Public libraries are, as ALA President Courtney Young said in a July 2014 Comcast Newsmaker interview, “digital learning centers.”  We are able to provide access to computers, wireless capabilities, and also a space to learn. Access to technology becomes even more important to our “at-risk” teens; the library becomes a safe spot to use these resources. The question becomes how do we help them use this technology and learn from it? Earlier this month, the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) published a report titled “Using Technology to Support At-Risk Students’ Learning.” This brief defines “at-risk” students as high schoolers with personal and academic factors that would could cause them to fail classes or drop out of school all together. They give three variables for success, real-life examples to why these variables work, and then recommend policies to help achieve these variables. While the article was geared towards schools, these variables are important to keep in mind as we work with the teens in our libraries.

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The Information Policy & Access Center has released their findings from a 2013 Survey about Digital Inclusion.

You can read the full report online.

Digital Inclusion is more than Digital Literacy, focusing on not just access but supporting users to engage in digital communities. The report explored the roles of public libraries in four main areas: Read More →

YALSA put out an extensive report on the future of library services (both public and school) for library teens as well as a summary report.  After reading it, I knew this would make a perfect infographic to print and share or even send as a link to others who’d like this information. texas It’s important to know where library services should be going in the 21st century as teens and their culture, lifestyle and habits continue to change.

YALSA teen report

The link to the infographic is: https://magic.piktochart.com/output/1326505-yalsa-teen-and-library-report.

Submitted by Naomi Bates, Northwest High School Library, Justin, TX

Today is the day, after a year of research and conversation, YALSA’s white paper on the future of libraries and teens is available. It’s a document for everyone to read, ponder, discuss, and gain inspiration from. In the approximately 18 minute Google Hangout below, YALSA President Elect, Chris Shoemaker, and I talk about the white paper, some of the pieces we think are interesting, surprising, and most important, and how YALSA plans to continue working to support and help library staff move into the future. The next step in that process is a webinar on January 16 at 2PM Eastern.

The publication of the white paper and the year-long research project was made possible through funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. You can read more about the project on its website.

Libraries provide a lifeline for teens, their families and communities across the nation by providing a safe and supervised space for adolescents to engage in creative, educational activities with caring adults and mentors. But a variety of significant developments point to a need for libraries to change in order to successfully meet the needs of today’s teens.

The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action, is the result of a year-long national forum conducted by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) in 2013, with funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Call to Action lays out a new path for serving 21st century teens through libraries. This 2014 report (.pdf), authored by Linda W. Braun, Maureen Hartman, Sandra Hughes-Hassell, and Kafi Kumasi, shows that many libraries are continuing to grapple with diminishing resources while at the same time struggling to meet the needs of a changing teen population. Additionally, significant developments in technology have led to the need to rethink how
services for and with teens are best created and delivered. The Call to Action provides recommendations on how libraries must address challenges and re-envision their teen services in order to meet the needs of their individual communities and to collectively ensure that the nation’s 40+ million teens develop the skills they need to be productive citizens. Read More →

Data-driven decision-making. Research-based programming. Outcomes-based planning. Are these some familiar phrases around your library, school, or organization? Do you know how to incorporate research and data about teens into your library services and programming? The YALSA Research Committee’s new project is aimed at helping YALSA members make connections between research about teens and best practices for programming, services, and library advocacy.

This Fall, our committee been curating a collection of existing research related to the lives of young adults. This effort isn’t so much about finding data on young adults and library use, but if you are interested in research related more specifically to teens and libraries, technology, and literacy, be sure to review the most current YALSA Research Bibliography, annotated and organized according to the YALSA Research Agenda.

To complement the Research Bibliography, our committee searched for research and statistics on topics to help inform librarians and their work with teens. Read More →

Help advance our profession by advancing your research! The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is pleased to support the Frances Henne / YALSA / VOYA Research Grant, an annual competition that awards recipients $1000 in seed money to support small-scale research projects. The deadline for applying is December 1.

The proposed research must respond to YALSA’s vision, mission, goals, and research agenda; applicants must also be YALSA members.  Proposals are limited to two pages plus an additional page for biographical information. Full information about the grant and requirements for the proposal can be found here. Read More →