Getting Ready For Annual 2015 – It’s Never Too Early

The YALSA Local Arrangements Committee is super excited that ALA15 will be in San Francisco. We hope you’re looking forward to coming to the city by the bay and would like to offer some tips on how to make that happen!

First things first: secure your conference registration. If your supervisor needs a gentle nudge to offer support, ALA has some tips for you.

Additionally, the programs that YALSA sponsors will undoubtedly keep you on the leading edge of your profession. Other perks like free and cheap books, unparalleled networking, and vendor discounts may sway your supervisor. Continue reading

YALSA NEEDS YOU – for our Award & Selection Committees! Volunteer Form Deadline is October 1st!

Happy Summer! Hope you are all surviving and thriving as your summer reading programs come to an end this year. Don’t forget to look toward autumn, as YALSA’s Fall Appointments season approaches!

As President-Elect, I’ll be making appointments to the following YALSA committees and taskforces:

*Please note that the PPYA Committee is an all-virtual committee for the coming year. YALSA members with book selection and evaluation experience and who are comfortable working in an online environment with tools like ALA Connect, Google Docs, Skype, etc. should put their names forward for consideration.

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Reflections on the Future of Library Services for & with Teens Session at the ALA Annual Conference

by Adrienne L. Strock & Sandra Hughes-Hassell

The YALSA Future of Teens and Libraries taskforce led an interactive panel discussion at the ALA Annual Conference where we reflected on The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action report. The session was hosted and moderated by Adrienne Strock, taskforce Chair. Taskforce panelists included Sandra Hughes-Hassell, report co-author; Jack Martin, K-Fai Steele, and Margaret Sullivan. Special guest Traci Slater-Rigaud, Director of the National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Awards kicked off the session by encouraging libraries to get involved in the awards and noted the similarities in our work, particularly the focus on youth development.

As a way to collectively reflect on the report’s significance, the panel highlighted specific content from the report in the areas of demographic shifts, technology, and connected learning. The panel began by examining the demographic shifts presented in the report as well as observable shifts in our library communities. We discussed the importance of engaging non-dominant youth in library settings and debated the library’s role in learning and closing the growing achievement gap. We then considered the importance of technology as a tool, the way in which technology is changing how society interacts and learns, HOMAGO (hanging out, messing around, and geeking out) as a model for engagement, and the need for librarians to continue to keep up with technology as it relates to teen interests and needs. Lastly, we talked about the importance of connected learning, describing what it looks like, noting why it is so powerful and important in library spaces, and reflecting on how partnerships can leverage the strengths of connected learning for more powerful and meaningful growth opportunities for teens.

The main themes from the report that emerged in our conversation included the call for a paradigm shift in services to teens, the growing need for partnerships, and the importance of librarians embracing a facilitator, non-expert role in their work with teens. One specific aspect of the paradigm shift brought up by an attendee was shifting customer and staff expectations about noise. Panelists and audience participants shared excellent feedback that encouraged cultural shifts though catchy signage and designated noise times, educating staff and customers on new expectations while shifting their mindset about noise in the library, and getting staff and customers excited about the activities being introduced to teens by demoing them for staff and customers with opportunities for adults to partake in the fun and engaging learning opportunities.

Slides can be found on the taskforce’s ALA Connect page, and those unable to attend can still get involved!

  • If you haven’t already, check out the report!
  • Reflect, share, and talk to each other using #act4teens via Twitter, Tumblr, blogs, and your favorite social networks.
  • Dive into the actionable sections of the report. Start by following the recommendations (p. 25). Then dig into the questions and guide to local assessment and planning (p. 31) section.

Lastly, the taskforce would love to know what you think! Reflect by commenting on this post. Tell us what excites and frightens you about the report. Share what areas of the report you find the easiest and most challenging to implement locally. Let us know what tools and resources you would like YALSA to provide.

