8:00 AM: Literacy Leapers: A Special Needs Reading Program. Staff from the Smith Public Library in Wylie, TX shared how they planned an implemented a special needs program at their library. Their program is inclusive, but they offered many ways to include children with special needs into typical storytime settings.
10:00 AM: Safe Space Kit 101: A Guide to Being an Ally to LGBT Youth. This was an interactive presentation given by the GLSEN organization at the University of Houston at Clear Lake. This chapter works within the university to promote diversity and acceptance both inside and outside the campus.
Our first group activity was to ask ourselves a couple of questions about our beliefs and voluntarily share our answers with each other. We thought about questions such as, "If someone were to come out to you as LGBT, what would your first thought be?" and ""If you do not identify as LGBT, how would you feel if people though you were?"
Next we took a look at our individual organizations. How do our policies and procedures reflect our stance on how we feel? We discussed several case studies of discrimination against members of the GLBT community and what we would have done to change or remedy the situation. Lastly, we learned how to make our own action plan for implementing changes in our organizations.
As my last session at TXLA 2012, this was an exceptional one. It left me with a lasting impression and gave me many things to think about.
12:00 PM: Homeward bound! It was a fun and educational week, and thought I was sad to leave all of my librarian colleagues behind, I was glad to get home for some well-deserved rest and relaxation!