Help #FundLibraries! Contact Your Congressional Members by March 10!

Please take five minutes to make your voice heard! We need you to contact your members of Congress and ask them to fund libraries.

Note: The deadline to sign these appropriations letters is much shorter than in previous years. The letter leaders in Congress need to hear from other Congressional Members by March 10. Your advocacy is needed now.

If you want to take an additional step, call the office directly as listed here:

    • Contact the House of Representatives operator at 202-225-3121 to speak to your Representative
      • Ask them to sign the “Grijalva-Young LSTA letter.” They can contact Flavio Bravo at Flavio.bravo@mail.house.gov or 202-225-2435 to sign.
      • Ask them to sign the “Johnson-Young-McGovern IAL Letter.” They can contact Nawaid Ladak at Nawaid.ladak@mail.house.gov or 202-225-8885 to sign.
    • Contact the Senate operator at 202-224-3121 to speak to both of your Senators offices.

Please share this note with your colleagues, friends, family, and any other library lovers in your life and ask them to make these requests. We need Congress to hear us, loud and clear.

Direct any questions to Kevin Maher in the ALA Public Policy & Advocacy office, kmaher@alawash.org.

Give $20 in 2020 to Support the Next Generation of Leaders in Library Services

Did you know? Your $20 donation to Friends of YALSA (FOY) can make all the difference as it can truly impact the lives of library staff and the communities they serve. Thanks to you and your donation, library workers serving teens may have access to programs and services that address the exciting challenges of the 21st century and creates pathways to share that knowledge with the entire Association. Each year, FOY donations fund over $15,095 in member awards, grants, scholarships, and stipends, and we are grateful for your generous support.

One program that YALSA participates in that is supported by FOY is the ALA Emerging Leaders (EL) Program. This program helps build the skills of library workers across the country by enabling library staff to participate in project planning workgroups, network with colleagues, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers. Thanks to your donation to FOY, YALSA is able to sponsor one member every year.

YALSA’s 2019 Emerging Leader Kacy Helwick, Youth Collection Development Librarian at New Orleans (Louisiana) Public Library, used her experience from the EL program to springboard her leadership skills and career opportunities. “I realized I don’t have to be a supervisor or manager to be a leader in my library system,” said Helwick. “After finishing my team’s project and coming back from ALA Annual last year, I volunteered to be part of my library’s strategic planning team, and helped to draft the plan that will influence the goals and objectives for our staff for the next three years. [Emerging Leaders] reinforced the idea that I should apply for the opportunities that interest me, because I definitely won’t get the chance to succeed if I don’t try.”

Emerging Leaders is not only about building practical skills. For YALSA’s 2020 Emerging Leader Sue Yang-Peace, Youth Services Librarian at the Las Vegas (Nevada) Clark County Library District, the program has also been a boost to her professional confidence. “I have felt as an imposter and that everyone could tell that I did not belong as a librarian. The Emerging Leaders Program has given me the opportunity to meet other librarians and to see that I am just like them; I do belong.”

Thanks to your donations, our Emerging Leaders have the opportunity to develop and grow. YALSA would like to continue to fund the Emerging Leaders Program, so as 2020 begins, please consider making a donation of $20 to Friends of YALSA and supporting the next generation of leaders in library services, and so much more. Our goal is to have 4000+ donators. This goal is based on the number of current YALSA members; however, you don’t have to be a YALSA member to donate! Your support is greatly appreciated.

-Chris Shoemaker
Financial Advancement Committee member

Give $20 in 2020

In 2020, YALSA encourages all YALSA members and the library community to participate in its new Friends of YALSA (FOY) fundraising campaign, Give $20 in 2020. Its goal is to increase sustainability and strengthen FOY to fund member awards and grants. This is a year long campaign to encourage all 4,000+ YALSA members (and the library community in general) to donate at least $20 to FOY in the year 2020. If each YALSA member participates, FOY could comfortably fund scholarships, grants and stipends, including the Spectrum Scholarship and Emerging Leader, and more for the next 5+ years. 100% of donations will fund FOY’s initiatives.

Donate $20 to FOY online or by mail.

Thank you in advance for your support!

New Issue of YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults: Vol. 11 N. 1

Volume 11, Issue 1 of YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults (JRLYA) is now available online. This issue features research papers about the health-related information needs of public library teen patrons, Australian authors’ OwnVoices, and teen novels featuring characters who identify as LGBTQIA+.

