Support Unaccompanied Minors With ULU

We here at ULU say that every child has a right to storytime.

There are kids who came to this country unaccompanied and are now being held in centers across America. Every time we see these stories we feel powerless, without hope, as if our nation has abandoned us and we are watching it fade away into the mist.

We say NOT ON OUR WATCH!

Urban Librarians Unite is partnering with an excellent children’s services agency that is housing and helping unaccompanied minors.This community of about 100 kids under the age of 17 deserve to have books for education and entertainment. You can literally put books into their hands.

Go to our wishlist on Amazon and make a difference for these kids today.

Can’t send books or want to do more?
If you want to help out more we would love your financial support. We are working with First Books and other vendors to ensure that we get the best value for the support you give. You can donate directly to our book drive via PayPal. (please add a note to your donation to tell us to allocate it here).

We believe that when times are tough you go with what you know. We know the joy and comfort that books can offer. You can do your part to give them some of that comfort.

Questions? Trouble ordering? See our FAQ.

Storytime Protest Kit

photo of a storytime in the park with the text storytime protest kit over the photo

Many librarians are drawn to the profession by the opportunity to be of service to our community. We spend our days connecting people to the information they need, supporting early literacy, helping people look for jobs and health information, and so much more. As a caring profession we often also find ourselves in the streets protesting with our neighbors. One thing we can do is bring our skills into the streets with us, just like we did at the Families Together March on June 30th 2018.

Please see below for a brochure version of our Storytime Protest Kit, adapted to work for a variety of issues, with logistics supplies and starter book lists.

We’ll see you out there! Download Storytime Protest Kit

Protest Storytime Kit

Purpose

Protests can be about sharing information, expressing your values, and being heard. As librarians, we know that storytime can be subversive, storytime can be protest, and storytime can be a way of talking about issues in an age appropriate way.  Holding a storytime at a rally can be a great way to keep kids occupied and learning during the waiting periods.

Please join us and bring storytime to your local protest.

Supplies

  • Lightweight blanket (more if possible 1 blanket = about five kids)
  • 8-12 picture books (see lists for suggestions)
  • Posters and protest signs
  • Enthusiasm & a Loud Storytelling voice
  • Sunscreen

Logistics

  • Meet at a set point
  • Travel together to march start (if a march, if the rally is in a set location, try to arrive together to avoid having to hunt each other down, we find meeting at a less heavily trafficked location 45 minutes before works well)
  • Have your talking points ready (see below) Why are you there? What are you reading? Why these books?
  • Please let us know you went, and send us photos and the location.

Talking Points

  • Every child has a right to storytime
  • Every child has a right to have access to a librarian
  • Normal life is love, learning, creativity, and stability. For librarians and teachers all of this comes out in storytime
  • Write one of your own about why you are at that particular event

Booklists

Social Justice Booklist

ALSC Unity Kindness and Peace List 

ALSC Working Together for Justice List

Supporting Immigrant Families Booklist from Brooklyn Public Library

Living Green Booklist from SFPL

A Mighty Girl’s 50 Picture Books Starring Black Mighty Girls

Goodreads Black Lives Matter list

A Rainbow Celebration: Gays & Lesbians in Books for Children from SFPL

We want to keep adding to the booklists, so if you have a suggestion, send it in using the Contact Us page!

Join us in storytime protests

Currently the United States Government is holding thousands of children separate and apart from their families in detention centers across the country. Toddlers are being forced to appear in court without their parents, families are being told that if they apply for asylum they will never be reunited, and the government has done nothing more than offer lip service to the complexities of reuniting these families.

We say NO! We say this is unacceptable. We cannot bear silent witness to this abomination of American society. We will speak persistently, loudly and often. WE WILL NOT BE SHUSHED.

Urban Librarians Unite has been using storytime as protest for many years. We are joining in the rallies to reunite families by offering storytime at protests. Children should be with their families and those families should be able to go to storytime. Every child has a right to storytime.

Please take a look at this document that has suggestions about how you can do storytime at protests in support of these families. On the practical side, there are gonna be a lot of kids at these events and this is a great way to engage families and children in solidarity and support.We hope that one day every.single.one of those kids will be able to attend a great storytime in a local library with their families. Let’s keep a spot open for them. It’s an easy, effective, and powerful way to raise your voice in support of kids and families.

We will not be shushed!

Libraries and Resources for Temporary Protected Status Holders

By Johana Orellana

The Secretary of Homeland Security designates Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to countries based on conditions in that  country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately.  

