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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Throughout the YALSA Board meeting at Midwinter, the Board discussed some of the possible changes YALSA needs to make so that the organization can grow and change its strategic plan to reflect the Futures Report. In order to incorporate outcomes-based thinking into the strategic planning process, several things must be decided relating to the future direction of YALSA. What do we really want YALSA to look like in the future?

Having worked with outcomes-based planning in a school setting for several years, we were very pleasantly surprised to hear a number of board members relate their experiences with outcomes-based planning at their libraries. I think that everyone understood that this type of planning serves to focus the activities of an organization to attain measurable results. To that end, the YALSA board can look forward to many fruitful discussions between now and annual conference in San Francisco as we define and refine our goals and intended outcomes.

Is outcomes-based planning something new to you? IMLS has a section of their website that explains the process and why it is beneficial for libraries to use it. If you have more questions about outcomes-based planning and YALSA, feel free to contact Board members Vicki Emery or Carrie Kausch. Contact information can be found on the YALSA website.


Vicki Emery and Carrie Kausch

Has it crossed your radar yet that there's been a big shift in how laws are getting made?  Last year state legislatures around the country passed 45,564 bills, compared with just 352 passed in Congress.  That works out to an average of 911 bills per state.  This change in the way laws are getting made means that we need to change the way we advocate for teens and libraries.  Spring is the time of year when many state legislatures are in session.  What can you (or your teen patrons) do to call their attention to the importance of libraries?  YALSA has the answer!  We have everything you need to reach out to your state legislators and ask them if they will sponsor a resolution in support of libraries.  A resolution is not legislation or a bill--just a feel good message about libraries.  Both Congress and state legislatures pass these types of warm fuzzies all of the time in an effort to make nice with the voters.  YALSA has a few sample documents compiled into one file that you can adapt and use, including a sample resolution, emails and a press release.  Access the MS Word file today for an easy way to raise awareness about libraries with the elected officials in your state!
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Local teens tuned in to the Davie County Public Library in Mocksville, North Carolina, as the Youth Services Department celebrated Teen Tech Week  March 8-14. The following events were sponsored:

Movie Magic: Behind the scenes technology: Teens saw how movies are brought to life with the use of technology! Behind-the-scenes clips from several popular movies were shown and discussed.

Cyber Safety and the Law- Speaker Rob Taylor, ADA: Mr. Taylor gave a speech about cyber safety and cyber bullying. Teens, parents and interested adults were invited.

Libraries Are For Making: A hands-on workshop was held featuring the following stations:

-Robotics station featuring the Lego Mindstorm EV3: Teens worked together to figure out how to build and program a robot to complete each simple task like pushing a wooden block, turning around a coin, and picking up an object.

- Brush robot construction: Teens followed instructions provided to create the robots from wires, toothbrushes, pager motors, and batteries.

- Augmented reality book preview: Teens were able watch books come to life and created their own augmented realities through pictures and video captured by an iPad.

- Teen Tech Tutors: Teens were encouraged to show parents and friends how to use a device provided, and to answer any questions about the devices.

- Animation Station: Teens were able to use this studio for creating stop-motion animation videos that enabled them to build and shoot their own short movie using given props.

A wide variety of print resources were available that featured different areas of technology.

 

 

Submitted by Debbie Archer

This is a guest blog post by Wick Thomas about the Save MO Libraries rally.

I was the primary organizer of our Save MO Libraries rally in Jefferson City on Wednesday. The Governor is currently withholding 6 million dollars in appropriated funds from the libraries statewide and has recommended the same cuts next year. We decided to get some of our amazing teens together and take them to the Capitol to meet with their legislators to talk about why libraries are so important in their communities. We all had a great day until we got the Governor's office where his staff had us thrown out and threatened us with state troopers...

We had almost 100 teenagers take off from Kansas City for the Save MO Libraries Rally bright and early at 8 a.m. with a great media send off. It is Kansas City Public Schools spring break so we had an especially good turnout!

We arrived at the Missouri River Regional Library at 11:00 a.m. for pizza, to make posters, and to have an orientation for the day. (The Missouri River Regional Library staff is amazing!) Then we headed over to the South Steps of the State Capitol for the rally at 1:00.

We started a few minutes early because it began to rain and we were worried about the sound equipment. The teens decided that the rally should happen regardless of the rain, though. We had library systems from all over Missouri join us! I got to introduce some great speakers: our Library Director Crosby Kemper, noted civil rights activist Alvin Sykes, Camden County Library Director Michael Davis, State Librarian Barbara Reading, and teens from Kansas City Academy, Southwest High, Truman, East High, Northeast High and Van Horn. It was a spirited rally and the teens were especially great.

After that we went to our scheduled meetings with almost all of the senators and representatives from the Kansas City library districts as well as the Secretary of State's office. We split into three smaller groups to be more manageable and so the teens could meet with their specific officials. All of the meetings went very well. Our kids asked good questions and most of the legislators greeted them warmly and thanked them for caring so deeply about this issue.

We then headed to the Governor's office. His staff told us he was currently out of state but knew that we were going to come to his office anyway to speak with them. We got many of the teens into the reception area and then started calmly and respectfully asking them questions. After one of our teen's questions we were told that since there were meetings going on we were being too loud and had to leave. (We have video that clearly shows we were not being loud.) We asked if their staff would come out into the hall with us and talk to us there so we wouldn't bother anyone and they denied that request. Mr. Kemper and myself tried to reason with the staff and were then told that they would have State Troopers escort us out if we didn't leave immediately. We complied and left his office. They then called up extra security to monitor us and had Governor Nixon escorted out with four police officers. (I guess he wasn't actually out of state!) Many of our teens then went up and watched the chamber from the visitor's gallery and then we boarded the buses back to Kansas City.

