It wasn’t all that long ago that adolescence was first recognized as a distinct stage of life. But anyone who works with teens can tell you that a twelve-year-old’s adolescence looks a lot different from an eighteen-year-old’s. Over the teen years, the brain undergoes dramatic growth and change. The Office of Head Start and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (part 1 and part 2) point out significant differences in the mental, physical, and emotional development of younger teens versus older ones. One way for libraries to meet this variety of needs, and perhaps to better serve our patrons, is to offer services for tweens and young teens that are separate from those for older teens.
Special services for pre-teens and young teens are a growing trend, and they come under many different names: tween services, middle school services, junior high services, in-betweens. School Library Journal recently created a monthly e-mail newsletter called Be Tween, for “those kids who are not little children anymore—but not quite young adults, either.” Members of a large library system in my state just started a tween services group for staff serving these patrons to network and share ideas. Continue reading
Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!
As we celebrated our country’s independence last weekend, YALSA, too, has sought to break free from past models of association work and is currently exploring new ways to engage our members that better meet their interests, skills and busy lifestyles.
It was with those #teensfirst and members’ first ideals in mind that the 2015-2016 YALSA Board approached our work before and during ALA Annual last month as we worked on aligning existing YALSA groups, programs and services with the association’s new Organizational Plan.
Here are some highlights:
– The Board adopted the following consent items, which were items that were discussed and voted on previous to annual, including:
- New Summer Learning Position Paper
- New Mission, Vision and Organizational Plan
- Change to Jury Appointments
- Filling Board Vacancy
- Endowment Proposal Adoption
- New DC Metro Interest Group
- Board Diversity Taskforce Recommendations
– The Board also approved a more concrete structure to support and revitalize interest groups.
As part of its effort to align YALSA’s existing work with the new Organizational Plan, as well as update member engagement opportunities so that they better meet member needs, the Board began a review of all existing member groups at our June meeting. While the Board was not able complete the review, we did come to decisions about some of the groups.
– The Board agreed that the following committees’ structure and workflow will remain as they currently are:
- Alex Award Committee
- Editorial Advisory Board for YALS/YALSAblog
- Financial Advancement Committee
- Margaret Edwards Award Committee
- Mentoring Task Force
- Michael Printz Award Committee
- Morris Award Committee
- Nonfiction Award Committee
- Odyssey Award Interdivisional Committee
- Organization and Bylaws Committee
- The Hub Advisory Board
Any day now YALSA members and YALS subscribers should find in their mailboxes the latest issue of YALS. (The digital edition is already available on the Members Only section of the YALSA website.) The summer 2016 theme is college & career readiness (CCR) and includes articles on:
- Developing space that supports helping youth gain CCR skills and information
- Developing activities and a program of service that supports teen acquisition of CCR skills and information
- The role of digital equity in CCR
- What Project Lead The Way is all about
- How creating tinkering opportunities supports teen ability to gain 21st century skills
- The skills library staff need to succeed in the 21st century work place
Don’t forget to login on Monday, June 13, 2016, from 2 – 3 pm Eastern for a Town Hall Discussion!
The Town Hall will be led by Candice and me, and we’ll be joined by many board members, too. The agenda is as follows:
2:00 – 2:15 pm: Overview of the Organizational Plan & Steps Already Taken
2:15 – 2:45 pm: Discussion with Participants about Involvement & Engagement Activities
Question to Ponder: What YALSA member engagement activities have you found most meaningful?
2:45 – 3 pm: Q&A and Wrap-Up
If you can’t make it to the virtual town hall, but you’re attending ALA Annual in Orlando, we’d love to see you at the session What’s New in YALSA and How You Can Be a Part of It! The session will be on Saturday, June 25th, from 8:30-10 am at the Rosen Centre, Room Salon 03/04. It will be similar to the virtual town hall, and YALSA’s strategic guru Eric Meade will join the discussion. You can find out more about the Whole Mind Strategy Group in this interview with YALSA Board member Kate McNair.
We’ll be using a format that the Board has been using to meet virtually– Zoom. You don’t have to use video, but it does make conversation easier. And we always love when cute animals accidentally walk in front of the screen!
Email the YALSA Office soon to receive the login information: firstname.lastname@example.org
The YALSA Board has been hard at work throughout this year and last year looking at YALSA’s Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action report, association capacity and sustainability, and incorporating member and stakeholder feedback to re-envision the organization’s Strategic Plan to create an association that is more nimble, more modern and more reflective of the needs of teens and our members both today and into the future.
The result is YALSA’s new Organizational Plan!
Please check it out: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/aboutyalsa/strategicplan
You can also find YALSA’s new Mission, Vision, and Impact Statements (http://www.ala.org/yalsa/aboutyalsa/mission%26vision/yalsamission) and the Implementation Plan (http://www.ala.org/yalsa/sites/ala.org.yalsa/files/content/ImplementationPlan.pdf)
Mission: Our mission is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives.
Vision: Our vision is that all teens have access to quality library programs and services ‒ no matter where they occur ‒ that link them to resources, connected learning opportunities, coaching, and mentoring that are tailored to the unique circumstances of the community and that create new opportunities for all teens’ personal growth, academic success, and career development
Intended Impact Statement: To meaningfully address the challenges teens face today and to put more teens on the path to a successful and fulfilling life, YALSA will support library staff who work for and with teens in the transformation of teen library services so that:
- Libraries reach out to and serve ALL teens in the community no matter what their backgrounds, interests, needs, or abilities, and whether or not they frequent the library space.
