Call for Program Proposals for 2020 YA Services Symposium Open

The call for program proposals for YALSA’s 2020 Young Adult Services Symposium is open now through February 15.

The theme of the symposium is “Biggest Little Spaces: How Libraries Serve the Expanding Worlds of Teens,” and is to be held November 6-8, 2020, in Reno, NV.

Program proposals should address one or more of the following questions:

  • How do staff provide inclusive programming and diverse collections? 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 can literature assist us?
  • How does staff provide outreach to teens in their community?  How do you meet teens where they are?
  • 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

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

Through inclusive programming, diverse collections, outreach, advocacy, and partnerships, libraries offer safe spaces for teens. Do your programs and services meet the complex and diverse needs of contemporary young adults? Does your teen section or YA collection need a refresh? Have you found partnerships to encourage and advocate for young adults? Join YALSA for our 10th Symposium in Reno, Nevada as we discuss the literature, activities, and the biggest little places needed to serve and inspire today’s teens.​

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 submitted by February 15. Applicants will be notified of their proposals’ status the week of April 15.

Registration for the 2020 YA Services Symposium will open in April. Sign up for updates here. To learn more about the symposium, visit www.ala.org/yalsa/yasymposium.

A huge thank you goes out to the members of the 2020 YA Services Symposium Planning and Marketing Taskforce: Chair, Scot Smith, Robertsville Middle School Library, Oak Ridge, TN; Amelia Jenkins, Juneau (AK) Public Library; Keiko Sanders, La Jolla, CA; and De Anza Williams, University of Illinois-Urbana for their work on creating a theme for the symposium. Thank you again!

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