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

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.

When Teen Read Week Leads to Questions (Summer 2013)

image of group research by Flickr user NWAPRGiven the increasing demands placed on today’s teens, people often wonder how much time young adults really have for recreational reading. Courtney Lewis, Director of Libraries at Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School in Kingston, Pennsylvania, wondered what teens bought and read in their recreational time. In her article, “Seek the Unknown for Teen Read Week 2013: Using Action Research to Determine Recreational Habits of High School Students,” Courtney explains how she used Teen Read Week as an opportunity for finding out more about her library population.

Research is an important component of YALSA’s strategic plan and a key focus of the association’s year-long IMLS funded The Future of Libraries and Teens project. As YALSA’s work demonstrates (the association also developed a research agenda), learning about the reading interests and habits of teens is just one important area of the research library staff working with teens, and youth-oriented researchers, need to focus on. Action research and Courtney’s techniques, experience and suggestions can be adapted to any area that needs exploration. I asked a few YALSA members what they wanted to learn more about:

“When do teens like to read books in e-form and when do they like to read books in physical form?” Diane Fuller, Director of Libraries/Upper School Librarian at Gilman School, Baltimore, MD

“What mobile device do teens primarily use to read ebooks? Continue reading

Preserving Our Present (Winter 2013)

In the winter 2013 Teens & Tech issue of YALS, Lana Adlawan writes about the Preserving Our Present project at the Sacramento Public Library. This project gives teens in the community the chance to learn about their history by researching the lives of those who grew up and live in their neighborhood. The project website includes a host of multimedia that documents the work of teens that participated in the project. Below you’ll find two examples:


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YALSA’s National Forum on Teens and Libraries (Winter 2013)

YALSA National Forum on Libraries and Teens logoThe winter issue of YALS includes an article on the YALSA Forum on Teens and Libraries. At the time of the issue’s publication the summit, discussed in the article, was just taking place. The summit brought together a group of people from inside and outside of libraries to consider the future of libraries. Participants included library administrators, library staff working directly with teens, educators, publishers, members of the technology community, teen advocates, youth development experts, and more. (You can see the full list of participants.) It was an amazing group who spent two full days thinking about the world of teens and how libraries, and other youth serving organizations, can support those needs.

Some of the major themes that came out of the two days include: Continue reading