Last month, The American Cooperative School of Tunis lost their entire elementary library in an attack on their school. If you would like to donate to help them build their collection, please visit their TitleWish page.
If you would like to learn more about what happened, see the Atlantic Wire article entitled Demonstrators Killed in Attack on U.S. Embassy in Tunisia as Protests Spread.
My partner and I just donated. If you want more information on how to help, visit the ACST website.
There’s a new post on the Building a Bridge to Literacy blog.
Today it was announced that minority babies outnumbered white newborns in 2011 for the first time in U.S. history. What does this mean for school libraires? For public libraries? For the publishing industry? How does this relate to and impact the literacy achievement of African American male youth?
I’ve been pondering this recently as a librarian at a school with a very diverse population. I already put a great deal of effort into maintaining a global collection, but the implications of this statistic are far beyond just what I purchase in terms of materials for my library. Libraries are community spaces and the development of our community needs to reflect the demographics of our community.
I think this means as an individual librarian, I need to support diversity in library staffing. I can do this financially, by supporting ALA’s Spectrum scholarships. But I have also been thinking that I need to reach out to area universities with ILS programs and invite library students into our space to work with students, particularly library students from underrepresented minorities. We do not have a racially or linguistically diverse staff at my school, and it would be wonderful to have more African American, Latino/Latina, and Spanish speaking adults working with our students.
I actively reach out to students from minority backgrounds and engage them in our learning commons as volunteers, giving them a sense of ownership in our community. I promote librarianship as a flexible career with a great future. Up until now, however, these have mostly been girls. I would like to work to engage more of my African American males as decision making stakeholders in our learning commons xommunity. I hope someday there will be a Bloomberg new report saying that minority librarians outnumber white librarians!