About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President and a learning consultant/project management coordinator at LEO: Librarians & Educators Online.

YALSA’s Mentoring Program: Make a Difference in a Library Staff Member’s Life

hand writing on a chalkboard with the word mentorI bet that many YALSAblog readers have been fortunate enough to have a professional mentor. Maybe that experience was serendipitous and the mentoring relationship wasn’t planned but nonetheless ended up being an important part of professional growth. I’ve been fortunate enough in my career to be mentored both spontaneously and through specific planning. Each has been a fantastic experience and I am grateful to the mentors I’ve had in my professional life.

I’ve also been a mentor and was fortunate enough to act as a mentor as a part of YALSA’s formal virtual mentoring program. That too was a great experience. Not only did I get to help a newish library staff member move forward in their work, I also learned a lot from the people I worked with. Learning about their work, their questions, and the projects they wanted to pursue helped me to think more about what are the best ways to serve teens with and through libraries.

Now you have the chance to make a difference in a library staff member’s life and also perhaps gain some new insights yourself. YALSA’s virtual mentoring program is accepting applications for both mentors and proteges through June 1. It’s a perfect opportunity. And, if you know someone who you think would be a great mentor please pass this information on to them.

Rethinking YALSA: I’m Excited – How About You?

In late April the YALSA Board approved the association’s new organizational plan. If you haven’t read the plan I think you want to. And, if you need some encouragement, check-out what some YALSA Board members are excited about:

photo of Jennifer Korn with teens and a sign that says - excited about the teens first approach


YALSA Board member Jennifer Korn with library teens – they are excited with the Teens First focus.
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STEM in Informal Learning Settings

wikimedia photo of someone working with a robot “After a 15-month review of the current evidence base, the National Research Council’s (NRC) Board on Science Education concluded in a recent 2015 study that out-of-school programs have been shown to:

  • contribute to young people’s interest in and understanding of STEM,
  • connect young people to caring adults who serve as role models, and
  • reduce the achievement gap Continue reading

YALS Spring 2016 – The Cupcake Innovation

at the innovation celebration a photo of a teen at the podiumIn the spring 2016 issue of YALS, Darcy Coffta, the Upper School Librarian and Director of Innovation at the Berwick Academy, provides an overview of the school’s Innovation Center and some of the projects that students have worked on. One of the Innovation Pursuits mentioned is the “Cupcake Innovation.” And, as promised in the article, the recipe is available so you can try it out yourself.

You can read more about the Berwick Innovation Center, access mentor materials, and more on the Berwick Academy website.

YALSA members and YALS subscribers can access the current issue of the journal, along with past issues, on the “members only” section of the YALSA website. (Login required.)

YALSA Professional Learning Series: The Future of Library Services for and with Teens – Thinking Differently

photo of sneakered feet surrounded by notebooks, devices, and writing implements In the final week of discussion related to thinking differently about library services for and with teens, let’s talk about barriers and successes that people have had with thinking differently and implementing change. Thinking about what you’ve read related to this topic, and what you’ve been able to accomplish, let us know:

  • What barriers have you faced to making change and thinking differently
  • How you overcame those barriers, or questions you have about overcoming those barriers
  • A success you’ve had in your library implementing YALSA Futures Report related ideas that help make change in your work with and for teens
  • What you think helped to make the change possible
  • Ideas and suggestions you have for others who are also working towards change
  • Questions you have about implementing different thinking, innovation, and change in your work with and for teens

You can read the original post in this series as well as the follow-up.

YALSA Professional Learning: The Future of Library Services for and with Teens – Thinking Differently

photo of sneakered feet surrounded by notebooks, devices, and writing implements This week in discussion related to thinking differently about library services for and with teens, let’s talk about successes that people have had with thinking differently and implementing change. Thinking about what you’ve read related to this topic, and what you’ve been able to accomplish, let us know:

  • A success you’ve had in your library implementing YALSA Futures Report related ideas that help make change in your work with and for teens
  • What you think helped to make the change possible
  • Ideas and suggestions you have for others who are also working towards change
  • Questions you have about implementing different thinking, innovation, and change in your work with and for teens

You can read the original post in this series as well as the follow-up.

YALSA Professional Learning: The Future of Library Services for and with Teens – Thinking Differently

photo of kid feet in sneakers surrounded by books, notebooks, tablet, and smartphone Last week in the first post in this month’s YALSAblog Professional Learning series on innovation and change, I posted a set of resources to read, listen to, and view. This week it’s time to start a discussion about barriers to thinking differently about teen services in libraries and how the resource materials posted last week help you to think about new ways to overcome those barriers.

One of the barriers I regularly face, and also see in other people’s institutions, is that of time. There are lots of ways to think about time within the context of thinking differently. One of the things that I found the article about disruptive innovation focused on really well is that thinking differently, doing things differently, and disrupting traditional practice takes time. And, not only that, but it takes time to fail, analyze what didn’t work, and try a new or different approach. In libraries this time factor can be a really big barrier to thinking differently. It’s a lot more convenient and takes less time to keep doing things the way they have been done before.
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The YALSA Election: CPI Ballot Measure and More

vote image with check-mark
ALA/YALSA elections open today. On the YALSA ballot (a sample ballot is available), along with candidates for elected positions, there is also a ballot measure about dues. This is a proposal to determine dues rates according to the Consumer Price Index. If you want to know more about the YALSA Board decision-making process that led to this proposal, check out the document discussed by the YALSA Board at ALA Annual 2015.

We expect that some YALSA members probably have questions about this measure so the Capacity Building Committee of the YALSA Board put together a set of Frequently Asked Questions.
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YALSA Professional Learning: The Future of Library Services for and with Teens – Thinking Differently

photo of kid feet in sneakers surrounded by books, notebooks, tablet, and smartphone Welcome to the first in YALSA’s new monthly professional learning series. Each month we’ll highlight a topic and give readers the chance to learn about it as well as discuss it with others. Here’s how it works:

  • On the first of each month the YALSAblog will post an overview of the topic of the month. That overview will include links to resources to read, watch, listen to, etc.
  • If you are interested in participating in the learning during the month, comment on the initial blog post to say something like, “yes, I’m in.”
  • Each week the facilitator of the topic – that’s me this month – will check-in with participants with a post that poses questions and helps to focus conversation on the topic.
  • Participants can converse with others about the topic by commenting on those posts.

We hope this is a low-stress way to learn something new or expand your knowledge on a topic. There is no pressure, just a desire to learn and discuss your learning.

Onto this month’s theme – Thinking Differently
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