Full confessions: I’m terrible at video games. I lack the hand/eye coordination needed to work magic with the controllers. But I like to watch gamers. I know I need more practice, and I think that I would love gaming if I didn’t get so frustrated. It’s a vicious cycle.
Gaming in the library seems to come in cycles. First there was the DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) and Guitar Hero, big spectacles that could be as much to watch as to play. Librarians raved about those parties. Then there was the Wii games – specifically, sports with teens (and also with seniors). Once a niche event, National Gaming Day has expanded and evolved into International Games Day.
This year Minecraft programs have swept through libraries around the country, but the Darien Library in Connecticut took it to the next level, scaling up to make the gaming experience even better. They host a county-wide server. (more…)
While I’m sure you’re already worn out pulling out your wallet for all those end-of-the-year donations and holiday shopping, I hope you’ll consider taking it out for a good cause today, for Giving Tuesday. And when you do, please consider donating to Friends of YALSA. This year, the goal is to raise at least $2000, which will help send two advocates for teen services to Washington.
Friends of YALSA funds important YALSA initiatives, including the Spectrum Scholarship, which I was a recipient of. Spectrum supports library students from under-recognized groups in order to diversify the workforce, and I was proud to be a part of the program. It made me a member of two powerful and vibrant groups: my Spectrum cohort and YALSA. Being a part of a group of colleagues who were also going through school, finding out their specific niches in library science, going on first job interviews, and all the while concerning themselves with issues of representation and privilege, was invaluable while I was going through those things, too. And being named YALSA’s Spectrum Scholar made me a member of arguably the most fun-loving and dynamic division of ALA. Some of the best people I’ve ever met (some only online, some also in person) welcomed me into the fold and let me blog, join committees, go out for dinner with them at conferences, and generally get to know what YALSA and YA services are all about. That empowered me through out my graduate school experience and helped me land my first job out of library school before I had even graduated. I had a distinct experience in school, thanks to my Spectrum Scholarship.
I owe YALSA and Spectrum a huge debt of gratitude for giving me a community to count on and learn from. Please consider making a donation to YALSA so that other future librarians can have the opportunities I’ve had. Click here to learn about your giving options, and please consider at least Tweeting about the importance of #GivingTuesday to pass on the word!
Thank you for your support.
On November 12, YALSA held a free webinar for members on the topic of Teen Services Amplified with Everyday Advocacy. I facilitated this webinar, which drew over 40 engaged YALSA members in real time, and many more who have listened to the archived version. Because the topic of advocacy is such a big one, I wanted to focus on the ways any of us can use easily available resources, like YALSA’s Advocacy Toolkit, to amplify our message that library services are important to teens and to communities.
After some quick definitions–talking about how marketing, advocacy, and lobbying differ, for example–we got into the heart of the matter by sharing examples of ways we can advocate on a daily basis. We started by talking about WHO we advocate with: administrators, co-workers, parents, community members. Attendees gave examples of times they had been able to show their bosses or co-workers how library programs and services were valuable to the teens in their communities.
We also talked about the HOW of advocacy:
- focus on the value of programs and services
- keep it simple
- talk about needs, not just desires
- stay positive
- tell stories
- listen, and find out what your audience cares about
Finally, I shared some of YALSA’s great resources for advocacy, and encouraged members to take advantage of the advice, talking points, hints, and tools that YALSA has developed over the years. There’s no need to re-invent the wheel when it comes to advocacy!
The archived version of the webinar is free to YALSA members, available on the YeLL (YALSA e-Learning Library) page.
Librarians can be modest about their accomplishments, but shining light on your great teen programs can be a great advocacy activity. And don’t you know someone who can use some recognition for their hard work for YALSA? The deadline for many of YALSA’s recognition and awards is fast approaching.
YALSA Volunteer of the Year Awards
This was new last year and acknowledges the contributions of YALSA members who have demonstrated outstanding service to the mission, goals and work of YALSA during a given service year. There are three categories:
- Chair: leadership of an advisory board, jury, committee or task force
- Appointed Member: contributions within an advisory board, jury, committee or task force
- Group: work conducted as a whole by an advisory board, jury, committee or task force (more…)
October 2013 President’s Report
The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is a national organization of librarians, library workers, and advocates whose mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens, aged 12-18. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve, and empower teens.
- With the YALSA Executive Board and Beth Yoke, met with ALA Executive Director Keith Fiels and YALSA’s liaison to the ALA Executive Board, Rob Banks, to discuss current challenges, possible solutions, and strategies for working more closely with ALA and division colleagues.
- Authored a column for the Winter issue of YALS.
- Led YALSA Executive Board meetings during ALA Fall Exec.
- Worked with Beth Yoke to plan a facilitated session with the YALSA Executive Board on organizational mission. Thanks to Davidoff Communications for leading an engaging discussion.
- Participated in the annual Division Leadership session at ALA Fall Exec.
- Met with leaders from AASL to discuss current initiatives and advocacy efforts.
- Held a discussion and called a vote with the YALSA Board to decide upon a location for the 2015 Young Adult Literature Symposium. Portland, Oregon, you’re next!
- Discussed Teen Read Week and the importance of YA Literature with reporter Ashley Strickland at CNN.com.
