Free Events for Life After High SchoolFor me, my focus on helping teens transition from high school to adulthood began during the recession. I was working the help desk and there was a customer who was trying to complete the FAFSA on a paid website. I redirected them to FAFSA.ed.gov, but a few days later there was another customer who was doing a similar thing, only they had paid $80 for someone to fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

It may be the beginning of the school year, but one of my focuses this year is partnering with other organizations to ensure that accurate information gets to students and recent grads about college and alternatives to college. Read More →

The Information Policy & Access Center has released their findings from a 2013 Survey about Digital Inclusion.

You can read the full report online.

Digital Inclusion is more than Digital Literacy, focusing on not just access but supporting users to engage in digital communities. The report explored the roles of public libraries in four main areas: Read More →

In an era where every library dollar needs to be justified, should teen services departments continue purchasing nonfiction?

YA librarians are in the perfect matrix to consider this question: patrons aren’t bringing their reference questions to library staff, teachers aren’t asking students to cite print sources, information discovery on the web is incredibly easy, and personal web access is growing ubiquitous. Read More →

Spring brings a time crunch for teen librarians everywhere: as the school year wraps up, public librarians must amp up for summer reading, and school librarians must set the media center to rights in those last, finals-crammed weeks.  There is no easier time of year to overwork ourselves.  However, if we wish our superiors to know our value, and if we care for a true work-life balance, the 40 hour work week must be honored. Read More →

It seems that almost every library-related news article I read talks about the de-funding of libraries or how amazing it is the Library X is doing so much with so little.  The 2011 State of America’s Libraries report from ALA and Library Journal’s 2012 Library Budget Survey confirm that budgets are still trending down. It can feel impossible to be innovative when you are barely able to cover costs for summer reading programs.

I don’t know about you, but occasionally I must force myself out of a pity party that generally starts with the thought, “If I had more money/time/help, I could do so much for my patrons.” In order to combat this leeching, downward spiral, here are some ideas to beat the blues and come up with your next innovative idea.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the Save Libraries campaign so I asked YALSA’s Blog Manager, and high school librarian, mk Eagle to chat with me on the topic. The following is the transcript of our conversation.

LWB: Hi mk, I wanted to ask you about something I’ve been thinking about a lot do you have a few minutes. (And beware I’m going to poke, prod, and play devil’s advocate.)

mk: Absolutely. Read More →

Be sure to take part in FOY’s (Friends of YALSA’s) Give $10 in ’10 campaign that will kick off at Annual in Washington, DC. All FOY funds collected during 2010 are earmarked to support YALSA’s Advocacy efforts.

On the Tuesday of Annual, library advocates from across the United States will meet on U.S. Capitol grounds as part of a rally in support of libraries, followed by meetings with elected officials and their staffs. Five YALSA librarians applied for, and received, funds (provided by FOY) to extend their conference days and attend Library Advocacy Day. In addition, FOY funds are being used to print materials in support of advocacy and to develop an online class in Advocacy Techniques. Read More →

Last November, armed only with a copy of Teen Spaces by Kimberly Bolan and a budget of $1,000, I set out to create a teen space in my library. The budget actually seemed huge to me at first, but after looking up the price lists for a number of nice contract furniture companies, I realized it was almost enough to buy a chair. Woo. Hoo.

Undaunted, I expanded my search to include residential and school furniture, until I found something with an acceptable balance of quality, versatility, and price. During the process, I learned a number of things I wanted to pass on to anyone else in the position of choosing furniture for a teen space without the benefit of a consultant or even the advice of a furniture company.

  1. If you don’t have access to floor plans for your building, you can make ones using free online tools. I started out with a tape measure and graph paper, but I ended up using floorplanner.com. The best part was that after I created an outline and entered the dimensions of the shelves I was working with, I could drag and drop them anywhere and get a 3-D simulation. I think my coworkers were more impressed with the 3-D simulation than anything else I’ve done this year. Read More →

Two-thirds (65%) of Americans report using their public library either in person, by telephone or via computer in the past year. That’s over 151 million people using public libraries! The 2010 Harris Poll Quorum Household Survey, available on the ALA website, reveals some interesting data about library use.

Among those who have visited the library by computer in the past year, one third (35%) report increasing their public library access by computer over the past 6 months. While taking out books remains the top service library users report as a reason to visit the library in person, patrons who use the library by phone or computer report increased renewals as well as catalog and website visits.

Additionally, 62% of unemployed adults had used their library in the past year, including many who visited libraries to complete an online job application, search employment databases and create resumes.

So what does all this mean for you?
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