This is a guest post by Stacey Goldade, head of the Statewide Catalog Development Department at the North Dakota State Library.
For patrons to want to come to your library, you’re going to have to have something that appeals to them. That means a wide range of topics, formats, genres, stuff for all ages, etc., which means making sure you have enough materials about diverse kinds of people. I know you may say that practically all your population is white and of Scandinavian descent, but that’s changing and even if it was true, the whole point of a library is to learn about new things. So even though I’m a white woman, one of the most interesting books I’ve ever read was Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin, which let me see what being a black man in the south in the 1950s was like. It’s very unlikely you have anyone in your community that is an astronaut or a pro-football player, but you have books about space and sports right? Because people still want to learn about those topics even if that’s not their profession or their background. People want to learn about other people too, so make sure you are providing them with books about all kinds of people.
PBS allows libraries to register to borrow and screen select documentary DVDs, free of charge. They even have discussion guides, lesson plans and reading lists to accompany these films. New additions to their lending library collection are added each year in association with their POV series. Their 2015 lineup includes The Overnighters, a feature-length award-winning film set in North Dakota’s oilfields. Not convinced? Scope their trailers!
In order for your library to participate, you do need to register in the POV Community Network. Once you register, you will receive an email with an activation link and temporary password. Use these to activate your account. You will then be ready to go–to make requests, you will simply need to log in to your account and click “Create an Event” to register and schedule a screening.
Over 80 high-quality documentary films on sundry topics and of various lengths are currently available to libraries through this program, and more get added each year.
At the Summer Reading Workshops in February, one of the ideas I shared for a potential program was financial literacy. It makes a great program for any age group!
Since April 18-25 is Money Smart Week, I thought I would highlight a few resources on financial literacy. Money Smart Week is a “public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances” that was created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2012. With tax season coming to a close, you probably know first-hand the need for financial literacy skills and personal finance management in your town. It is relevant programming any time of year! Continue reading
Are you celebrating Dia? More formally known as El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), Dia is a celebration held on April 30 that “emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.”
Recently on the blog we’ve highlighted the importance of diversity in your collection, and Dia is a great way to celebrate diversity at your library.
To help you celebrate, ALA has put together a publicity toolkit, with templates for press releases and PSAs, as well as talking points. There are also downloadable program materials, including event posters, a resource guide, book lists, and coloring and activity sheets. The resource guide provides ideas for programs, outreach, and partnerships, as well as best practices. There is also a Dia Family Book Club Toolkit.
If you are hosting an event at your library, register your event so people will be able to locate Dia events in their area.
Do you celebrate Dia at your library? How else do you celebrate literacy and diversity at your library? Share your stories in the comments.