YALSA supports the work of the IMLS grant funded project led by University of North Carolina Chapel Hill SILS faculty members, including Brian Sturm, Sayamindu Dasgupta, Casey Rawson, and Sandra Hughes-Hassell (YALSA Past President, 2017-2018). In YALSA’s letter of support for the project the following was stated:
“Changes in the services and programs public libraries offer, and in the increased diversity of America’s teens, require librarians who work with teens in public libraries to have new knowledge, skills, and dispositions. By aiming to reimagine LIS curricula for teen librarians, this project has the potential to transform the field of teen services librarianship.”
As current or former students of the LIS degree, we ask that you please consider contributing your time and insight towards this project by participating in an upcoming group feedback session: Re-envisioning LIS Curriculum.
Join us in re-envisioning the LIS curriculum for public library youth services. Drop in any time between 3:30 and 5:-00 ET, April 8, 2021 to share your thoughts.
In 2019, the 22×20 Taskforce was established as YALSA’s in-kind contribution to the work of the 22×20 campaign. This TF remained active for two years and went through many changes as they faced challenges, including the pandemic. At Midwinter 2021, the TF submitted a recommendation to create a committee that focuses on teen civic engagement that was approved by YALSA’s Board of Directors.
YALSA leadership is now seeking volunteers to serve on the Teen Civic Engagement Committee. The committee will create resources, training, and events that support members in centering engaging diverse teen voices and elevating issues that are important to them.
According to a study done by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, California teens who are engaged in civic life are healthier and are more likely to consider attending college. This study, and others like it, show how vital the work of this committee will be. If you are currently a member of YALSA, and creating resources to support our members in this work sounds fun, then I encourage you to apply. This promises to be an exciting opportunity! Volunteer Here.
For additional information please visit the committee’s webpage. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about this committee. Applications are due April 23rd.
Melissa McBride is currently an elementary school librarian in Long Island, NY. She is a member of the YALSA Board of Directors.
Every year through generous donations to Friends of YALSA and the Leadership Endowment, YALSA is able to recognize and award individuals (and their libraries) who work for and with teens through our various awards and grants. The work these individuals, along with everyone else in the library community, accomplishes on a daily basis is nothing short of amazing and admirable. This is why we’d like to take this time to spotlight this year’s award and grant recipients, as well as congratulate and thank them for their work and dedication to teens and teen services.
Molly Dettmann, Coordinator of YALSA’s 2021 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team
The 2019 Outstanding Books for the College Bound Committee: Yolanda Hood, chair, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada; Donna Steel Cook, Central ISD, Pollok, Texas; Kelsey Hughes, South Bowie Branch, Prince George’s County Memorial Library System, Bowie, MD; Jane Nichols, Oregon State University Libraries and Press, Corvallis, OR; Jennifer Powell, Tarrant High School, Tarrant, AL; and Jamie Watson, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, MD.
Each recipient will receive complimentary membership to YALSA for one year.
The past year has presented teens and the libraries that serve them with numerous challenges that will continue to affect them in 2021 and beyond. What does the future hold for today’s teens? Where do we as librarians go from here? What’s next for our libraries? Join YALSA, librarians, and YA authors as we discuss strategies for serving teens during difficult times and continue to develop programs that ensure our biggest little safe spaces thrive for years to come.
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
YALSA’s symposium is an annual event that has expanded its focus over the years and features programs that 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
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.)
Interested parties are invited to propose 60-minute programs centering on the theme via the online form found on the symposium site by April 1, 2021. Applicants will be notified of their proposals’ status the week of May 1, 2021.
Are you a writer or blogger? YALSA offers several opportunities for members and non-members to contribute to YALSA. One of them is writing for our publications, which includes our blogs and journals, and is a year-round opportunity. See below for descriptions of each publication, along with information regarding the type of content each publication seeks.
*The Hub: YALSA’s teen collections blog is looking for diverse voices to blog about issues related to working for/with teens to develop and curate materials in all formats for teen collections.
The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults (JRLYA): YALSA’s open-access research journal seeks research concerning the informational and developmental needs of young adults; the management, implementation, and evaluation of library services for young adults; and other critical issues relevant to librarians and library staff who work with young adults.
*YALSAblog: YALSA’s teen services blog is looking for diverse, forward-thinking, and innovative voices in teen services to blog about challenges, successes, and failures relating to teens, learning and libraries.
Young Adult Library Services (YALS): YALSA’s official journal serves as a vehicle for continuing education for librarians serving young adults, ages 12-18. Each issue is themed and calls for article proposals are made each quarter. Articles should be of current interest to the profession, showcase best practices, provide news from related fields, spotlight significant events of the organization or offer in-depth reviews of professional literature.