TPS was established by Congress in the Immigration Act of 1990. Foreign nationals with TPS protections are generally able to obtain work authorization and a driver’s license, but the TPS designation is subject to U.S. government review and can only be extended for up to 18 months. Salvadorans are by far the largest group of TPS holders. There is ongoing debate about whether migrants who have been living in the United States for long periods of time with TPS should receive a pathway to legal permanent resident (LPR) status.

The following countries were designated with TPS set to expire in 2019, except for Honduras, which is set to expire in July 2018. The figures included are the number of individuals with TPS, as of October 2017: Salvadorians (262,528), Haitians (58,557), Honduras (86,031), and Nicaraguans (5,306).

Why is this important to libraries? Libraries provide access to all members of our communities, not matter their gender, race, status, or human condition. The Core Values of Librarianship states,  “We value our nation’s diversity and strive to reflect that diversity by providing a full spectrum of resources and services to the communities we serve.” With this in mind, many communities will be affected by the termination of TPS to previously designated countries of El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, and Nicaragua. Particularly large cities like Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York, Houston, etc., where many TPS holders reside. In particular, the 273,000 children who are U.S. citizens, but whose parents are TPS holders. The following are some ways that libraries can help families affected by the termination of TPS.  

One agency that librarians should be aware of is local Salvadorian, Haitian, Honduran, and Nicaraguan consulates. Patrons may need to go to their consulates to obtain birth certificates or other official documents. Librarians should know and provide patrons with consulate contact information. Consulates may not be able to help answer specific questions regarding the TPS application process. However, if you notice an increase in referrals or questions about consulates reach out to the individual consulate to prepare the agency to help their citizens.

Libraries can also refer patrons to CARECEN, the Central American Resource Center, a nonprofit organization that offers low-cost immigration legal services, community education programs, and advocacy and organizing to achieve fair and more inclusive immigration, education, and labor laws and policies in Los Angeles and the rest of the nation.

Librarians should refer patrons to USCIS approved list of DOJ-accredited representatives and organizations.

Librarians can order or print and supply Know Your Rights Cards in multiple languages to community members affected.

Librarians should use TPS fact sheets to inform Congress Members, Representatives, and Local officials of the impact TPS holders have on the economy and our country at large.

If you are unsure about what services are available to patrons in the area, call 2-1-1, a free and confidential community information and referral service.

These resources are available to help our immigrant communities find answers. Librarians are doing amazing work in serving TPS holders at a time when there are many questions and insecurity about their futures. Keep up the great work!

Join the $10 x 100 Challenge!

Urban Librarians UNite $10 x 100 campaign graphic, ULU logo and thermometer

Hi! Welcome to the ULU $10 x 100 challenge! ULU is challenging our supporters to get 100 people willing to step up and support us for just $10 a month.

ULU does the stuff the big library advocacy organizations can’t, because we have no one to answer to but YOU. We are doing immediate, impactful work for — and by — frontline librarians and library lovers like you. We are gathering resources for refugees. We’re looking at the opioid crisis and exploring librarians’ rights and responsibilities. We’re advocating for adequate resources, telling truth to power, throwing crazy, awesome conferences, and still giving librarians a space to party together (ax-throwing, anyone?). We are your entrepreneurial library association: fast moving, person-driven, quick, agile, and creative.

Pledge levels

  • Your sustaining donation of $10 a month will cover the costs of keeping refugeelibraries.org up and available.
  • Your sustaining donation of $20 a month will cover a speaking fee for the annual Urban Liobrarians Conference! (A small price to pay for inspiring so many!)
  • Are you a high roller? Your sustaining donation of $75 a month will keep our websites malware free! Yay! (no one likes malware)

Urban Librarians Unite is run entirely by volunteers. All of your support goes to serving you while you serve your community. Currently we have a kick-ass conference, are running the refugeelibraries.org project, are developing a white paper to look at how libraries can help in the opioid crisis, we have a network of mini libraries in NYC, and still do awesome social/networking events. We are doing the work that you became a librarian to do: to democratize information and use it to help the most vulnerable. We accomplish a lot for a small org and we hustle to do it. If we hit our goal we will have a new level of organizational capacity and can expand our work on, well, pretty much everything.

If you have ever come to our conference, attended one of our parties, benefited from our advocacy, learned something from one of our trainings, or just believe in what we do as a tiny independent library organization this is the time to step up. Go here to sign up for your monthly pledge. After you are done there, reach out to some of your friends and get them to sign up. Your support makes a real and significant difference to our organization. 

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