YALSA President’s Report – December 2021

Greetings all! What a year it’s been! We’re a few days into the new year as I wrap up last month. Even in unsettling times, I hope you were able to experience some moments of ease and will continue to do so as we welcome in 2022. Here are some highlights from December:

Membership numbers (reported from August 2021):
Personal members of YALSA: 3,239
Renewals: 201 (this is an 11.6% increase from 2020)
New members: 90 (this is also an increase from 2020)

  • Directed the Board to continue responding to the History of Four EDI Taskforce Report recommendations
  • Submitted a President’s column for upcoming YALS issue. Co-written with social worker. (YALS is a great member-perk! Chock-full of useful information-free to members)
  • Worked on promoting the need for and appointing interested members to YALSA’s Division and Membership Promotion Committee.  (We still have openings to this important committee. Fill out the Committee Volunteer Form if you are interested!)
  • Continuing to seek a Member Manager for the Hub by reaching out to folks and updating call for applicants. Thank you Board Member, Director-At-Large Traci Glass for stepping in as interim!
  • Posted about YALSA’s partnership with Michigan State and Indiana University regarding Artificial Intelligence
  • Met with YALSA President’s Taskforce to develop ideas to continue moving forward on re-building social capital for and with teens
  • Working with AASL/ALSC to determine joint Executive Committee meeting
  • Working with Chairs and Board Members to submit board documents for January meeting (*more information will be shared on this within the next week or so)
  • Called for vote from Board Members for several Board Documents (will be linked here soon) regarding Virtual Option for Award Committees as well as Extension of Evaluating Volunteer Resources Taskforce. Others currently under discussion.

As always, grateful for the passion and work from dedicated volunteers to YALSA! Take a moment to look back on 2021 for all that you’ve accomplished and we’ll continue moving forward-one day at a time! Here’s to 2022!

Any questions or comments, feel free to post below or email: kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com.

Kelly Czarnecki (she/her)
YALSA President
2021-2022

 

“I Remember When the Future was Unevenly Distributed” by cogdogblog is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Hub Member Manager sought for 2022 Term – Interim considered!

We’d like to thank the Hub’s current member manager, Sara Beth Coffman for the tremendous work and dedication she’s put into The Hub the past year.

You may have seen previous posts for this position. We’re still seeking! If you want to try it out short term such as 3 months and see if this is a good fit for you-we encourage you to still apply!

The most common feedback I’ve received from inquiries-and understandably so-is how much time is expected to be devoted per week. If selected, that will be up to you, the manager. You will also have a team you are working with.  A rough estimate from past managers is to plan for 4-8 hours a week. This will ebb and flow throughout the term as well. You will be in great hands with Board Liaison Traci Glass, who has written for the Hub before and can help guide you each step of the way.

The other most common response I receive is the qualifications feel somewhat daunting and folks may feel they are not eligible. While it is true that there is a bit different process to this position than some other volunteer positions in terms of qualifications-don’t let that hold you back from applying even if you don’t think you meet everything 100% perfectly!

If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Kelly Czarnecki, YALSA President (2021-2022); kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com. If you’re ready to apply please send a resume and cover letter to YALSA Member manager; Letitia Smith at lsmith@ala.org as soon as possible.

For qualifications and responsibilities, please review a previous post. Thank you for your interest!

 

 

 

YALSA President’s Report – November 2021

Greetings all! Sending some fall energy your way! The highlight of this month has definitely been the YALSA Symposium in Reno. So much hard work went into what was a phenomenal event. Thank you all for making this hybrid (virtual/in-person) learning and networking opportunity a huge success!

This time of year means different things to everyone depending on what traditions (if any) you may participate in. I know I typically feel the winter months gain speed though for others it might be ‘normal’-just a bit colder-again dependent on where one resides. At any rate, whatever your unique experience may be, thank you for your involvement with YALSA and your continued work to help teens have quality access to library programs and services!

