Putting Teens First in Library Services: An Interview with Ryan Moniz

Shannon Peterson and Linda Braun talk with Ryan Moniz, community librarian at the Markham Library. Ryan talks about how he and his colleagues engage with youth and community to design responsive and flexible programs and services.

You can learn more about Ryan’s work in the YALSA webinar, No Hammer Required: Overcoming Barriers Between Teens and Library staff. Putting Teens First in Library Services: A Roadmap is available for purchase in the ALA store.

What is Youth Voice?

On October 19 at 2PM Eastern YALSA’s webinar will be on the topic of youth voice. Juan Rubio, author of the chapter “Working Together: Youth-Adult Partnerships to Enhance Youth Voice,” in YALSA’s book, Putting Teens First in Library Services: A Roadmap, will facilitate the session. This will be a highly participatory webinar that will include time for talking about challenges and opportunities that youth voice brings to teen library services. Participants will hear about real-life examples of youth voice in libraries and get to brainstorm ways to bring it to their own institutions.

Quotes from Rubio’s Putting Teens First chapter provide a good idea of what will be covered in the webinar:

Unless learning institutions such as libraries begin to incorporate youth voice
as an integral part of their offerings, youth, and especially minority youth, will continue consuming and producing media that frequently has nothing to do with how they conceive of their world and their community.

The best way to achieve outcomes that incorporate a strong youth voice component are library programs that take place through a series of workshops where teens and adults come together for several sessions. Meaningful social bonds are more likely to develop if young people are engaged in a series taking place over longer periods of time. When this occurs, teens develop affinity with the adult facilitator(s) and with the institution as a whole. Creating an opportunity to connect in these ways provides youth with an implicit incentive to be part of the program and to fully engage, which will enable a richer and more productive experience.

Continue reading

Check it out: Teen Literacies Toolkit

Back in February 2017, I wrote about my experience creating a toolkit in one day at Midwinter. It was a great experience and our group got a lot done in one day. We submitted our first draft to YALSA and waited to see what would happen next. Like any good piece of writing, our first draft wasn’t our best draft. So back to the drawing board we went. After several revisions, multiple Zoom conversations, and dozens of Google Doc comments back and forth, we are very proud to report that our Teen Literacies Toolkit has been published!

In this toolkit, we use the lens of fake news to examine literacy skills and programs you can do to help your teens. We propose this lens helps us understand the digital environment many of our teens live in and how we can help them better understand that world. What I think is great about the toolkit is the various ways you can use it. For example, you can:

  • Read the whole thing, cover to cover. Reading the whole toolkit allows you to dive into a little literacy theory, along with pushing you to reflect on the things you currently do with your teens and how you can create impactful programming based on their needs (check out page 10, the section on Embedding Multiple Literacies into Programming and Instruction).
  • Jump into the toolkit and go straight for the potential programs. We spent a lot of time coming up with various “ready-to-go” programs for those who just want those meaty resources. For example, starting on page 4 there’s a list for 15 ways to create a literacy-rich environment, or go to page 14 for Activity Ideas (and see the Appendix for some worksheets).
  • Because we are using fake news as our lens to explore multiple literacies, we have a nice section on how teens search for information and their media environment. Starting on page 6, we explore that environment, while providing some activities to help your teens be a bit more critical with what they are looking at online.
  • We also created a hearty section of “Recommended Resources,” many with short annotations on why we selected those sources. They start on page 15 and include current articles, published research, videos to watch with your teens, activity plans, and more.
  • Our toolkit ends with an Appendix with additional resources. For those in a strategic planning position, you might be interested in our Literacies Program Planning Template. This template takes you through the steps of creating programs that combine multiple literacies as well as being intentional with outcomes and assessment measures. This template compliments our “Embedding Multiple Literacies into Programming and Instruction” section, which begins on page 10.

It feels great to have this toolkit published and we want to hear from you! Let us know your thoughts on the toolkit. What did you like about it? Did any sections resonate with you (and why)? Have you tried any of the things mentioned in the toolkit at your own library? Did the toolkit inspire any other thoughts that you want others to know while checking out the toolkit? 

Big shout out to the rest of the group (Kristin, Jennifer, Trent, Renee, Allison, and Julie) who helped write this toolkit and thanks to YALSA for turning our Google Doc into this beautiful toolkit.

  

YALSA Draft Competencies for Review & Comment

Colleagues-

A taskforce of YALSA members and staff have been at work updating YALSA’s “Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth” (last updated in 2010), with particular emphasis on aligning the document with the principles in the following YALSA documents: the 2014 Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action report, the 2016 Organizational Plan  and Implementation Plan, and the 2017 Research Agenda.

