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

Transforming Teen Services Through CE: What’s Your Feedback

photo of participants in the live forum meeting in November 2017Over the past year, YALSA and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) worked together to research the continuing education (CE) needs of public library staff. That work (funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services) led to a report that is now available in draft form. YALSA and COSLA are seeking feedback from the library community on the content of the document.

The report looks at:

  • The skills and knowledge all library staff, not just staff with teen in their job title, need in order to serve adolescents successfully.
  • Why having the skills are important within the context of the lives of teens today.
  • The barriers and challenges in participating in high quality CE in the areas needed.
  • Examples of innovative models of CE

The report also provides a series of recommendations for a variety of stakeholder groups.

The feedback period is open through April 30.

You can learn more about the project on the YALSA website. If you have any questions about the project, the draft report, and/or the feedback requested feel free to get in touch with Linda W. Braun the Project Manager for the Transforming Teen Services Through CE project.

Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff Webinar: Interactions with Teens

cover of the teen services competencies for library staffEach month, through December, YALSA is sponsoring free webinars (for members and non-members) on topics related to the Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff.

The April webinar (the full video recording is available after the break) focused on Interactions with Teens. Megan Burton, Kitsap Regional Library (WA) and Valerie Tagoe, Wilmer Hutchins High School, facilitated a lively discussion about strategies for building relationships with teens. Megan and Valerie included a lot of very useful tips and first-hand accounts of challenges and successes in this work.

YALSA will host a follow-up Twitter chat on interactions with teens on Thursday, April 26, at 7PM Eastern. Use the hashtag #yalsace to participate.
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Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff: Aligning the Teen Services Competencies to Your Work

cover of the teen services competencies for library  staffAre you working to integrate the Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff into your work? Do you have questions about how you might do that? Are you wondering how to change job descriptions or policies, or program plans to better align with the Competencies? If you answered “yes” to any of those, or if you simply want to learn more about YALSA’s new Competencies, you’ll want to attend the Aligning the Teen Services Competencies to Your Work session at ALA Annual.

The session is scheduled for Friday, June 22, from 1 to 4PM. During that time participants will hear how library staff are integrating the Competencies into their jobs and have the chance to work with library staff from around the country to take a deep dive into the Competencies and explore how to bring them into every day practice. Participants are invited to come to the session with a program plan, a job description, a policy, a staff and/or program evaluation tool, or another tool and spend time aligning those day-to-day tools to the Competencies.
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Future Ready with the Library Cohort 3 Time to Apply


Future Ready with the Library Cohort 2 members collaborate during the Denver face-to-face meeting.

Do you work with youth in a small, rural, or tribal library?

Would you like to help middle schoolers start to think about how they can turn what they love to do and are interested in into a career?

Do you want to join with your community members to support the success of middle school youth and their families?

Are you interested in learning more about teens, community engagement, connected learning, and college and career readiness?

If you answered “yes” to the above questions then it’s time for you to consider applying to participate in the third cohort of YALSA’s Future Ready with the Library IMLS funded project. The application period runs from April 9 to May 15, 2018. (Note: YALSA membership is not required to apply.)
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Back by Popular Demand: Building Basic Leadership Skills E-Course

This course is not just for teen librarians but for any person working in libraries seeking to understand and grow themselves as a leader from the ground up. The topics covered were progressive and forward thinking, and challenged traditional leadership norms. Self reflection was a big component of this class. The instructor provided variety in the readings, assignments, and use of technology. I felt very engaged by this course and the instructor, and I will refer back to the what I have learned here as I try to improve my leadership skills.

For four weeks in winter 2018 YALSA ran the Building Basic Leadership Skills E-Course. To accommodate those on the waiting list and to provide the opportunity for more people to participate in the highly rated course, the association is offering another section starting in April. The instructor is Josie Watanabe and you can hear more about what the course covers – including information about topics and assignments – in this 18 minute audio interview with Josie.

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Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff: Ready-to-Go Presentation

The Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff is a resource that can be used in teaching and learning. It also gives library staff the chance to reflect on their skills, knowledge, and practices. That’s why YALSA developed a Ready-to-Go slide deck that anyone can use when facilitating learning related to the new Competencies document. The slide deck includes:

  • Speaker notes that provide context for the Competencies. They can be used as is, paraphrased, and/or to fill in details about the competencies that facilitators might be be aware of. Continue reading

Transforming Teen Services Through CE Town Hall on Cultural Competency and Responsiveness

As a part of the YALSA and COSLA IMLS funded project, Transforming Teen Services Through CE, the association hosted a Town Hall on the topic of Cultural Competence and Responsiveness – with a particular focus on library staff professional learning needs in those areas. An audio recording of the session is available below:

The chat transcript – where much of the conversation took place – is also available.

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All About Advocacy: A Trio of March Snack Breaks

Advocacy is something that library staff working with teens sometimes find difficult to take on. It can seem scary. It can seem time consuming. It can seem like something that someone else can do. However, advocating for the value of library teen services and the value of supporting the successful growth and development of teens is something that every library staff member needs to take on. As a way to help library staff understand some of the ins and outs of advocating for and with teens, YALSA just added three new Snack Break videos on that topic.

One way to get started with advocacy work is through engaging teens in activities that help them gain advocacy skills. In the video below, Jane Gov, Youth Services Librarian, Pasadena (CA) Public Library, provides tips on how to do just that.
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Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff Webinar: Teen Growth and Development

cover of the teen services competencies for library staffEach month, through December, YALSA is sponsoring free webinars (for members and non-members) on topics related to the Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff.

The March webinar kicked-off the series (the full video recording is available after the break). Led by Jutta Dotterweich, the Director of Training and Technical Assistance, ACT for Youth Project at Cornell University. This session focused on positive youth development with particular attention to how adolescent’s brains develop and how youth engagement can be and is an important aspect of positive youth development.

YALSA will host a follow-up Twitter chat on youth development on Thursday, March 22, at 7PM Eastern. Use the hashtag #yalsace to participate.
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Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff: Learning Takes Action

When I was a teenager I thought that I’d graduate college and be done with learning. For my generation learning wasn’t something people talked about as taking place out of the classroom or as taking place throughout one’s entire life. It wasn’t until after college that I really began to understand that learning never stops. As that is the case, the YALSA Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff content area on Continuous Learning is important to pay attention to and reflect on.

In the Continuous Learning content area the Developing level includes the phrases “seeks knowledge” and “seeks new knowledge.” I’ve been thinking about these phrases a lot lately and in particular thinking about how these phrases point out that the learning needed is action oriented. Library staff have to actively participate in learning in order to support teens in the community successfully.

What does it take to be an active learner?

  • Being ready to do hard work. No one should ever expect that learning is easy. Learning might be fun or energizing or interesting. And, in many cases it is probably going to be hard work. The work comes with deeply engaging with the content. The work comes with constantly reflecting on how the learning relates to the work you do with and for teens. And, the work comes with moving outside of what you think you know and what you think is best. Instead you need to work hard to learn about what teens need and think about how you can support those needs in your local community. This hard work can come with asking questions while at a professional development session, talking to people you may never have met before, going out in the community and building relationships, and so on.
  • Being open to new ideas and new ways of doing things. Sometimes library staff think that new ideas and new ways of doing things in some way reflects poorly on how the job was done previously. That’s not the case at all. The work library staff do with and for teens is always changing as the world in which teens live is constantly changing. Doing things in new ways doesn’t mean the old way was bad it just means that it no longer resonates with what teens need today.
  • Being ready to be uncomfortable. Discomfort is a good thing. As a 2014 Psychology Today article states: Continue reading