Contact Congress Feb. 15 – 20 to Support Federal Library Funding

President Obama released his draft FY17 budget today.  The next step is for Congress to take it up.  Congress will spend the spring and summer working on their version, with the ultimate goal to have a final budget passed in fall.  In the President’s budget, proposed funding for the Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) is down by $500,000 over last year, grants to state libraries are down $900,000, and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy grant program (a funding opportunity for school libraries) is level funded at $27 million.  These are all vital programs that support the nation’s libraries.  ALA’s President, Sari Feldman, issued a statement today expressing disappointment.

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Teen Creative Writing & Art Contest for Teen Tech Week

As part of Teen Tech Week, YALSA is teaming up with the Connected Learning Alliance, Deviant Art, the National Writing Project, and Wattpad for the Twist Fate challenge.

The challenge is to get young people (ages 13-17) telling stories about what happens when a hero becomes a villain, or a villain a hero (through writing, video, digital art, animation, etc.) and sharing them across the Deviant Art and Wattpad platforms. It’s happening March 6-April 6th, and to ramp up for it there will be a series of free webinars with guests including Mimi ito, Christina Cantrill, Candice Mack, Josh Wattles from DeviantArt, and Jing Jing Tan from Wattpad:

Connecting the Creative Sparks of Young Makers to Supportive Communities of Practice Feb. 11, 7pm EST

Storytelling and Making Redefined: Get to Know the Wattpad Community Feb. 18, 7pm EST

Meet the “Deviants”: Networked Artists and Makers of DeviantArt Feb. 25, 7pm EST

Digital Literacy with Digital Sketchpads

What will the Covina Public Library be doing for Teen Tech Week? We will be hosting two active participation events and one passive activity in promotion of Teen Tech Week. The first activity will include hosting a Digital Literacy Day, providing a tutoring session focused on Google images, skills in Microsoft Word, and tutoring on the use of a digital sketchpad tablet. This activity will teach digital literacy skills directly related to success in school.

The second activity will spawn from the Digital Literacy Day in which teens more timid or unable to visit the group tutoring session via the Digital Literacy Day will have the opportunity to make one-on-one appointments during Teen Tech Week. During the appointments teens will be given tutorials one-on-one and will be based on the topics presented on Digital Literacy Day. In addition, teens will have the opportunity to be tutored on subjects specific to their needs. For example, teens will learn the basics of photo editing.

The final activity will be passive where reading resources may be checked out from a book display. Resources purchased through the grant and items from the library’s collection will be displayed to encourage digital literacy in a passive form. To prepare for this activity, all books will be selected from the collection and the grant and will be labeled “Teen Tech Week.” When teens check out any labeled item, their name will be placed in a drawing and a name will be selected for a chance to win a prize.

All activities will be presented in an effort to promote community and connected learning geared towards this age group. Through participation, teens will qualify for prizes including gift cards and resources that promote digital literacy. Random drawings will also take place from checking out digital literacy books, attending the tutorial sessions, and attending the Digital Literacy Day event.

We believe the most vital measurements of success include connected learning and skills building exercises, resulting in using knowledge hands-on. For Teen Tech Week, this means the library will purchase digital sketchpad tablets for each teen computer station and tutor teens on their use. By providing access to essential resources, this will enable teens to be empowered. In addition to providing connected learning, the digital sketchpad tablets will encourage teens to be passionate thinkers and idea makers. For instance, converting drawings to the computer for manipulation encourages creativity and mechanical thought processes. All this will be done in an effort to encourage teens to learn and have fun with learning new technologies so that they can become lifelong learners and be successful in school and life.

Covina Public Library is nestled just 25 miles east of Los Angeles in the San Gabriel Valley. We serve many low income families and seniors and promote the library as a family library. As a community center, Covina Public Library endeavors to make a difference in the community by being a Family Place Library, providing story times, crafts, movie days, tutoring for all ages, and seasonal events and activities.

 

Libraries Transform: An Interview with ALA President Sari Feldman

Please tell the YALSA members about your program Libraries Transform.