Contributions I made this month as YALSA President:

  • Assisted with the YALSA Symposium; recorded several introductions, attended virtual sessions and participated in the virtual Board info session. Called to vote on Symposium 2022 location (Baltimore here we come!)
  • Connected over email with Sam Helmrick, YALSA Liaison for ALA Executive Board
  • Held meeting for Presidential Taskforce to re-build teen social capital! So excited to work with such great volunteers!
  • Extended the Hub Manager assignment for one more month. Grateful for Sara Beth!
  • Connected with the Chair, Melissa, and Board Liaison, Carrie, for the Teen Civic Engagement Committee
  • Met with AASL/ALSC Presidents to develop a charge for the Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation. Thank you Jennisen and Lucia!
  • Wrote an article for the Presidents Column for the upcoming YALS issue on Adulting
  • Contributed to updating the DMP charge along with Board Member Karen Lemmons and YALSA ED, Tammy Dillard-Steels
  • Created EDI timeline draft for the Board as a recommendation from ODLOS Director, Kevin Strowder, to see our progress
  • Appointed a new Chair, Rebecca Denham, for the Evaluating Volunteer Resources Taskforce
  • Supported the ALA Statement on Censorship

Any questions or comments, feel free to post below or email: kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com.

Kelly Czarnecki (she/her)
YALSA President
2021-2022

 

Photo Credit: “Deer” by Kelly Czarnecki

YALSA President’s Report – September 2021

The Rolling Stones performed a live concert in my town last month (September). The night before they played, Mick Jagger was captured in a photo standing outside a local (and quirky!) establishment completely unnoticed. The photo actually made national news because he looks so unassuming. Hiding in plain sight.  (Note-the photo in this post is not the photo discussed!) It made me think-if you were hanging out at the park with your pet, shopping for groceries down the street, or out to eat somewhere-which author would cause you to change expression if you saw them and recognized them? Jason Reynolds? Jacqueline Woodson? David Levithan? What about a YALSA member or a potential YALSA member? Those rock stars in their own right who’ve won a scholarship? Put together a program you’ve admired? Presented at a conference in a way that made you feel seen? We never know who we’re crossing paths with all the time but the potential for something-a connection, recognition-is always there.  That’s a bit how I felt with all the great interactions (albeit virtual) I’ve had with members in September. In addition to meeting regularly with the YALSA Executive Director, Board and Executive Board I also:

    • Made an appointment of  YALSA representative to the PLA Committee on Family Engagement
    • Appointed a Director-At-Large position to fill a gap on the YALSA Board
    • Speaking of rock stars – sent a request for a memorial resolution to YALSA’s ALA Liaison for Teri Lesesne
    • Responded to Board Liaisons regarding August Quarterly Chair reports
    • Appointed YALSA Liaison to ALA EDI Assembly
    • Participated with YALSA Staff in the ALA Virtual Volunteer Fair
    • Held first meeting of Implementing the President’s Theme Task Force (still seeking members!)
    • Connected with 2021 YALSA Spectrum Scholar, Cordiah Hayes
    • Along with Tammy Dillard-Steels, YALSA Executive Director, shared the YALSA 2022-2025 Strategic Plan with members and potential members (link coming soon!) in webinar format
    • Issued a statement supporting the selections from YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens list
    • Met with AASL President Jennisen Lucas
    • Appointed a YALSA representative with ALA for USBBY
    • Put a call out to members for participating on the Teen Programming HQ Advisory Board
    • Took a virtual tour of Reno with Carla Jamison, YALSA Program Officer, and representatives from the Nevada area (public, university library, etc.) for the YALSA Symposium (super excited!) in November

Any questions or comments, feel free to post below or email: kellyczarnecki1@gmail.com.

 

2020-2021 YALSA President-Elect Kelly Czarnecki

 

 

 

Kelly Czarnecki (she/her)
YALSA President
2021-2022

Photo credit: “Silhouette at a Sigur Ros Concert” by Tom Olliver

All Black Lives Matter: Mental Health of Black LGBTQ Youth

 *A version of this post will appear in the BCALA Newsletter. 

Mental Health is not getting the attention it deserves. It is being overshadowed by COVID-19 and many other disparities in this country.  Mental health is a vital conversation that needs to be addressed even before the pandemic. It is misdiagnosed and is not really referred to as a medical condition. When mental health is discussed, it is based on the context of adults, right? What about young people between the ages of 13-24? Young people’s mental health concerns are just as high as those of adults if not higher. How does this pertain to librarianship?  We are faced with many populations that walk through our doors that are struggling on a daily basis without realizing it. We serve a great population of youth that look happy and may be experiencing some form of trauma. This is important if you are involved with trauma-informed librarianship. These statistics mentioned in this report can be vital to research for anyone who needs it.

