Module 9: Characteristics of Effective Library Services for African American Male Youth
Hughes-Hassell et. al, 2012.
|Objectives||To provide the
library services to
|To interact with
male youth as
individuals, to set
for them, and to
sense of agency
|To provide a
|To nurture the
resolve of African-
youth, to help
identities, and to
reimagine their place
in the world
|To connect literacy
to the real world
and enable African-
American male youth
to act in their
|Characteristics||Hire dedicated staff
Provide adequate and
Engage in research-
Provide authentic &
Explore: Becoming More Effective
ADMINISTRATORS AND POLICY MAKERS
Administrative Support for School Libraries by Anne Belott, Amanda Hitson, and Nicole Lehotsky: This website is a primer to help school librarians garner additional administrative support. School administrators are in many cases unaware of the depth of services and advantages their school's library can provide. The site provides several lists you might find useful including strategies for gaining administrative support, potential obstacles you might encounter, and resources for both librarians and school administrators to help both learn better ways to work together.
20 (Self-)Critical Things I Will Do to Be a More Equitable Educator by Paul C. Gorski: To effectively serve young African American men, librarians need to develop cultural competence and adopt a social justice orientation. Mr. Gorski's list of 20 things he plans to do to become a more equitable educator is an excellent starting point that provides a number of ways thinking and action need to change in relation to diversity issues and gives concrete examples of ways to make these changes.
Personal Learning Networks: The value of establishing a Personal Learning Network (PLN) cannot be overestimated--particularly when you wish to learn more about techniques and resources to make your library more effective for specific population groups including young African American males. Below are some resource suggestions you may want to add to your PLN:
- Teaching Tolerance: As part of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance is a haven of great resources, learning opportunities, and ideas related to various minority populations and the development of cultural competence. The site includes a blog featuring a variety of authors writing on a diverse collection of topics. The blog is often updated multiple times weekly and has an RSS feed you can add to your feed reader to stay regularly updated. In addition to the web resource, Teaching Tolerance has created a number of physical resources including a magazine and several films that are free to educators.
- Ready 4 Rigor: Literacy consultant Zaretta Hammond's blog focuses on preparing students for "rigor" through culturally responsive education and high expectations. Examples of interesting posts include "Using Call and Response to Deepen Thinking", "5 Things Not to Do During Black History Month", and "Strange Bedfellows: Hip-Hop, Vocabulary Development, and the Common Core".
Twitter Feeds to Follow:
- Ron Walker, Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color
- Alfred Tatum, University of Illinois-Chicago
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- Maureen Costello, Teaching Tolerance
- Rethinking Schools
- Teaching for Change
- Pedro Noguera, New York University
- Teaching Tolerance
- Ernest Morrell, Teachers College, Columbia University
- Council of the Great City Schools
- Urban Libraries Council
ImaginOn, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library: As part of a collaborarion between the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and the Children's Theatre of Charlotte, ImagineOn has a great number of features that make it a great library space for African American male youth. The collaboration allows the program to provide specific library spaces designed for teens and children, media labs for creating music and videos, and access to theatre programming including theatre related classes. Teen agency is also highly promoted through the media lab and ImaginOn's volunteer internship opportunities.
YOUmedia, Chicago Public Library: The "mentor librarians" for teens at the Chicago Public Library in partnership with a number of community organizations have gone all out to create an amazing space for teens at the library's main branch. Divided into three main areas (referred to as Hanging Out, Geeking Out, and Messing Around), the space is obviously designed to be used for multiple purposes and these purposes are clearly identified for teens. A wide variety of seating options and technological resources are available for use in each of these areas, and the decor is meant to leave the users with a feeling of ownership over the space.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Teen Website: When we think about library space, it is important to consider the virtual "space" as well as the physical. The teen page of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is a fantastic example of what can be done with a library's virtual space. It is attractive, well organized, and decorated in a style that reflects the library's urban community. The site maintains a great balance between connecting users to the physical library (programming and resources) and serving as a resource itself by providing users with links to sites focused on a variety of topics including homework, life, books, and fun.
Multicultural Book Review Blogs: This page of the summit's website provides links to five blogs that regularly review children's and young adult literature by and about people of color.
You may also want to refer back to Module 3: Authenticity and Relevance in Library Instruction, Programming, and Materials and Module 7: Using Powerful and Enabling Texts for more ideas and resources related to library materials.
For suggestions and resources relating to library programs for African American Male Youth, refer to the following modules:
Activity: Culturally Responsive Library Walk
You may be thinking that since you spend all of your time in your library, you already know its strengths and weaknesses. While that may be true, it is often also true that spending a lot of time in a place can make it easier for people to overlook the small things. To ensure you aren't missing anything, no matter how big or small, I highly recommend you conduct a Library Walk of your own. To download a PDF copy of the form, click here.