Children’s Librarianship

Young Activists & the Public Library: Facilitating Democracy

Published: May 22, 2020

In her new book “Young Activists and the Public Library: Facilitating Democracy,” published by ALA Editions, Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) past president Virginia A. Walter demonstrates how libraries can foster greater civic literacy and civic engagement in young patrons. Using a research-based approach that incorporates case studies and interviews with young people and librarians, she:

offers a solid rationale for why libraries should get involved, discussing the ways in which youth activism can be supported by core values of librarianship;
provides an overview of key areas of activism, such as environmental awareness, school safety, and immigration rights;
highlights teen advisory boards and community service opportunities that provide outlets for teen leadership, also suggesting ways to extend these activities to younger children;
includes real-world examples of programs and initiatives that can be adapted for a variety of institutions; and
shares an extensive list of additional resources, spotlighting informative and inspirational books to share with young patrons that are also ideal for book talks and storytimes.

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