- The library “space” is at once both physical and virtual. It connects teens to other people, printed materials, technology, and digital content, not limiting teens to a designated teen area but rather inviting them into the full scope of the library’s assets and offerings.
- Teens co-create, co-evaluate, and co-evolve library programs and activities with library staff and skilled volunteers (including mentors and coaches) based on their passions and interests. These programs and activities are connected to teens’ personal, work, or academic interests across multiple literacies; generate measurable outcomes for teens’ skills and knowledge; and are tailored to the unique circumstances of the community.
To achieve this impact, the YALSA Board identified the following priority areas:
- Leading the transformation of teen library services (including a cultural competency component)
- Advocacy to policy makers at all levels to increase support for teen library services
- Funder and partner development
We’re really excited about the new plan and our #TeensFirst focus and we want to know what your thoughts and/or questions are!
To that end, we’ve put together an Organizational Plan FAQ: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/organizational-plan-faq-2016-2018
YALSA President-Elect Sarah Hill and I are also hosting a virtual video townhall on Monday, June 13th, from 2-3 p.m. Eastern via Zoom. Please contact the YALSA Office at email@example.com for the access information.
And, if you’re attending ALA Annual in Orlando next month, we will also be hosting a face to face session on YALSA’s new Organizational Plan on Saturday, June 25th, from 8:30-10 a.m. at the Rosen Centre, Room Salon 03/04, called What’s New in YALSA and How You Can Be a Part of It!
If you have any other questions, comments, concerns and/or compliments, feel free to email me at candice. YALSA [at] gmail.com or reach me via Twitter @tinylibrarian! Hope to see you online and/or in person at our Townhall and at ALA Annual!
Thank you to all who ran for positions on the 2018 Edwards, Nonfiction & Printz Award Committees and congratulations to those who were elected!
These award committees are partially filled by elected spots and partially filled by appointed spots, so now through June 1st, YALSA is collecting volunteer forms for the 2018 Edwards, Nonfiction and Printz Award Committees that will begin work Feb. 1st, 2017 and for the 2017 YA Services Symposium Planning Taskforce (held in Louisville, KY) that will begin work later this year.
If you are interested in one of these committees or the Symposium taskforce, the first thing to do is learn all about what the expectations are for members of these groups.
These resources can help:
- Watch this free Award Committee Webinar
- Read this article How to Succeed on a YA Book Committee (PDF)
- Talk to current committee chairs to get first hand information about what is expected of committee members
- Read the Awards Committees Conflict of Interest Policy
- Read the Committee FAQ
- Read the descriptions of YALSA award committees and taskforces
If you feel you have met the criteria and have the time available to serve on one of these YALSA award committees or the symposium taskforce, you are encouraged to fill out the Committee Volunteer Form between now and June 1st.
In order to be eligible to serve on a YALSA committee, you must be a current personal member.
To learn more about membership, or to join, go to http://www.ala.org/yalsa/join.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at gsarahthelibrarian @gmail.com
You should have already or will soon be receiving your Spring 2016 edition of YALS. The topic of the issue is Libraries and Learning. All the articles are excellent but the one that stood out to me was the featured interview with Shannon Peterson, the Youth Services Manager for the Kitsap (WA) Regional Library (KRL). The library received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for their program Make, Do, Share: Sustainable STEM Leadership in a Box.
One of the great things about this interview is that not only did we learn the context of this project (it began with a project called BiblioTEC, sponsored through the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation) but also heard about how Shannon and her staff frame the work they are doing. Many times in public libraries, we are so focused on helping our community, we don’t think about the reasoning behind our behaviors. These behaviors and the programming we create can be influenced by the theory we read and the theory we believe grounds our work as librarians. Shannon’s interview was full of all the things she and KRL was thinking of as they created the Make, Do, Share programming.
A brief look at ‘grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.
While library Instagram feeds share images of programs in action, memes that make you chuckle, smiling library staff members, and striking images of the building and grounds, the majority of posts are focused on books. Whether it be new books that just arrived, a fresh book display, pets posing with books, or book recommendations (to name a few!), libraries are finding ways to showcase materials to patrons. Recently, I’ve found that many libraries are tagging authors, illustrators, and publishers in the comments section of the post or in the image itself. At first glance this may seem commonplace given the constant sharing and tagging that goes on within the platform, but in light of the Future of Library Services for and with Teens report and YALSA’s Social Networking Toolkit, the action has an important impact.
The Futures report explains that today’s library staff have the tools to meet teens where they are and must help them develop multiple literacies that extend beyond the library’s physical space. Listed in the report are seven ways that we can help teens gain media literacy skills as presented by Renee Hobbs at the Summit on the Future of Library Services and Teens. As suggested by the list, getting teens to think about how they interact with media can help them analyze what they consume and make good choices with regard to what they listen to, read, and watch. Library staff can help teens research personal interests and gain skills that will help them analyze and interpret messages, create content, as well as share ideas and represent themselves in the future. In terms of social media specifically, the Social Networking Toolkit states that the act of creating a social media profile, writing content and comments, and editing content develops reading and writing skills. Learning how to use social media tools in a safe environment will allow teens to develop boundaries and expectations when using social platforms, demonstrate a commitment to learning, feel empowered, and see library staff and teachers as positive role models for navigating social media. The Social Networking Toolkit provides an example in which a teen follows an author’s blog or Twitter feed as the author reflects on his or her writing and reading experience. The student can then use the author’s social media account as both a platform for research and a way to communicate with the author.