A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

As libraries continue to evaluate the needs of their communities, the physical space of libraries may evolve in an effort to meet those needs. Space may be repurposed for a teen area, new tables and chairs might arrive so patrons can create their own collaborative spaces, and group study rooms may be constructed. For patrons that rely on digital devices, additional outlets or charging stations could be in demand, desktop stations may move to make room for laptop bars, and mounted televisions for gaming, video conferencing, and collaborative projects may be needed. Below are some examples of libraries that underwent renovations, purchased new furniture, or reorganized bookshelves to make room for more open spaces and meet the changing technology needs of their patrons. Has your library undergone a similar change? We want to hear from you! Share with us in the comments section below.

For more information about teen spaces and the envisioned future of library spaces, please see The Need for Teen Spaces in Public Libraries and The Future of Library Services for and with Teens report.

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Happy End of Summer and Back-to-School!

I’m so excited to be sharing my first YALSA President’s Report!

It’s been a whirlwind since ALA Annual, and here’s what I’ve been working on since then:

Done & Done!

  • Appointments to Edwards, Printz & Nonfiction Committees
  • Assigning Board liaisons to Strategic, Selection & Award Committees
  • Assign Board Members to Standing Board Committees
  • Column for Fall 2015 issue of YALS
  • Virtual training for New YALSA Board members
  • YALSA blog post on Presidential Initiative: 3-2-1 Impact! Inclusive & Impactful Teen Services
  • Worked with YALSA Board to appoint Renee McGrath to fill Krista McKenzie’s vacancy on the YALSA Board
  • Had first call with the Whole Mind Group, who YALSA is working with on Strategic Planning
  • With Chris Shoemaker, hosted first monthly chat with the YALSA Board, where we discussed YALSA’s Standing Board Committees
  • Interviewed candidates for Member Managers for the Hub blog and Teen Programming HQ; appointed Molly Wetta as new Hub Member Manager and Jessi Snow as new Teen Programming HQ Member Manager

Works in Progress

  • Filling Strategic Committee vacancies
  • Filling Rachel McDonald’s Board vacancy
  • Appointing YALSA representatives to ALA groups
  • Strategic Planning
  • Preparing for YALSA’s YA Services Symposium & Fall Executive Committee meetings
  • Seeking content experts for Teen Programming HQ
  • Seeking out partnerships with ALA ethnic caucuses, ALA LGBT Round Table, ASCLA, Wattpad, National Writing Project, Connected Learning Alliance, DeviantArt and more

Media & Outreach

Stats & Data

  • Friends of YALSA raised $1,155 in June 2015
  • Friends of YALSA raised $436 in July 2015
  • Membership: 5,113 (down -0.3% over this time last year)

Important Deadlines

  • Oct. 1 - Deadline to submit a volunteer form to be on YALSA's upcoming award, selection and strategic committees! More information here

Last, but certainly not least -


  • All of our members for all that you do to support teens and teen library services in your communities, every day!
  • Chris Shoemaker, YALSA’s immediate Past President, for passing the torch and mentoring current President-Elect Sarah Hill
  • YALSA’s ALA Annual 2015 Local Arrangements Committee, for a terrific job coordinating travel tips & info and local YALSA events in San Francisco
  • YALSA Board, for your hard work, leadership and enthusiasm - I know it's going to be a great year!
  • YALSA Staff, especially Beth Yoke, Letitia Smith & Nichole O'Connor, for your assistance and support with association logistics

Until next time!

Respectfully submitted,

Candice Mack, YALSA President


A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

This week we're looking at ways to reach teens by venturing out into the community. Teens are a diverse population and their interests and circumstances may not always bring them into our library buildings. What can we do to reach out and meet them where they are around town? Which outreach programs should we offer? How can we establish ourselves as a partner in the community, bringing the materials and services to those that need it? Below are some examples of libraries that have partnered with local organizations and sports teams and, through book mobiles or book bikes, have brought library services out into the community.

Does your library have a book mobile or book bike? Have you partnered with local schools, organizations or sports teams? Set up a booth at a community market or sporting event? We want to hear from you! Share your outreach services with us in the comments section below.
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Over the month of August, posts will be up each day to share ideas on different ways to reach your teens through programming, outreach, college/technical/vocational school readiness and more in getting ready for school. This post highlights some free online resources to learn and incorporate with technology programming for and with teens.  These are all free online resources.


Learn 3D Design

Autodesk 123D Design  is a powerful 3D design modelling tool.  Projects are shared on the site and can be downloaded or changed.

Sculptris  is a free digital sculpting software.  The workspace gives you a big ball of clay that you can digitally manipulate using tools to create anything.

Sketchup 3D  modeling software.  Where Tinkercad gives you a workplane and geometric shapes to connect Sketchup gives you the ability to create free flow designs.  Think architecture, geography, set design and more.

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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 August 21 and August 27 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.

