Winners Announced: YALSA’s 2017 Top Ten Summer Learning Programs!

YALSA just announced its list of 2017 Top Ten Summer Learning Programs from its Teen Programming HQ contest!

Congratulations to:

1. TechStyles submitted by Aubrey Gerhardt; Otto Bruyns Public Library; Northfield, NJ
2. Teen Summer Internship submitted by Elizabeth Lynch; Addison (Illinois) Public Library
3. Robots Build a Better World submitted by Ricky Statham; Oneonta (Alabama) Public Library
4. Raspberry Pi ad Codrone submitted by Kate Chalman; Charles Ralph Holland Memorial Library; Gainesboro, TN
5. Summer Reading Intern submitted by Sonya Harsha; Algona (Iowa) Public Library
6. Adulting 101 submitted by Elizabeth Lilley; Pope County Library System; Russelville, AR
7. Summer of Service submitted by Stephanie Herrman; Union Parish Library; Farmerville, LA
8. Open Minds: Competitions in the Library Makerspace submitted by Sara Frey; Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School; Plymouth Meeting, PA
9. Recycled Tech for Teens submitted by Cat Mullen; Milwaukee (Wisconsin) Public Library
10. 3D Printer Clubs & Student Leadership Opportunities submitted by Pamela Jayne; Boone County Public Library; Burlington, KY

Each winner will receive a gift pack of YALSA books and swag. The winner of the $50 Amazon gift card – chosen randomly from all entrants of the contest – is Donna Bishop.

Entries were submitted via YALSA’s teen programming site, Teen Programming HQ.

YALSA’s Teen Programming HQ is a free, one-stop shop for library staff to find and share program ideas and to network with one another around issues related to planning, implementing and evaluating library programs for and with teens. The site aims to promote best practices in programming by featuring user-submitted programs that align with YALSA’s Teen Programming Guidelines and Futures Report.

Apply Now for the Libraries Ready to Code Grant!

Libraries Ready to Code

The application for Phase III of the Libraries Ready to Code Grant is open now through August 31, 2017.

The grant program, sponsored generously by Google, will fund a cohort of school and public libraries to design computational thinking and computer science programs for and with youth, including underrepresented youth. A total of 25-50 grants up to $25,000 each are available.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Public or school library (you do not need to be an ALA member to apply, but members will be given preference during the review process)
  • Library must be located in the United States or U.S. Territories
  • Program must be focused on computational thinking or computer science
  • Program must be completely free of cost to youth and their families, including deposits
  • Program must serve youth (anywhere on the Pre-K to grade 12 spectrum)
  • Must have prior approval from your library administration to implement the program (if grant funds are provided). Verification may be required upon request

Please note, you must meet all of the above eligibility requirements in order to apply for the grant. If you do not, your application will be disqualified.

A virtual information session about the grant program and application process will be held on Aug. 1 at 2:30pm EST. Reserve your seat here.  The recording of the session will be made available to those who can’t attend it live.  Additionally, before submitting an application, we encourage you to read the Request for Proposal and use it as a guide to filling out the application).  In addition, an FAQ, and list of resources including sample programs are on the Libraries Ready to Code site to inform your work as you prepare your grant application. Questions? Contact us.

Apply now through August 31, 2017.

Grant Funding for Computer Science & Computational Thinking Programs

ALA has announced a competitive grant program, sponsored by Google, that will fund a cohort of 25-50 school and public libraries to design computational thinking and computer science programs for and with youth, including underrepresented youth.  The grant application will open in late July.  If you’d like to get notification when the application is open, sign up via this online form.  The $500,000 program is part of Phase III of Libraries Ready to Code, an ongoing collaboration between ALA and Google to ensure library staff are prepared to develop and deliver programming that promotes computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) among youth, two skills that will be required for challenges and jobs of the future. YALSA is partnering with ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy, AASL, and ALSC to implement this program.  Learn more.

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Don’t Forget to Participate in the Top Ten Summer Learning Programs Contest!

Due to the success of last year’s “Top Ten” Summer Learning Programs Contest,” and in celebration of National Summer Learning Day on July 13, YALSA will be running the contest once more this year. We are looking for programs for your best ideas for summer learning and programs that focus on STEM/STEAM, digital literacy, college and career readiness, service learning, or that are aimed at under-served or underrepresented populations in your community are of special interest.

All interested individuals can enter the contest by submitting their program on the Teen Programming HQ site. All programs will be judged by the Teen Programming HQ’s member manager and its group of Content Experts who will select the top ten ideas that will become YALSA’s official 2017 Top Ten Summer Learning Programs. Submit your program now through July 15, 2017.

All ten winners will receive a gift pack full of great YALSA resources and swag. Additionally, one lucky winner from all submissions will be chosen at random to receive a $50 Amazon gift certificate. The official “top ten” list will be revealed in early August.

If you have any questions about the contest or the submission process, you can send your questions to the Teen Programming HQ’s Member Manager, Angela Veizaga at yalsahq@gmail.com.

