Reading through the articles in the fall 2014 issue of YALS I’m once again struck about the new role that libraries and library staff play in serving the community. That role is one that takes library staff out of their buildings into schools AND a wide-array of community partner locations from homeless shelters to parks to community centers to meals sites to….. Thinking about that external focus and external connections that libraries have with their communities I more and more see that the library is an idea and not a physical space.
I think about the need to focus on the library as more than a physical space every time I hear someone say, “Let’s go talk to teens at the community center so that then they will come into the library to see us.” Or when I see that what library staff bring to outreach events, are materials that require teens, and others, to come into the library. To be honest I cringe a little bit when I hear those statements and see those focus points at outreach events. Why do we have to be so place focused?
In January 2013 YALSA published their report, The Future of Teens and Libraries: A Call to Action. The publication of that report launched a variety of YALSA activities as well as gave those serving teens in libraries an opportunity to try new things, re-envision their work, advocate for high-quality sustainable teen services and more. The fall 2014 issue of YALS covers success stories that resulted from the ideas published in YALSA’s report.
The Fall 2014 issue of YALS includes an article by members of the Future of Libraries for and with Teens YALSA Task Force. The group was initiated as a way to help library staff working with teens implement many of the ideas in the “Futures” report. Continue reading
The fall 2014 issue of YALS will land in member and subscriber mailboxes very soon. The theme of the issue is Yes I Can! The journal is filled with articles about the ways in which library staff and community partners are working to move into the future. And, it’s very much the future outlined in the YALSA Report, The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action.
In this issue of the journal readers have the chance to:
- Learn about the work of YALSA’s Future of Library Services for and with Teens Task Force and how their work can help you better serve teens in the community.
- Find out how OK middle school librarian Amanda Kordeliski worked in her state to hold a summit where library staff from across the state had the chance to plan for future services for and with teens. Continue reading
In about a week YALS subscribers and YALSA members will find the newest issue of YALS in their mailboxes. The theme of the issue is Connecting and Collecting and feature articles on:
- How the Weinberg Foundation is helping to re-invent Baltimore Public School libraries by providing funding to re-envision space, collections and staffing at elementary and middle school libraries.
- The amazing ways that library staff working with teens have used Best Buy funding to develop technology-based programming for and with teens. Continue reading
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.
Many 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.
In 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.
Last 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 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.