Prince George’s County (Md.) Memorial Library System partnered with pro soccer team D.C. United in 2020 to create Talon’s Workout Tapes. Here, midfielder Russell Canouse and his dog Lola demonstrate an exercise.

A Dream Team

January 3, 2022

What resulted was Talon’s Workout Tapes, a series of free exercise videos in English and Spanish that debuted in April 2020 on the library’s website. The videos, created by D.C. United’s communications department, featured the fan-favorite bird and team players demonstrating physical activities that kids and their families could do at home without any expensive … Continue reading A Dream Team


Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Crisis Averted

January 3, 2022

Consider, for example, a library activity in which teens can talk about the spaces that make them feel comfortable and can help design an area of the library that is just for them. In this exercise, teens articulate what evokes happiness and calm—two emotional states that are central to positive mental health—and are given an … Continue reading Crisis Averted


Brave Conversations: Kids' Club for Social Justice

The Value of Brave Conversations with Kids

June 26, 2021

“Kids are aware. The coverage of [these deaths] was nearly impossible to avoid and events like these continue to happen,” said CCPL Youth Services Librarian Katy Henderson at “Brave Conversations: Kids’ Club for Social Justice,” a June 25 program at the American Library Association’s 2021 Annual Conference and Exhibition Virtual. “We were already seeking out … Continue reading The Value of Brave Conversations with Kids


Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

What Does It Take?

June 1, 2021

The pandemic has only reinforced questions youth services staffers have asked themselves before: What skills, knowledge, and mindsets are needed to serve young people and their caregivers in the modern age? And in particular, what does it take to reach nondominant youth and families? (That is, those who belong to historically marginalized groups and may … Continue reading What Does It Take?


Teen Librarians Talk Empowerment

November 11, 2020

This year’s symposium focused on partnerships, empowerment, and using YA literature to promote equity. At the Saturday, November 7 session “Our Teens Have a Voice: Methods in Planning and Executing a Youth Conference on Social Justice,” the two presenters—Erin Hoopes, branch manager of Philadelphia City Institute of the Free Library of Philadelphia, and Gabrielle Miller, … Continue reading Teen Librarians Talk Empowerment


Teens at San Francisco Public Library created Life in SF: Luck, Loss, Gain, a board game that explores inequity in their city. Photo: Dorcas Wong/San Francisco Public Library

The Missing Piece

November 2, 2020

In turn, each player’s social class determined their stakes in Life in SF: Luck, Loss, Gain, a Monopoly-esque game that simulates poverty and inequity in San Francisco, complete with properties and transit lines familiar to the group. Around the time the teens were developing the board game last year, San Francisco reported a nearly 7% … Continue reading The Missing Piece


Librarian's Library by Allison Escoto

Empower, Provide, Engage

November 2, 2020

  Social Justice and Activism in Libraries: Essays on Diversity and Change Edited by Su Epstein, Carol Smallwood, and Vera Gubnitskaia For a holistic look at the role libraries can play in the realm of social activism, Social Justice and Activism in Libraries is a comprehensive collection of essays that covers a range of issues—including … Continue reading Empower, Provide, Engage


Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

From Reactive to Proactive

September 1, 2020

I noticed that youth library workers were, understandably, operating in reactive mode. But a quote from Bob Johansen, the author and futurist who introduced the VUCA Prime model in 2007, helped me realize this may not be the best method: “You have to be very clear where you’re going but very flexible in how you … Continue reading From Reactive to Proactive



Youth Matters, by Leigh Fox

Partners in Crisis

June 1, 2020

As youth librarians, our most important partners are schools and educators, which these days include many caregivers who have been thrown into homeschooling for the first time. In my system, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library (BPL), staffers have been busily figuring out ways to provide resources that our students, parents, and teachers may need as they … Continue reading Partners in Crisis


Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Contract Concerns

November 1, 2019

The American Library Association–Allied Professional Association’s Library Worklife site states: “Union contracts often provide for fair and flexible working hours, better pay for overtime and work on evenings and weekends, more paid holidays, paid family and medical leave, and employer help with child care and elder care.” These conditions are undoubtedly important. But when talking … Continue reading Contract Concerns


Youth Matters, by Joquetta Johnson

Empower Student Voices

September 3, 2019

Inspired by the 2015 protests following the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who fell into a coma in Baltimore Police Department custody, I developed Lyrics as Literature. The program is a series of four lessons designed to support the district curriculum, amplify student voices, and bring awareness to social justice issues. Each lesson is … Continue reading Empower Student Voices