The Trevor Project took the discussion even further when they conducted a survey on LGBTQ+ youth and mental health.  They took it even further when discussing the intersectionality of African American LGBTQ+ youth and mental health.  The Trevor Project, based on an award winning short film, Trevor, is a national organization providing crisis intervention for the LGBTQ+ youth community. 

According to the Trevor Project:

Black LGBTQ youth report rates of mental health challenges comparable to or higher than the overall population of LGBTQ youth. These youth are confronted with risk factors that are not only similar to those of other LGBTQ youth but are also very different, such as racial discrimination. Black transgender and nonbinary youth are particularly susceptible. We must confront systemic barriers to Black LGBTQ mental health and well-being.

For youth-serving organizations to be inclusive of Black LGBTQ youth, they must approach their work with the dual lenses of LGBTQ inclusion and anti-racism. Further, organizations working to support youth well-being must acknowledge that efforts to improve mental health cannot be “one-size-fits-all,” and, rather, must fit the needs of Black LGBTQ youth, both those that are similar to all LGBTQ youth and those that are unique. This is particularly true for Black transgender and nonbinary youth. Researchers must do more to prioritize the experiences of Black LGBTQ youth in order to inform best practices.

Did You Know…

According to the Trevor Project, statistics are as follows:

Black LGBTQ+ identified as…

  • 31% of Black LGBTQ+ youth identified as gay or lesbian, 35 % as bisexual, 20% as pansexual, and 9% as queer
  • One in three Black LGBTQ+ youth identified as transgender or nonbinary
  • More than 1 in 4 Black LGBTQ+ youth use pronouns or pronoun combinations that fall outside of the binary construction of gender.

Black LGBTQ+ youth often report mental health challenges, including suicidal ideation.

  • 44% of Black LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months, including 59% of Black transgender and nonbinary youth
  • 55% of Black LGBTQ youth reported symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder in the past two weeks, including 70% of Black transgender and nonbinary youth
  • 63% of Black LGBTQ+ youth report symptoms of major depressive disorder including 71% of Black transgender and nonbinary youth
  • Self-harm was reported in 44% of Black LBGTQ+ youth, including 61% of Black transgender and nonbinary youth
  • 49% of Black LGBTQ+ youth reported wanting psychological or emotional counseling from a mental health professional in the past 12 months, but not being able to get it

Many risk factors for Black LGBTQ+ youth mental health.

  • 9% of Black LGBTQ+ youth reported having undergone conversion therapy, with 82% reporting it happened before age 18
  • 35% of Black LGBTQ+ youth have experienced homelessness, been kicked out, or run away
  • 38% of Black LGBTQ+ youth reported discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity
  • 52% of Black LGBTQ+ youth reported discrimination based on their race or ethnicity
  • 17% of Black LGBTQ+ youth reported that they had been physically threatened or harmed in their lifetime due to their LGBTQ+ identity
  • 25% of Black transgender and nonbinary youth reported that they had been physically threatened or harmed in their lifetime due to their gender identity.

Identified high impact protective factors for Black LGBTQ+ youth.

  • 82% of Black LGBTQ+ youth reported at least one supportive person in their life
  • Black transgender and nonbinary youth who reported high family support had lower rates of attempted suicide
  • 82% of Black LGBTQ+ youth report access to at least one in-person LGBTQ+ LGBTQ+-affirming space
  • Black youth who had access to at least one LGBTQ+-affirming space attempted suicide at 50% lower rates compared to Black LGBTQ+ youth without access”

This Research Report was published in 2020.  To access this report for more information, please click on the link .

Additional Support Resources:

GLSEN

“As GLSEN was founded by a group of teachers in 1990, we knew that educators play key roles in creating affirming learning environments for LGBTQ youth. But as well as activating supportive educators, we believe in centering and uplifting student-led movements, which have powered initiatives like the Day of Silence, Ally Week, and more.”

BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health)

“We are a collective of advocates, yoga teachers, artists, therapists, lawyers, religious leaders, teachers, psychologists and activists committed to the emotional/mental health and healing of Black communities”

WeRNative

“We are a comprehensive health resource for Native youth, by Native youth, providing content and stories about the topics that matter most to them. We strive to promote holistic health and positive growth in our local communities and nation at large.”

