Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and with that the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) and VAWnet have made a special collection of resources with information about preventing and responding to teen dating violence. VAWnet, is run by the NRCDV and is an “online network that focuses on violence against women and other forms of gender-based violence.”

In 2014, Mary Kay released a study with LOVEISRESPECT that shows teens stay in abusive relationships far longer than they should. The study surveyed 500 teens and it showed that “57% percent waited six months or more before seeking any help while 40% hadn’t talked to anyone about abusive behavior in their relationship.” A study in 2011, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control found that “1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 7 men who have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner first experienced some form of intimate partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age.” These two statistics alone are staggering, and the special collection by the NRCDV and VAWnet is a great resource for librarians, and all educators to utilize all year.

Continue reading

30 Days of Social Justice: Students and School Culture

YouthTruth, a national nonprofit, that “harnesses student perceptions to help educators accelerate improvements in their K-12 schools and classrooms,” recently conducted a survey about school culture that answers the question: “How do students feel about the culture of their schools?” YouthTruth surveyed 80,000 students, grades five through 12 from 2013 – 2016; this was an anonymous survey across 24 states in a partnership with public schools. The results of the survey brought four major elements to light, but library staff can also use these results to make their library spaces more culturally positive.

The first alarming  fact is that only one in every three students would say their school is culturally positive. Only 30 percent of high school students believe their school is culturally positive, while 37 percent of middle school students believe this. There are many ways the library can make their spaces  culturally positive, especially if your library is located in a diverse community. Library staff can provide information, displays, book lists, and programs about cultures. Periodically, my branch offers a program to teen and adult customers called Discover Another Culture. For this, a volunteer from a specific country comes in to share about their culture. In November, the library held a program about Japan; library customers not only learned about Japan, but learned how to make origami too. There are a wealth of possibilities the library can utilize to make their spaces culturally positive to help fill in the gap that some schools are lacking.

The second fact found may not be alarming to too many. It states that students know they are less respectful to adults than adults are to them. From my experience, I would agree with this fact. Local high school teacher, Catherine Baker states:

“[Teens] think we are there to work for them, so it’s our job to be respectful and as helpful as we can possibly be to them. It’s our job to get them to pass, not the other way around.”

Continue reading

YALSAblog Tweets of the Week: October 30, 2015

A short list of tweets from the past week of interest to teens and the library staff that work with them.

Do you have a favorite Tweet from the past week? If so add it in the comments for this post. Or, if you read a Twitter post between October 30 and November 5 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.
Continue reading

Expanded-Learning, Collaborations, and How the Library Can Help

A recent report from America’s Promise Alliance looks at four communities who strove to expand opportunities for their underserved students. With support from the Ford Foundation, these communities leveraged local resources to expand opportunities in a variety of ways.

America’s Promise Alliance is an organization, founded in 1997 with the support from former Secretary of State Colin Powell and previous presidents: Nancy Reagan (standing in for her husband Ronald Reagan), Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. The organization strives to create places and situations for students to succeed.

Continue reading

Global Goals

In 2000, the world’s leaders joined together to establish the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. They selected 8 issues that impacted the world, and set a deadline of 2015 to address. In 15 years humanity joined together to reach most of the goals.

Now they have set new goals  for us to reach by 2030. They may seem huge, but humanity can be amazing! Everyone will need to reach beyond themselves to help reach these goals, but as providers of service to young adults we can help inspire and encourage everyone to think about these issues that impact the whole world.

Continue reading

Back to School: Implementing the Futures Report in Middle School Libraries

Think literacy, not reading. Think content, not books.  Think relationship, not supervision.  Think participation, not outreach.  Think “culturally responsive, information-rich, and technologically advanced environment” and not “teen room.”  This is the paradigm-shift that is advocated in YALSA’s The Future of Library Services for and with Teens Report.  

Reading this report as a school librarian, I feel like many of us have already felt this mind-shift and participated in its momentum.  School librarians often work in “media centers” now, after all, not libraries.  We talk about the achievement gap at every staff development day and already discuss “literacies” plural when we are teaching and creating curriculum.  

But there is still a long way to go before all school libraries really become the ideal neutral, safe places where teens can grow intellectually, emotionally, and socially.  And I think this is especially true in the school libraries of our youngest teens: middle schoolers.

Middle school can be a rough time.  Navigating the transition from child to adolescent is tough, as we all remember.  New interests and identities emerge (sometimes painfully) as 6th, 7th, and 8th graders face new challenges, meet new people and engage with new ideas.  But middle schools also provide a chance for teen library staff to engage with teens right at the start of their teen years, forming relationships with them, helping them become critical thinkers and life-long learners, and supporting them as they become who they are.  Middle school library staff can accomplish this by re-imagining literacy, diversity and community in the middle school library.  

