Annual Roundup

Greetings! This is my first post on the YALSA blog as YALSA President 2021-2022! I am so excited to work with and for all in this upcoming year and so grateful for all the work that Amanda Barnhart, YALSA President 2020-2021 gave during her term.

The YALSA Board was hard at work during the recent virtual ALA Annual conference because of the great work of all the members! We thank you for all that you give to YALSA. If you were unable to attend the conference or want to review any documents, visit the 2021 Annual Conference link here.

Some highlights (which were approved by the board) to whet your appetite for when you have more time to cozy up on the couch or are passing time on your commute:

  • Upcoming volunteer opportunities (Teen Programming HQ Advisory Board, President’s Program Task Force, and updating Toolkits Task Force). Stay tuned for information on how to apply!
  • In aligning with our DEI goals to open up participation, book award committee attendance for the Printz, Nonfiction, Morris and Alex Award is not required to be in-person at the next Annual conference! Yes, read that again! In taking into consideration the cost and time of travel which can prohibit participation, and striving for more inclusivity as an organization, this proposal was brought forward.  A thoughtful survey was sent to the committee members and chairs and the decision was based on these results. For more information on committee attendance for the above mentioned, see this board document here.  Policies and procedures regarding this decision will be updated as well.
  • Last but not least <insert drum roll> forthcoming will be more information on our work with the new strategic plan. If you’ve never had the pleasure of updating a strategic plan-it’s quite a process but so worth having that foundation in which to work from and we can’t wait to share the details!

As mentioned, these are just some of the features that are worth noting. If you have time, check out the nitty gritty  on all the topics covered, ask questions (kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com) or leave a comment below.

2020-2021 YALSA President-Elect Kelly Czarnecki
Kelly Czarnecki
YALSA President
2021-2022

YALS Fall 2021 Issue: Call for Articles

Article proposals for the Fall 2021 issue of YALS are currently being sought. The theme is Teen Health.

For this issue, we’d like to hear how your teens are coping with health. We seek articles that address a variety of perspectives from youth-supporting staff from inside and outside the library world (public, school, academic, rural, tribal, etc), so please feel free to share this call widely.

This issue is open for articles that provide broad and specific discussions that address questions such as:

  • How has your library leveraged its community partnerships to help connect teens to the health services they need?
  • Is this generation of teens more knowledgeable of teen health concerns?
  • Is the school and/or public library the proper place for information on teen sexual health? Has your library provided information, resources or services to help?
  • How are teens coping with chronic health conditions? How do you lend support to them?
  • In what ways do you provide access to your services and resources to teens who may have difficulty going to libraries because of chronic health issues?
  • Have you created successful programs around teen health?
  • How do you approach collection development with regard to teen-focused health materials?

    We are also seeking articles for our “Future Trending” column, which highlights new, up-and-coming ideas, perspectives, and initiatives that are somewhat out of the box. Examples of focuses include the following themes (or another theme you want to address): technology(ies), Covid-19, universal design, etc. What do you think we should know?

Please note that this is a volunteer writing opportunity with no monetary compensation. YALSA has the right to first refusal.

If you have an article idea for this themed issue, please submit article proposals by July 7, 2021 using this form.

If you know someone who has experience on this topic and would be interested in writing for YALS or have questions, please contact YALS editor, Yolanda Hood at yhood@upei.ca.

New Issue of YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults

Volume 12, Issue 1 of YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults (JRLYA) is now available online at http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/. This issue features research papers relating to diversity in a source of recommended books and the perspectives of library staff serving teens during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In “Accounting for Diversity: Measuring Change in the Proportion of African American Teen Literature in the Senior High Core Collection” Megan Blakemore and Amy Pattee offer a comparative historical measurement of the diversity of resources included in and recommended by the Senior High Core Collection.  Specifically looking at the collection from 2008-2018, the authors examined the lists for titles classified as “Core Collection” and “Most Highly Recommended” to determine if those titles depict or address Black African Americans and Black African American experiences.

Rebecca J. Morris and Jenna Kammer examined the discursive practices of youth library practitioners during the COVID-19 pandemic in their paper, “Essential and Dedicated: Discursive Practices of Librarians Serving Teens in Fall 2020 of the COVID-19 Pandemic.”  In their analysis of three blogs published by professional library organizations, the authors examined how library staff serving teens discussed their values around teen services and how librarians serving teens use language to construct beliefs on their roles in providing teens access to information and reading materials.

