Letter from the Chair

It is December 2021, and unfortunately, with the arrival of Omicron, the global pandemic shows no signs of winding down. While no one could have prepared for the pandemic’s impact, youth services librarians have pivoted to provide service in innovative and creative ways. The articles in our current newsletter demonstrate how libraries truly align with the words of IFLA’s vision statement as they “inspire, connect, enable, and engage” young people around the world. For example:

  • Caroline Karlsson at the Stockholm Public Library describes the “Mission Books” show, in which children are enabled, inspired, and engaged to serve as talk show hosts, meeting and interviewing authors, and recommending their favorite books on screen. With background support, encouragement (and cookies) provided by experienced adults, children are involved in every aspect of the show, from reading and reviewing books, to producing a show that connects children’s authors with their readers.
  • At Singapore’s National Library, Stephanie Lauw writes that when library visits were temporarily suspended because of the pandemic, the “Choose Your Library Adventure” program provided an engaging interactive video format inspired by Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch that entertains, educates, and engages young people online.
  • Ida Gašpar, Danijela Petrić and Jasminka Vajzović, at the Fran Galovic Koprivnica Public Library in Croatia describe inspiring social justice at work as they focus on engaging Roma children.
  • And also in Croatia, Branka Mikačević and Vjeruška Štivić describe their inclusive services for children and youth. Programs at their library enable access for children of all backgrounds and abilities–whether at the library, via mobile services, or at hospitals.
  • Starting in March 2020, Sølvberget Library in Stavanger, Norway pivoted to providing digital services, and Åsmund Ådnøy’s article gives examples of how the library connects with its patrons online–from readings to author interviews, to digital town hall meetings on current issues, to providing homework help.
  • Ludy Rueda at the Poudre River Public Library District in Colorado (United States) describes the IMAGINANTES program which engages Latinx youth to “to connect to their heritage, their community, and their future.” The program inspires youth to think of themselves in new ways–including as future college students. Read on to find out about Luci, a former attendee of the program who became an astrophysicist!

We hope you enjoy these articles, and that they give fresh ideas for your own library service. And if you are serving youth in innovative ways in your libraries, we’d love to hear about it. Perhaps you’d like to contribute an article to our next newsletter? You can reach us, and read more about our Section’s work here on the website, or on our Facebook page. Do consider getting involved. We welcome you!

I wish all a healthy and safe 2022, and a very Merry Christmas to those who celebrate.

Marianne Martens
Chair, Libraries for Children and Young Adults Section

Children impress as talk show hosts at Stockholm Public Library

Stockholm Public Library’s new program series is a recorded talk show about books – planned and run by children. Adult authors might be invited as guests, but librarians and other adults gets to stay behind the camera.

Choose Your Library Adventure and Discover the Wonders of the Library

During the pandemic, when school children’s visits to Singapore’s libraries dropped, the National Library Board innovated new ways to interact with students online.

Library programs supporting Roma children in Croatia

Under the motto “Library Accessible to All – a Library for All” the Fran Galovic Koprivnica Public Library strives for equal inclusion of a socially marginalized people.

Programs and services for children with special needs

The goal of the Public Library in Croatia’s Bjelovar is inclusion. Here’s how they create programs and services that children with and without special needs can participate in equally.

Standing on one foot – a Norwegian library’s digital focus during the pandemic

The pandemic didn’t pull the rug from under our feet. It simply meant that we had to stand on one foot for a while.

Empowering Youth Through Art and Heritage

The Poudre River Public Library District’s bilingual art workshop IMAGINANTES offers an opportunity for Latinx youth to connect to their heritage, their community, and their future.