This blog post is adapted from a Future Ready with the Library Community of Practice reflection by Amanda (Mandy) Bundy, Kaibab Paiute Tribal Library; Fredonia, AZ, Mandy is a member of the second cohort of the YALSA Future Ready with the Library project. Future Ready with the Library provides support for small, rural, and tribal library staff to build college and career readiness services for middle school youth. You can read more posts by current and previous project cohort members on this blog.
This is adapted from a Future Ready with the Library Community of Practice reflection by Allison Shimek, Fayette Public Library in La Grange, TX. Allison is a member of the second cohort of the YALSA Future Ready with the Library project. Future Ready with the Library provides support for small, rural, and tribal library staff to build college and career readiness services for middle school youth. Read more about Future Ready with the Library and apply for cohort 3.
Like everyone in the Future Ready with the Library cohort, over the past several months I have been busy with meetings and gathering information. Through this work I learned a tremendous amount about my community. So far I met with the middle school principal, middle school librarian, school district assistant superintendent, members of the community theater, parents, a local camp, teens, and the local Rotary Club. It seems that the majority of the community agrees that middle schoolers need social skills that will help them prepare for the workforce. At the same time, those I talk with note that there is little for middle school youth to do in the town during out of school time. Except for band and sports, all after school activities end at 6th grade. There is nowhere for teens to go and hang out or a place that they can feel is just for them. The entire community and the teens recognize this as a huge topic of concern. As a part of the Future Ready with the Library work, I plan to continue to meet with more community groups and businesses in the local area to learn how to and plan for ways to better support teens.
Over 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.
Each 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.
As the YALSA ALA Liaison, I communicate with many different groups whose member composition varies. One of the many benefits of working with so many diverse groups is being privy to the latest developed resources created by them that are also relevant for a library staff member serving teens. One such excellent resource I want to share with YALSA members comes from the Accessibility Assembly. The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) heads the ALA Accessibility Assembly, which is comprised of many liaisons from other ALA divisions and round tables as well as ASCLA members.
Several months ago, ASLCA updated their online toolkits that target easy ways in which library staff can make their places and services more accessible to “populations that are underserved such as those with sensory, physical, health or behavioral conditions, those who are incarcerated and more.” There are fifteen toolkits in total and many of the recommendations are applicable to teen library services. As April is nationally recognized as Autism Awareness month, the Autism Spectrum Disorders toolkit might be a good place to start in improving library services to your community’s youth and better meet their needs.
Consider this resource share as an opportunity to improve your status and knowledge in Competency Area 1: Teen Growth and Development and move further through the stages of Developing-Practicing-Transforming.
Amanda Barnhart is a Teen Librarian for the Kansas City Public Library and the current YALSA ALA Liaison.
Are 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 free “Aligning the Teen Services Competencies to Your Work” session in New Orleans.
The free session is scheduled to take place Friday, June 22, from 1 to 4PM in room 343 of the Morial Convention Center , just prior to the ALA Annual Conference. 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.
Do you work with youth in a small, rural, or tribal library of any kind?
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. All are welcome to apply, regardless of job title or type of library. Note: ALA/YALSA membership is not required to apply.
Authored by the YALSA Research Committee
This post is part of the YALSA Research Committee’s efforts to shed light on some current research related to the Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff. Here, we’ll briefly review some scholarship that addresses competency content area number seven: cultural competency and responsiveness, described in the standards as “actively promot[ing] respect for cultural diversity and creat[ing] an inclusive, welcoming, and respectful library atmosphere that embraces diversity.”
Authored by the YALSA Research Committee
Throughout the current term, the YALSA Research Committee will be looking at YALSA’s new Competencies for Teen Librarians through the lens of research. Through our posts, we will attempt to provide a brief snapshot of how scholarship currently addresses some of the issues put forth through the standards.
March 14 will never be the same for thousands of young adults who, in response to the high number of recent school shootings, found their voice in the streets of America during the National School Walkout, demanding adults and public officials pay attention to their call for gun control. So my question to our YALSA members “For those that are directly serving our YA population…How were you serving them on March 14 and how did you serve them during the March for Our Lives on March 24?” or “What skills have you helped the young adults in your community develop over time to assist them for this kind of action?” How are our YALSA members committing to competency #6: “Community and Family Engagement: Builds respectful, reciprocal relationships with community organizations and families to promote optimal development for teens and to enhance the quality of library services”?
The research committee zeroed on three relevant recent studies describing how YA library staff in the field develop or need improvement with developing Community and Family Engagement for and with their teen populations by Harlan (2016), Hughes-Hassell and Stivers (2015), and Froggatt (2015).
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.