I am happy to announce the taskforce has completed a draft set of competencies for member review and comment. The goal of the competencies document is to create a framework that:

  • Applies to library staff working in a variety of settings and positions;
  • Focuses on teen services for/with ages 12-18;
  • Is based on current research; and
  • Reflects emerging trends and issues in the Library and Information Science and Youth Development fields.

The draft competencies include a set of dispositions and ten core knowledge content areas which collectively define what library staff need to know and be able to do to provide quality teen library programs and services.  Recognizing that professional practice develops over time with experience, training, and higher education, the draft competencies are grouped by level in each core knowledge content area. Each level is a prerequisite to the next, with knowledge and skill in one level required before moving to the next.

YALSA would like feedback from the library community and beyond to help strengthen this draft document.  A draft of the updated version (pdf) is available for your review.  To provide your comments, use this online form. The review period will run from Sept. 18, 2017 to Oct. 18, 2017.  The taskforce will use your feedback to refine and finalize the document. The taskforce will also be adding an introductory statement for the document and for each of the ten competency areas.

We are looking forward to your feedback and comments on this very important document.

Best,
Sandra Hughes-Hassell, YALSA President

smhughes@email.unc.edu
@Bridge2Lit

Putting Teens First in Library Services: Community, Middle School, & College Career Readiness

In this installment of the video series, Putting Teens First in Library Services, Shannon Peterson and Linda Braun talk with Hannah Buckland about her work in support of college career readiness of middle schoolers. Hannah is a member of the first cohort of YALSA’s IMLS funded Future Ready with the Library project. She is the Director of the Leech Lake Tribal College Library.

Applications for the second Future Ready with the Library cohort are being accepted through September 1. You can read more about the project on the YALSA website and in YALSAblog posts.

You can learn more about Putting Teens First in Library Services in YALSA’s new book edited by Shannon and Linda. If you would like to be interviewed for this series email Shannon and Linda.

Proposing a Program at ALA Annual

ALA’s Annual Conference is over for this year, and library workers are back home, energized and ready to dive into summer learning or planning for the coming school year.  It’s also time to sit back and reflect on what made a good annual conference this year, besides the obvious things (IMHO) like hearing Hillary Clinton as the closing speaker. What panels spoke out to you? Which ones did you feel gave you the most actionable know-how to take home and try out that very next week? And things we like to think less about here at YALSA, but what didn’t work so well? Why didn’t you like a certain panel? Were the panelists too rote? Too unimaginative?

Continue reading

Future Ready with the Library: Apply for Cohort 2

In the spring YALSA began its second year of the three year Future Ready with the Library project. The focus of this IMLS funded work that is a partnership between YALSA and the Association of Rural and Small Libraries is to provide staff in small, rural, and tribal libraries the opportunity to build college career readiness services for middle school youth and their families. YALSA’s first cohort in this endeavor got to work in January of this year and now it’s time for those wanting to participate in the project to apply to be a part of the second cohort.

You can learn about the project and how to apply in this recording of an information session held last week.

Continue reading

YALS Summer 2017 Companion: Mentoring Thoughts

In the summer issue of YALS the article “Learning from Each Other: Successful Mentoring/Protege Relationships” provides an overview of the skills and knowledge that successful mentors and protégés bring to mentoring relationships. Ideas include that:

  • Both mentors and protégés have to be self-reflective and understand their own skills and needs as they get ready to mentor someone else and/or seek support from another person.
  • Mentors need to know how to facilitate thinking while protégés need to listen and know how to ask good questions.
  • Mentors need to be open to learning from their protégés and protégés have to be open to failure and learning from that failure.

Readers of YALS most likely have some ideas of their own about successful relationships of this kind with experiences that highlight what works and doesn’t work. Now is the time to let others know – from your perspective what does a successful mentor/protege relationship entail?

Add your thoughts, ideas, questions, and comments on this topic in the comments. (You may also want to respond to the thoughts, ideas, questions, and comments that others post.)

YALSA members and YALS subscribers can read the article (and the full issue) online in the Summer 2017 digital edition (Login required).

Next Library 2017: An International Library Conference

This summer I had the pleasure of attending Next Library 2017, an annual gathering of library professionals and innovators from around the world with a vested interest in furthering the work of libraries everywhere. With more than 38 countries represented, the conference offers a sneak peek into the inner workings and successes of libraries all over the world. As I found out, it seems libraries, regardless of type and region, seem to share many of the same core challenges: funding, understanding community needs, generating program ideas, staying current with technology, and making connections with those we serve. In many ways, this conference is a celebration of diverse libraries and the great strides they are making despite these challenges and how other libraries can benefit.

Dokk1 Library in Aarhus, Denmark

Here are the highlights:

Continue reading