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ALSC releases white paper on an Outreach Model Serving All Children and Families

The Association for Library Service to Children has released a white paper titled, Engage, Cultivate, Provide, and Assess: An Outreach Model for Serving All Children and Families. The white paper outlines a research-based model of outreach development for libraries to connect services with children and families, particularly for those in underserved communities. The model was based on research that examined how libraries are going outside of their walls and into the community to reach and serve children and families in underserved communities who are not currently using the library.

ALSC sought the expertise of the research team including, Dr. Kathleen Campana, J. Elizabeth Mills and Dr. Michelle H. Martin to develop a resource. The research, which includes three stages of data collection through focus groups, interviews, and a survey, sought to determine, How, if at all, are public libraries currently reaching beyond their walls to serve families in underserved communities who do not come into and utilize the library?

The white paper defines outreach, its purpose, and describes four aspects of outreach: engage, cultivate, provide, and assess which culminate in a research-based framework. The paper includes an appendix with ten case studies that exemplify the work of libraries that utilize one or more of the four outreach phases in their work with children and their families. These case studies serve to inform and inspire future outreach opportunities through libraries.

“ALSC is excited to add this white paper to our repertoire of resources to further facilitate the work of library staff to ensure that all children have access to library materials, resources and services, as identified in ALSC’s Core Competencies. The white paper sets direction for library staff to engage in and advocate for connecting with underserved children and their families utilizing a research-based model of library outreach development”, said Cecilia McGowan, ALSC President.

The white paper was adopted by the ALSC Board of Director on June 22, 2019. The white paper and additional outreach resources can be located on the Engage, Cultivate, Provide, and Assess: An Outreach Model for Serving All Children and Families webpage

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is driven by more than 4,000 members dedicated to the support and enrichment of library service to children. Our members include youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty. ALSC supports its members in engaging communities to build healthy, successful, futures for all children. To learn more about ALSC and how to join, please visit our website at

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