You might not know it, but you have teens with special needs in your community, and your library can provide vital services to them! The Outreach to Young Adults with Special Needs committee is excited to be transitioning to an Interest Group so that librarians from all over can share their experiences and ideas for working with this population!
As a committee, our stated function is to “address the needs of young adults who do not or cannot use the library because of socioeconomic, legal, educational, or physical factors; to serve as a liaison between these groups and their service providers; and to identify and promote library programs, resources and services that meet the special needs of these populations.” What that practically means is that we help YALSA with such tasks as varied as the Great Stories CLUB and Operation Teen Book Drop.
Opening up to the entire membership as an interest group will allow our focus to become even wider. Do you work with teens who are incarcerated and want to share your successes and frustrations? Do you have ideas on providing service to disabled teens? Are there groups in your community that serve these young adults who you would like to partner with? The special interest group will be a place to share ideas and, hopefully, create new opportunities for outreach to this population group.
If you are interested in how we can serve these “special needs” teens and make more librarians aware of their presence in our community, please feel free to contact me with your questions and suggestions. You’ll also soon be able to join our ALA Connect group. (which will be opened to the public later today, as soon as I get it switched over! ^__^) If you would like to be the convener, or co-convener, please submit your name to me at firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday May 3, 2010. Elections will be held the week of May 24, 2010.