21st Century Teens: Literacy in a Digital World

At the 2014 ALA Annual Conference, YALSA hosted 21st Century Teens: Literacy in a Digital World, a full-day workshop. Thanks to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and Blink, this workshop was free for attendees who applied earlier this year. The workshop was broken into shorter presentations by librarians, authors, and other experts on topics relevant to teens and the librarians who work with them.

The session kicked off with Common Core 101, a presentation by Kathryn Lewis, director of media services and instructional technology for Norman (Okla.) Public Schools and chair of the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Common Core task force about the Common Core Standards as they relate to public and school librarians. She talked about the big picture ideas of the Common Core, including that it is focused on results, not on prescribing a curriculum. Both public and school librarians should be familiar with the standards, especially since research and media skills and reading are integrated throughout the standards. She also emphasized the importance of reading choice, since students are more likely to read higher complexity materials if they are interested in the subject matter, and the importance of students being able to enjoy the pleasure of fun, easy reading.

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YALSA Board @ Annual Preview: Supporting Teen Services in Small and Rural Libraries

YOUNG ADULT LIBRARY SERVICES ASSOCIATION (YALSA)

In my career as a Youth Services Librarian and Manager, I’ve never worked in a branch with a staff of more than twenty people. Moving from a staff of four in Savannah to eighteen in the semi-rural beauty of Kitsap County in Washington, was a huge transition. To stay abreast of youth trends, find best practices, and well, just talk to someone who cared about the kinds of topics that I was interested in, YALSA was and is my lifeline.

It hasn’t always felt like it, but it turns out that there’s probably a lot of members out there just like me. According to an issue brief by the Institute of Museum and Library Services on Small and Rural Libraries, 77% of all public libraries are small, with a median staff of 2.5 FTE. 45% of all public libraries are rural, with a median staff of 1.5 FTE.

At the upcoming Annual meeting, the Board will be talking about strategies to support staff who work in these environments. The topic is made additionally complex in that many of these libraries probably don’t have a dedicated Teen Services Librarian (remember that 2012 PLDS study?). There are a lot of ideas on the table, but honestly, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around which ones might be best. I know you’re out there so take a look at the board document “Supporting Teens Services in Small and Rural Libraries” and share your thoughts in the comments field below or to me directly at shannon.peterson@gmail.com. Better, yet, if you’ll be attending ALA Annual in Vegas, find me at the YALSA Happy Hour on Saturday night which will take place from 5-7 p.m. at the Peppermill (2985 Las Vegas Blvd) and we’ll connect on this important issue.

YA @ ALA: From the Research Committee

Gearing up for the ALA Conference is exciting, especially as a first timer! I just wrapped up my first year working with YALSA as a member of the Research Committee and will be the Research Committee Chair starting in July. So for me, there is certainly no better time to get out, meet people and learn some new tips, tricks and techniques! However, as this first time ALA conference attendee is quickly learning, there are tons of programs to choose from. So what I’ve gathered here is just a sampling of programs that are relevant to Young Adult services that caught my eye.

Book Time!

I am always up for spending time with books or talking books and there are some sessions lined up that look to be interesting. Blurring the Lines of Books, presented by Erin Reilly-Sanders from Ohio State University is presenting on books that “blur the lines between media, form, and genre, transcending tradition and setting expectations on edge.” I’ve certainly stumbled across some fantastic books that are unique and hard to categorize, so I’m intrigued to learn more!

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YALSA Board @ Annual Preview: Board Advocacy Best Practices

Do you believe in teen library services?

The YALSA Board does, too, which is why we volunteer to do what we do, just as you as members, do.

As mentioned in The Future of Library Services for and with Teens report, it is imperative that YALSA continue to advocate for teens and libraries. Although discussions, projects, and groups are in place to support the general membership in their roles as advocates, the Board itself has not discussed what board members, as informed individuals, can do to support YALSA’s advocacy efforts.

