Back in January YALSA released its report, "The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action."  The report provides recommendations for ways libraries can evolve in order to better meet the needs of 21st century teens.  YALSA would like to hear from the library community and beyond how this report has impacted you and your institution so far.  What changes have you made in regards to serving teens or new things have you tried?  What have been your successes and challenges up to now?  What ideas did the report spark as you read it?  Please take a moment to fill out a brief online form to tell us about what's been going on with you and your institution since the report came out.   Some of the information we gather will be featured in upcoming issues of YALS.

Also, don't forget that you can access free resources to help you and your organization learn more about some of the key issues in the report, like connected learning, cultural competence, and more via YALSA's web site.  We'll be adding even more resources there over the next few weeks, so check back often.

Are you interested in getting more involved with YALSA? Maybe you’re curious about the appointments process or other service opportunities?

Join me (@doseofsnark) for a Twitter chat on November 20th, starting at 8 pm Eastern. I’ll be answering questions about various ways that you can get involved with YALSA, from just joining to blogging to serving on a committee. This is a fantastic way to discover what opportunities are the right fit for you.

Get involved and follow the conversation with the hashtag #yalsachat. See you 11/20 at 8 pm EST!

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 November 14 - November 20 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.

Tweets of the Week-November 14, 2014 (*Note: the format for this week's Tweets is a link to Storify some technical difficulties are being resolved.)

This is a guest post from Trevor Calvert, a member of the Local Arrangements Committee for Annual 2015 in San Francisco.

San Francisco in the summer is beautiful. Clear, warm days and cool (okay, sometimes windy and cold) evenings make is a perfect city for the contemporary flaneur. Some may recall the "coldest winter was summer in S.F." quote often attributed to Samuel Clemens, and while the authority control on that is in doubt, the sentiment is not. Make sure to pack light-yet-warm clothes that you can stuff into a knapsack during the day, and later don at night. it's a gorgeous city, and you'll want to walk it. Luckily, it's not terribly large!

San Francisco is only seven by seven miles, but that area includes Gold Rush-era architecture, beautiful Victorians, breathtaking parks, pleasing urban parks , and lots of hills to trolley or walk. If you want to spend money here, it's really easy--but if you like to travel a little lighter, and perhaps see the city as many of its residents do, then read on for a list of inexpensive and free activities in San Francisco (culled from an informal Facebook survey to ensure authenticity and from this writer's experiences). Read More →

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 November 7 - November 13 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.

Tweets of the Week-November 7 2014 (*Note: the format for this week's Tweets is a link to Storify as they are working through some glitches with their software).

Happy Fall!

I just wanted to thank our members for the 537 volunteer committee applications that were submitted and to give everyone an update on the award and selection committee appointments process!

The appointments task force was finalized in October and award and selection committee chairs were selected. The appointments task force and I are still working on filling all of the award and selection committee member vacancies, but rosters should be finalized soon.

Appointing the local arrangements committee for Midwinter 2015 is the next priority.

ALA Appointments: There has been one ALA Appointment call to review the general ALA appointment process. The slate for the nominating committee has not been officially presented, but does include one YALSA member.

ALA President Elect Sari Feldman has put out a call for volunteers for the ALA committees listed below. Please let me know if you are interested in being recommended for any of them. The ALA application form closes this Friday, November 7, 2014.

It's been a pleasure and a privilege to go through all of your applications. Thank you so much for your dedication to YALSA and to teen library services!

 

My library is the closest library to public housing in my community. Most teens who visit the library are poor. Their city is unsafe, ranking 3 on a 1 to 100 scale, with 100 being safest. Their schools are failing. The public high school was forced to restructure after years of ranking in the lowest 5% of Michigan schools. Every week I see teens who are suspended, on probation with the juvenile system, homeless, or runaways.

Despite all this, the library's Teen Zone is a mostly safe and positive space. Young people gather daily to use the computers for schoolwork, online games, and to catch up on what their friends are doing. Teens drop in and out of the library to see who's hanging out. The space is abuzz with conversation and activity. We ask everyone to engage in a library activity--access the wireless, color the tattoo and mandala designs available on the table, play xbox. Anyone who learns something at a program can ask for the supplies anytime and continue creating. An active Teen Advisory Group (TAG) helps plan and host programs.

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However, providing quality programs that engage teens and allow them to experience new technology can be a challenge. As with many libraries in the U.S., the downturn in the economy saw property tax in-takes decline while the community's needs increased. Grant money allows me to offer internships and unique programs of interest to TAG members I couldn't otherwise, so I have applied for and received several YASLA and Michigan Arts grants. I'm always watching for grants that will allow me to provide something I hope will improve the lives of teens at my library.

Read More →

YALSA offers a variety of grants and awards to its members who hold positions as librarians who serve young adults. Grant categories range from funding research projects in relation to teens and libraries, travel stipends to ALA conferences, to providing new reading materials to libraries in need. Most applications must be submitted online by December 1 of each year.

A few of the current grant opportunities are highlighted below:

Frances Henne/YALSA/VOYA Research Grant: This grant of $1,000 is to provide seed money to YALSA members for small-scale research projects that address an area related to teens and libraries. Grantees are expected to disseminate results by publishing them in YALSA's journal, Young Adult Library Services.

Great Books Giveaway Competition: Each year the YALSA office receives over 1,500 newly

published children's, young adult and adult books, videos, CDs and audiocassettes for review. YALSA and the cooperating publishers are offering these review materials as a contribution to 3 organizations in need. The estimated value of this collection is more than $25,000.

The MAE Award for a Young Adult Reading or Literature Program: The MAE Award is designed to honor a member of YALSA who has developed an outstanding reading or literature program for young adults. The award provides a grant of $1,000, $500 of which is for the library and $500 of which goes to the li-brarian. The award is made possible through the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust.

To learn more about other grant and award opportunities available, please visit the Awards & Grants for Members page on the YALSA website.

The YALSA Wiki is one of the many web resources available to members. While it's a great passive source of information, one of the assets of a Wiki is that anyone can edit its pages. YALSA and the Website Advisory Board call upon you (yes, you!) to share your knowledge and add content to the YALSA Wiki on Wednesday, October 29, International Internet Day.

We have identified several Wiki pages that could use some success stories, anecdotes, or other member input. All you need to do is create a Wiki account and edit! Don't worry about messing anything up. Revisions are tracked and committee members will be cleaning up formatting as needed.

The following pages could particularly use some content from YALSA members or others with appropriate knowledge:

If you've never edited a Wiki page before, we've put together some instructions to get you started.

Read More →