New Feature – Outreach Bulletin

Happy Monday, and Happy 2023!

This year, I am launching a newsletter similar to the Youth Services Round Up, focused on Outreach. My goal is to help connect you with resources that will enable you to reach beyond the walls of your library, connect with new patrons and community partners, and better serve patrons with specialized needs. 

There are plenty of people in your community who could benefit from your library, if only they knew about and could access everything you offer! Every one of those people is a potential advocate, and someone whose life might be transformed by library services. Outreach is about connecting, collaborating, and fitting together the puzzle pieces of library resources and community needs. 

Expect the eclectic! I’ll share anything I think might be useful in connecting to underserved populations, including workshops, grants, tools, and topics ranging from diversity to disability to mental health. If you have great resources to share, please send them my way, and if there are topics you would like me to focus on, please let me know!

Grant Opportunity; Accepting Applications Now!

Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities

If your library needs financial support to adequately serve a particular population, this grant is a tremendous opportunity. Libraries chosen to participate in LTC: Accessible Small and Rural Communities will first conduct community input-gathering sessions to assure that their work aligns with local needs. Libraries will be required to identify the primary audience they are hoping to reach (e.g., homebound seniors, children with autism, Deaf community members) and facilitate a community conversation with the impacted populations to guide improvement of the library’s services. Grantees will then use the grant funds to create services or improve their facilities based on the needs identified by their audience. Application deadline: February 28th.

Libraries provide vital spaces for communities to come together around important and sometimes controversial topics, but it is nerve wracking to do so in our current censorious climate. This article shares the experience of a librarian who facilitated a panel discussion on gender identity and expression in her small community’s library.

  • If hosting a difficult conversation in your library (perhaps a candidate forum, a movie or book discussion touching on controversial topics, or a forum on an issue of local concern) appeals to you but you need support, the American Library Association offers a free online course on Facilitation Skills which will help you plan your event and manage group dynamics to keep the conversation respectful and productive:

Every day in your library, you encounter people who are suffering and struggling. Librarians do what they do because they care, and because they care deeply, they often find themselves deeply affected by the traumas their patrons carry. Here, the author of Dopesick shares a short list of books that brought her comfort when she was feeling helpless:

Upcoming Continuing Education

Practical Strategies for Engaging Veteran and Military-Affiliated Patrons at Your Library

Date: Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Time: 3:00pm

The presenters will also share the Libraries & Veterans Toolkit, a new resource with new ideas for veteran-related exhibits, book clubs, events, collections, and more. 


NYSL Digital Inclusion Asset Mapping Webinar

Date: Thursday, January 12, 2023

Time: 2:00pm

Learn the fundamentals of asset mapping, a key skill for identifying needs in your community.


Exploring Race & Representation in Picture Books

Date:  Thursday, January 26, 2023                                 

Time:  1:30 – 3:00 pm

This professional development workshop is sponsored by the New York State Library and Ready to Read at New York Libraries. Participants will examine how to use picture books to provide “mirrors and windows” that reflect the identities of all readers.  Also covered will be criteria for selecting books, an exploration of representation in recent picture books, and a discussion of how to use books to engage children in conversations about race.  Participants will also discover tools for conducting diversity audits and other resources for building a more equitable, inclusive book collection.


Attack of the Black Rectangles: A Conversation on Censorship with Amy Sarig King and Jane Yolen

Date: February 15, 2023

Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Please join LILRC for a moderated conversation with award-winning authors Amy Sarig King (Attack of the Black Rectangles) and Jane Yolen (The Devil’s Arithmetic) on the topics of censorship in children’s and young adult literature. 

Actively Anti-Racist Service to Leisure Readers 

Date: Live session February 17, 2023, recorded sessions available now!

Time: 1-3pm

Providing robust readers’ advisory service that values equity, diversity and inclusion principles is essential to all library service. But moving from being a neutral, well-meaning library where systemic racism is acknowledged to an actively anti-racist organization involves work, some of which is uncomfortable at first. In this program you will begin that work, learning tangible skills to help build enthusiasm for reading and discovering “diverse” books. Prior to the live session, please watch Parts 1&2 of the series. We’ve made the recordings available on our YouTube page, but you’ll need the links to access them:

Part 1: Building Marketing, and Promoting Diverse Collections (and slides)

Part 2: Actively Anti-Racist Service to Leisure Readers (and slides)