I have the great good fortune to be able to introduce Libraries Transform, but this is intended to be a three to five year public awareness program. Libraries Transform is an American Libraries Association program, it is not a President’s initiative. It is ALA’s new program for America’s libraries. It is a public awareness program that is intended to increase awareness of and support for the transforming library; to shift perceptions from the library as obsolete and nice, to have to essential; and to energize library professionals, build external advocates, and influence local, state, and national decision makers.

Most of our YALSA members do not work in management and have limited decision making authority within their library.  What are some ways that you envision this type of library staff person could participate in the campaign?

Well, certainly I think of YALSA members as some of the most facile in using social media and I think that is a tremendous opportunity to be both the messaging from the campaign through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, whatever tools people are using, the campaign’s graphic look really lends itself to social media, but also to communicate that libraries are less about what they have for people and more about what we do for people. So YALSA members are especially positioned to demonstrate to our communities and decision makers how libraries are changing the way young people learn.

Other than the 10 ways to get involved that are listed on the Libraries Transform web site, how else might library staff participate or be empowered to speak up for libraries?

Certainly, I think any opportunity to talk about the ways libraries are transforming is good. It is so important to not only be talking to ourselves, not to only be talking to other librarians or to library supporters, friends of libraries, etc. But, I think YALSA members also have an opportunity to not only have the messaging resonating with young adults, but to take this message into schools, because I know a big part of the YALSA membership is involved with the school community as well as the public community. So with the schools especially, we have an opportunity to not only communicate with young people but to expand that to communicate with teachers, administrators, and parents, who may be less aware of the changing library environment and the changing impact. One of the things about the campaign which is so important is that it is about all libraries, because we believe we are more alike than we are different. That libraries are creating individual opportunity and community progress. So whether that community is a college or university or public community or school community, it is about changing that community, being at the center of that community life. So there are so many ways that just communication and talking to audiences, talking to friends and family, that YALSA members can really be amplifying this message on behalf of Libraries Transform.

How do you see Libraries Transform relating to YALSA report, “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action”?

So certainly I see it inparticular about the changing way that YALSA members are talking about their work and certainly that one comes to mind immediately is about connected learning and concepts related to that, and the importance of learning that is more active. That has been a big part of the messaging of Libraries Transform, that although we are less about what we have for people, we still have things, we are not saying that we are not going to have collections in the future, but we are more about what we do for and with people. So certainly in the YALSA view, how young people learn, is that they learn collaboratively. The YALSA view is that learning is more flexible, learning is more self-directed, learning is more creative, with more of an opportunity to create content, not just use content. I think that just in the nature of viewing library work in that larger learning environment, whether it is a school or a public environment, is very close to the messaging of the campaign.

How do you think Libraries Transform and the YALSA report can inform each other to improve the future of libraries?

I hope that as YALSA members are building out a plan, a more tactical plan, either for their libraries or for YALSA as an association itself, that the messaging from Libraries Transform can be built into that. We can be thinking about not only how we tactically do the work but how we communicated the work to make supporters into active advocates, to be sure that funders are increasingly aware of the role that libraries are playing, and to be sure that policy makers and decision makers are conscious of the role that  libraries are playing in the learning of young people. I think that we can see in the results of the education bill that the lobbying effort was really strongly aligned with messages about the ways that libraries are embedded in the school environment. We need to elevate that messaging into all environments where we touch young people around learning. And I think that there is so much alignment but where it can be most valuable, is as we align when talking about public awareness and advocacy.

What are the key outcomes you and ALA are hoping to achieve with this campaign and how will ALA measure those?

So at this point, ALA is bringing on a staff member to lead this project. He will be introduced to the library community at MidWinter. But, I mentioned the broad objectives, which are listed on the website librariestransform.org , but ALA is really hoping that we will see ultimately increased funding for libraries, and much more engagement with policy makers and community stakeholders.

Is there anything else about the program that you would like to share with the YALSA community?