Rest for Resistance

“Rest for Resistance strives to uplift marginalized communities, those who rarely get access to adequate health care or social support. This includes Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Pacific Islander, Asian, Middle Eastern, and multiracial persons.

We also seek to create healing space for LGBTQIA+ individuals, namely trans & queer people of color, as well as other stigmatized groups such as sex workers, immigrants, persons with physical and/or mental disabilities, and those living at the intersections of all of the above.”

The Steve Fund

“The Steve Fund is the nation’s leading organization focused on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color.  The Steve Fund works with colleges and universities, non-profits, researchers, mental health experts, families, and young people to promote programs and strategies that build understanding and assistance for the mental and emotional health of the nation’s young people of color.”

 

Guest post by Monica Porter, Public Services Librarian, University of Michigan, University Library

Who am I? Monica Porter, Access and Public Services Librarian, University of Michigan, University Library.  I live in Ypsilanti, Michigan and originally from Detroit, Michigan.  I was a more mature MLIS student and earned my degree in 2017.   I  received my B.S. degree from Eastern Michigan University in 2014.  My major was English Language and minor African American Studies.

 I have a specialized area of 14-26 young adult services at University of Michigan, University Library in Ann Arbor. I was promoted to Assistant Librarian in February 2020 after being an Access Services Supervisor for the majority of my career at the university.   My unit work is Library Operations with the focus on Access Services.  I have worked at the University of Michigan Libraries for 18 years.  I also worked for Detroit Public Library for 15 years as a Senior Library Clerk and was a Substitute Librarian for Ypsilanti District Library.  

One of my current responsibilities is to develop programming with our campus partners, local youth community advocates and schools for young people, especially young people of Color to make sure they have the resources needed for success.

YALSA Advocacy: Resources to Stop Anti-AAPI Hate

On March 3, 2021, the Asian/Pacific American Librarian Association issued a statement condemning the attacks against Asian Americans due to racist misconceptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Young Adult Library Services Association wishes to join their sister organization in condemning these horrid attacks, and if you have civically-minded teenagers at your library, offer resources for them to take action themselves.

YALSA recognizes and strongly condemns the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes that have grown in intensity over the past year due to hate speech directed at the Asian community. Here at YALSA, we believe no one should be discriminated against due to their race, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

How can teen librarians support their patrons, and encourage teens of all races to stand up for each other? One of the most important issues can be recognizing racism, and figuring out what to do about it in the moment. Hollaback, a non-profit organization, has been offering free online trainings for how to disrupt and intervene when someone witnesses racism. This can be the first resource librarians hand out. While that training touches on the troubled history American has with Chinese immigrants, this article also provides a brief history, beginning with the way Chinese immigrants were painted as dirty and infectious to stir up anti-immigrant feelings and eventually exclude Chinese immigrants from voting or owning land.

Librarians can also host programs on racism. While her upcoming program isn’t specifically geared towards anti-AAPI racism, teen librarian Kim Iacucci from Fort Lee Library expects that it will come up naturally. She has scheduled a program titled Changing The World One Click At A Time: Teens And Activism In The Social Media Age. Fort Lee is a heavily Asian-American city right outside New York City, and held a Stop Asian Hate rally that drew a large crowd. She’s also working on a program for the library that’s about anti-Asian racism for all ages. 

Every teen should be able to come to the library and feel safe and protected. Being able to intervene, or even say that we see their struggle could mean the world to a teen struggling through the strangest year of their lives.

 

Posted by Stacey Shapiro, YALSA Board Advocacy.

Three Reasons Why I Want to be a Youth Librarian

It wasn’t until I was drafting my essay for my graduate school application that I knew what kind of librarian I wanted to be. Currently, I work as an academic librarian, where I tend to non-traditional students and their woes of returning to college. I enjoy my job very much; however, working with the youth, particularly teens, has been my goal since I began grad school. There are youth librarians all over the United States, all of them with varying reasons on why they wanted to work in this area of librarianship. For instance, they may have a passion for interacting with kids and teens, or perhaps working with youth keeps them young and vibrant themselves.

My reasons for becoming a youth librarian are probably the same as others, and I’ve got three of them. For one, I want to give teens a voice. Second, I want to show them how the library is still relevant to their lives, and third, I want to show them that as a person of color, we exist in all professions, including as youth librarians.

