will profile a teen librarian or staff working in teen services providing outreach services and programs outside the walls of the library to underserved and underrepresented teens. The purpose is for us to learn, connect, network and share with each other the crucial work we are doing in this area.

This month I interview Pamela McCarter, Outreach Specialist for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

Pamela McCarter 2

Read More →

The American Library Association (ALA) defines outreach as providing library services and programs outside the walls of the library to underserved and underrepresented populations; populations such as new and non-readers, LBGT teens, teens of color, poor and homeless teens, and teens who are incarcerated. As these populations are often marginalized and underserved, it is crucial for libraries to recognize these populations and provide services and programs to them where they are.

The President of YALSA, Candice Mack, is focusing her year as President with an initiative, “3-2-1 Impact: Inclusive and Impactful Teen Services,” which will focus on building the capacity of libraries to plan, deliver and evaluate programs and services for and with underserved teen populations.  Visit YALSA’s wiki to find and share information about serving diverse teens and building cultural competence.

Each month I will profile a teen librarian or staff working in teen services providing outreach services and programs outside the walls of the library to underserved and underrepresented teens. The purpose is for us to learn, connect, network and share with each other the crucial work we are doing in this area.

This month will be a different focus where I interview Kim Dare who was the YALSA Cultural Competence Task Force Chair 2014-2015. How can the priorities of the YALSA Culural Task Force be brought into the conversation of outreach and are there things that can be helpful when thinking about working with underserved and underrepresented populations?

What does the Cultural Competence Task Force focus on? What are its priorities?

The idea for the Cultural Competence Task Force was born in March 2014 based on findings from The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action. The YALSA Board of Directors realized that as our teen patrons reflect increasingly diverse backgrounds, librarians must be able to meet their needs in ways that go beyond traditional programming and collection development. The task force was created in September 2014, and during the year that we worked together, we were charged with bringing together resources that would assist librarians in developing their cultural competence.  The term may have different connotations to different people. There are several good definitions out there: our task force sees cultural competence as the recognition that each of us is shaped by our culture, and an appreciation of diverse cultural backgrounds through our interactions with others. It is the welcoming and integration of diverse ethnicities, sexualities, cultures, incomes, and education levels into the services we provide, with an ultimate goal of enhancing the lives of our patrons and our own professional growth.

Read More →

The American Library Association (ALA) defines outreach as providing library services and programs outside the walls of the library to underserved and underrepresented populations; populations such as new and non-readers, LBGT teens, teens of color, poor and homeless teens, and teens who are incarcerated. As these populations are often marginalized and underserved, it is crucial for libraries to recognize these populations and provide services and programs to them where they are.

The President of YALSA, Candice Mack, is focusing her year as President with an initiative, “3-2-1 Impact: Inclusive and Impactful Teen Services,” which will focus on building the capacity of libraries to plan, deliver and evaluate programs and services for and with underserved teen populations.  Visit YALSA’s wiki to find and share information about serving diverse teens and building cultural competence.

Each month I will profile a teen librarian or staff working in teen services providing outreach services and programs outside the walls of the library to underserved and underrepresented teens. The purpose is for us to learn, connect, network and share with each other the crucial work we are doing in this area.

This month I interview Candice Mack.  Candice is the Interim Coordinator of System-wide Young Adult Services for the Los Angeles Public Library as well as the YALSA President.

What kind of outreach services do you provide for teens?
As the interim coordinator of system-wide Young Adult Services at Los Angeles Public Library, I help coordinate system-wide partnerships with different local organizations, which all 73 of our libraries will collaborate with on outreach and services.  Some of the main partnerships we’ve developed recently are with the LA LGBT Center, which has a youth center that provides transitional housing and drop-in education, career and social services to LGBTQ youth in the LA area, many of whom are teens who originally from out-of-state who have either been kicked out or ran away from home to try and find a better and more accepting future in LA.  Last year, we did a book drive and participated in two of the LA LGBT Center’s resource fairs.
20060425154119

Read More →

Libraries by their very nature provide resources, access, information and materials  that are free to all.  We may or may not know it but we are all working with immigrant and refugee populations.  I’m sure we do know who we serve and hopefully we are addressing some of the needs these populations may need.  But as we have all been reading news as of late there is some significant movement with some populations in the United State and in other countries.  What is the distinction between refugees and immigrants? In the simplest of terms; an immigrant is someone who chooses to resettle to another country.  A refugee has been forced to flee his or her home country. As such, refugees can apply for asylum in the United States and this process can take years.  It also isn’t an easy process.

Background

The United States is the world’s top resettlement country for refugees. For people living in repressive, autocratic, or conflict-embroiled nations, or those who are members of vulnerable social groups in countries around the world, migration is often a means of survival and—for those most at risk—resettlement is key to safety. In fiscal year 2015, the United States resettled 69,933 refugees and in FY 2013 (the most recent data available) granted asylum status to 25,199 people.