Acknowledging the lack of health reference training for many public librarians, Jennifer R. Banas, Michelle J. Oh, Robin Willard, and Jeremy Dunn examine public teen librarians’ ability to help their patrons search for and use health-related information.  The research team’s results demonstrate which types of health-related issues teen patrons ask about most often, which issues librarians feel most competent to help locate and use appropriate information, and which issues they feel least competent to handle. A replicable tool was also developed by the authors so that other public librarians might improve the health literacy of their communities.

Emily Booth and Bhuva Narayan interviewed seven Australian authors who identify as Indigenous Australian, a person of color, or a member of queer or disabled communities in order to understand the extent to which these authors feel their stories should be used as tools for learning about marginalized people’s experiences.  The authors’ findings illustrate the challenges and expectations that authors from marginalized communities encounter when adding their OwnVoice to the field of youth literature.

Identifying that literature for teens may be a source of learning about sexuality and sexual health for teens who identify as LGBTQIA+, Kristie Escobar interviewed such a group of teens who read books from the Rainbow Book List.  The teens were asked to reflect on the authenticity of the depictions of LGBTQIA+ characters and the extent to which the books fulfilled an information need they might have about sexuality or sexual health.  The author argues that literature about LGBTQIA+ teens may help fill a void left by sexual education that is traditionally abstinence-focused in publicly-funded high schools.

JRLYA is YALSA’s open-access, peer-reviewed research 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. JRLYApresents 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 teens. Writer’s guidelines are located at http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/author-guidelines/.

Robin A. Moeller, editor, JRLYA

Call for Program Proposals for 2020 YA Services Symposium Open

The call for program proposals for YALSA’s 2020 Young Adult Services Symposium is open now through February 15.

The theme of the symposium is “Biggest Little Spaces: How Libraries Serve the Expanding Worlds of Teens,” and is to be held November 6-8, 2020, in Reno, NV.

Program proposals should address one or more of the following questions:

  • How do staff provide inclusive programming and diverse collections? How do we ensure representation and equity of access to materials and information? e.g. book and program challenges, the library as a “neutral” space.  How can literature assist us?
  • How does staff provide outreach to teens in their community?  How do you meet teens where they are?
  • How do we create more inclusive and “safe(r)” spaces? How do we empower teens to find their voice and speak out about issues important to them? e.g. gun violence, global warming, #metoo, institutional racism, LGBTQ rights.
  • How are staff affected by adversity on the job? How do we address this and other experiences like compassion, fatigue, and burnout? e.g. self-care

In addition to addressing the theme, proposals should also highlight best or emerging practices for libraries of all sizes and capacities in one or more of the following categories:

  • Collections and Content Curation
  • Digital and Print Literacies
  • Equity and Inclusion
  • Outreach
  • Partnerships/Collaborations
  • Programs and Services (including planning, implementing and evaluation)
  • Tools for Practice (cultural competency models and training, trauma-informed care, mental health first aid, 40 developmental assets, social emotional learning, etc.)
  • Youth Participation

Through inclusive programming, diverse collections, outreach, advocacy, and partnerships, libraries offer safe spaces for teens. Do your programs and services meet the complex and diverse needs of contemporary young adults? Does your teen section or YA collection need a refresh? Have you found partnerships to encourage and advocate for young adults? Join YALSA for our 10th Symposium in Reno, Nevada as we discuss the literature, activities, and the biggest little places needed to serve and inspire today’s teens.​

Interested parties are invited to propose 60-minute programs centering on the theme via the online form found on the symposium site. Proposals for programs must be submitted by February 15. Applicants will be notified of their proposals’ status the week of April 15.

Registration for the 2020 YA Services Symposium will open in April. Sign up for updates here. To learn more about the symposium, visit www.ala.org/yalsa/yasymposium.

A huge thank you goes out to the members of the 2020 YA Services Symposium Planning and Marketing Taskforce: Chair, Scot Smith, Robertsville Middle School Library, Oak Ridge, TN; Amelia Jenkins, Juneau (AK) Public Library; Keiko Sanders, La Jolla, CA; and De Anza Williams, University of Illinois-Urbana for their work on creating a theme for the symposium. Thank you again!

Committee Volunteer Form Open! Apply by Feb. 1

Get leadership opportunities and be a part of moving YALSA forward while networking with colleagues. Serve on one of YALSA’s strategic committees, advisory boards or taskforces!

