Today’s Boots on the Ground comes from Arwen Ungar. Arwen is a youth services librarian at Gladstone Public Library outside of Portland, Oregon and she’s ecstatic that she gets to sing with kids at least twice a week. She used to be a technology reporter which is the exact opposite of a children’s librarian, in her spare time you can find her hanging from a trapeze bar and she just learned how to swim last year!
Elementary Reads is an outreach project I developed for the Gladstone Public Library funded by Target. It aims to expose children to fun books by giving them rotating classroom sets of fiction, nonfiction and graphic novels, while also distributing library cards and introducing them to staff. We want to provide access to books to all children even if they do not have a library card or the ability to visit the library.
I visited first grade classrooms this month and was overjoyed by how excited kids were to talk about the library, the books I brought and books they want me to bring next time. Every day since my visits, children have approached me in the library to ask for help or for book recommendations or simply to brandish their new cards with a smile. Parents say their kids have been talking about using their new cards nonstop!
Tell us your advocacy story in 149 words or less and we’ll put it up for the world to see. This is a great opportunity to refine your next elevator pitch, and to inspire others to step up their advocacy game.