Committee on Family Engagement – April–August 2021 Report

The group met 4-6 times this reporting period.

Recent Activities

First Activity
Completed second cohort of the Advancing Family Engagement virtual classroom series of 8 sessions; to date the program has registered and taught about 120 library staff. Planned third cohort to launch in September 2021, with nearly 100 new registrants.
Meets PLA’s strategic goals for Leadership, Organizational Excellence, Transformation

Second Activity
Oversaw PLA’s IMLS grant, “Exploring a program co-design approach to better serve and engage low-income, Latinx communities” which conducted a literature review, national survey, and planned focus groups at three pilot libraries.
Meets PLA’s strategic goals for Advocacy and Awareness, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice

Third Activity
Requested board approval to move from task force to standing committee, and in doing so revised our charge and added liaisons to ALSC, YALSA, and AASL.
Meets PLA’s strategic goals for Organizational Excellence

Fourth Activity
Initiated a new grant partnership with WGBH Boston to develop tools on computational thinking to be used in libraries and other education settings (“Fostering Joint Parent/Child Engagement in Preschool Computational Thinking by Leveraging Digital Media, Mobile Technology, and Library Settings in Rural Communities (WAISL)”)
Meets PLA’s strategic goals for Transformation

Fifth Activity
Continued to liaison to multiple groups: helped PBS Kids write blog posts for Public Libraries Online; designated a reviewer for the National Association of Family, School and Community Engagement’s new family engagement body of knowledge guidelines; worked with the National Center for Families Learning on its fall 2021 library-focused webcast; and collaborated with PLA’s Project Outcome to write an informational brief on measuring family engagement programs.
Meets PLA’s strategic goals for Advocacy and Awareness, Leadership, Organizational Excellence, Transformation

What will your group be working on for the next six months?
Launching the third cohort of the Advancing Family Engagement series; planning the fourth cohort to launch in early 2022; strengthening relationships with ALSC, YALSA and AASL

Does the group have any policy recommendations, ideas with financial impact, or other items to bring to the PLA Board for discussion or action

Do you have any suggestions for future products or resources (excluding conference programs) to be developed based on your group’s work?
The Advancing Family Engagement series has yielded many new examples of family engagement programs and strategies, both via presenters and also from “final projects” that the second cohort of learners developed. These could contribute to a new PLA publication, such as an “Ideabook 2.”

Are there other PLA/ALA committees your group might collaborate with to benefit the work of all?
As noted above, ALSC, YALSA and AASL

Have there been any issues related to meeting participation/attendance for any of the group’s members?

Is there anything PLA could have provided during this time that would have helped your group with its work?

Submitted by Jo Giudice, Ashley Brown on 09/03/2021