President-Elect Amanda Barnhart will appoint members for the following 2020-2021 groups:

  • AASL/ALSC/YALSA School/Public Lib Coop. – 7/1 to 6/30
  • Organization and Bylaws – 7/1 to 6/30
  • District Days – 2/1 to 6/30
  • Division and Membership Promotion – 7/1 to 6/30
  • YALS Editorial Advisory Board – 7/1 to 6/30
  • Financial Advancement – 7/1 to 6/30
  • Annual Conference and Local Arrangements – 1/1/21 to 6/30/21
  • Research Committee – 7/1 to 6/30
  • Research Journal Advisory Board – 7/1 to 6/30
  • Teens’ Top Ten Committee – 7/1 to 6/30
  • The Hub Advisory Board – 7/1 to 6/30
  • YALS/YALSAblog Editorial Advisory Board – 7/1 to 6/30

Learn more about each committee here. All terms are for one year unless indicated otherwise. Term start and end dates are indicated above. Before submitting the form, view the committee FAQ and the committee responsibilities section in the YALSA handbook. Fill out the form (must log into your ALA account) by Feb. 1. Questions? Please email Amanda Barnhart.

New Issue of YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults: Vol. 10 N. 3

Volume 10, Issue 3 of of YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults (JRLYA) is now available online at http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/. This issue features research papers relating to library digital services and peritextual elements.

In their study, “‘Getting Basic Information Isn’t as Helpful as the Nuanced Advice We Can Give Each Other’: Teens with Autism on Digital Citizenship Education,” Amelia Anderson and  Abigail Phillips surveyed teens with autism to better understand their experiences with online bullying and the extent to which they wish to engage with digital citizenship programming at their local public libraries.

Rachel M. Magee and Margaret H. Buck worked with teen researchers Juliana Kitzmann, Nathaniel Morris, Dylan Petrimoulx, Matthew Rich, Joshua Sensiba, Eyan Tiemann, and Aidan Wempe to examine teen social media practices in their article, “Teen Social Media Practices and Perceptions of Peers: Implications for Youth Services Providers and Researchers.” The researchers discuss their analysis of survey results, which suggest that teens have a complex relationship with technology and prioritizing learning while online.

JRLYA is YALSA’s open-access, peer-reviewed research 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 teens. Writer’s guidelines are located at http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/author-guidelines/.

Robin A. Moeller, editor, JRLYA

“Once upon a time, there were four teens who loved books”

At Kreutz Creek Library in Hellam, PA, we were fortunate to secure one of the ten YALSA/Dollar General Literacy Foundation Digital Equipment Grants to purchase digital media equipment. One of the requirements for accepting the grant is to create a digital media project connected to the 2019 Teens’ Top Ten using the equipment. The teens at Kreutz Creek Library chose to make a video book trailer of Jen Wang’s graphic fairytale ‘The Prince and the Dressmaker.’ This is the story of what happened next.

‘Once upon a time, there were four teens who loved books. They loved reading so much that their fairy godmother decided to give them a challenge.

“Here are 25 Young Adult novels, nominees for the Teen’s Top Ten list. Choose one and make a video book trailer using this digital equipment.”

“Hooray! Yeet! Wait, what?” exclaimed the teens.

“Listen carefully,” said their fairy godmother, “there’s a catch: you only have 6 weeks to do it!”

In a panic, the teens got out their phones, pulled up their schedules and created a timeline of tasks to complete the project. With the help of the Video Wizard, aka the York StoryMan, they gathered tips and strategies to enhance their filming techniques and set off to video the story. Along the way, they consulted with the YouTube Oracle and learned from its many voices the do’s and don’t-s of making video book trailers. With the help of their fairy godmother, they learned that the casting of gender fluid characters needed to be done delicately and with sensitivity and one teen sought the advice of her non-binary friend about how best to represent them.

Finally, they arrived at the Palace of the Great Editing. Before them stood a bewildering array of alluring and tempting video editing software. First, they tried Blender and very nearly entangled themselves forever in its complexity. Then they stumbled into Openshot and started to make some progress until, at last, the old familiarity of iMovie won their hearts and the video was finally complete. With pride and satisfaction, they submitted their video and lived happily ever after, making more and more book trailers.’

This project was truly a journey for all of us. There were hiccups and challenges along the way, the main one being that everyone assumed everyone else knew more than they did about filming and editing! The time frame gave us focus and determination. I was continually impressed by the teens’ ability to move between digital media platforms, their creativity in troubleshooting and problem-solving and their mutual respect and admiration for the talents of each individual member of the group.