The Obama administration’s proposal to significantly increase the number of worldwide refugees the United States accepts annually up to 100,000 in FY 2017 would mark the largest yearly increases in refugee admissions since 1990.

The proposed 85,000 worldwide ceiling for FY 2016 would include 10,000 Syrians and is further broken down into regional caps: 34,000 resettlement places for refugees from the Near East and South Asia (up 1,000 from 2015); 13,000 from East Asia (no change); 25,000 from Africa (up 12,000); 3,000 from Latin America and the Caribbean (down 1,000); and 4,000 from Europe and Central Asia (up 3,000). The unallocated reserve also increased from 2,000 in 2015 to 6,000 in 2016.

The numbers from recently war torn Syria is not as high as numbers of other nations; Nationals of Burma (also known as Myanmar), Iraq, and Somalia were the top three countries of origin for refugees in 2015, representing 57 percent (39,920 individuals) of resettlements. Rounding out the top ten countries were: the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Bhutan, Iran, Syria, Eritrea, Sudan, and Cuba. *Information from Migration Policy Institute 

What are libraries doing to address needs of refugee and immigrant populations?

What are libraries across the country doing to help support and understand the needs from these refugees and new immigrants?  Are there things that you may be able to provide based off of some of this information?

We probably all read the amazing news article about Gary Trudeau passing out wordless picture books to Syrian refugees in Canada. What can libraries do to welcome immigrant or refugee teens to the libraries?

Look at what the city of Toronto Public Library did

A good number of libraries across the country already offer citizenship classes, ESL classes and workshops.  The Los Angeles Public Library offers citizenship programs and classes

San Francisco Public Library citizenship classes and other organizations to help

Austin Public Library has the New Immigrants Center citizenship classes, ESL classes, computer classes in other languages, job searching, legal help and more. How are they providing outreach and working with immigrant populations?

The NYPL promotes its work with immigrants and refugees visibly on their homepage under Outreach Services and Adult Programming  by calling it “Immigrant Services

Ady Huertas and the San Diego Public Library are addressing immigrant and refugee needs by partnering with organizations that work directly with them and providing library services.

Libraries Without Borders founded in 2008 is an organization that responds to the vital need for books, culture, and information in developing regions. In doing this, they provide relief in humanitarian emergencies and the building blocks for long term development. Launched its Ideas Box-The Ideas Box provides access to a wide variety of resources carefully selected by our team based on the needs of diverse cultural and linguistic areas and populations of each implementation zone. Its four content modules allow beneficiaries to connect, learn, play and create. Each Ideas Box is equipped with:

  • 15 touch-pads and 4 laptops with satellite Internet connection;
  • 50 e-readers, 5000 e-books and 250 paper books;
  • MOOCs and stand alone Internet contents (Wikipedia, Khan Academy…);
  • An in-built TV set, a retractable projection screen and 100 films;
  • Board & video games, and other recreational activities;
  • 5 HD cameras for participatory journalism and film-making;
  • 3 GPS devices for participatory mapping
  • Arts & crafts materials and more

Queens Library right on homepage “New Americans” that provides services in areas of financial services, citizenship classes, ESL, including connections to other organizations providing mental health services, legal services and more

The REFORMA Children in Crisis Project with the recent arrival of over 70,000 children crossing the southern border into the United States has created an unprecedented humanitarian refugee crisis that compels REFORMA as an organization to act.The children, mostly Spanish speaking, are coming from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.  While recent news coverage of this event has focused on legal, medical and emergency response to services, there are few if any news stories that demonstrate the social-emotional and information needs of these children and families.  A view of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities shows children waiting in large storage like facilities with no activities to occupy the children’s minds through learning and play while they are being processed.

And this is just what REFORMA Children in Crisis Project is providing; books.  On their homepage they provide lists of books they bring to children and teens in detention centers, group homes, and other locations where these teens may be detained. Book lists can be accessed for some ideas.

Salt Lake County Library System has worked since 1939 in serving and actively working with immigrant and refugee populations in Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City has worked since 1898.  They provide a list of all of their partners and services they provide  which identifies partners like; Refugee and Immigrant Center of Utah, the International Rescue Committee and others.

YALSA resources such as Serving Diverse Teens @Your Library is a good one stop shop with everything you may need to help you get started; research, reports, resources, connections, networks and more.

Library Journal had a recent article about the work that libraries are doing with refugee populations.
So what can you do? Being aware of who is in your community is a good start.  Seeing what the influx of new immigrant and refugee patterns are is helpful.  Identifying organizations through your city, town or county that are working directly with refugee and immigrant populations and reaching out to these agencies to see about partnering and collaborating.   But mostly sharing what the library can provide and really listening to what their needs are and how the library can address those needs. Maybe working with your collection development team in expanding the resources your library has available in other languages and then working with organizations to share out that collection.  Sharing the work your library is doing with and for teens on the YALSA Blog, Library Journal and other publications is important too so that others can learn and replicate some of those initiatives.

