Search Results for: teens help yourself

Teens, Help Yourself

Recently this image has gone viral. It’s a photo from Sacramento Public Library that seems to have been first posted online in January. Many of my colleagues have been inspired to post a similar sign in their branches. This sign demonstrates a practical solution for providing assistance to teens who, for whatever reason, are reluctant to ask staff for help.

Many teens I find roaming in the library often do not want to engage with staff. I do things like wear fandom buttons on my lanyard, which has helped to start conversations, but when most staff offer to help  a teen find a book or show them how to use an e-source, they politely decline.

So how do you serve someone who doesn’t ask for help? Continue reading

YALSA Professional Learning Series: The Future of Library Services for and with Teens –Working with At-Risk Teens

gameboard

Welcome to the second in YALSA’s new monthly professional learning series. Each month we’ll highlight a topic and give readers the chance to learn about it as well as discuss it with others. Here’s how it works:

  • On the first of each month the YALSA Blog will post an overview of the topic of the month. That overview will include links to resources to read, watch, listen to, etc.
  • If you are interested in participating in the learning during the month, comment on the initial blog post to say something like, “yes, I’m in.”
  • Each week the facilitator of the topic – that’s me this month – will check-in with participants with a post that poses questions and helps to focus conversation on the topic.
  • Participants can converse with others about the topic by commenting on those posts.

We hope this is a low-stress way to learn something new or expand your knowledge on a topic. There is no pressure, just a desire to learn and discuss your learning.

Onto this month’s theme – Working with teens who may be at risk

In 2013 YALSA published the Future of Library Services For and With Teens: A Call to Action. That report, based on a year of research, prodded library staff working with teens to think differently about the teens they serve (and don’t serve) and think more broadly about who they are, where they are and what their needs may be.  Like the Future’s Report itself, this isn’t something that just happens, it takes time, conversations with your colleagues, really looking at your community and also thinking outside the box. 

The resources below should help you to begin thinking differently about your services for and with teens. It’s up to you what you read and/or watch. Pick and choose from the selections as a way to get started and to focus on what you think is most useful. You may make your way through them all, you may not. I’ve included some ideas of what to consider while you read or view so as to help provide context and focus.

Definition of “at risk youth” There are a lot of definitions of “at risk” youth and they can be loaded as well as sounding negative toward youth.  A broad definition can be that at risk teens can be at risk for not completing high school, may struggle socio economically, homeless, involved in drugs and/or alcohol, in foster care, court involved and each of these can put them at further risk and trauma.

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YALSA Professional Learning: The Future of Library Services for and with Teens – Thinking Differently

photo of kid feet in sneakers surrounded by books, notebooks, tablet, and smartphone Welcome to the first in YALSA’s new monthly professional learning series. Each month we’ll highlight a topic and give readers the chance to learn about it as well as discuss it with others. Here’s how it works:

  • On the first of each month the YALSAblog will post an overview of the topic of the month. That overview will include links to resources to read, watch, listen to, etc.
  • If you are interested in participating in the learning during the month, comment on the initial blog post to say something like, “yes, I’m in.”
  • Each week the facilitator of the topic – that’s me this month – will check-in with participants with a post that poses questions and helps to focus conversation on the topic.
  • Participants can converse with others about the topic by commenting on those posts.

We hope this is a low-stress way to learn something new or expand your knowledge on a topic. There is no pressure, just a desire to learn and discuss your learning.

Onto this month’s theme – Thinking Differently
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#act4teens: The YALSA Future of Library Services for and With Teens Report: Resources to Help You!

In 2012 and 2013 through funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, YALSA embarked on an ambitious journey to create the National Forum on Libraries and Teens. Its culmination was The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action, or Futures Report for short. The report’s purpose is to provide a roadmap for 21st century teen library services. Its hashtag, #act4teens, boldly reinforces the report’s subtitle. For me, #act4teens is akin to the Yoda quote, “Do. Or Do not. There is no try.” We must act to move teen services in our libraries forward.

YALSA and the Future of Teens and Libraries Taskforce created several #act4teens resources that can be found on the National Forum on Libraries and Teens’ shared resources page, which directs you to three types of tools designed to help you #act4teens at your library and in your community.

You’ll find:

  1. One-page fact sheets to give to a variety of different audiences to raise awareness and excitement about the future of library services for and with teens. Factsheets are geared to the following audiences:
    • Community members, partners, and advocates
    • Faculty and researches at library and information science schools
    • Library staff
    • School administrators and principles
    • Library trustees
  2. Canned presentations to use when you present the report to others and again can be used with a variety of audiences.
  3. A tip sheet geared specifically to help you bring the ideas of the Futures Report to administrators. The tip sheet provides strategies for starting a dialogue with your supervisor about the report and its implications. It also provides steps on how to start moving forward to reimagine services for and with teens in your community.

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Serving At-Risk Teens Topic of New Publication

As a Teen Library Services Specialist in an urban library branch, I’m always on the look-out for resources on serving at-risk teens.’  Recently one of my own coworkers here at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Teen Services Manager Angela Craig, published Serving At-Risk Teens: Proven Strategies and Programs for Bridging the Gap with Chantell L. McDowell.

Serving at-risk teens

I sat down with Angela Craig and asked her a few ‘ questions about her book and her work with at-risk teens.

MH: Tell me just a little bit about yourself and your background working with at-risk teens both in and out of the library.’  I understand you have also served teens through the YMCA and as a camp counselor.