With social media platforms freely available, teens have multiple ways to voice their opinions. Even with Facebook and Twitter, not everyone takes teens seriously because some are treated like children; they should be seen and not heard. Sometimes, I catch myself dismissing my 14-year-old brother’s opinions, which isn’t right. As a future youth librarian, I’d like to ensure that teens can freely and safely express themselves. When they can share their thoughts and feelings, they have the agency and autonomy to make choices that benefit them. Teens of color need to be comfortable with expressing their views about the world. It has been my experience that they are silenced and punished for being who they are, be it through their natural hair, sexuality, religion, etc. As a future youth librarian, I plan to create programs and spaces where teens can be honest, and that’s enormously important. Continue reading Three Reasons Why I Want to be a Youth Librarian

YALS Spring 2021 Issue: Call for Articles

Article proposals for the Spring 2021 issue of YALS are currently being sought. The theme is Race(ism).

Prospective articles should provide broad and specific discussions that address questions such as:

• How has your library addressed race and/or racism or microaggressions/implicit bias/etc?
• How do we train ourselves, especially in libraries, to recognize race and the harms that can be perpetrated against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)?
• What are the roles that BIPOC YA librarians can/do play in creating a safe space for teens in their libraries?
• How are BIPOC YA librarians helping to bring the issues of race, equity, diversity, inclusion, and/or social justice to the forefront in their libraries? Likewise, what are non-BIPOC YA librarians doing?
• Why are there so few YA librarians of color and how can we address this? (who recruits them, which libraries have been successful & how)
• How has your library taken a strong stance against racial injustice?
• What are teens’ thoughts on race as it relates to the library community and how can we provide guidance on the topic?
• Are there programs, presentations, or resources that your library or your teens have created centered around race?

Please note that this is a volunteer writing opportunity with no monetary compensation. YALSA has the right to first refusal.

Please submit article proposals by December 28, 2020 the extended deadline, February 1, 2021.

If you know someone who has experience on this topic and would be interested in writing for YALS or have questions, please contact YALS’ editor, Yolanda Hood at yhood@upei.ca.

Reflections on Black History Month

I’ll be honest; I have mixed feelings about Black History Month.  On the one hand, our country owes Black Americans this recognition because we have done such a poor job of including anyone who isn’t white in the racial narrative we tell, whether it’s through our school curricula, the books we publish, or media as a whole. On the other hand, I’m sure we’ve all heard some version of “I guess it’s that time of year again,” when the Black History Month displays go up. (Thank you, teenagers, for your blithe cynicism.) 

Titles for Black History Month.

I worry that having these designated months potentially sends the message that the entire history of a group of people can fit into one month. I also think there is the danger of feeling that we are checking the diversity box because we celebrate everyone’s “month.” That being said, if we are striving to have an inclusive library year-round, through every book order, every display, every event, and every program, then these special months are just more opportunities to create that inclusive space. So every year in February, our library passionately celebrates, knowing that we are also representing hard the other eleven months. 

Silhouette of an african-american person painted on paper.

I work in an independent school library that serves a predominantly white population of 6th-12th grade students. While I feel very strongly that it is crucial for our students of color to see themselves represented in our programming and collection, I feel just as strongly that the white students we serve need to see this representation as well. I want to encourage as much empathy and awareness as I can, and I also don’t want any of our students to be swaddled in a cocoon of whiteness before they go off into a much more diverse world after graduation. 

As part of our Black History Month programming, our library participates in the NCTE African American Read-In. For the past four years, we’ve picked one day during Black History Month to reserve the first floor of our two-story library for reading books, shorts stories, poems, magazines, etc… written by Black American authors.  We pull out Black American #OwnVoices fiction and nonfiction and display it on top of all of our shelves, on our end caps, and as our outward-facing books at the end of shelf rows. On the day of the Read-In we also offer snacks (the library is usually a no food zone, so this is big), play music on an actual record player (from Motown to Jazz to Jimi Hendrix to Lauryn Hill), and enjoy a wonderful day of cozy reading.  We invite teachers to bring their classes and also are open for anyone – adult or student – to drop in when they have time. If a teacher’s class can’t make it on the actual day of the Read-In, we offer to schedule a time for them to come another day during the week.  

