Spring into a new YALS

yals spring 16 cover showing web with learning related imagesIt’s spring! Wonderful things are cropping up-blooming flowers, singing birds, leafy trees, and a spring issue of YALS. If spring is a time for new beginnings and fresh starts, then the new issue of YALS fits right in. This issue unveils a fresh new layout and design that you are sure to like. As for content? Excellent as always!

This issue’s theme is “Libraries and Learning,” a theme that President Candice Mack acknowledges could be seen as familiar ground, but..has a fresh take on it in line with the YALSA “Futures Report” and the world of libraries today. She encourages us to think about learning at the library not in terms of the “stuff,” but of the learning process the “stuff” enables.

Kate McNair has a great piece, “Creating a Culture of Learning,” that I think will be of interest to many of us. The library as a center of learning is an idea we’re comfortable with, but we typically think of just the library users as the learners. If we participate in learning new things as well, it may be easier to understand the needs and feelings of our users. How can we be part of the culture of learning too? McNair has some terrific suggestions, and I especially like the useful sidebar, “Where to Get Started in your Continuous Learning.”

Shannon Peterson is a fellow Past President, and I knew she did great work in that role. I did not know, though, about the amazing work she has done in her library system with an IMLS grant. In a feature interview, “Make, Do, Share: Sustainable STEM Leadership in a Box,” Peterson shares great insights into how this worked in her library system, why they did it, and how libraries without such a grant could make this work in their libraries.

Two articles highlight some of the great learning going on through school libraries. Darcy Coffta writes about the Berwick Academy Innovation Center and Jeffrey DiScala highlights the great work being done as a part of the IMLS-funded Lilead Fellow Program.

Like most of the librarians I know I get pretty excited about the annual Youth Media Awards.  Sandra Hughes-Hassell has a great take on the hoopla surrounding the awards, focusing on the promise of what will happen after the awards are announced, and how teens will interact with the titles.

Sara Ryan’s “Tell the Story: Use Outcomes to Show the Difference Your Program Makes” will be a boon to all who believe in their programs, know in their hearts they make a difference, but need to prove it. Using her own library’s programs as an example she shares how the Multnomah County Library uses YOUmedia hallmarks and specific evidence of how those hallmarks are met to tell the story of impact. I know that I will be implementing several of these strategies myself.

Finally, I want to draw your attention to a very important article in this issue, “Surviving a Bully at Work.” We probably all have thought a lot about identifying bullying situations with our students or children in the library, and what to do in those situations. Bullying can also happen with adults, in the workplace. National expert Jean Haertl and Vanessa Hale discuss what to do if this is happening to you. I hope that if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation (or know someone who is) you will read or share this article.  Bullying shouldn’t happen, no matter the age.

Enjoy the beautiful spring and your new issue of YALS! It should be in YALSA member and subscriber mailboxes any day now.

Sarah Debraski is a member of the YALS Editorial Advisory Board and School Media Specialist at Stony Brook Elementary School.

About Sarah Debraski

YALSA President, 2008-2009
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