JRLYA is YALSA’s open-access, peer-reviewed research journal, located at: http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya. Its purpose is to enhance the development of theory, research, and practice to support young adult library services. JRLYA presents original research concerning: 1) the informational and developmental needs of teens; 2) the management, implementation, and evaluation of young adult library services; and 3) other critical issues relevant to librarians who work with teens. Writer’s guidelines are located at http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/author-guidelines/.

 

Posted by Robin A. Moeller, Editor, JRYLA

 

All Black Lives Matter: Mental Health of Black LGBTQ Youth

 *A version of this post will appear in the BCALA Newsletter. 

Mental Health is not getting the attention it deserves. It is being overshadowed by COVID-19 and many other disparities in this country.  Mental health is a vital conversation that needs to be addressed even before the pandemic. It is misdiagnosed and is not really referred to as a medical condition. When mental health is discussed, it is based on the context of adults, right? What about young people between the ages of 13-24? Young people’s mental health concerns are just as high as those of adults if not higher. How does this pertain to librarianship?  We are faced with many populations that walk through our doors that are struggling on a daily basis without realizing it. We serve a great population of youth that look happy and may be experiencing some form of trauma. This is important if you are involved with trauma-informed librarianship. These statistics mentioned in this report can be vital to research for anyone who needs it.

The Trevor Project took the discussion even further when they conducted a survey on LGBTQ+ youth and mental health.  They took it even further when discussing the intersectionality of African American LGBTQ+ youth and mental health.  The Trevor Project, based on an award winning short film, Trevor, is a national organization providing crisis intervention for the LGBTQ+ youth community. 

According to the Trevor Project:

Black LGBTQ youth report rates of mental health challenges comparable to or higher than the overall population of LGBTQ youth. These youth are confronted with risk factors that are not only similar to those of other LGBTQ youth but are also very different, such as racial discrimination. Black transgender and nonbinary youth are particularly susceptible. We must confront systemic barriers to Black LGBTQ mental health and well-being.

For youth-serving organizations to be inclusive of Black LGBTQ youth, they must approach their work with the dual lenses of LGBTQ inclusion and anti-racism. Further, organizations working to support youth well-being must acknowledge that efforts to improve mental health cannot be “one-size-fits-all,” and, rather, must fit the needs of Black LGBTQ youth, both those that are similar to all LGBTQ youth and those that are unique. This is particularly true for Black transgender and nonbinary youth. Researchers must do more to prioritize the experiences of Black LGBTQ youth in order to inform best practices.

Did You Know…

According to the Trevor Project, statistics are as follows:

Black LGBTQ+ identified as…

  • 31% of Black LGBTQ+ youth identified as gay or lesbian, 35 % as bisexual, 20% as pansexual, and 9% as queer
  • One in three Black LGBTQ+ youth identified as transgender or nonbinary
  • More than 1 in 4 Black LGBTQ+ youth use pronouns or pronoun combinations that fall outside of the binary construction of gender.

Black LGBTQ+ youth often report mental health challenges, including suicidal ideation.

  • 44% of Black LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months, including 59% of Black transgender and nonbinary youth
  • 55% of Black LGBTQ youth reported symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder in the past two weeks, including 70% of Black transgender and nonbinary youth
  • 63% of Black LGBTQ+ youth report symptoms of major depressive disorder including 71% of Black transgender and nonbinary youth
  • Self-harm was reported in 44% of Black LBGTQ+ youth, including 61% of Black transgender and nonbinary youth
  • 49% of Black LGBTQ+ youth reported wanting psychological or emotional counseling from a mental health professional in the past 12 months, but not being able to get it

Many risk factors for Black LGBTQ+ youth mental health.

  • 9% of Black LGBTQ+ youth reported having undergone conversion therapy, with 82% reporting it happened before age 18
  • 35% of Black LGBTQ+ youth have experienced homelessness, been kicked out, or run away
  • 38% of Black LGBTQ+ youth reported discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity
  • 52% of Black LGBTQ+ youth reported discrimination based on their race or ethnicity
  • 17% of Black LGBTQ+ youth reported that they had been physically threatened or harmed in their lifetime due to their LGBTQ+ identity
  • 25% of Black transgender and nonbinary youth reported that they had been physically threatened or harmed in their lifetime due to their gender identity.

Identified high impact protective factors for Black LGBTQ+ youth.

  • 82% of Black LGBTQ+ youth reported at least one supportive person in their life
  • Black transgender and nonbinary youth who reported high family support had lower rates of attempted suicide
  • 82% of Black LGBTQ+ youth report access to at least one in-person LGBTQ+ LGBTQ+-affirming space
  • Black youth who had access to at least one LGBTQ+-affirming space attempted suicide at 50% lower rates compared to Black LGBTQ+ youth without access”

This Research Report was published in 2020.  To access this report for more information, please click on the link .

