Using ASCLA Toolkits for Autism Awareness Month

As the YALSA ALA Liaison, I communicate with many different groups whose member composition varies. One of the many benefits of working with so many diverse groups is being privy to the latest developed resources created by them that are also relevant for a library staff member serving teens. One such excellent resource I want to share with YALSA members comes from the Accessibility Assembly. The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) heads the ALA Accessibility Assembly, which is comprised of many liaisons from other ALA divisions and round tables as well as ASCLA members.

Several months ago, ASLCA updated their online toolkits that target easy ways in which library staff can make their places and services more accessible to “populations that are underserved such as those with sensory, physical, health or behavioral conditions, those who are incarcerated and more.” There are fifteen toolkits in total and many of the recommendations are applicable to teen library services. As April is nationally recognized as Autism Awareness month, the Autism Spectrum Disorders toolkit might be a good place to start in improving library services to your community’s youth and better meet their needs.

Consider this resource share as an opportunity to improve your status and knowledge in Competency Area 1: Teen Growth and Development and move further through the stages of Developing-Practicing-Transforming.

Amanda Barnhart is a Teen Librarian for the Kansas City Public Library and the current YALSA ALA Liaison.

Countdown to National Library Legislative Day

National Library Legislative Day is one month away. Are you ready for it?

On May 8, library staff and advocates from around the country will descend upon Capitol Hill to speak with our legislators about the impact of libraries on the communities and teens we serve. We are the experts on library services for and with teens and our legislators want to learn from us!

Most of us cannot make it to Washington DC, but do not fret!  You can participate in National Library Legislative Day in a variety of ways. Some members will meet with state and local legislators at state capitols, city halls, county seats, and on our home library turf. Others will engage with legislators through email and social media. You can (and are encouraged to) get teens and other library users involved too.

Successful advocacy happens year-round, but a concerted effort, like that on National Library Legislation Day, amplifies advocate voices. If you’ve never participated in Library advocacy before, National Library Legislation Day is a great time to start. If you are an advocacy-pro, set the example for our less-seasoned advocates. We would also love to hear from you and share your advocacy success stories and tips.

Anyone can participate in National Library Legislative Day, and YALSA has the tools to support you.

Here some quick start steps.

  1. Let ALA know you are participating. Don’t forget that anyone can participate! You do not need to travel to Washington DC.
  2. Check out YALSA’s National Library Legislation Day tools.
  3. Select which way(s) you will engage in advocacy on and around May 8.
  4. Tell your professional and personal networks what you’re up to. Encourage them to join you!
  5. Keep the momentum going! District Days are right around the corner and your local, state, and national legislators want and need to hear from you year-round.

What will I be doing on National Library Legislative Day? I’ll be engaging in advocacy at the most local level. May 8 also happens to be an election day in Ohio and I’m taking the day off of work to campaign at the polls in support of our local public library’s levy issue.

Comment below to let us know how you plan to celebrate and advocate on National Library Legislative Day!

 

Jennifer Korn is the manager of the Pleasant Ridge Branch of The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Explore Libraries at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference

Many of us love to visit other libraries while we are out of town, and there are plenty to visit in New Orleans that are accessible by streetcar or ferry. Streetcar fare is $1.25 for each ride. If you’re paying on the streetcar, you will need exact change. You can also purchase 1-day, 3-day, and 5-day in advance online (https://ecommerce.norta.com/Store), or download the RTA gomobile app (apple & android) and purchase passes from there. A ferry ride is $2.00 each way. Again, you will need exact change or you can purchase an integrated streetcar, bus, and ferry pass on the mobile app for a higher price.

Take the Algiers Point Ferry to the Cita Dennis Hubbell Library:

Cita Dennis Hubbell Library
725 Pelican Avenue
Hours: MON-THU, 10am-8pm; FRI-SAT: 10am-5pm

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Research on Competency Content Area 7: Cultural Competency and Responsiveness

Authored by the YALSA Research Committee

This post is part of the YALSA Research Committee’s efforts to shed light on some current research related to the Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff. Here, we’ll briefly review some scholarship that addresses competency content area number seven: cultural competency and responsiveness, described in the standards as “actively promot[ing] respect for cultural diversity and creat[ing] an inclusive, welcoming, and respectful library atmosphere that embraces diversity.”

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Research on Competency Content Area 6: Community and Family Engagement

Authored by the YALSA Research Committee

Throughout the current term, the YALSA Research Committee will be looking at YALSA’s new Competencies for Teen Librarians through the lens of research.  Through our posts, we will attempt to provide a brief snapshot of how scholarship currently addresses some of the issues put forth through the standards.

