How often do you serve as guidance counselor? How many times have you helped someone complete the FAFSA? or helped someone complete a job application? or helped area community organizations run an annual job fair?
As YALSA president, I can opt to have a theme for my presidential year. When I re-read the new Organizational Plan and the Futures Report, it wasn’t difficult to choose a topic close to my heart. I worked in high schools for fourteen years, and now I work the reference desk and teach at a rural community college library, so everyday I think about how prepared my “kids” are for the real world. Whether that’s discussing with them how student loans work or offering interview tips or explaining why their mean teacher is requiring APA style, it’s always on my mind! College and career readiness have been buzz words for years in education, but I really want to stress workforce development, too. With the theme “Real Teens, Real Ready,” my President’s Program Task Force will offer opportunities to share best practices about college and career readiness and the skills needed for teens to succeed in adulthood.
YALSA already has a list of resources on the College and Career Readiness wiki page, and is excited about the Future Ready with the Library: Connecting with Communities for College and Career Readiness Services grant that was recently announced. YALSA, in partnership with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL), is implementing an innovative project that will build the capacity of small, rural and tribal libraries to provide college and career readiness (CCR) services for and with middle schoolers. YALSA and ARSL will work with library staff to build needed skills while also developing, testing and refining turn-key resources, which other libraries can adapt for their own use.
The Real Teens, Real Ready task force will be preparing the President’s Program at ALA Annual in Chicago next summer. If you have any innovative ideas you’d like to share with them, please contact Chair Valerie Davis. Other task force members are Lisa Borten, Lisa Dettling, Jeremy Dunn, Katie Kirsch, and Ellen Popit. More information will be coming soon about how you can help with this initiative!