Best of the Best 2014 (Spring 2014)

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They were announced at Midwinter 2014 – YALSA’s awards and lists. Now you can download reproducibles for each of the lists and customize them for your own library. We’ve got them right here on the YALS site. You can download each of the lists separately, OR, there’s even a file that contains all of the lists in one handy place. Check them all out below (all files in pdf):

Learn more about all of YALSA’s awards and lists on the association website and in the spring 2014 issue of YALS.

Tech & Learning for Library Staff: A YALSA Badges Case Study (Winter 2014)

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communications, marketing, outreach badgeMany readers know about the YALSA Badges for Lifelong Learning project. But, in case you missed the information about it, the association has been working for a couple of years to develop a curriculum and online system that provides library staff working with teens – not just teen librarians – the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge to help them succeed in their work. In December YALSA launched a beta version of the system they developed which focuses on learning plans that help staff gain skills in three areas of YALSA’s Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth – Communication, Outreach, and Marketing; Leadership and Professionalism; and Access to Information.

The process of developing the learning management system and the activities that library staff would complete in order to earn badges provided YALSA with opportunities to think about exactly what staff needed to know in order to be successful with teens. It also helped those working on the badges better understand what badging is all about and how to help others understand what badging is all about. The key is the badge is the representation of the learning, it’s not the learning itself. A successful badging system for anyone – adults or teens or children – requires a lot of thought about what makes successful learning. What is required in order to evaluate learning experiences. And, what is required in order to be successful in earning a badge.

Anyone can now learn about the YALSA badges, the process the badge development team went through in developing the learning, and the outcomes reached in a case study published by Mozilla and HASTAC. You can also read about other badging projects.

Relax and HOMAGO! (Winter 2014)

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Jennifer Larson, Youth Services Manager at St. Paul Public Library, wants the teens at her library’s new Learning Lab to Hang Out, Mess Around, and Geek Out. This is the HOMAGO theory of learning based on solid research and used by most of the labs in the YOUMedia network. The basis of HOMAGO is that youth will learn better in an environment where they can hang out and ease into an activity before the training or lesson begins. In the current issue of YALS, you can read all about the St. Paul program, their partnership with the city’s Parks and Recreation department, and the nuts and bolts of their Createch Lab. For more information on YOUMedia, visit their website.

Every Teen Deserves a Place in the Library (Winter 2014)

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image by NYCDOTMany teens find that they are categorized by their peers, friends, teachers, and even family members. They might find they are thought of as goth or jock or overachieving or underserved.

Being professionals serving teens means making sure to serve all teens no matter what category they place themselves in, or are placed in by others.

The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action, published by YALSA, offers a look into information focusing on how we need to serve all teens today and tomorrow. Some of the quotes that jumped out at me as highlighting this need to actively work towards serving as many teens as possible include:

  • “There are currently 74.2 million children under the age of eighteen in the united States; 46% of them are children of color.” p. 2
  • “Today more than one-fifth of America’s children are immigrants or children of immigrants.” p. 2
  • “The number of unemployed youth ages 16-24 is currently 22.7%, an all-time high.” p.2
  • “More than 1.3 million children and teens experience homelessness each year.” Family alcohol /drug abuse, physical/sexual abuse, teen pregnancy, and homosexuality are reasons for them leaving. p.2
  • “Issues like poverty, homelessness, failing schools, and bullying have physical and psychological ramifications for teens.” p. 4 Continue reading

The ALA Leadership Institute (Winter 2014)

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graphic showing one person leading the way by creative commons flickr user nist6dhHave you been looking to boost your leadership skills? Perhaps you aim to become a library leader someday. The American Library Association (ALA) Leadership Institute may be just the right thing for you. Led by ALA President Maureen Sullivan and ACRL Content Strategist Kathryn Deiss, this four-day immersion program is meant to improve participants’ leadership skills, and will cover topics like:

  • Power and influence
  • Leading in turbulent times
  • Creating a culture of inclusion, innovation, and transformation

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Midwinter 2014: Badges a New Way to Develop Professionally

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YALSA communications marketing outreach badgeIn the Winter 2014 issue of YALS readers will get the chance to learn about badges in an article by Sheryl Grant, Director of Social Networking for the HASTAC/ MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition. The article provides a great overview of what badges are all about and how you can use them in your own professional development, as well as with the teens with which you work.