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YALSA is seeking teen programming Content Experts for its upcoming web resource, Teen Programming HQ. The mission of the new site is to provide a one-stop-shop for finding and sharing information about programs of all kinds designed for and with teens. The site will promote best practices in programming by featuring user-submitted programs that align with YALSA’s Teen Programming Guidelines and Futures Report. The site will also enable dissemination of timely information about emerging and new practices for teen programming; raise awareness about appropriate YALSA tools to facilitate innovation in teen programming; and provide a means for members and others interested in teen programs to connect with one another to support and share their efforts to continuously improve their teen programs. The site is in beta testing now and will fully launch October 1st.

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A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

While the most popular of public library summer programs, Summer Reading/Learning is only one of many activities that benefits and serves teen communities. Tapping into the various motivations within your own teen community are crucial to creating and implementing a well-received passive or active teen program. Are there other creative and publicly available spaces in your community, or does your library provide the only opportunity for free creative exploration? Does your library serve teens who seek to advance themselves academically during the summer months? Is there an independent maker space in your town or city, or is the library the sole source of maker activities? Do the teens in your community attend magnet schools or schools with advanced tech programs? Do those schools offer opportunities for summer tech projects, or does the library have a unique opportunity to provide the space and tools for coding, movie-making, and more? Exploring what teens already have free access to (and use!) and identifying what service and material/supply vacuums exist in your wider community will teen services librarians create and implement effective programming.

What research do you do before implementing a new program or innovating an existing program? Do you research other offerings in your town/city to prevent overlap or identify potential collaborative opportunities? How does the summer closure of schools affect programming opportunities in your pulic library? Please discuss in the comments below!

For more information, please see the Summer Reading/Learning section of the YALSA wiki, as well as the YALSA Teen Programming Guidelines.

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All of us know the following scenario very well: A teen walks in needing ten hours of community service by the end of the month and they want to volunteer. As much as I want to say “yes,” reality sets in and I can’t always accommodate those requests. Teens should be proactive when it comes to community service, but what if they have no idea who to contact? Well, this is where our super library powers come in and, with a little research, and a few phone calls, we can definitely refer our teen patrons to organizations that need their help.

The best way to point our teens to local organizations is to create a list of local nonprofits for ready reference. When I started researching organizations in my community, I was blown away with the number of organizations that need help other than the library! In fact, there is such a variety of organizations in my community that teens should not have any problems finding a suitable volunteer position. One excellent example is for teens to volunteer at their local humane society and animal shelter.

According to Animal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) “approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.1” There are many, many animals that need homes and, if they are unable to be placed in a loving home, they face the threat of being euthanized. For teens, this is the type of issue that will not only ignite a passion in them, but, as a volunteer for the humane society or shelter, they will put that passion to good use. The goals for these programs are to give teens the tools and knowledge to not only help communicate with the public about homeless pets, but promote the humane societies’ or shelters’ mission and objectives. When I was a teen, I thought that if I worked at an animal shelter, I would be cleaning kennels the entire time, which is why I ended up volunteering with the library. I was so wrong and, as much as I loved volunteering in the library, I really wished I worked at the local humane society.

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It is August and the school bells are beginning to signal the end-of-summer break.  As a high school librarian, I always want to make sure that the new freshmen students have a thorough understanding of everything our school library and digital learning lab offer.  I have also realized that our school's faculty and staff, new and old, need a refresher of our services since our school has seen tremendous growth and changes in the past three years.  Our student orientation has shifted focus from "Where in the library can you find?" to "What can our school library do for you both at school and at home?"  I run our school's digital learning lab called the LiNK.  I use Prezi to inform our students about what the LiNK is and what is available for them there.  Since I work in conjunction with our school library, I include information on our physical and digital collections as well.  The current orientation can be found here.

The faculty orientation happens in two parts.  New teachers are not aware of the amount of the media and technology resources our school has, so I created the Basics Orientation.  It details the data (ie. how many we have of this and that) and what to do if they need assistance.   I usually do the Basics Orientation during our pre-planning days with all teachers.  The Tech Tools Orientation is what I find most useful as it generates "business" for our media services.  Many high school teachers still have the mindset that the school library is for English classes to use for research.  I want to make sure that all faculty understands that we have worked and will work with all departments.  This orientation is updated as needed with the latest projects that students have created and also updated with new tools that we discover and implement throughout the year.  I present this orientation during the year on Tech Tuesdays or in Lunch Learn sessions, and I love the immediate response from teachers wanting to try out new things with their classes.

As common place as back to school orientations can be, they are very beneficial as they provide students AND faculty the necessary information to get the most out of your school library.  Get creative and have fun with your orientations and your school library services are sure to reap the benefits!


A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

What makes library programs a success? Is it the statistics, the approval of your manager, or is it the smiles and laughter you hear coming from the room? Take a glimpse at the 'grams below to see how we show our success. How do you measure success at your library? What programs or ideas can you share that you think might be a success at other libraries? Comment below with your story.

For other articles on measuring success: ALA Success