77% of public libraries do not have a dedicated teen services librarian. On average, there is only one librarian for every 953 students in an average school setting. Alarming in their own right, these statistics are especially problematic because as documented in The Future of Library Services for and with Teens report and elsewhere, today’s teens face an ever-expanding menu of challenges. Not only are demographics changing, but the skills that that they need in order to be successful in school and in life are as well. As librarians, we are poised to address these issues but with marked decreases in our ranks, the task becomes all the more urgent.
YALSA is the only non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for teens and libraries. As a member driven association, we’re all “YALSA,” so what action can we take to reverse these trends on both on local and national levels? Join me for a virtual town hall this Friday, February 7th from 2-3 EST. We’ll talk about some of the current projects that the Board has put into place to help you advocate and to amplify the message that all teens deserve access to strong and engaging school and public libraries. I also look forward to discussing the challenges, successes, and conundrums that you’ve faced in your careers as teen services advocates, whether as enthusiastic newbies or seasoned pros.
Thanks for reading and I hope to connect with you on Friday!