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Outreach to families with special needs

Page history last edited by Kiera Parrott 12 years, 5 months ago

This was a teeny tiny but very interesting discussion group of 2! 


Shelley spoke about her rich experiences working to develop library outreach support for serving English Language Learners.  Libraries should follow the Gates Foundation model of "finding the community leaders."  These community leaders are not always obvious- they might be the bodega owner who everyone goes to for advice, or the local real estate agent who helps new families find homes and start businesses and thus serves as a liasion to the English-speaking community. 


Serving children with special needs- you are serving both the child and the child's parent/caregiver.  You can use local organizations, support groups, networks, to reach out.  An "if you build it...." kind of program- parents of children with special needs are looking for resources and support.  After pre-k age, much federal and state funding falls off to help these families.  The Library can play a major role in helping to support these children and families. 


Families and children of encarcerated parents- these are some of the most vulnerable and underserved children.  How can libraries build partnerships with state and local agencies to support the families?  See Hennepin, Multnomah, and NYPL for some examples of outreach to correctional facilities and work with the families.  Boston Public Library does a father-focused program.

Comments (1)

Shelley Quezada said

at 11:45 am on Aug 14, 2009

I would like to add a few resources from our very small (but valuable discussion group) First, Web Junction has received a lot of support from the Gates Foundation and has great content that is free on its website. For example, the Mid Hudson NY library system devoted a whole issue to the subject of Spanish Language outreach http://www.webjunction.org/spanish/-/articles/content/7844368

Also, library systems in Minneapolis (Hennepin County) have a lot of great information on their website http://www.hclib.org/BirthTo6/ and Multnomah County library (Oregon) do wonderful programming for English Language learners http://www.multcolib.org/services/languages/history.html

The Northeast Massachusetts Regional Library System (NMRLS) has just received an LSTA grant to implement training around issues of libraries serving children with autism spectrum disorder. Please check in with the NMRLS website in the coming months to see how the regional children's librarian rolls out this important new training. http://www.nmrls.org/youth/services/

Also, New Jersey has an excellent link to resources on this topic: http://www.thejointlibrary.org/autism/resources.htm

And, finally I have recently written a book chapter that touches on how public libraries can reach out to children whose parents are incarcerated. This will be coming out next year, but I would recommend that if you have interest in this area you can look at the website for Alameda County (CA) library foundation whose Start with a Story program is outstanding. http://www.aclf.org/programs.html#juvenilehall
For more information in any of these areas, please feel free to contact me. Shelley Quezada in Boston

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