Sensitivity in outreach: why it matters, some ways to do it

the outreach librarian

Good-Intentions Warning: DO NOT Google “politically correct” and look under the images on a Monday morning. The results are worse than your average comments section.  Being sensitive, nay even politically correct, while doing outreach is crucial. We never truly know the stories behind our patrons, communities, and co-workers. I believe it is my job to create as welcoming and accessible library as possible for anyone who could come through our doors. Here are a few things I’ve learned about doing this successfully, in no particular order.

Family structure

Not everyone is being raised by a mother and father.  Some kids we work with are being raised by grandparents, aunts and uncles, older siblings, two moms, two dads, one dad, two dads and a mom, foster parents, etc. Some kids come to programs with social workers, nurse caregivers, Girl Scout leaders, or teachers, among others. Luckily there is a really simple way…

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