How can public libraries transform their services for underserved groups, especially in disruptive times? The Covid-19 pandemic has put the spotlight on families and their roles in education. Families are indispensable --and also need support-- in children’s learning. Public libraries are asking what else they can do to support families’ access and participation in library services, especially among the underserved. The session will begin with the panel participants each discussing from their vantage points (e.g., research, policy, and programming) three main themes and questions related to family engagement in libraries: - The importance of understanding children and families in the context of their communities and culture - What building authentic relationships with families can look like, especially during times of disruption, and - How librarians can lead for impact with families in their community New strategies that library staff can adopt to understand families, build relationships with them, and lead for impact will be shared from the recently released book “A Librarian’s Guide to Engaging Families in Learning” as well as from PLA and the National Center for Families Learning’s work to engage Latinx caregivers. Participants will listen and interact with presenters on these themes as they relate to policies, programs, and practices. They will be able to connect research paradigms with policy and program choices, and plan new directions for the professional learning of library staff. This session will conclude with audience participants engaging in a dialogue with library leaders, program developers, faculty, and researchers to examine policies and practices for serving family and community members who are often excluded -- the homeless, the incarcerated, low-income families Latinx mothers and Black grandparents.
Upon completion, participants will be able to plan programs and practices that reach families; build relationships with them; and take leadership steps to remove barriers to their access and participation.
Upon completion, participants will be able to develop training and professional learning experiences for library staff to develop their competencies in engaging families
Upon completion, participants will be able to apply assessment approaches that are best suited to meet their family engagement goals and objectives