Additional Support Resources:

GLSEN

“As GLSEN was founded by a group of teachers in 1990, we knew that educators play key roles in creating affirming learning environments for LGBTQ youth. But as well as activating supportive educators, we believe in centering and uplifting student-led movements, which have powered initiatives like the Day of Silence, Ally Week, and more.”

BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health)

“We are a collective of advocates, yoga teachers, artists, therapists, lawyers, religious leaders, teachers, psychologists and activists committed to the emotional/mental health and healing of Black communities”

WeRNative

“We are a comprehensive health resource for Native youth, by Native youth, providing content and stories about the topics that matter most to them. We strive to promote holistic health and positive growth in our local communities and nation at large.”

Rest for Resistance

“Rest for Resistance strives to uplift marginalized communities, those who rarely get access to adequate health care or social support. This includes Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Pacific Islander, Asian, Middle Eastern, and multiracial persons.

We also seek to create healing space for LGBTQIA+ individuals, namely trans & queer people of color, as well as other stigmatized groups such as sex workers, immigrants, persons with physical and/or mental disabilities, and those living at the intersections of all of the above.”

The Steve Fund

“The Steve Fund is the nation’s leading organization focused on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color.  The Steve Fund works with colleges and universities, non-profits, researchers, mental health experts, families, and young people to promote programs and strategies that build understanding and assistance for the mental and emotional health of the nation’s young people of color.”

 

Guest post by Monica Porter, Public Services Librarian, University of Michigan, University Library

Who am I? Monica Porter, Access and Public Services Librarian, University of Michigan, University Library.  I live in Ypsilanti, Michigan and originally from Detroit, Michigan.  I was a more mature MLIS student and earned my degree in 2017.   I  received my B.S. degree from Eastern Michigan University in 2014.  My major was English Language and minor African American Studies.

 I have a specialized area of 14-26 young adult services at University of Michigan, University Library in Ann Arbor. I was promoted to Assistant Librarian in February 2020 after being an Access Services Supervisor for the majority of my career at the university.   My unit work is Library Operations with the focus on Access Services.  I have worked at the University of Michigan Libraries for 18 years.  I also worked for Detroit Public Library for 15 years as a Senior Library Clerk and was a Substitute Librarian for Ypsilanti District Library.  

One of my current responsibilities is to develop programming with our campus partners, local youth community advocates and schools for young people, especially young people of Color to make sure they have the resources needed for success.

Volunteer Opportunity – 6 Month Commitment 

YALSA volunteers contributions are immensely valuable and the association would not be where it is today without the commitment, expertise, and efforts of so many of you. At the same time, we are as strong as the support mechanisms that were placed under us and we are better equipped to be future forward, when YALSA practices and policies within the volunteer environment acknowledge existing inequities and work towards redressing them. 

One outcome from the YALSA Board’s monthly chats has been the identification of the need for the Evaluating Volunteer Resources Taskforce. This volunteer team will collaborate with several YALSA volunteer groups from July 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021 to evaluate and update volunteer resources for inclusion and diversity and form recommendations for continued areas for improvement. The resources that will be evaluated include, but are not limited to (a full list will be shared with the group), the following: 

        • Volunteer groups’ charge and size;
        • Book Awards and Selected Lists policies and procedures; 
        • Continuing education presenter guidelines; 
        • Virtual volunteer member training for incoming chairs and group members.

Interested members may follow this link to apply here by June 1, 2021 to be considered for this opportunity. Further inquiries about the work of this taskforce may be directed to YALSA President AmandaBarnhart@kclibrary.org. Please feel free to reach out.

The YALSA Board recognizes the work already completed towards improving member engagement (2018) and believes that this Taskforce will encompass a different direction that is less focused on the volunteer appointment process. Likewise, the YALSA Board recognizes the big steps already completed towards updating the Odyssey and Morris Award manuals and believes that this new Taskforce will continue using a DEI lens in updating other YALSA Book Award and Selected Lists policies and procedures for inclusion and consistency. 

YALSA Advocacy: Resources to Stop Anti-AAPI Hate

On March 3, 2021, the Asian/Pacific American Librarian Association issued a statement condemning the attacks against Asian Americans due to racist misconceptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Young Adult Library Services Association wishes to join their sister organization in condemning these horrid attacks, and if you have civically-minded teenagers at your library, offer resources for them to take action themselves.

