June 2014 seems a long long long way away. But, it’s really not so far off. And you know as well as I do that what seems far away has a habit of sneaking up on one. That’s why the YALSA 2014 President’s Program Task Force is hard at work planning for the event at Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

The President’s Program Task Force has gladly taken on YALSA President Shannon Peterson’s charge for a President’s Program on connected learning. The team – made up of myself; Maureen Hartman from the Hennepin County Library (MN); Kate McNair, from the Johnson County Library (KS), Candice Mack, from the Los Angeles Public Library (CA); and Carrie Kausch, from the Fairfax County School System (VA) – read the connected learning report, discussed it, and last week sponsored a Hangout with colleagues to consider what connected learning means to librarians and educators. The video of that conversation is below.


The library staff and educators that the Task Force talked with in the Google Hangout were inspirational in their comments. It was clear that connected learning already relates to what we do in libraries to support teens. The key step is understanding how to connect new and current programs and services to the powerful ideas of connected learning.

Based on the Task Force’s work we are planning a program that will be a highly interactive event – no panels or formal presentations – that includes opportunities to:

  • try connected learning for oneself
  • receive coaching and mentoring on how to help teens and community members use the library as a connected learning resource
  • find out how to advocate for connected learning opportunities in the library and the community

The Task Force would love to learn from you what questions you have about connected learning, what examples of connected learning you have from your community, any ideas you have for the program. (Add your thoughts, ideas, and questions to the comments.) Along with the face-to-face event the group is also working on complimentary materials such as a Connected Learning Toolkit. Stay tuned for more details on all of the pieces.

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President and the Youth and Family Learning Manager at the Seattle Public Library.

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