2019 YA Services Symposium Program Proposals Open!

YALSA has opened the program proposals for its 2019 Young Adult Services Symposium. The theme of the symposium is “Show Up and Advocate: Supporting Teens in the Face of Adversity,” and is to be held Nov. 1-3, 2019, in Memphis, TN. Submit a program proposal by February 1.

As advocates for teens, school and public libraries must support and push for social change and provide access to library resources, services, and activities to help teens overcome adversity in their lives. Libraries are challenged to create more inclusive and welcoming teen spaces where adolescents are free to express themselves, learn, and grow, as well as to promote literature and offer programming that engages teens and encourages them to take leadership roles in their communities. At this symposium, school and public library staff, educators, researchers, young adult authors and other teen advocates will explore how libraries can best support teens to help them effectively navigate a challenging world.

YALSA is seeking program proposals that address the following questions:

  • How do staff support teens and push for social change in our communities? How do we ensure representation and equity of access to materials and information? e.g. book and program challenges, the library as a “neutral” space.
  • How do staff help teens overcome adversity in their own lives? What literature can assist us? How do we encourage and support civic engagement and leadership?
  • How do current events and political landscapes affect teen patrons? How do we create more inclusive and “safe(r)” spaces? How do we empower teens to find their voice and speak out about issues important to them? e.g. gun violence, global warming, #metoo, institutional racism, LGBTQ rights.
  • How are staff affected by adversity on the job? How do we address this and other experiences like compassion, fatigue, and burnout? e.g. self-care

Now as an annual event with an expanded focus, programs at the symposium will cover the entire spectrum of topics related to providing services for and with young adults. In addition to addressing the theme, proposals should also highlight best or emerging practices for libraries of all sizes and capacities in one or more of the following categories:

  • Collections and Content Curation
  • Digital and Print Literacies
  • Equity and Inclusion
  • Outreach
  • Partnerships/Collaborations
  • Programs and Services (including planning, implementing and evaluation)
  • Tools for Practice (cultural competency models and training, trauma-informed care, mental health first aid, 40 developmental assets, social emotional learning, etc.)
  • Youth Participation

Application Requirements:

  • All presenters must register at the reduced presenter rate ($69) for the Symposium by September 1, 2019
  • All presenters must fund all their travel costs to the symposium
  • Only one session proposal per person will be accepted

Interested parties are invited to propose 60-minute programs centering on the theme via the online form found on the symposium site. Proposals for programs must be completed online by February 1, 2019. Applicants will be notified of their proposals’ status the week of April 1, 2019.

Registration for the 2019 YA Services Symposium will open in April. Sign up for updates here. To learn more about the symposium, visit www.ala.org/yalsa/yasymposium.

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