The Partnerships Advocating for Teens Interest Group is affectionately referred to as PAT. The goal of PAT is to “explore, recommend, initiate and implement ways of working with other organizations that work for youth. “
If you’re asking yourself why do partnerships matter? Consider some of the potential benefits of partnering with outside organizations. Partnerships can:
- Provide a way to share resources and publicity efforts in a time of reduced funding
- Help each organization work to achieve a common goal or realize a common vision
- Help each organization be more effective
- Reap mutually beneficial rewards and credibility
- Help you gain additional funding sources
- Provide an opportunity to reach a new audience of teens
- Lead to other new, exciting and successful partnerships
- Offer a way of garnering new skills, competencies, and awareness as a result of working with each other
Intriguing, yes? For a wonderful overview of the research involving libraries and partnerships for youth, check out the literature review that Vikki Terrile, a member of PAT, has created here.
We meet on ALA Connect once a month for “Pat Chats” to discuss these ideas and more. We are excited about producing a definitive resource for those librarians wishing to forage partnerships with outside organizations – a place for inspiration, examples and other resources. If you’d like to get involved, join our Interest Group! Find us on ALA Connect under the group “YALSA Partnerships Advocating for Teens,” or just click here. Next Pat Chat is on April 22 at 10AM CST. And don’t forget that elections are happening in May and our Interest Group will be looking for a Convener!
Recently a flyer went out to ALA/YALSA members about a grant opportunity called the Great Stories CLUB. It is a way to connect with hard-to-reach, underserved teens by conducting a Great Stories CLUB reading and discussion program in your library. Books used in the program are relevant to their lives, including:
- One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones
- The Afterlife by Gary Soto
- The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
The grant is available to libraries located within or working in partnership with facilities serving troubled teens, such as juvenile justice facilities, alternative high schools, drug rehabilitation centers and nonprofits serving teen parents. Teen participants are invited to read and keep three theme-related books, as well as discuss each title with a group of their peers.
By showing teens that reading can be a source of pleasure, a tool for self-exploration and a meaningful way to connect to the wider world, the program inspires young adults who face difficult situations to take control of their lives by embracing the power of reading.
For more information on the Great Stories CLUB, including guidelines, book descriptions, application instructions, and feedback from past participants, visit www.ala.org/greatstories. Online applications will be accepted through November 2.
Looking for a way to participate in YALSA? Why not join the Partnership Advocating for Teens (PAT) Interest Group? The mission statement of the proposed group is:
To explore, recommend, highlight, and support partnerships between libraries, schools, and other organizations that serve young adults.
Currently PAT is a YALSA committee, but over the next year, we will be transitioning into an Interest Group. As a committee, PAT has regularly sponsored programs at conferences and has published articles. As an Interest Group we will be able to continue to do the same types of activities. Currently Pat is sponsoring the program “It Takes Two: School and Public Libraries, Partnerships that Work” at Annual on Sunday, July 12 from 3:30 – 5:30. We will also have an upcoming article in the Fall issue of YALS.
If you would like to get in on the ground floor of this Interest Group, now is the time to sign up. Just send the following information: name, ALA member number, institution, email, address, and phone number to email@example.com. All we need are 15 current YALSA members to sign our petition in order for us to take our proposal to the YALSA Board.
This is an exciting time for our committee and we hope you will join us on our journey. If you have any questions at all about the Partnerships Advocating to Teens (PAT) Interest Group, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.