BHM titles

In addition to the Read-In event, we try to create interesting displays for the month each year. Last year’s display was my favorite by far, mainly because we got our high school’s Art Club and Multicultural Alliance involved in the process. Together, we created large-scale Black faces to hang on the front and side windows of the library.  On the backs of the faces, we wrote poems by Black Americans. (Credit to this tweet for the inspiration for this idea.) We displayed these again this year.

I wanted to make our displays this year feel more like a celebration of Black Present and Future, so I didn’t use the word History anywhere. I decided to focus our front display on current young adult and middle grades authors.  Using Canva, I created small posters with the picture of each author, surrounded by their books. I put books on display at the front of the library that were highlighted in the posters.

I also die-cut N.K. Jemisin’s book title, How Long ‘Til Black Future Month?, and put that up along our back wall, with two more faces. This has sparked a few interesting conversations with middle school students, who want to know why they’ve never heard of Black Future Month.

Framed images of posters celebrating Black History Month.

Celebrate Black Voices is written on a window inside the library.

We are trying some new programming this year and hosting lunch-time book discussions two days before the Read-In (with desserts provided). In the middle school, we are going to watch video clips of current Black authors reading their works and discuss them. In the high school, we are having a discussion of Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give, which will include watching clips of the movie and part of this video of Tupac, responding to an accusation that his music incited violence against a police officer.  We are crossing our fingers for participation!

Silhouette of an african-american person painted on paper.

I know I started this post with my misgivings about Black History Month, but I want to end it with why I love this month so much. Any time I start to feel cynicism creep in, when I feel that change isn’t happening fast enough and we’re spinning our wheels, I remember a comment from a student that will always stick with me. She came in on the day of the Read-In, and as she looked around at all the books written by Black authors, she said, “I wish my mom were here.  This is our idea of heaven.” 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go pull some books.  

Disclaimer: I focused on racial diversity in this post because it’s about Black History Month and it gets linguistically awkward to list every potential type of diversity. I believe that the same assertions I made about racial diversity apply for all the ways in which people can be marginalized or othered because of a part of their identity. 

 

Whitney Etchison currently lives in Maryland and is in her tenth year as a school librarian. The best part of her job is readers advisory, although teaching research skills is pretty cool too. She loves horror novels but can’t watch scary movies.

New Issue of YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults: Vol. 11 N. 1

Volume 11, Issue 1 of YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults (JRLYA) is now available online. This issue features research papers about the health-related information needs of public library teen patrons, Australian authors’ OwnVoices, and teen novels featuring characters who identify as LGBTQIA+.

Acknowledging the lack of health reference training for many public librarians, Jennifer R. Banas, Michelle J. Oh, Robin Willard, and Jeremy Dunn examine public teen librarians’ ability to help their patrons search for and use health-related information.  The research team’s results demonstrate which types of health-related issues teen patrons ask about most often, which issues librarians feel most competent to help locate and use appropriate information, and which issues they feel least competent to handle. A replicable tool was also developed by the authors so that other public librarians might improve the health literacy of their communities.

Emily Booth and Bhuva Narayan interviewed seven Australian authors who identify as Indigenous Australian, a person of color, or a member of queer or disabled communities in order to understand the extent to which these authors feel their stories should be used as tools for learning about marginalized people’s experiences.  The authors’ findings illustrate the challenges and expectations that authors from marginalized communities encounter when adding their OwnVoice to the field of youth literature.

Identifying that literature for teens may be a source of learning about sexuality and sexual health for teens who identify as LGBTQIA+, Kristie Escobar interviewed such a group of teens who read books from the Rainbow Book List.  The teens were asked to reflect on the authenticity of the depictions of LGBTQIA+ characters and the extent to which the books fulfilled an information need they might have about sexuality or sexual health.  The author argues that literature about LGBTQIA+ teens may help fill a void left by sexual education that is traditionally abstinence-focused in publicly-funded high schools.

JRLYA is YALSA’s open-access, peer-reviewed research journal, located at: http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya. Its purpose is to enhance the development of theory, research, and practice to support young adult library services. JRLYApresents original research concerning: 1) the informational and developmental needs of teens; 2) the management, implementation, and evaluation of young adult library services; and 3) other critical issues relevant to librarians who work with teens. Writer’s guidelines are located at http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/author-guidelines/.

Robin A. Moeller, editor, JRLYA