The Libraries Transform campaign will only be as successful as the activity level of the members of ALA. I see that social media will be one of the strongest opportunities to get the message out about the campaign. It really calls on the YALSA members to use the tools that they have to ensure that the message is heard. Once again, much of our work is focused internally, focused on learning new skills to advance our programmatic opportunities, bringing new technology into our field, designing programs and curriculum that better serve our audiences, in this case young adults, but it is very important that we tell this story more broadly and we tell this story to the less aware or less informed about the work of libraries, and how impactful around creating this learning environment that ultimately results in individual opportunity and community progress. I don’t know if your members know, but I started my professional career as a young adult librarian, so I have tremendous affection and loyalty to the work of YALSA members and I know that it is such an incredible opportunity to really ensure that a person stays engaged in learning, that kind of connected learning, active participation, the creative aspects that have been brought into learning as we think of it in the library environment, it is just so exciting to me. We need to make sure that we tell the story of transformation and that people understand the value of community investment in libraries, whether school libraries, public libraries, or college and university libraries.

Blog Post Round-Up: Partnership

Blog post round-up is a series of posts that pull from the great YALSAblog archive. The topics have been requested by YALSA members. Have an idea for a topic? Post it in the comments.

Community Partnerships:

Teen Programming: Building Teen Futures with Community Partnerships

30 Days of Teen Programming: Develop Rich, Mutually Beneficial Community Partnerships

30 Days of Teen Programming: Develop Partnerships Part 2

Adventures in Outreach: Micro Partnerships & Equity

Connect, Create, Collaborate: The Next Big Thing with Partnerships

School Library Partnerships:

Let it Go … The End of a Partnership

Partnership Profile: Library Linx

Blog Post Round-Up: Inexpensive and Easy Programming

 

The MaKey MaKey

The MaKey MaKey

Blog post round-up is a series of posts that pull from the great YALSAblog archive. The topics have been requested by YALSA members. Have an idea for a topic? Post it in the comments.

Inexpensive Ideas:

Back to Afterschool: Tech Resources

Pop Up Programming

30 Days of Teen Programming: Low Stress Making through Crafternoons

Easy:

30 Days of Teen Programming: Evaluate Outcomes

Developing Creative Programming for Teen Read Week

Keep These Things in Mind When Creating Programs:

30 Days of Teen Programming: How Do You Know What’s Needed

30 Days of Teen Programming: Programming for the Platform

 

YALSA joins with ISLMA and ILA to call for reinstating school librarians in Chicago Public Schools

The Illinois School Library Media Association (ISLMA) has issued a statement along with the Illinois Library Association and YALSA commending the students at DuSable High School for staging a successful read-in to protest the lay-off of their school librarian, and calls on Chicago Public Schools to reinstate school libraries in all schools across the city.  The Chicago Teachers’ Union issued a recent report indicating that only 32% of CPS high schools have a school librarian on staff.  In addition, the report reveals that schools whose student population is a majority African-American are disproportionately impacted by the cuts.  To read the full press release from ISLMA.

Sign this Petition to Protect Libraries & Patron Rights

Last week, the Michigan House and Senate passed legislation that is onerous to libraries and sent it to Governor Snyder to sign.  The library community is calling on the governor to do the right thing for libraries, schools, and parks by Vetoing SB 571.  If SB 571 becomes law, library staff could be sent to jail for sharing factual information about elections with their communities. Library boards could be fined thousands of dollars of sending out a newsletter if it shares information about what is on your local ballot. If this bill is signed into law, it will affect every Michigan library campaign 2016 (in 2014 there were at least 51 Michigan libraries on the ballot). This law, if it is not vetoed, would place a gag order on the library staff and boards’ ability to tell the truth about what the plans are to put tax money to work, and what the impact would be on community outcomes if it doesn’t pass.   Continue reading

Blog Post Round-Up: Intermediate Maker Programs

Blog post round-up is a series of posts that pull from the great YALSAblog archive. The topics have been requested by YALSA members. Have an idea for a topic? Post it in the comments.

 

Looking for posts on intermediate maker activities? Here are some great examples:

Week of Making: Maker Faire

Thinking (Out Loud) about Learning in Makerspaces

Cultural Competence and the Maker Movement

Week of Making: Collaborative Coding: Participation in a Community Appathon

Idaho Libraries Shake Up the Maker Movement: Creating makers, then spaces (part three)

Idaho Libraries Shake Up the Maker Movement: Creating makers, then spaces (part four)

2015 Teen Tech Week Grant Winner – Alexandra Tyle-Annen

2015 Teen Tech Week Grant Winner – Alexandra Tyle-Annen