But, reading about badges isn’t all you can do to learn about them. At the ALA Midwinter 2014 Meetings in Philadelphia, YALSA is sponsoring a program all about their new badging system. You’ll get to learn how the system works and how you can get involved in earning badges as a part of your own, or your colleagues, professional development. The program is on Sunday, January 26 from 8:30 to 10AM in room 108B at the Philadelphia Convention Center.

YALSA currently has about 35 testers working on the three badges already in place. The testers are providing feedback on what works and doesn’t work in the badge earning process. At Midwinter 2014 if you want to be a tester too, you can let us know at the program that you are ready, willing, and able.

If you want to learn a bit more about badges before you attend the program at Midwinter check out the December post on the YALS site all about YALSA’s project and then also take a look at posts published on the YALSAblog over the last year.

Midwinter 2014: The Future of Libraries For And With Teens

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national forum logoLast week YALSA published a white paper titled The Future of Libraries for and with Teens: A Call to Action. The white paper was the culmination of a year-long process (funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services) that brought a variety of people together to talk about the future of libraries and teens.

Co-author of the paper Maureen Hartman said, “It was so inspiring watching, listening and reading conversations between librarians, partners and teens. While all voices affirmed the great work libraries are doing with teens, they also all pointed libraries in the same inspiring direction–as institutions that, with the right kinds of changes, can lead the way in supporting young people’s success–now and in the future.”

The publication of the white paper is not the end of YALSA’s work on helping library staff work with teens today and into the future. Now the association is starting a new phase in which the association and leaders in the fields of libraries, teens, and education will develop tools, resources, and provide assistance for moving into the future successfully. A first step in this next phase is a program at Midwinter 2014 (Sunday, January 26, Pennsylvania Convention Center Room 103A, from 3:00 – 4:00 PM) on the white paper and ways in which library staff can integrate the ideas of the paper into their work.

White paper co-author Hartman is organizing the Midwinter program which will include opportunities for discussions among participants on successfully using the white paper recommendations in their day-to-day work situations. As Hartman also said, “…it’s so exciting to be at the beginning of new conversations about libraries and teens–reading tweets and seeing quotes that are already causing people to think differently. Participating in The forum and writing the paper was such a great experience, but I’m looking forward to all the conversations to come just as much.”

The Future of Libraries and Teens: A Call to Action (Fall 2013)

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The fall 2013 of YALS is devoted to the future of libraries and teens and complements the white paper released by YALSA today on serving teens in 2014 and beyond.

The white paper is a document everyone should read, ponder, discuss, and gain inspiration from. In the approximately 18 minute Google Hangout below, YALSA President Elect, Chris Shoemaker, and I talk about the white paper, some of the pieces we think are interesting, surprising, and most important, and how YALSA plans to continue working to support and help library staff move into the future. The next step in that process is a webinar on January 16 at 2PM Eastern.

The publication of the white paper and the year-long research project was made possible through funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. You can read more about the project on its website.

Toolkit for Expanded Learning: A YALS Overview

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young people learning while sitting at a tableDeveloped by leading members of Collaborative for Building After-School Systems (CBASS), Toolkit for Expanded Learning is, as the website says, “intended to provide resources for city agencies, school districts, intermediaries and other organizations interested in implementing or strengthening city-wide expanded learning opportunities….”

The Toolkit site is broken down into three different categories and a set of sub-categories. In each section there are downloadable resources aimed at giving users the skills and information needed in order to succeed in expanding learning in out-of-school-time settings. Categories covered include:
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