Please contact the office of your Representative in the House 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 Reps 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 April 3.
Thank you for all that you do to support teens and libraries!
P.S. If you’ve been trying by phone to reach your Rep and the lines are busy, try Resistbot instead
In order to continue to raise awareness about the critical role that the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) plays in supporting teens through libraries, we encourage you to consider sending a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. We’ve created a sample letter that you can adapt. As an alternative, you might ask a teen patron or a library supporter to adapt and send the letter. Why are letters to the editor important? The Congressional Management Foundation says that this is an effective strategy for reaching your member of Congress and raising awareness about an issue that’s important to you. Congressional staffers monitor news outlets looking for articles and letters that mention their member of Congress and share the item with them, because the opinions of voters influence a Congress member’s position on an issue. For additional details about why it’s critical to advocate for IMLS, and to find out further ways you can take action, read these blog posts: March 16, and March 20
The White House budget released last week called for the elimination of the only federal agency that supports the nation’s libraries, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Doing away with IMLS would negatively impact every library in the U.S. by eliminating over $200 million in library funding that is distributed to every library in the U.S. through state library agencies. In order to prevent this from happening, there must be a sustained grassroots effort to advocate for restoring IMLS to the federal budget between now and when the budget is finalized in October. Because without those funds, teens will lose access to resources, services and experts they need to help them succeed in school and prepare for college, careers and life.
By now, we hope you’ve already contacted your members of Congress to tell them to oppose the elimination of IMLS. If you haven’t, read the details in my March 16 blog post and take action. Here’s what you can do next: invite one of your Representatives or Senators to visit your library, or bring some of your teen patrons and library advocates to the Congressperson’s local office to meet with them, so your elected official can see up close and in person the many ways that libraries, with support from IMLS, help teens. Congress will be on break from April 8th through April 23rd. This is the perfect time to extend the invitation to visit or schedule a meeting. If you’ve never done this before, don’t sweat it. YALSA’s District Days wiki page has everything you need to extend an invitation and plan a great visit or meeting. Continue reading
The White House budget that was released today calls for eliminating the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS), the only federal agency charged with providing support to the nation’s hundreds of thousands of libraries and museums. ALA and YALSA need your help to ensure that IMLS is saved, because without libraries teens will not have the resources and support they need to succeed in school and prepare for college, careers, and life. Here’s what you can do right now:
- Between now and April 3, contact your House Rep to ask them to support two library funding bills. Ready to use messages and contact information are on the ALA site.
- Meet with your Congress members April 8 – 23 when they’re back at home because Congress is taking a recess
- Adapt this sample letter to the editor and send it to your local paper
- Use the sample messages in this document to contact the offices of your members of Congress
- Share your photo or story via this form of how support from IMLS has enabled you and your library to help the teens in your community. YALSA will use this information to advocate against the elimination of IMLS
- Sign up via this web page to receive updates on the #SaveIMLS effort
- Add your name to this online petition being circulated by EveryLibrary
- Start planning how you, your teen patrons, and library advocates will participate in National Library Legislative Day on May 2. Use the resources on YALSA’s wiki
- Join YALSA, or make a donation, because together we’re stronger. YALSA’s the only organization that supports and advocates for teen services. Dues start at $61 per year. Your support will build our capacity to advocate for teens and libraries
- Add this #SaveIMLS Twibbon to your social media graphics & put a similar message in your email signature
- Encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to do the above as well
Don’t know much about IMLS? Here’s a quick overview: through IMLS, every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. territories receive funding to support their state’s libraries and museums. In FY14 the total funding IMLS distributed to states and territories was $154,800,000. In addition, IMLS offers competitive grant opportunities that individual libraries and museums can apply for. In FY14 they awarded 594 grants (from 1,299 applications) totaling more than $54,700,000. Visit the IMLS site to see how much funding your state receives from them.
Want to take further action to support teens and libraries? We salute you! Check out the free online resources we have to make speaking up for teens and libraries easy.
YALSA is seeking up to four teen programming Content Experts, especially those with expertise in STEAM, school libraries, ESL, outreach, or community partnerships, for its web resource, Teen Programming HQ.
The mission of the 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 promotes best practices in programming by featuring user-submitted programs that align with YALSA’s Teen Programming Guidelines and Futures Report.
The site 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. In its first year, the HQ ran contests where prizes were given out to “top” programs.
Content Experts will work with the site’s Member Manager to vet all incoming program submissions and determine which meet the necessary criteria for being featured on the site. As part of this effort, Content Experts will be expected to give timely, constructive feedback to individuals regarding their program submissions. Please note that the Content Experts will not be submitting the content; rather, they will be reviewing content that is submitted by others. Content Experts should also feel comfortable with social media and have an understanding that marketing the website will be a crucial part of their role.
It is almost that time again! Time to apply to be a YALSA Board Fellow. You can read all about the details of being a Board Fellow here. But what is the experience really like? Check out these posts from previous Board Fellows:
Nicola McDonald first and second post about her experience as Board Fellow.
Carrie Kausch’s post about her experience as Board Fellow.
Applications are due on December 1st. Click here for the application requirements.
Scratch Summit Participants Learning to Use Scratch
This year was the first Scratch Summit, a partnership between the Progressive Arts Alliance (PAA) – a Cleveland based organization that deepens the learning experiences of youth by designing and implementing arts-integrated, project-based learning programs; the Scratch Team; the Scratch Foundation; and researchers from the Coding for All project – including those from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society and the Digital Media and Learning Hub.
At DML 2016 I went to a session on post-emergent library makerspaces. This session really dug into the challenges of maintaining a makerspace in a library overtime, looking past makerspaces and learning labs emergent phase. The session explored libraries that were part of a 1 year action research plan funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Below are challenges and solutions from three different libraries of thosedescribed in the session:
Anythink library created The Studio originally planned and staffed by the teen and the technology librarians but they have now moved on to other position. We don’t have the people to support the spaces. Professional artists had been working in the space but the turnover created communication breakdown between the artists and the library. The loss of the original staff also caused institutional knowledge gaps. It is a small library so there was very little written documentation. In order to keep The Studio going the library realized that all staff needed professional development training, not expert knowledge, just a basic understanding of the materials and the space: what is the tech, how to connect patrons to correct media, how to get in touch with artists-in-residence. To be successful the staff at The Studio recommend that you integrate your program into your institutional structure. Your makerspace can’t just be that shiny room in the corner, it needs to be framed as experiential learning for the patrons. No matter what staff member a patron talks to they should be able to give the gist of the program. They found that they needed to change recruiting and hiring of staff, that they need traditional librarians but also need other professionals with different skill sets. Creative professionals bring their network with them.
Planning your summer learning program?
Consider applying for our 2017 Summer Learning Resources and Teen Summer Intern Grants.
Through generous funding from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, two grants are available: the Summer Learning Resources Grant and the Teen Summer Intern Program Grant. The purpose of the grants is to help libraries combat the summer slide, as described in YALSA’s position paper, “Adopting a Summer Learning Approach to Increase Impact.”
Twenty summer learning resources grants, worth $1,000 each, will be awarded to libraries in need and will allow them to provide resources and services to teens who are English language learners, struggling in school and/or who are from socio-economically challenged communities. Twenty teen summer intern program grants, also worth $1,000 each, will be awarded to libraries to support the implementation of summer learning programs while also providing teens a chance to build hands-on job skills.