March 14 will never be the same for thousands of young adults who, in response to the high number of recent school shootings, found their voice in the streets of America during the National School Walkout, demanding adults and public officials pay attention to their call for gun control. So my question to our YALSA members “For those that are directly serving our YA population…How were you serving them on March 14 and how did you serve them during the March for Our Lives on March 24?” or “What skills have you helped the young adults in your community develop over time to assist them for this kind of action?”  How are our YALSA members committing to competency #6: “Community and Family Engagement: Builds respectful, reciprocal relationships with community organizations and families to promote optimal development for teens and to enhance the quality of library services”?

The research committee zeroed on three relevant recent studies describing how YA library staff in the field develop or need improvement with developing Community and Family Engagement for and with their teen populations by Harlan (2016), Hughes-Hassell and Stivers (2015), and Froggatt (2015).

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Gimme a C (for Collaboration): The Public Library & School Library Collaboration Toolkit is here!

The AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation (SPLC) is pleased to announce the publication of the Public Library & School Library Collaboration Toolkit.  This toolkit is the result of a three-year collaborative effort with members of AASL, ALSC and YALSA. It is a collection of information, research, and examples that will help facilitate and incorporate collaborative initiatives between public and school libraries.

The Public Library & School Library Collaboration Toolkit is organized into five chapters, and includes helpful links for additional examples or information.

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ALSC’s Everyday Advocacy

Recently I made my way up to New York’s Capitol Building in Albany to “storm the castle” if you will with my fellow New York Library advocates. Every year, library workers and supporters travel caravan style from all over the state to share why libraries are important. We are at the ready with stats, numbers, stories, and anything else that can show our local representatives why we are essential to our communities and how we need them to stick up for our budget. Of course this is New York budget and only one day a year. While it is indeed powerful to see a building full of library supporters chanting “We! Love! Libraries!” in matching hats and hearing stories from representatives about how libraries have changed their lives this is only one rally in one state on one day, what can we do the other 364 days of the year?

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Teen Tech Week: Playing with Failure

The theme for this year’s Teen Tech Week is “Libraries are for Creating,” and an important aspect of creativity is failure and the ability to embrace trying something new to see what happens. Programs based around improv games and experimenting with recording video can give teen and youth patrons an opportunity for low-risk creation. Continue reading

Teen Tech Week: Four Steampunk Ideas

Teen Tech Week is finally here! “Libraries are for Creating” is a good theme for to introducing teens to Steampunk. Steampunk is not “punk” at all; the science fiction author, K.W. Jeter made up the word in the 1980’s. Think of it as science fiction meets Victorian Age. Jeter coined the word to describe some of his works, such as Morlock Night and Infernal Devices. It is not only a genre of literature, but also a style of clothes, video games, movies, and more. Steam-powered technology was prominent in Victorian times, when there was no electricity. Steampunk is a fun and creative way to get teens excited about reading and get them thinking outside the box. Not only does Steampunk inspire reading, but it also fosters creativity and encourages recycling. Continue reading

Research on Competency Content Area 5: Youth Engagement and Leadership

Authored by the YALSA Research Committee

Throughout the current term, the YALSA Research Committee will be looking at Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff through the lens of research.  Through our posts, we will attempt to provide a brief snapshot of how scholarship currently addresses some of the issues put forth through the standards.

I heard a teacher recount a story the other day on National Public Radio. He was trying a new way to inspire his high school students on a very old and seemingly abstract physics concept. His new teaching method was introducing a physics concept utilizing an innovative and tactical approach. He reported that he couldn’t keep up with the students. The student’s gathered in groups, they collaborated all on their own, the teacher reported that the students reached farther and faster than his old lectures and it finally hit him…get out of their way & watch them soar! Engaging our young adult patrons and watching them soar is what librarians need to discover and share. 

Demonstrating to young adults how leadership can be accomplished in the public library sphere is not like school for they are not our “students” and not like home because they are not our “children”. Library staff are here to serve their population…as YALSA members and library staff, we need to find a way to successfully serve youth.  YALSA has worked very hard to create documents and share that information with their members.  Engaging young adults, and providing leadership should be the goal of every library worker’s effort when planning young adult programs, outreach and services and this is one of the goals of YALSA’s New Teen Services Competencies for library Staff. Our topic for this month’s competency #5 Youth Engagement and Leadership, which is defined as: Responds to all teens’ interests and needs, and acts in partnership with teens to create and implement teen activities and to foster teen leadership.

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