Do you sometimes wonder what you could do to get more administrative support for teen services in your library? There are some relatively simple steps you can take to win friends and influence managers! This is a six-part series that shares some tips from managers that you can integrate into your work life and maybe make some positive changes in your library.
Last week I talked about presenting yourself as a professional. This week, the topic is:
Speaking the Language
When YA librarians talk about teen services they often–naturally enough–focus on the teens. They are likely to describe programs and activities in terms of the benefits to teens. Talking about how much fun a program or service will be, or how it’s the latest rage may be what’s on the top of your mind, or that of your teens, but it’s not necessarily what your library’s director thinks is important. Generally, upper-level managers are more interested in big-picture issues. In YALSA’s recent survey of members who are identified as supervisors or managers, several of the respondents commented that the upper-level administrators at their libraries want to hear about programs in terms of issues like community engagement, community health, collaboration, purpose, sustainability, partnerships, and return on investment (ROI). (more…)
It’s been another busy month in YALSA land. Here’s what’s been going on!
Collaborated with the Digital Media and Learning team to build out a month-long series about Teens and the Future of Libraries for connectedlearning.tv. Each episode is hosted every Tuesday in May with a different topic. The full schedule is:
May 2: Kick-off: Teens and the Future of Libraries
May 7: The Importance of Youth Access to Technology in Libraries
May 14: Effectively Leveraging Social Media in Library Programs
May 21: Getting Library & IT Administrators On-Board with Leveraging Social Media
May 28: Teens and the Future of Libraries: Sharing Best Practices (more…)
In March 2013, staff members of the Youth Services department at the Kansas City Public Library took a group of teens on a field trip to the Missouri State Capital in Jefferson City. This trip was just one of many that have come from a partnership between the Kansas City Public Library and Truman Medical Center (Kansas City, MO). Not only are teens able to expand their knowledge of places in the Missouri area, but they are getting an opportunity to see different things that may affect their lives. Teens are experiencing a host of activities that are enriching, educational, and fun. The impact of these trips is obvious to us as librarians – we are hoping to create lifelong learners. To those outside of our profession, we must advocate for teens, libraries, and the magical experiences in between.
Crystal Faris, the Director of Teen Services at the Kansas City Public Library, took the time to answer a few questions about the teen trips and the effect on teen programming at the library.
“The greatest service which can be rendered to any country is to add a useful plant to its culture…” –Thomas Jefferson; Memorandum of Services to My Country, after 2 September 1800
You may have heard a lot of talk lately about seed libraries. In February, NPR ran a story entitled “How to Save a Public Library: Make it a Seed Bank.” If we put aside the argument over whether or not public libraries need to be saved, this story actually highlighted an interesting movement that has been sweeping across the country and libraries are leading the way.
A seed lending library works on the simple principle that you can ‘lend’ out seeds to be grown by patrons who will then harvest new seeds and return them to the seed library to be lent out again.
Hosting a seed library can help you connect, create, and collaborate with your community, and especially with your teens.
In the mad rush to get out the door in the morning, I’ve left behind my keys, my wallet, and my MetroCard (The card those living in New York City use to get on public transportation). By the time I realize my mistake it is always too late (or I’m too lazy to run back to my apartment) and I make it through the day as best I can without these vital tools of a New Yorker.
But I have never, ever, forgotten my cell phone. If I realize, half-way down the block, that I have, I run back for it. When I chaperone school trips, I’m that weird lady who pulls out a charger and plugs my phone in to the nearest outlet, be it in a Starbucks or a courthouse. It’s my lifeline, and I feel strangely vulnerable without it; like this will be the one day my mother has an accident, my best friend has a break up, or my apartment catches on fire.
I use it for music. I use it for reading. I use it for maps, and games, and to keep track of my notes. I use it when I’m bored, I use it when I’m tired, I use it when I’m stuck between stations on the subway. My phone goes with me everywhere, and I am never without it.
Your teens are the same way. They would rather go without water than a data connection. They use their phones for enjoyment and work; reading and classifying if an animal is a llama or a duck (it’s a harder distinction than you might think). Their phones have become constant companions and guides. I wrote in my last article about what this means for the next generation of digital literacy; training on these devices is paramount is we want to produce a generation of informed information and device users. But no less important that providing information and training is providing consumable content– stuff for teens to do with their phones.