*indicates members’ only opportunity, but there is also an opportunity for individuals to guest blog. Those who write for YALSA also have the opportunity to be selected as a recipient for our annual Writing Award.
YALSA continuously strives to uphold its commitment of featuring content and contributions from a diverse range of voices, experiences, interests, backgrounds, and more. If you’re interested in writing for YALSA, please fill out the interest form. This opportunity is open on a rolling basis.
Friends of YALSA is happy to introduce our 2021 Campaign, YOU + YALSA = the Sky’s the Limit. We invite you to donate to Friends of YALSA to help fund our array of scholarships, awards, giveaways, and a new idea that we’d like to offer to volunteers this year and in the years to come.
Why donate in 2021?
This year’s new initiative is supporting volunteers with slow or unreliable internet access. With virtual activities becoming a bigger part of professional organization opportunities, we want to make sure that everyone who wants to volunteer with YALSA does so without concern about internet service. We’d like to use a portion of funds raised from our 2021 campaign to purchase hotspots to be loaned out to volunteer members whose internet service does not support the amount of virtual work that needs to be done throughout the year. YALSA’s current membership is over 3,700 strong. Please consider a donation to help colleagues from around the world the opportunity to participate in YALSA volunteer appointments to the best of their ability, regardless of internet service.
2020 Emerging Leader: Seungyeon Yang-Peace, Las Vegas Clark County Library District, Nevada
2020 Innovation Award: Brittany Garcia, Rancho Cucamonga Public Library, California
2021 Writing Award Winners: Jennifer Banas (The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults); Terry Lewis and Cate Sweeney (Young Adult Library Services); Deborah Takahashi (YALSABlog)
Shipping of Great Books Giveaway: Belfast Area High School; Franklin Township Public Library; Townsend Harris High School
Would you consider making a donation to Friends of YALSA during 2021? You may donate by credit card via the ALA Development Office’s secure website, or send a contribution by mail by downloading and completing the paper form. Send your donation to: Friends of YALSA, 225 North Michigan Ave, STE 1300, Chicago, IL 60601.
Thank you in advance for your support, gift, time and generosity.
~Amanda Barnhart, YALSA President 2020-2021,
~Traci Glass, YALSA Financial Advancement Committee Chair on behalf of the Financial Advancement Committee
In August of 2020, I started my seventeenth year in education and my fourteenth year in a school library at Liberty High School in Lake St. Louis, MO. As I began to plan for the year, I felt the overwhelm that I know all of us, regardless of tenure in our libraries, experienced. The programming, the flexible spaces, the collection of tech–many of the “Future-Ready” elements I had dedicated time and money to build or curate–suddenly weren’t what teens or staff needed as our school district launched with a hybrid schedule. And that general “groove” I’d found myself in professionally for the last few years? It was gone. I felt scared, I questioned my value, I didn’t know how to help.
I did, however, have a dynamite network of local school librarians I had grown even closer to in the first few months of the pandemic, thanks majorly to our frequent Zoom meet-ups. And as I began to kick around the idea of trying a school-wide shared reading experience, I felt safe asking for their opinions and guidance. Was I too ambitious? What did they think about my book choice? Would they be interested in collaborating? These amazing women were immediately supportive and open to working together so the project could benefit not just my school community, but theirs as well. We dove in as a team, choosing Kate Moore’s The Radium Girls, titling the program, “One Read,” and dividing the work.
Through our collaboration, we created a shared slidedeck full of lesson ideas, discussion questions, video links, activities, and more. We connected the book to various curricula including science, health, English language arts, business, art, and social studies, and we even took a group trip to film a virtual field trip of one of the towns featured prominently in the book. We agreed on a program hashtag, created a kick-off video, and created our own t-shirts. We even got our hands on a couple of Geiger Counters to enhance our students’ learning. We geeked out! Multiple switches to and from remote learning in my district complicated our efforts to talk with students about their One Read experiences, but teachers shared grateful emails and visited us in person to speak about how they were engaging students with the content. Continue reading Finding a New Groove with Community Collaboration
It wasn’t until I was drafting my essay for my graduate school application that I knew what kind of librarian I wanted to be. Currently, I work as an academic librarian, where I tend to non-traditional students and their woes of returning to college. I enjoy my job very much; however, working with the youth, particularly teens, has been my goal since I began grad school. There are youth librarians all over the United States, all of them with varying reasons on why they wanted to work in this area of librarianship. For instance, they may have a passion for interacting with kids and teens, or perhaps working with youth keeps them young and vibrant themselves.
