With our youth patrons returning to school, now is the perfect time to re-evaluate your community’s demographics and set goals to “Get Away” and connect with those underserved populations. As you consider where to start, the first step may seem daunting, but tackle the unknown in a way that is most comfortable for you. We’ll be sharing our ideas about setting goals during our Teen Read Week Twitter chat Setting Goals to Reach Underserved Teens onFriday, September 11 at 2 pm EST. If numbers and statistics read like a first language, you’ll probably have your own plan of action in which to gather information and compile results into charts and graphs. However, many of us need a different approach in order to ease our way into such unfamiliar territory and we offer a few ideas here.

Demographics from an insider view

Consider your teen patrons’ habits as a diving board into better knowing your community. For instance, if your teens often ask library staff for change to spare for food, comment about not eating breakfast, or are eager to attend library programs especially for the free snacks, you may want to further explore this trend. Start by investigating the nearby school’s stats on free and reduced lunches, the city’s poverty percentages, or the state’s caseload counter for food stamp families. The location of these resources will also provide other relevant data that may offer a more detailed view into the issue. Once you have a baseline of data, connect with local food pantries and other social service providers and start a conversation. You may discover any number of ways to partner with these organizations from creating a bookmark for the public listing the location of these services to facilitating meal programs.

Demographics from a bird’s eye perspective

Map the government, parks, nonprofit, and other community agencies within your library’s service area. If a particular trend in services exists, investigate its related statistical topics and connect with those organizations. Also, the types of businesses in your service may offer a starting point into better understanding your community. If you notice an unusual number of liquor stores in your area, you may check the location of rehabilitation centers or AA groups and connect with them. Another way to address your map of agencies, is to first connect with the organizations located nearest to your library, as those service are directly targeting your immediate area.

Take action with us in better understanding your community by joining the Teen Read Week Twitter chat on Friday, September 11 at 2 pm EST. Come ready to share your goals and gain new ideas and resources from your peers. When joining the Twitter chat, be sure to use #TRW15. See you there!

Amanda Barnhart is the current chair for YALSA’s Teen Read Week committee, an MLIS student, and a Young Adult Associate for the Trails West branch of The Kansas City (Mo) Public Library.

 

YALSA is seeking teen programming Content Experts for its upcoming web resource, Teen Programming HQ. The mission of the new site is to provide a one-stop-shop for finding and sharing information about programs of all kinds designed for and with teens. The site will promote best practices in programming by featuring user-submitted programs that align with YALSA’s Teen Programming Guidelines and Futures Report. The site will also enable dissemination of timely information about emerging and new practices for teen programming; raise awareness about appropriate YALSA tools to facilitate innovation in teen programming; and provide a means for members and others interested in teen programs to connect with one another to support and share their efforts to continuously improve their teen programs. The site is in beta testing now and will fully launch October 1st.

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Ever wish you had a chance to show off your skills to your current employer or a potential one?  Now you do!  YALSA’s Badges for Learning virtual badge program is now live!  Earning these badges can help you ‘show what you know’ to the world, because they can be posted to social media and online resumes.

Librarians, library workers, and library students with an interest in staying up to date on trends in teen services can complete learning-based tasks and develop skills tied directly to the seven (7) competency areas covered in YALSA’s Competencies for Serving Youth in Libraries. Participants will develop projects in one of seven areas to show proficiency in that area. Once proficiency is proven, participants will earn digital badges that can be displayed in virtual spaces, such as social media or online resumes. An expansion of YALSA’s professional development offerings, the program is free, completely virtual, and asynchronous.

Funding for this project was generously provided by HASTAC, the Mozilla Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation.

For questions about these badges, contact Nicole Gibby Munguia at, (800) 545-2433, ext. 5293, or email nmunguia@ala.org. For information about our other e-learning opportunities, don’t forget to visit http://www.ala.org/yalsa/onlinelearning.

 

You work hard all summer to provide teens with a variety of activities to help them learn and grow.  But chances are, your elected officials do not know about the great work you do and what it means to teens and to the community.  So, it's up to you to show them!  Elected officials need to know about the vital role libraries play in helping teens succeed in school and prepare for college, careers and life.  Without this knowledge, they will not be able to make informed decisions regarding key pieces of legislation, such as the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) or the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA).  District Days--the time when members of Congress are back in their home states--are the perfect chance for you to show off all the great things you do for and with teens through your library, by inviting your Congressperson to come and visit any time between Aug. 1 and Sept. 6, 2015.  You could also bring your teen patrons to them at their local office.  YALSA's wiki page has everything you need to extend your invitation, plan for a visit, and be a great host!  Your teens are relying on you to speak up for them, so be sure to seize this opportunity.  Then, tell us how it goes by sending photos and information using the #act4teens hashtag.

The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults (JRLYA), the official research journal of ALA’s Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), is currently accepting submissions for a special themed issue. The issue will highlight research related to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) issues and public and school library services for teens. We also welcome research papers examining other diversity issues and the implications for teen library services. Researchers, librarians, graduate students, and others who conduct research related to young adults (ages 12 – 18) and libraries are invited to submit manuscripts. Papers describing both scholarly research (qualitative, quantitative, or theory development) as well as action research are welcome for peer review and consideration of publication. Papers that report library programs but lack an original research component will not be considered.

Writer’s guidelines are located at http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/author-guidelines/. Email manuscripts by October 30, 2015, to editor Denise Agosto at: yalsaresearch@gmail.com.

JRLYA is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal located at: http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya. Its purpose is to enhance the development of theory, research, and practice to support young adult library services. JRLYA presents original research concerning: 1) the informational and developmental needs of teens; 2) the management, implementation, and evaluation of young adult library services; and 3) other critical issues relevant to librarians who work with this population.