Continue reading

3-2-1 IMPACT! Inclusive and Impactful Teen Services

Which young people in your community could be most positively impacted by services that your institution currently provides or could provide?

Are there foster youth, homeless teens, teen parents, teens from military families, incarcerated youth, disabled teens, LGBTQ teens, immigrant teens, teen English Language Learners, or teens from various cultural, ethnic, racial or socioeconomic backgrounds in your communities who could really use the library’s help to succeed?

What would that assistance or those services look like?

My YALSA presidential initiative, “3-2-1 IMPACT! Inclusive and Impactful Teen Library Services,” focuses on building the capacity of libraries to plan, deliver and evaluate programs and services for and with underserved teen populations. It is a call to action to all of our members to take a close look at our communities, identify service gaps and address needs by using or contributing to YALSA resources like the Future of Library Services for and with Teens report, Teen Programming Guidelines, our new Teen Programming HQ and more.

Visit YALSA’s wiki to find and share information about serving diverse teens and building cultural competence. For a list of selected resources relating to building inclusive services for and with teens, check out this flyer (.pdf).

Other activities that we hope to work on this year include collecting stories from members who are reaching out to underserved teen populations and sharing best practices and/or advocacy messages, creating spaces or pathways for members who are focusing on the same teen population to connect with one another, providing continuing education to help members reach out to specific populations and also gain leadership and cultural competence skills/knowledge, and compile existing and/or create new resources to help members serve various underserved teen populations.

As YALSA President, I’m excited about harnessing the passion, energy and activism among all of our members to help create positive, inclusive, impactful change for and with the teens that we serve in our communities. I’m looking forward to working with all of you and to the amazing work that we are all going to do together this year.

YALSABLOG TWEETS OF THE WEEK – MAY 1, 2015

A short list of tweets from the past week of interest to teens and the library staff that work with them.

Do you have a favorite Tweet from the past week? If so add it in the comments for this post. Or, if you read a Twitter post between May 1 and 7 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter. Continue reading

Help YALSA help you! Take this quick poll.

YALSA wants to support you as you implement “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action,” and is currently considering publishing books focused on major topics in the report.

The YALSA Publications Advisory Board has identified some of the topics from the Futures report that are the most under-represented in professional literature, and we want your input. Fill out this brief poll to let us know which subjects and formats you would find the most useful in future publications from YALSA.

Which topics from the Futures report would you most like to see covered in books published by YALSA? (choose up to 3)

  • Teen collaboration/partnership in library services (46%, 31 Votes)
  • Cultural competency (addressing racism, classism, ableism, etc.) (40%, 27 Votes)
  • Teen workforce development/leadership development (34%, 23 Votes)
  • Serving nontraditional teens (homeless, pregnant, incarcerated, dropped out, etc.) (30%, 20 Votes)
  • Creating learning labs/learning commons (25%, 17 Votes)
  • Formal assessment of teen interests/needs (24%, 16 Votes)
  • Connected learning in libraries (22%, 15 Votes)
  • Serving homeschooled teens (18%, 12 Votes)
  • Serving special needs teens (15%, 10 Votes)
  • Serving suburban/rural teens (15%, 10 Votes)
  • International teen literature (beyond English-speaking countries) (12%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 67

Loading ... Loading ...

In which format would you prefer to purchase titles from ALA/YALSA? (choose up to 2)

  • Physical books (53%, 31 Votes)
  • Shorter (50-70 page) downloadable eBooks (43%, 25 Votes)
  • Book/eBook bundles (38%, 22 Votes)
  • Full-length eBooks (16%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 58

Loading ... Loading ...

Do you have a great idea for a book? Knowledge you want to share? A desire to give back to your professional community? Consider publishing with YALSA! Find more information about submitting publication proposals or writing queries for Young Adult Library Services (YALS) here.

The “Activity Gap”: More thoughts on libraries and after-school programs

Back in October 2014, I wrote about a report entitled: “America After 3 PM.” The Afterschool Alliance was writing about how students spend their time after school. In it, I raised the point of libraries as hubs for after-school activities, a free spot for teens to come if they don’t have the resources or access to other after-school programs. At the end of January, Alia Wong from Atlantic wrote an article called “The Activity Gap,” which discusses the access issues students from various socio-economic classes face with participating in after-school and extracurricular programs.

Wong begins the article by comparing two different students, Ethan and Nicole, whose family backgrounds contribute to two different lifestyles and life paths. While their names have been changed, these two students do exist and were case studies in a study published in Voices of Urban Education. This national study was conducted by Brown University’s Annenberg Institute of School Reform.

Continue reading