In order to address this, the proposal that will be presented before the Board at ALA Annual consists of four components:

  • a plan for YALSA as an organization and as individual board members to adopt advocacy best practices
  • an update to the YALSA Board Member Responsibilities list to include advocacy efforts
  • an update to the YALSA Board Member contract to include advocacy efforts
  • a Board Member Advocacy checklist

Together, as a board, as an association, and with you, we want to amplify our voices to ensure that teens everywhere have access to the excellent teen library services that all communities deserve.

More information may be found in the board documents for ALA Annual that will be posted today and Monday, June 16th, 2014.

Questions, concerns or suggestions? Please send them to the following members of the YALSA Board Standing Committee on Advocacy:

Candice Mack (Chair)
Email: cmack [at] lapl.org
Twitter: @tinylibrarian

Jennifer Korn
Email: Jennifer.Korn@cincinnatilibrary.org
Twitter: @korncakes

Chris Shoemaker
Email: cinf0master@gmail.com
Twitter: @doseofsnark

Thanks for all that you do for and with YALSA! Hope to see you at ALA Annual in Vegas!

YALSA Board @ Annual Preview: Advocates’ Advisory Panel

According to YALSA’s The Future of Libraries for and with Teens report, libraries “must look to other organizations and individuals who share similar values about empowering and supporting teens in gaining the skills they need to be engaged citizens.” The library board will be considering how they may be able to accept that challenge at the Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

Up for discussion is the creation of an Advocates’ Advisory Panel. The Panel, made up of non-members in related fields (afterschool agencies, research, youth development, education), would serve as an ad-hoc group to advise the YALSA Board on various topics related the Future of Library Services for and with Teens Report, the 2015 strategic plan, and other topics as identified by the Board. They would also act as informed advocates in sharing news and updates related to YALSA and the teen library services community with their respective networks.

I look forward to further exploring how this might work in just a few weeks. Check out this and other Board docs to learn more. Questions? Ideas? Feel free to contact me: @shantasmagoria, shannon.peterson@gmail.com

Happy Hour Vegas Style

Everyone loves a good happy hour and Las Vegas offers plenty of options.  Whether you are on the Strip, Downtown or any of the surrounding valley neighborhoods you can find a great happy hour nearby.

Courtesy of Yelp

Courtesy of Yelp

If you’re staying on the Strip, head to the Fashion Show Mall across from the Wynn. The Fashion Show has several great restaurant options, like El Segundo Sol, Maggiano’s, and Ra Sushi that offer special happy hour deals.  If you’re in the mood for some south of the border cuisine, stop in at El Segundo Sol between 4pm to 7pm for their “Loco Hour.”  The Loco Hour menu features tasty street tacos and bottomless margaritas to quench your thirst on a hot summer evening in Las Vegas.

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Las Vegas Shows!

Las Vegas is Live Entertainment Capital of the World!  It is well known for its great collection of live entertainment ranging from dancing, singing, acrobatics, and more.  There’s comedy and drama. There are concerts and guest performers.  No matter what you’re looking for, there’s something to please all tastes.

Now that you’ve finished planning the business part of your conference trip, start planning the fun with a show or concert. With so many choices, the tough part will be deciding which show(s) to catch. Like Lasvegas.com says, “Anyone worth seeing stops in Vegas. Shouldn’t you?”  Absolutely!

Here is a list of some of the many choices:

Las Vegas Top Shows

  • Absinthe (Caesars Palace)
  • Blue Man Group (Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino)
  • Jabbawockeez (Luxor)
  • La Reve – The Dream (Wynn Las Vegas)
  • Legends in Concert (Flamingo Las Vegas)
  • Recycled Percussion (The Quad Resort & Casino)
  • Showgirls at Jubilee (Bally’s Las Vegas)
  • Tournament of Kings (Excalibur Hotel & Casino)
  • V-The Ultimate Variety Show (Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino)
  • Vegas Nocturne at Rose.Rabbit.Lie (The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas)

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