 

Yalsa membership covers everything from free monthly webinars, to discounted online courses, to access to various grants, scholarships and stipends, to the award winning YALS journal and much more.

Current board practice is to engage in discussion about dues policy and structure approximately every five to ten years. These discussions include looking at membership categories along with the cost of membership. In 2010 the Board discussed these topics and decided to add categories - for example the non-salaried category - and revise its dues structure with regular member dues increasing from $50 to $60, student dues going from $20 to $25 and corporate dues being raised from $60 to $70.

In an effort to help YALSA to remain financially stable, the board will discuss board document #33 on Monday, June 29, 2015 at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.  The document provides an overview of current YALSA dues policy and structure and outlines a way to create a more sustainable method for ensuring the financial stability of the association while at the same time supporting members.

If you will attend the conference remember that you are more than welcome and encouraged in fact, to sit in on YALSA Board meetings. And even if you won't be in San Francisco for the conference you can still read item #33 and all other board documents that will be discussed over the three days, Saturday through Monday. If you have any questions at all any board member would be happy to help you so just reach out.

 

Nicola McDonald, the 2014-2015 YALSA Board Fellow is the Chair of YALSA's Board Diversity Taskforce and a Library Manager at NYPL.

The YALSA Advocacy Task Force promotes resources that support librarians to act for teens in their libraries and communities. Each month we focus on one YALSA Advocacy Benchmark and this month’s benchmark is “implementing change working with administration and colleagues”.

Most librarians that serve youth are motivated and inspired by our teens to advocate for positive systemic change. But another motivation that drives me of late is the belief that everyone that works in the library has the capacity to be a good grown-up for teens and they have a significant part to play in serving youth in libraries. This idea is not new, but freshly sparked in my mind by a training session presented by the Search Institute about their research regarding the 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents. These assets identify what youth need for healthy growth and development into caring and responsible adults. Libraries already support many of these assets and they are perfectly connected to our work with youth.

Implementing internal change involves building trust and inclusion with administration, colleagues, and all library staff.  There are different approaches depending on the culture and organization of your library branch or larger library system. As a front line librarian, I internally advocated daily by reporting out to staff, my branch manager, and my youth services manager by sharing stories, photos, reporting stats, promoting youth events internally, and enlisting their help with projects and programs.

At the same time, our library system’s Youth Services Manager internally advocates for teens by reporting out and working with administrators, management, as well as other internal library departments. She also directs our youth services goals and desired outcomes so that they align locally with our library system’s strategic plan as well as with YALSA’s Core Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth.

Implementing positive change for teens by working with administration and with colleagues is vital to meaningful and sustainable teen services. It is begins with a conversation with the people you work and the professional network and support of YALSA.

Lisa Lechuga is Youth Collections Librarian at the Kitsap Regional Library.

 

YALSA is seeking a Member Manager for its upcoming web resource, Teen Programming HQ, The mission of the new 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 will promote best practices in programming by featuring user-submitted programs that align with YALSA’s Teen Programming Guidelines and Futures Report. The site will also enable dissemination of timely information about emerging and new practices for teen programming; raise awareness about appropriate YALSA tools to facilitate innovation in teen programming; and provide a means for members and the library community to connect with one another to support and display their efforts to continuously improve their teen programs. The site is expected to have a soft launch in July and a full launch in September. Please note that web developers have been contracted with to build the site. The Member Manager is not expected to have any web site design or development responsibilities.

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 assists with the recruitment of experts and the collection of content for the site; generates ideas for direction and content; helps obtain, analyze and use member and library community feedback about the site; assists with marketing; and assists with ensuring programming related activities, news and resources from YALSA are integrated in the site, and vice versa.

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The March 2015 issue of Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults features two papers relating to YALSA’s The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action report.

In “The Impact of Assigned Reading on Reading Pleasure in Young Adults,” Stacy Creel, Assistant Professor in the School of Library & Information Science at the University of Southern Mississippi, discusses a survey of the reading habits and preferences of 833 U.S. teens aged 12 to 18. Her research showed that students who self-selected reading materials for school-assigned reading projects enjoyed the reading more than those who read assigned titles, and that girls tended to enjoy reading for school more than boys. This research adds to a growing body of research supporting the importance of allowing students to choose their reading materials to develop a life-long love of reading.

In “Connected Learning, Librarians, and Connecting Youth Interest,” Crystle Martin, a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Digital Media and Learning Hub of the University of California at Irvine, presents an in-depth look at the educational benefits of connected learning. Connected learning harnesses the connective power of social media and teens’ excitement about their personal interests and hobbies to facilitate deep, teen-driven exploration and experimentation. It also combines peer learning and creative production, such as blog or digital artwork creation. Dr. Martin describes the connected learning framework in detail and explains how YA librarians can take advantage of its potential learning benefits.

Together these two papers show the importance of making teens’ interests core to library services. This means turning the traditional view of librarians-as-experts on its head to make teens the experts of their own interests and information needs. It means encouraging teens to make collection development and programming decisions, and viewing social media and other youth-driven information environments as prime places for providing library services. Above all, these papers argue for youth-centered, youth-driven library services as the future of YA librarianship.

Denise Agosto, Editor

The Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults  has a new call for papers for a special issue highlight research-based best practices. Check out the full CFP below.

CALL FOR PAPERS:

Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults

Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults (JRLYA), the official research journal of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), is currently accepting submissions for a special themed issue. Researchers, librarians, graduate students, and others who conduct research related to young adults (ages 12 – 18) and libraries are invited to submit manuscripts. Papers describing both scholarly research and action research are welcome and will be submitted for peer review and consideration for publication. Submissions are due June 30, 2015.

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