Good luck!

Log On to Learn about Leadership Opportunities in YALSA on June 20th!

Interested in learning more about YALSA Governance? What does the Call for Nominations really mean? What does taking a leadership role in YALSA look like? Members just like you volunteer their time and energies to help direct the organization and fulfill YALSA’s mission and goals. Learn more about what you can do for YALSA and what YALSA can do for you! This online session on June 20th will be an informal conversation led by members of the Governance Nominating Committee, and an opportunity for you to ask questions and gain some insight into becoming a leader in YALSA.

The Meeting ID is 315 416 674.  Join the session any time between 2:00 – 3:00pm, eastern, from any of the following:

The recording of the session will be made available for those who are unable to attend the live event.  To learn more about being a board member, check out YALSA’s web site.

Meet with Your Congress Member–It’s Fun (kinda) & You can #SaveIMLS

My purpose of writing this blog post is to demonstrate that meeting with your member of Congress is easy and even a little fun!  Why do this?  Because this year is unlike any other in recent history: the White House is proposing to eliminate IMLS and with it all federal funds for libraries.  We must convince our members of Congress now that this will have devastating effects, or libraries will lose the support and funding they need to help their communities.  This is a do or die type of situation, and it calls for extraordinary measures.  The Congressional Management Foundation says that in-person meetings with elected officials are the single most effective way to educate them about your cause and persuade them to support it. If all YALSA members met with their members of Congress, that would send a compelling message that they could not ignore!

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What We Learned from a Visit to Washington DC & how You can Help

On May 2nd, I traveled to Washington DC with YALSA President Sarah Hill and other YALSA members to participate in National Library Legislative Day.  We focused our conversations on

Sarah and I met with Congressional staff who work for committees that are relevant to libraries, such as the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.  We participated in seven meetings in seven hours and here’s what we learned from this speed-dating with Congressional staff:

  • Your emails, calls, Tweets and letters are working—especially your calls and letters—but we need more. Everyone we met admitted that Congress is pretty old school.  So, calls and letters get more attention than social media or email.  This includes letters to the editor and op-ed pieces in local newspapers.  Please keep sending letters and making calls!  As of May 4, only 20 Senators have signed the letter supporting federal funds for libraries in FY18.  Check out this earlier YALSAblog post for sample messages and a ready to use letter to the editor (docx).

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Why You should Care about the FCC’s Attack on Net Neutrality

In 2015 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), after an outpouring of support from the public, put in place strict regulations to make sure  internet service providers (ISPs) could not do things like create fast lanes, or “throttle” online traffic.  They preserved an open internet where all traffic is treated equally online and where large corporations did not get preferential treatment over individuals or small institutions, like libraries or schools.  The American Library Association (ALA) has long been a supporter of net neutrality–keeping the Internet open and free to everyone–and has issued several statements on the topic.  Net neutrality aligns closely with libraries’ core value of providing free and open access to information for everyone.  You can learn more and keep up to date on developments from their District Dispatch blog.  This week, the Trump administration proposed rolling back those regulations with an ironically named “Restoring Internet Freedom” proposal, and they are now accepting public comments about the proposal.  Continue reading

Contact your Senator to Support Library Funding

Last month library supporters were called on to contact their Rep in the House.  Now it’s the Senate’s turn!  Please email, Tweet and/or call the offices of your two U.S. Senators and ask them to sign on to the “dear appropriator” letters for two critical pieces of library funding: the Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL).  Please share this widely and encourage your colleagues, coworkers, friends and family to contact the offices of their Senators as well.  This is an extremely tough budget year, and without huge grassroots support (i.e. thousands of voters contacting Congress), the nation’s libraries will lose this critical funding.  The deadline to sign the letter is May 19.

  • Go here to contact your Senators’ offices: http://cqrcengage.com/ala/home –ready to use messages are waiting for you!
  • Check up on your Senators after you contact them.  Use ALA’s easy tracking tool  to find out if your Senators signed the letters.  Then thank them if they did, or contact them again if they haven’t yet done so.
  • To learn more about the issue, read this ALA blog post.

Thank you for all that you do to support teens and libraries and don’t forget we have everything you need to be a part of National Library Legislative Day, May 2, on the wiki as well as 10 other ways you can take action right now to support libraries!

-Beth Yoke

P.S. If you’ve been trying by phone to reach your Senator and the lines are busy, try Resistbot instead

Federal Library Funding Update & Next Steps

April 3rd was the deadline for Representatives in the House to sign on to ALA’s “dear appropriator” letters for two funding streams for libraries: the Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL).  In all, 146 Members of the House signed on to support IAL, and 144 Members signed on to back LSTA.  Last year, just 124 members supported IAL, and only 88 supported LSTA, so the increased support is a good sign.  Thank you to everyone who contacted their House Reps!  If you haven’t done so already, please shoot them an email or a Tweet to thank them.  Check this chart to see if your Rep signed one or both letters. Continue reading