Rethinking YALSA: Virtual Town Hall on Monday!

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 about the Organizational Plan that the Board just approved.  See President Candice Mack’s recent blog post for more information.

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: yalsa@ala.org

Rethinking YALSA: What’s New in YALSA and How You Can Be a Part of It!

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 yalsa@ala.org 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!

Volunteer for 2018 Award Committees and 2017 YA Services Symposium Planning Taskforce!

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:

YALSA is seeking individuals with the highest ethical standards, a passion for YALSA’s mission and expertise in evaluating YA literature to serve on these awards committees.

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

YALS – Libraries and Learning: A Resource Guide for “Make, Do, Share”

cover of spring yalsYou 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.
Continue reading

Instagram of the Week – March 28

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.

Continue reading

Create it at Your Library: Preparing for Teen Tech Week 2016

Teen Tech Week is YALSA’s yearly initiative encouraging libraries to engage their teen community with resources that enhance their digital literacy skills. During March 6-12, libraries across the country will be buzzing with tech programs, STEM activities, and will be showcasing their digital resources with pride. Not only does this week in March allow us to engage teens with exciting opportunities, but it also gives libraries the ability to demonstrate their incredible value to the larger community. As library staff, we understand how imperative it is that our teens enter college and the workforce with skills that will allow them to hit the ground running. For some, this is an exciting task that they feel well equipped to tackle. For others, it’s a struggle; budgets are tight and technology can be pricey. However, no matter what the technological climate is in your community, there are a myriad of ways to prepare for Teen Tech Week that don’t involve dumping loads of cash into a new 3D printer. With the help of some great resources and inspiration, you’ll be well on your way to hosting the best Teen Tech Week ever.

Taking incremental steps is the best way to begin your preparation. Head over to YALSA’s Teen Tech Week site and register for a free account to access all of the resources that are available to new members. Under the “Resources” tab, you’ll find toolkits that will help you advocate for teens and technology, develop programs and activities, and publicize this exciting week in your library. As you explore the site, you’ll be ready to integrate the maker mindset into your programs and services. Use the Easy Advocacy toolkit to get your administration on board and word out to local policy makers and community leaders. Understanding the importance of this initiative will ensure their support and help you out in the long run.

Continue reading

Coming soon to a library near you: Digital Learning Day 2016

Digital Learning Day is right around the corner (Wednesday, February 17th to be exact). I’m sure there are already some librarians primed and ready for this day while others are reading this post wondering…

“What is Digital Learning Day?”

Digital learning, more generally, is about utilizing digital tools to help teach and strengthen a student’s learning experience. In a time when digital learning (and various digital tools) seems to be a popular trend, it’s important that the people who are using this technology are sharing their experiences with others.

Equity_RafranzThis day is also tied into the idea of digital equity. We keep working towards providing digital opportunities for every student and perhaps these are days when we can reflect on who we reach and keep thinking about how we can reach even more.

The day was started in 2012 to allow conversations to happen between teachers, educators, professionals, and librarians about the digital learning they are doing in their communities. It’s about showcasing innovations, sharing stories, and helping everyone see the impacts digital learning can have.

Digital Learning Day is sponsored through the Alliance for Excellent Education. At the Digital Learning Day website, they have a resource page, blog posts by educators using technology with their students, and graphics you could use to promote the day in your community!

Think about this day as not only a celebration of digital learning, but more importantly as a day and time to make connections and think about collaborations for future projects. If you are going to have an activity on the day, make sure to register your event! And if you’re not hosting an event, make sure to check out the resources or follow the hashtag #DLDay for updates and activities.

Is anyone participating in the day and if so, what are you doing?

Digital Literacy with Digital Sketchpads

What will the Covina Public Library be doing for Teen Tech Week? We will be hosting two active participation events and one passive activity in promotion of Teen Tech Week. The first activity will include hosting a Digital Literacy Day, providing a tutoring session focused on Google images, skills in Microsoft Word, and tutoring on the use of a digital sketchpad tablet. This activity will teach digital literacy skills directly related to success in school.

The second activity will spawn from the Digital Literacy Day in which teens more timid or unable to visit the group tutoring session via the Digital Literacy Day will have the opportunity to make one-on-one appointments during Teen Tech Week. During the appointments teens will be given tutorials one-on-one and will be based on the topics presented on Digital Literacy Day. In addition, teens will have the opportunity to be tutored on subjects specific to their needs. For example, teens will learn the basics of photo editing.

The final activity will be passive where reading resources may be checked out from a book display. Resources purchased through the grant and items from the library’s collection will be displayed to encourage digital literacy in a passive form. To prepare for this activity, all books will be selected from the collection and the grant and will be labeled “Teen Tech Week.” When teens check out any labeled item, their name will be placed in a drawing and a name will be selected for a chance to win a prize.

All activities will be presented in an effort to promote community and connected learning geared towards this age group. Through participation, teens will qualify for prizes including gift cards and resources that promote digital literacy. Random drawings will also take place from checking out digital literacy books, attending the tutorial sessions, and attending the Digital Literacy Day event.

We believe the most vital measurements of success include connected learning and skills building exercises, resulting in using knowledge hands-on. For Teen Tech Week, this means the library will purchase digital sketchpad tablets for each teen computer station and tutor teens on their use. By providing access to essential resources, this will enable teens to be empowered. In addition to providing connected learning, the digital sketchpad tablets will encourage teens to be passionate thinkers and idea makers. For instance, converting drawings to the computer for manipulation encourages creativity and mechanical thought processes. All this will be done in an effort to encourage teens to learn and have fun with learning new technologies so that they can become lifelong learners and be successful in school and life.

Covina Public Library is nestled just 25 miles east of Los Angeles in the San Gabriel Valley. We serve many low income families and seniors and promote the library as a family library. As a community center, Covina Public Library endeavors to make a difference in the community by being a Family Place Library, providing story times, crafts, movie days, tutoring for all ages, and seasonal events and activities.