A list of resources by subject area for librarians serving youth.
Access to library materials should not be restricted for any reason. Unfortunately, children and teens suffer when policies are put in place that hinder their access to all types of information. Several sections of the ALA Web site pertain to access and intellectual freedom and revolve around The Library Bill of Rights. Sections of importance to children and those who serve them are:
Free Access to Libraries for Minors
Access for Children and Young Adults to Nonprint Materials: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (Adopted by ALA Council, 1989/Amended, 2004)
Access to Electronic Information, Services, and Networks
Access to Library Resources and Services Regardless of Sex, Gender Identity, or Sexual Orientation
ALSC and Equity of Access Presidential Initiative
"Giving Children Access to Print Materials Improves Reading Performance," June 2010
An article from Reading is Fundamental, highlighting the positive outcomes for children who have an abundance of materials from which to choose.
Everyday Advocacy is a website offering a collection of resources designed to empower librarians and library staff to take action in their libraries, communities, and beyond. Advocacy is so important, but that doesn’t mean it has to be intimidating. Everyday Advocacy highlights ideas and tips that are quick, easy to implement, and highly doable. The site’s goal is to develop powerful advocates for children and library service to children. This go-to resource is for both day-to-day advocacy and crisis advocacy, providing resources that address a variety of advocacy circumstances.
Through its many book lists, ALSC promotes literacy, reading for enjoyment, and books.
Competencies for librarians serving children in public libraries
Children's librarian must do more than simply provide age-appropriate service. Effective library service for children entails a broad range of experience and professional skills. ALSC's Competencies seek to define the role of the librarian serving children. Use the Competencies to develop job descriptions for your open positions or as a training resource with your youth services staff.
Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)
In 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was passed as a way to protect children from the harmful effects of lead. One of the consequences of its passage was concerns raised about library books.
Cornell University Copyright Information
Current copyright information for all ages.
What Youth Librarians Need to Know about Copyright
Information about copyright issues for children's librarians.
Born to Read
Born to Read, It's Never Too Early to Start! helps expectant and new parents become aware that reading to a baby from birth is critical to every baby's growth and well being.
The Importance of Play in Early Literacy
As part of the partnership with LEGO® DUPLO®, ALSC is committed to examining the role of play in early literacy. This web resource provides programming ideas, a librarian toolkit, and a white paper that addresses the importance of play in the lives of young children.
Ebooks and digital content
Ebook Resources for Libraries
Compiled by the ALSC Children & Technology Committee and presented at the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting.
Intellectual freedom is the right of all individuals to read, view, or listen to whatever materials they choose and to speak and write the beliefs and opinions they hold. Intellectual freedom is the basis of democracy and is the core concept upon which libraries are built.
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that these basic policies should guide their services, as outlined in the Library Bill of Rights.
ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom
Established December 1, 1967, this office is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom. This site includes contact information for OIF staff. Do not hesitate to contact this office; the OIF works for you, as a paying member of ALA and its divisions! Also of interest in this section is basic information, publications, policies, statements and guidelines which can be found in Intellectual Freedom.
Introduction to YALSA's Intellectual Freedom Committee
Resources from the committee, available on the YALSA blog.
Guidelines, policies, and other materials to help librarians and others deal with challenges can be found at:
What You Can Do and How to Organize
Celebrate the freedom to read, seek ways to combat censorship, and join other advocates of intellectual freedom.
Kids! Know Your Rights (PDF)
A publication created for children and young people, introducing concepts central to intellectual freedom and the library's role in protecting First Amendment Rights.
Expurgation of Library Materials
The expurgation of library materials is a violation of the Library Bill of Rights. Expurgation as defined by this interpretation includes any deletion, excision, alteration, editing, or obliteration of any part(s) of books or other library resources by the library, its agent, or its parent institution (if any).
Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
Contains information for librarians implementing CIPA filtering at their libraries, including a legislative history of CIPA.
Especially for Young People and Their Parents
Online safety rules and suggestions for parents to help their children navigate the Internet safely, as well as privacy issues.
Privacy Resources for Librarians, Library Users, and Families
Educational resources for parents and children.
School-Public Library Cooperative Programs
The AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation compiled a list highlighting past successful partnerships between school & public libraries.
Programming & services for youth
Kick Start Your Programs for School-Age Kids
A wealth of programming ideas for school-age children from public and school librarians compiled by ALSC's School-Age Programs and Services Committee. (2012)
Kids! @ your library
ALSC's 2006-2010 public awareness campaign generated a tool kit filled with resources to help librarians position their library as a valuable and important community center for kids and their families. Although the campaign is no longer active, many of the tool kit resources are still relevant and valuable and can be found here.
School Age Programs and Services
Service to Special Population Children
Summer reading is an integral part of most public libraries. But what's the importance of these programs? Find out more below.
Dominican University study on the impact of summer reading programs
The Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University received a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for a three-year research study (2006-2009) to answer the question: do public library summer reading programs impact student achievement?
The Importance of Summer Reading: Public Library Summer Reading Programs and Learning
This research paper and bibliography was created by the New York State Library and focuses on the advantages of reading over the summer months, access to books, time spent reading, and use of public libraries during the summer months.
Children are bombarded with choices about where to get their information. Librarians and parents can help them find the best materials by accessing some of the following resources, as well as informing them about the way children access the Internet.
ALSC's technology statement affirms its commitment in supporting children and parents in their use of technology.
Navigating the 'Net with Your Kids (PDF)
An informative PDF brochure for parents (downloadable).
Children and the Internet: Policies that Work
A collaborative electronic publication from ALSC and the Public Library Association