Mark Oshiro (left) and Robin Gow speak at the “Beyond the Middle School Rainbow: Intersectionality in LGBTQIA+ Middle Grade Books” session on June 25 at ALA's Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago.

‘The Kids Get It’

June 25, 2023

Having access to stories about young, queer girls of color, she said, could have avoided years of shame. “It could’ve made me feel like even if my parents don’t know about this, there are people out there who are just like me, and I’m going to be okay one day,” Ortega said. “It would’ve not … Continue reading ‘The Kids Get It’

Sterling Cunio holds up his cellphone as incarcerated individual David Fleenor shares the impact of a writers' workshop at his correctional facility on June 25. Photo: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries

Fostering Self-Determination

June 25, 2023

At “Nurturing Writers Workshops in Prison,” a June 25 session at the American Library Association’s 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago, Fleenor shared the impact his writers’ workshop has had on his life as well as what his facility has gained from it: “An enduring writing community.” He was joined by moderator Moira Marquis, … Continue reading Fostering Self-Determination

Authors Rajani LaRocca (left) and Minh Lê speak at the session “Share our Stories: Asian and Pacific Islander Literature for Children and Young Adults” during the American Library Association’s 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago on June 25.

Reflecting the World

June 25, 2023

“I have never been in a library that did not have enough white books,” said Park, a Korean American author whose novel A Single Shard (Clarion Books, 2001) won the 2002 Newbery Medal. She suggested that, to increase representation of other cultures and perspectives, librarians should consider buying more books from marginalized authors. “That’s one … Continue reading Reflecting the World

Tatanisha "Tiki" Love

The Misrepresentation of Women in Hip-Hop

June 25, 2023

“Uncovering Unsung Sheroes: A Discussion of Women in Hip-Hop,” a June 24 session of the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago, shone a light on these artists and the challenges they faced while building their careers. The panel included Tamela Chambers, manager of the Chicago Public Library’s Beverly branch; S. … Continue reading The Misrepresentation of Women in Hip-Hop

Lamar Giles (left) and Kazu Kibuishi

Comic Relief

June 24, 2023

“As someone who grew up loving comics but often hiding them from my peers,” said Giles, whose book Static: Up All Night based on the DC superhero will be released this November, “it was exciting to know that this was gonna be something happening in a place where I used to go to feel safe … Continue reading Comic Relief

A patron at Charleston County Public Library in South Carolina picks up fruits and vegetables from one of its Free and Fresh Fridges.

Fresh Ideas

June 1, 2023

“We know that if people don’t have enough food, every other need they have is going to seem secondary,” says Montgomery, associate director of community engagement at Charleston County (S.C.) Public Library (CCPL). The pandemic exacerbated food insecurity throughout the country, with an estimated 3 million more US residents facing food insecurity in 2020 than … Continue reading Fresh Ideas

A picture of Jackie Kruzie smiling.

Listen and Learn

June 1, 2023

An estimated 4 million Americans cannot communicate using speech and rely on other forms of communication like AAC. These modalities may include gestures, sounds, written communication, pictures, photographs, body language, sign language, communication boards, and speech-generating technology devices. For my daughter, we chose to purchase a small tablet and designate it as her talker, a … Continue reading Listen and Learn

Headshots of Youth Matters columnists Mara Rosenberg, at left, and Erica Thompson, at right, both from St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School in Washington, D.C.

Books Model Behaviors

June 1, 2023

We envisioned a club where students, teachers, and caregivers could share a common experience around literature. But it was also important that book selections modeled positive behaviors that align with our school values and fostered conversations around social-emotional learning and equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice (EDISJ). To bring our community together, we turned to … Continue reading Books Model Behaviors

Headshot of On My Mind columnist Steve Tetreault

Let’s Get Loud

June 1, 2023

It’s maddening that so few people outside the library profession—even those we work with—see what is going on. But unfortunately, it’s not surprising. These days, news events reported across too many platforms compete for our limited time and attention. As local news outlets diminish, so does reporting on community events like school or public library … Continue reading Let’s Get Loud