My reasons for becoming a youth librarian are probably the same as others, and I’ve got three of them. For one, I want to give teens a voice. Second, I want to show them how the library is still relevant to their lives, and third, I want to show them that as a person of color, we exist in all professions, including as youth librarians.
With social media platforms freely available, teens have multiple ways to voice their opinions. Even with Facebook and Twitter, not everyone takes teens seriously because some are treated like children; they should be seen and not heard. Sometimes, I catch myself dismissing my 14-year-old brother’s opinions, which isn’t right. As a future youth librarian, I’d like to ensure that teens can freely and safely express themselves. When they can share their thoughts and feelings, they have the agency and autonomy to make choices that benefit them. Teens of color need to be comfortable with expressing their views about the world. It has been my experience that they are silenced and punished for being who they are, be it through their natural hair, sexuality, religion, etc. As a future youth librarian, I plan to create programs and spaces where teens can be honest, and that’s enormously important. Continue reading Three Reasons Why I Want to be a Youth Librarian
YALSA would like to thank the Teen Programming HQ’s current manager Dawn Abron for all the great ideas and leadership she’s poured into the HQ the past two years. Thank you for all your great work, Dawn!
YALSA is seeking a Member Manager for its programming web site, Teen Programming HQ for a one year term starting March 1, 2021. The Member Manager will receive an honorarium of $500 per year. Please note that this is not a salaried staff position, but a member volunteer opportunity. Apply by February 15, 2021 by sending a resume and cover letter to Anna Lam at email@example.com.
The mission of the site is to provide a one-stop-shop for finding and sharing information about library programs of all kinds for and with teens. The site promotes best practices in programming by featuring user-submitted programs that align with YALSA’s Teen Programming Guidelines, Futures Report and Mission Statement. Additionally, the site enables members and the library community to connect with one another to support and display their efforts to continuously improve their teen programs.
The Member Manager will work with YALSA’s Communications Specialist to ensure the site is relevant, interactive, engaging and meeting member needs for information about innovation in teen programming, as well as participates in the maintenance of the site and work within the guidelines for the site as set by the YALSA Board of Directors. The Member Manager drives the recruitment of experts and the collection of content for the site; generates ideas for direction and content; obtains, analyzes and uses member and library community feedback about the site; assists with marketing; and ensures programming related activities, news and resources from YALSA are integrated in the site, and vice versa.
List of Qualifications for the Member Manager:
Strong project management and organizational skills
Ability to delegate work and to manage a variety of contributors and volunteers
Dynamic, self-motivated individual
Excellent verbal and written communications skills
2020 has been a challenging and difficult year. As we move through this final month of 2020, I’ve been thinking about the things I’m most grateful for and a big piece of that is the support I’ve felt from my YALSA and ALA colleagues. Just being able to talk about books, attending sessions at the year’s virtual YALSA Symposium, and “seeing” everyone at this year’s virtual Annual conference was something that buoyed my spirit and reinvigorated the love I have for this work. Coincidentally, we recently celebrated #GivingTuesday, and I was excited to donate to Friends of YALSA (FOY) to help others achieve their dreams of studying and working in the library field. As someone who was helped by FOY funds through the Board Fellow Program, I know how important these opportunities are to growing passionate and dedicated folks in the profession. During this unprecedented time, teens need us more than ever, and Friends of YALSA provides scholarships, leadership opportunities, conference attendance assistance, and much more through monies donated all year to support those who work for and with teens.
This year, our big fundraising raffle was cancelled due to the Symposium being virtual, but in light of that, we have a fun surprise! YALSA is offering the chance of winning a free virtual author visit from Gretchen McNeil, author of 2020 YALSA Teens’ Top Ten winning title, #MurderFunding and 2019 YALSA Teens’ Top Ten winning title #MurderTrending.While donating is not required to enter to win, we truly hope you will consider donating to FOY or specifically to our Give $20 in 2020 campaign as it winds down for the year. If you have already donated this year – THANK YOU! If you have not donated, please consider giving if you are able to help support your colleagues during these difficult times. And, be sure to fill out the form to throw your name (or the name of a colleague if you’d like to gift the visit) in the hat for the opportunity to treat your teens to a virtual author visit. Please submit the form by January 30, 2021.
Thank you to Gretchen and Freeform Books, an imprint of Disney Publishing Worldwide for donating this awesome prize. And, thank you, to all of you, for supporting each other in all the ways you do during this time.