- There’s an award or grant for every YALSA member and the deadline is approaching fast! Be sure to visit this page for more information and submit your form by December 1st.
- Giving Tuesday is right around the corner! To learn more about how you can support your colleagues in ensuring that libraries remain awesome for teens, check out our giving page.
- The dust is settling on fall appointments, are you still looking for ways to get more involved? YALSA has a plethora of ideas to suit your talents.
- YALSA wants to collect stories to better communicate the amazing work that you do to support, educate, and entertain teens! Submit YOURstory or sent YALSA a tweet with hashtag #yadvocacy.
- Best Buy has stepped up to partner with YALSA on Teen Tech Week 2014! Join the TTW Ning for updates and great member-driven ideas and resources.
- Congrats to the winners of this year’s Teens Top Ten and thanks to the hard-working TT book groups for creating a fantastic nomination list.
- Thank you to the YALSA Executive Board and Executive Director for meaty discussions, thought provoking ideas, and altogether too much fun at the ALA Executive meetings.
- Thanks to those that provided feedback on the Future of Teens and Libraries white paper. Haven’t seen it yet? The draft is still available.
- Three cheers to Chris Shoemaker, Candice Mack, Beth Yoke, Lalitha Nataraj, and Allison Tran for enthusiastically helping out at the California Library Association’s YALSA booth.
- Thanks to Monique Delatte Starkey and Sarah Flowers for fantabulous webinars! Weren’t able to attend? Check out the YALSA E-Learning Library for free on-demand training.
- Thanks to our friends at AASL for making time during a busy meeting schedule to chat.
- Mega props to Courtney Lewis and the Teen Read Week committee for fabulous planning and implementation of TRW 2013!
YALSA membership for September 2013 stood at 5,113 (down 1.2% from that month in 2012)
Donations for September: $260
On behalf of the MAE Award Jury
Do you run a spectacular teen book club that engages underserved audiences? Did your summer reading program or literature festival connect teens with literature in an innovative way? Have you connected teens to literature or helped them gain literacy skills via some other exciting means? If so, you could win $500 for yourself and an additional $500 for your library by applying for award. Individual library branches may apply.
YALSA members who have run an exceptional reading or literature program in the 12 months leading up to Dec. 1, 2013 are eligible to apply for the MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens, which recognizes an outstanding reading or literature program for young adults.
The MAE Award is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust. Applications and additional information about the award are available online. Applications must be submitted online by Dec. 1, 2013. For questions about the award, please contact the jury chair, Laurie Amster-Burton. The winner will be announced the week of Feb. 9, 2014.
Not a member of YALSA yet? It’s not too late to join so you can be eligible for this award. You can do so by contacting YALSA’s Membership Marketing Specialist, Letitia Smith, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390.
Recognize the great work you are doing to bring teens together with literature and apply today
Everyone’s talking about STEM (or the arts-added version showcased in the October issue of School Library Journal), and YALSA’s STEM task force produced an updated toolkit earlier this year to provide 41 pages of STEM programming resources just for young adult librarians.
If you’re stumped for ideas and looking how to integrate science, technology, engineering and math into your program schedule, look no further than YALSA’s STEM Toolkit.
It includes step-by-step program plans, advocacy information if you need to justify your program plans, resources, and dozens of ideas to get your program going. Chock-full of research on best practices and “why” STEM should be a priority for library professionals, the toolkit highlights the importance of developing a thorough program plan and guides you through initial brainstorming efforts to an adaptable teenprogram evaluation. Passive and active programming ideas from around the country are included,including three immediately replicable projects.
Check it out today! And thanks to STEM Task Force Member Jennifer Knight for the heads-up on this great resource.
Over the past several weeks the YALSAblog has run a series of posts on rethinking how we do and what we do in libraries for teens. There have been posts on everything from library card policies to programming to professional development to social media policies. There’s a lot to rethink. And, actually, YALSA has been focused on re-thinking everything that we do in libraries for teens over the past year as a part of a year-long IMLS grant on the future of teens and libraries.
What does it mean to envision the future of libraries and teens? You can find out by reading the draft of the white paper YALSA is developing to help library staff and others determine next steps and how to move forward. And, YALSA doesn’t want you to just read the white paper draft, the association is looking for your comments. Read on for a sneak peek at some of what you’ll read about in the paper.
We’ve all probably got an opinion or reaction when we hear the word “leadership.” Maybe we think, “oh that’s just not for me,” or “I want to be more successful at making change,” or perhaps “I think I’m doing a pretty good job but could always use more pointers” or even “I’m not a manager so this probably doesn’t really apply to me.”
If it’s all or none of the above, you’re in the right place. (more…)
Have you been following YALSA’s National Forum on Libraries and Teens? This year-long, IMLS-funded effort brought together key stakeholders from the areas of libraries, education, technology, adolescent development and the for-profit and nonprofit sectors to explore the world of young adults and library services to this population.
The draft of the report that aims to provide direction on how libraries need to adapt and change to better meet the needs of 21st century teens is available now for public comment through October 31.
Please read the report and share your comments about what improvements we can make before the report is finalized and shared this January at Midwinter.