In the end, I realized that making a video book trailer is essentially a type of Book Discussion. In our planning sessions, the conversation about what scenes to include in the video and how to represent the action were truly dynamic and insightful. If you are looking for a way to engage your teens around books, whether they are readers or not, I would highly recommend this: it is storytelling at its best.

~Jennifer Johnson, Kreutz Creek Library 

YALSA Digital Equipment Grant Winner: Teens Take Ownership of Books

Though I spent years as an elementary school teacher and school media specialist, then as a children’s librarian in a public library system, it was with YALSA that I really found my niche as a librarian. I love working with teens, and I’ve learned so much from my peers.

Now when I see an email from YALSA, I’m quick to read it. I believe the collaborative grants YALSA has with Dollar General are some of the best. When I read in the spring about the $1,000 Digital Literacy Equipment Grant, I knew it was just what my school library needed.

We have some great makerspace tools in the media center, but a number of them would be more useful with digital apps. Our one iPad, however, was too old to install apps, and it only came with the basics from however-many-years-ago. I knew we weren’t getting enough from the technology we had.

I would have used my personal phone and/or iPad mini, but the district no longer puts employee devices on the wifi network (a ban since lifted). Our media center is directly in the middle of the school—and on the first floor. It’s a dead zone for any Internet-based technology not on the network.

Cue the hero music–I knew just what we could use with that $1,000 grant opportunity! I’d solve both problems with a couple of the most recent iPad minis (I like the friendly size of the minis), get sturdy shockproof cases for both, and give the students practice with an Apple pencil, too. This was cutting it close to the $1,000 limit, but I figured if I went over budget, I’d chip in the rest. Teachers are always paying out of pocket for students and I’m no exception!

School was out in mid-June when I discovered that our media center was one of the libraries selected for the grant. Oh, and I was reminded that we’d need to do a project, using our new grant equipment, to promote the Teens’ Top Ten book awards. I was actually in Arizona on vacation when I had to sign the paperwork before the deadline (thanks, Mom, for printing the contract for me!).

While awaiting the funds, I thought through the best way to create the project. It was going to be difficult—school would be starting, and the teachers were getting to know their students and establishing routines. The start of a school year is always busy, and I had new responsibilities, too. What I also have, though, is a supportive school administration, a great working relationship with an understanding English Language Arts teacher who always puts reading first, and my regulars: students that frequent the media center (even multiple times a day) for books to read.

I notified YALSA that we would make a digital book about the Teens’ Top Ten nominee titles, using the Book Creator app, and that it would incorporate the use of green screen pictures and videos using the Green Screen by Do Ink app.

First, we created the basic digital book in Book Creator. After considering—and trying—a few options, we kept it simple: an image of the cover along with the title and author on the left side of each two-page spread and a video for that book on the right. With 25 nominated books, that meant a 52-page book with the front and back covers!

Then we used the Green Screen by Do Ink app. The app uses layers to create the composite image. One layer is the main part of the video: we used videos of students standing in front of the makerspace’s green screen. The middle layer is the background image or video—the part replacing the green screen. Although we didn’t do this, another layer with animation or other features  could be added.

After a few failed attempts, we decided to prerecord one video for each nominated book using the iPad’s installed Camera app. I gave each student an annotation for a nominated title. The students practiced reading their annotations—and discovered how difficult it is to speak when you’re in front of a camera!

We selected an image or a video to be used as the background layer for each book’s final video. It had to match the feel of the story. It was fun trying to decide the best way to capture the theme of each book. Pixabay is a great source for images that can be legally used. Some artists allow free use of their videos, too. Continue reading

Happy TeenTober!

TeenTober LogoHappy TeenTober! If you haven’t already, download the logo and social media graphics to help you promote your programs. If you’re celebrating, don’t forget to share your photos and programs with us on Twitter by tweeting @yalsa and using #TeenTober.

Thank you to everyone for your patience during this inaugural, soft launch. We can’t wait to see and read about all the great programs taking place this month!

A huge shout-out also goes out to our Teen Read Week/Teen Tech Week Taskforce members: Kelsey Socha (chair), Tegan Beese, Meaghan Darling, Megan Edwards, Shelley Ann Mastalerz, Jodi Silverman, and Kimberly Vasquez for all the time and work they put into planning this new celebration!