Needless to say, many of our teens are now especially fired up about this topic. I have never been so disrespected by a public official and am especially appalled they treated our kids that way and then blamed it on them. (When they had already met with a dozen other officials with no problems at all.)

What now?- This is just the start.

*   After the teens were treated so poorly, the hashtag #savemolibraries really took off.

*   The petition to the Governor has received over 300 signatures since yesterday. On it you will find contact information for the Governor and for the House/Senate budgetary committees. Please share it with everyone you know.

*   It is especially important that you contact the Senate budgetary committee members right now as they began their deliberations this week.

*   Follow @kclibraryteens on Twitter and Facebook. (Pics from the rally are there!)

*   Direct people to www.savemolibraries.org for updates on the campaign.

*   This link includes handouts and images you can use at your library!

*   Let me know if you want to get involved so we can make this a more unified statewide effort!

We are going to be meeting with the teens who attended and strategize on what to do next. They are especially fired up about this and want to help lead the charge!

Save MO Libraries!

 

Please email or phone your members of Congress and ask them to sign the "Dear Appropriator letter supporting library funding via these two programs: LSTA (Library Services Technology Act) and IAL (Innovative Approaches to Literacy)."  Then, ask all other library supporters you know to do the same by no later than March 20th.  Contact information for Congress members is here: http://cqrcengage.com/ala/home (just put in your zip code in the box on the lower right side).

To see whether your Members of Congress signed these letters last year, view the FY 2015 Funding Letter Signees document (pdf). If so, please be sure to thank and remind them of that when you email or call!  More information can be found on ALA's blog, District Dispatch.  For more information about LSTA, check out this document LSTA Background and Ask (pdf).  For more information on IAL, view School Libraries Brief (pdf)

Thank you for taking this step to ensure that our nation's teens continue to have access to library staff and services that will help them succeed in school and prepare for college and careers!

-Beth Yoke

As the Maker Movement gains momentum across the country in schools and libraries, YALSA’s Cultural Competence Task Force is encouraging organizers to think about ways to expand the scope of maker programs to broaden their appeal to all kids. Making isn’t just about robots and Legos, and it’s not just for the “nerdy” boy. In fact there are many developments and initiatives that are changing the definition of makers and making that we want to highlight. From Black Girls Code, New York City’s Mouse.org, DreamYard’s DIY Dream it Yourself, the Community Science Workshop Network, to programs like Able Gamers and the Washington D.C. Public Library’s “DIY Fair for People with (and without) Disabilities”, we are seeing a concerted effort to engage and include children from underserved communities so they may envision a future for themselves in the tech world.

Another important direction for the maker movement is to step away from the robots and find opportunities to include maker activities that tap into a broader range of cultures and traditions. A research group at MIT called High Low Tech is a wonderful source of information about this topic and offers tutorials for some amazing and unique projects. We take particular inspiration from Leah Buechley, a designer, engineer, and educator who likes to create tools and programs that mix together cutting edge technology with traditional art forms (her inventions include the Lilypad Arduino). A great discussion of equity and the maker movement, and a nice shout out to Buechley’s work, can also be found at Rafi Santo’s blog.

If you’ve been thinking about how you can incorporate the maker movement into your library programming, we encourage you to take some time to explore these resources and find ways to connect with kids who may not think “making” is for them.

 

submitted by YALSA Cultural Competence Task Force

The mission of the YALSA Cultural Competence Task Force is to help you incorporate cultural competence into your everyday work, and to increase the relevance and value of our libraries as partners in our communities, especially in reaching traditionally underserved young adults. Kim Dare, 2014-2015 Chair

YALSA has released a new publication titled, Teen Services 101: A Practical Guide for Busy Library Staff, written by Megan Fink.

The new and down-to-earth publication aims to give library staff who are new or simply unfamiliar with serving teen patrons a realistic guide that can help them efficiently and effectively reach this segment of the community.

According to YALSA President Chris Shoemaker, “this new book fills a gap in the publishing world.  We know from PLA’s 2012 PLDS Statistical Report that two-thirds of libraries do not have a teen services specialist on staff.  This book is designed to help those libraries provide a core set of teen services, even if their resources are limited.”

Chapters within the guide cover real-world topics such as planning teen programs and making the library space welcoming to teens.  The book also provides information about how libraries can increase their impact through community partnerships.

Teen Services 101: A Practical Guide for Busy Library Staff is on sale now for $40 in the ALA store. YALSA/ALA members receive a 10-percent discount. Learn more about YALSA’s other products and publications here.

Limited copies of the publication are available to LIS faculty for review. To request a copy, please fill out this form.

 

For the full press release see: http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2015/02/new-yalsa-publication-teen-services-101-sale-now

The ALA Midwinter Meeting has ended, but the time to focus on YALSA's work has just begun. The YALSA Board of Directors voted at the Board II meeting to establish a YALSA Board Diversity Taskforce. This taskforce has a charge to analyze the current board recruitment and selection policies, procedures and resources, and recommend improvements in order to bring more ongoing diversity to the YALSA Board.

 

Chris Shoemaker, YALSA's President, is seeking members who are willing to serve on this new group.  As a virtual group, there are no travel requirements to serve on this taskforce, and the group will conduct its work between March 2015 and June 2016. Find out more about the task force from the board document.  If you're interested in serving, please fill out the volunteer form by no later than March 1st.

 

Have questions? Feel free to email me at nicolamcdonaldwriter@gmail.com or reach out to YALSA President, Christopher Shoemaker at cinf0master@gmail.com.