YALSA recognizes and strongly condemns the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes that have grown in intensity over the past year due to hate speech directed at the Asian community. Here at YALSA, we believe no one should be discriminated against due to their race, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

How can teen librarians support their patrons, and encourage teens of all races to stand up for each other? One of the most important issues can be recognizing racism, and figuring out what to do about it in the moment. Hollaback, a non-profit organization, has been offering free online trainings for how to disrupt and intervene when someone witnesses racism. This can be the first resource librarians hand out. While that training touches on the troubled history American has with Chinese immigrants, this article also provides a brief history, beginning with the way Chinese immigrants were painted as dirty and infectious to stir up anti-immigrant feelings and eventually exclude Chinese immigrants from voting or owning land.

Librarians can also host programs on racism. While her upcoming program isn’t specifically geared towards anti-AAPI racism, teen librarian Kim Iacucci from Fort Lee Library expects that it will come up naturally. She has scheduled a program titled Changing The World One Click At A Time: Teens And Activism In The Social Media Age. Fort Lee is a heavily Asian-American city right outside New York City, and held a Stop Asian Hate rally that drew a large crowd. She’s also working on a program for the library that’s about anti-Asian racism for all ages. 

Every teen should be able to come to the library and feel safe and protected. Being able to intervene, or even say that we see their struggle could mean the world to a teen struggling through the strangest year of their lives.

 

Posted by Stacey Shapiro, YALSA Board Advocacy.

YALSA Joins CALA and ALSC to Form a New Taskforce

The YALSA Board of Directors is excited to announce the formation of the Chinese American Library Association (CALA), Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC), and YALSA Joint Booklist Taskforce in celebration of CALA’s 50th anniversary! The Young Adult Library Services Association is honored to celebrate our sister organization’s continued impact on the profession by contributing towards centering Chinese American writers and characters in young adult literature.

This collaboration will produce a new booklist that will serve as a resource for members to diversify their library collections and ensure that underrepresented voices are amplified. The work of the taskforce is a two-year commitment and is expected to begin June 1, 2021 through March 2023. We need you, our members, to serve and help make this taskforce a success! Three YALSA members will be appointed to the taskforce.

Applications are now open and can be accessed at this link. The deadline to apply is May 14, 2021 Thank you in advance for volunteering to serve on the new CALA/ALSC/YALSA Joint Booklist Taskforce!

YALSA Seeks Member Volunteers

There’s a lot of great opportunities coming up to be more involved with YALSA! We’re currently taking applications for strategic committees. All participation is virtual, so members are asked to be skilled at using online tools such as Google Docs, Google Hangouts, ALA Connect, Zoom, etc. To apply you will access the form here: Committee Volunteer Form .

If you have questions or issues please contact Letitia Smith, YALSA Membership, lsmith@ala.org

Terms begin July 1, 2021 and end June 30, 2022.  For information specific to each committee, visit the link here.

  • AASL/ALSC/YALSA Committee on School & Public Library Cooperation
  • Division & Membership Promotion
  • Editorial Advisory Board (for YALS & the YALSAblog)
  • Education Advisory Board
  • Financial Advancement
  • Hub Advisory Board
  • JRLYA Advisory Board
  • Organization & Bylaws
  • Research
  • Teens’ Top Ten

    Thank you for your interest!
    ~Kelly Czarnecki, YALSA President-Elect

Future of Teens Public Librarian Education

YALSA supports the work of the IMLS grant funded project led by University of North Carolina Chapel Hill SILS faculty members, including Brian Sturm, Sayamindu Dasgupta, Casey Rawson, and Sandra Hughes-Hassell (YALSA Past President, 2017-2018). In YALSA’s letter of support for the project the following was stated:

“Changes in the services and programs public libraries offer, and in the increased diversity of America’s teens, require librarians who work with teens in public libraries to have new knowledge, skills, and dispositions. By aiming to reimagine LIS curricula for teen librarians, this project has the potential to transform the field of teen services librarianship.”

As current or former students of the LIS degree, we ask that you please consider contributing your time and insight towards this project by participating in an upcoming group feedback session: Re-envisioning LIS Curriculum.

Join us in re-envisioning the LIS curriculum for public library youth services.  Drop in any time between 3:30 and 5:-00 ET, April 8, 2021 to share your thoughts.  

How can I join?
Zoom link: https://unc.zoom.us/j/98463439117?pwd=OERZZkx2UlFFMUFQNVJNUzVkdDFSZz09
Meeting ID: 984 6343 9117
Passcode: 900103

What if I can’t come?
No worries. Add your ideas to this moderated Padlet.
Padlet URL: https://padlet.com/futureofys/60kguyq3zbvtyjgz

Questions?
Contact:
Sandra Hughes-Hassell <smhughes@email.unc.edu>

Linda Braun <lbraun@leonline.com>

We are looking forward to learning what you think.

 This project is being conducted by the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services.