The American Library Association (ALA) defines outreach as providing library services and programs outside the walls of the library to underserved and underrepresented populations; populations such as new and non-readers, LBGT teens, teens of color, poor and homeless teens, and teens who are incarcerated. As these populations are often marginalized and underserved, it is crucial for libraries to recognize these populations and provide services and programs to them where they are.

The President of YALSA, Candice Mack, is focusing her year as President with an initiative, “3-2-1 Impact: Inclusive and Impactful Teen Services,” which will focus on building the capacity of libraries to plan, deliver and evaluate programs and services for and with underserved teen populations.  Visit YALSA’s wiki to find and share information about serving diverse teens and building cultural competence.

Each month I will profile a teen librarian or staff working in teen services providing outreach services and programs outside the walls of the library to underserved and underrepresented teens. The purpose is for us to learn, connect, network and share with each other the crucial work we are doing in this area.

This month I interview Kate McNair, the Teen and Outreach Librarian for the Johnson County Library, Kansas, Antioch Branch.  Kate’s position focuses half of her time working directly on outreach, working with partners outside of the library.

J: What kind of outreach services do you provide for teens?

Personally, I love outreach, and I am lucky to work for a library that allows me and my colleagues to serve teens outside the Library walls. We have several great school districts in our serving area that invite us to do booktalks, library card drives, and partner book clubs to serve their students.  Our schools and teachers are great partners to host our programs for teens around our Civic Engagement programming, including bus tours of Kansas City with information about real-estate law, author visits and writing workshops. We also partner with schools to offer our teen literary magazine, elementia, which includes writing workshops at schools, presentations to students and faculty, and more author visits. We also have a few very special groups that meet with teens in alternative high schools to talk about building early childhood literacy skills for young parents and building confidence and critical thinking skills for at-risk students.

We also have a served teens in detention and on probation for almost 15 years. We currently have a team of 7 staff members who serve the incarcerated (we have expanded this definition to include diversion and probation) both teen and adult. We have partnered with our county’s Corrections department to offer book groups, short story discussions, author visits and writing workshops to teens in our Juvenile Detention Center, Youth Residential Center, Adolescent Center for Treatment (in-patient drug treatment) and Evening Reporting Center (a diversion program). We have also partnered with probations, judges and court services to offer a book club geared for teens on probation called Changing Lives Through Literature, based on a program for adults from Massachusetts.

I think that bout covers it! But I am sure I will think of 10 more things later. It seems like there is always so much to do in Outreach.

Read More →

The American Library Association (ALA) defines outreach as providing library services and programs outside the walls of the library to underserved and underrepresented populations; populations such as new and non-readers, LBGT teens, teens of color, poor and homeless teens, and teens who are incarcerated. As these populations are often marginalized and underserved, it is crucial for libraries to recognize these populations and provide services and programs to them where they are.

The President of YALSA, Candice Mack, is focusing her year as President with an initiative, “3-2-1 Impact: Inclusive and Impactful Teen Services,” which will focus on building the capacity of libraries to plan, deliver and evaluate programs and services for and with underserved teen populations.  Visit YALSA’s wiki to find and share information about serving diverse teens and building cultural competence.

Each month I will profile a teen librarian or staff working in teen services providing outreach services and programs outside the walls of the library to underserved and underrepresented teens. The purpose is for us to learn, connect, network and share with each other the crucial work we are doing in this area.

John Huth is the Librarian for teens and young adults with disabilities for The Child’s Place of the Brooklyn Public Library.  The following comes from a phone call on October 13, 2015.

  • What kind of outreach services do you provide for teens?

I work with teens with physical and/or mental/cognitive disabilities, teens and young adults who are incarcerated, teens who are or were homeless and teens who are in foster care.  I go everywhere in the borough of Brooklyn.  We work closely with the My Library NYC librarians however my Library NYC is a new program (past three years) and The Child’s Place has been providing accessible services to schools in Brooklyn for many years.  The Child’s Place was established before we had an outreach department and before My Library NYC both of which were established in the past 3 years. I cover a large amount of special education schools providing books as well as adaptable video gaming equipment programs in schools.  I really try and bring the books to life to engage with the teens to their interests as well as engaging with them with gaming.  Some of the teens I see may have limited mobility so I have equipment that is adaptable and able to be put on their bodies so they can use the mobility they do have and still engage with gaming.  So much of their school is so structured and doesn’t necessarily focus on developing social skills and sharing but through the gaming they are learning a lot of these skills. Read More →