One day you come into work to learn that a parent, teacher, or community member has concerns about a book on your library shelf, a video viewed in a classroom, or content taught in health class.
[Insert choice words] As if living during a pandemic wasn’t enough!
Whether you’ve already navigated a materials challenge of your own or nervously wait for your first one, being ready for that day is a necessity. It’s like having a natural disaster “go bag”–you hope you never have to use it, but you’ll be very glad that you have it when you need it.
In February and March 2022, Future Ready Librarians® will explore the intersections where library collections and the community meet and how to effectively manage concerns and challenges to materials on your shelves or in your classroom. Join Future Ready Librarians for two opportunities to build your knowledge and confidence if you are faced with a materials challenge.
Future Ready Librarians Challenge
Beginning February 2, 2022, the Future Ready Librarians Challenge will be back. The first series of bite-sized professional learning activities will help you create a toolkit of local policies, practices, and protocols that guide how your school and/or district manages the review and reconsideration of library and/or instructional materials.
Every two weeks, a short task will be provided to help you better understand what local policies, practices, and partners are in place to address concerns over library and other learning materials in your school. Here’s a sneak peek of the challenge:
- What are your school and district policies?
- What’s in your school and/or district policies and procedures?
- What are your partners?
- Understanding the Hazards
The first activity has been posted! Now is the time to check it out and join.
Future Ready Librarians® Summits
On February 26 and March 26, the Future Ready Librarians free, live, and interactive virtual summits will focus on proactive strategies to prepare and respond to parent and community concerns about materials in your libraries or classrooms. These online events offer an opportunity to share, connect, and learn from other librarians and leaders about this challenging (pun intended) topic.
Saturday, February 26: Building a Materials Challenge Toolkit: Understanding Policies, Procedures, and Protocols
Building on the Future Ready Librarians Challenge above, this summit will give you a chance to pose questions and share ideas with other librarians and library leaders. Learn and interact with both administrators and librarians about lessons learned and best practices. Key questions include:
- How can I identify reconsideration policies and procedures in my school or district?
- In my role as a librarian, what do I need to understand about materials challenges?
- How can I work with school and district partners to navigate community concerns over library or instructional materials?
Saturday, March 26: Know Your Library: Proactive Collection Development
Beyond knowing local policies, procedures, and partners, librarians need to know what is on their shelves—is your library collection reflective of current generations and your community or a throwback to another century? While you cannot predict the concerns of parents or your community, at least you can know and own your collection if those concerns emerge. Key questions include:
- How do I know what is on my shelves and taught in my school’s classrooms?
- How is my library collection responsive to the needs and interests of my students?
- What can I do to understand and connect with parents and my community?
Register for one or both of these interactive virtual professional learning summits!
Mark Ray is an advisor for Future Ready Librarians®. He teaches in the Teacher Librarian Certification Program at Antioch University Seattle and is a former teacher librarian, district administrator, and 2012 Washington State Teacher of the Year.