AC: I’ve worked with at-risk teens since college.’  I started with a therapeutic horseback riding program called AWARE, which stands for Always Wanted a Riding Experience.’  I took teens who had been in abusive situations and helped them connect with horses.’  It was fantastic.’  Later I took that experience with me to the YMCA where I facilitated outdoor education to teens and school aged children.’  These experiences served me well when I started at the Public Library in 2005.’  I never associated working with at-risk youth and library services, but everything I learned as a camp counselor came in to play later when I was a librarian. Continue reading

Connect, Create, Collaborate: Do Teens?

creative commons image by Flickr User AJC1 of thought bubblesHave you ever noticed the number of posts on Twitter, or Facebook, or blogs that pose the question, Do teens….? This could be: Do teens use Twitter, Do teens still use Facebook, Do teens use Tumblr, Do teens read horror, Do teens eat peanut butter? These questions have started to annoy me because while I value connecting to a professional learning network as much as the next library staff member serving teens (I really do), I think that instead of asking everyone in the world about teens generally, we should connect directly with teens in our own communities and ask them how they are spending their time, what technology they use, what they like to read, and so on. Sure, the teen library staff member in the next town over, or across the country, might have some insight on what teens like, dislike, and how they spend their time But, she probably does not know the specifics of your community that can make something the most or least popular thing around for the teens that you work with.

I understand that if we glom all teens into a group that it makes understanding them and providing services easier. And, I also understand that sometimes generalizations work. It’s also true that research that focuses on teens as a group, such as that just published by the Pew Internet & American Life Project on Teens, Social Media and Privacy can be really useful and help to set a foundation for the work done with the age group in libraries. But, what I worry about is that some library staff working with teens use the generalizations and what works in one community as the foundation for what they do for/with teens in their own community without ever talking with teens in their locale directly. And, as a result, miss opportunities for creating services that are personalized and customized and just right for that specific community’s teens.
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Win $1000 with the MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens

Do you run a spectacular teen book club? What about a great speakers series that gets teens engaged in reading? Did your summer reading program bring teens through the doors in droves? Have you come up with a great way to help teens connect with literature by using social media? You could win $500 for your pocket and another $500 for your library by applying for the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Best Literature Program for Teens!

YALSA members who have run an exceptional reading or literature program in the 12 months leading up to December 1st are eligible to apply for this award recognizing an outstanding reading or literature program for young adults. The MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust.

Applications and additional information about the award are available at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/awardsandgrants/mae. Applications must be emailed to Nichole Gilbert (ngilbert@ala.org) by December 1st. For questions about the award, please contact jury chair Mary Haas at mhaas@aacps.org.

Not a YALSA member? It’s not too late to join so you can be eligible for this award. You can do so by contacting YALSA’s Membership Marketing Specialist, Letitia Smith, at lsmith@ala.org or 800.545.2433 x4390. Reward yourself for bringing young adults and books together and encouraging the development of life-long reading habits. Apply today!

Connect, Create, Collaborate: Creating Apps with Teens

For almost anything you need or want to do on a smartphone, “there’s an app for that.” According to ZDNet, teens average 25 apps on their mobile devices, with many installing over 40. Going behind the device and the apps and exploring what goes into making an app can help teens learn a variety of skills, and help demystify the technology. That’s why teaching teens how to make apps is something you might want to do. But, you may ask, “how can I teach teens to do something that I don’t know how to do myself?” Don’t worry, MIT’s App Inventor has everything you need to start teaching workshops on Android App creation, all online, and all free.

The first step is to spend a little time on the Teach and Learn pages of the App Inventor site. The Teach page includes everything that you, as the teacher, need so you can help teens through the process of creating an app. The site includes curriculum materials, including lessons on how to create three apps (a Magic 8 Ball, a painting app, and pong).
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Finding motivation to help make a difference with teens


Last week was a bit rough at my library. My colleagues and I read in our local paper where a ‘teen regular’ (a teen that regularly visited the library for many years) is among five teens arrested for murdering a 17 year old over an issue of disrespect. Obviously this case hasn’t gone to trial yet since the news just appeared in the paper so we don’t yet know the outcome and it could be a very long time until we do.

While we might not get the chance to see this particular teen in the library anytime soon, it might serve to motivate us in connecting with teens a bit deeper than we might have done previously. If you find yourself in a similar situation, perhaps the following three suggestions can help: Continue reading

Take Time for Teens

RoseMary Honnold, Teen Read Week Committee Chair

Editor-in-Chief, VOYA Magazine

Happy Teen Read Week!

Time is our greatest gift, and giving your time to the people and things that matter most to you creates a satisfying life for you and the recipients benefit in many ways. The Search Institute lists asset building ideas for youth workers and the key to all of the ideas is quality time spent engaging teens in conversation, meaningful activities, and providing space and materials that they need. (http://www.search-institute.org/content/asset-building-ideas-for-youth-workers) As teachers and librarians and parents who care about teens, giving your time to do these things is one of the most important parts of your jobs.

Yet, it is not always an easy task to inflict yourself upon teens in the library. Teens can be a bit leery of adults, sporting a well-earned paranoia that the adults are suspicious and watching them for misdeeds. So, finding ways that make it easy and comfortable for teens to talk with you is a big step to building relationships with them and making the library a more welcoming place.

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