I became a certified school librarian in 2006. I spent my early years teaching in school libraries learning the job, honing my craft, attending professional development and reading copious amounts of children’s and young adult literature. The ongoing pursuit of these efforts was to improve my instructional practice, to get better and to grow as a librarian.
I spent countless hours reviewing journal articles about literacy, reading comprehension and instructional strategies. I read online posts from other librarians, reading teachers and classroom teachers. I studied best practices around research and inquiry. I pored over information literacy standards, reading standards and technology standards. I lurked on Twitter and compiled lists of relevant educational and library hashtags. I began posting some of my own educational content. I began teaching professional development coursework and presenting to my peers in-district and at conferences.
This year the Division Presidents are aligning their theme and all will focus on different aspects of EDI that speak to their Division. My Presidential theme will focus on supporting Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) through assessment and outcomes by identifying, overseeing planning, and implementing activities. The theme will build on the ground work laid by the Advancing Diversity Taskforce and Sandra Hughes-Hassell’s Presidential Theme promoting youth advocacy. It also speaks to the needs of members who are looking for guidance on impactful outcomes and assessment, and moves YALSA closer to reaching the goals it laid out in its implementation plan. It is an ambitious plan, but has potential for impact.
The Taskforce will last for a year tackling a variety of activities throughout. Activities will include:
Advocacy & Activism
- Incorporate the theme into summer learning, Teen Read Week™ and Teen Tech Week™
- Create position and/or issue papers on the theme
Leading the Transformation of Teen Services
At the National Forum on Transforming Teen Services Through Continuing Education (CE), Shannon Peterson, Public Services Director at the Kitsap Regional Library in WA, spoke with Forum participants about continuous learning. This is what she had to say:
Imaginary gold stars to anyone that actually watched the School of Life video that was part of the pre-Forum materials. Raise your hand if you watched it. For those that did, what do you remember? What are some of the key points that stood out to you?
There’s clearly a lot going on in that small but mighty video. A few points that I think about a lot and will be talking about today are:
- Nothing is fixed- individual and collective change is a constant
- Why not you?- everyone is capable of being a part of the change they want to see
- I particularly loved this quote: “The world is being made and remade every instant and therefore everyone of us has a theoretical chance of being an agent in history on a big or small scale.”
Over the next few minutes, I’m going to talk with you about my library’s small scale efforts to be a part of the change in library services for and with teens and along the way, share some really ridiculous and hilarious missteps that we’ve taken along the way.
Ok, so Kitsap. We are an interesting system in that we truly encompass very diverse communities and geography. We are a peninsula across the sound from Seattle, so ferries are a part of life. Our communities include two native amaerican tribal lands, non-incorporated and rural small towns, a ritzy Seattle bedroom community, and an urban area with 66% free and reduced lunch rate.
I‘d like to begin by providing an update on the YALSA Executive director search. The search committee met yesterday and selected three candidates to interview in Chicago July 9th and 10th. If the process continues as scheduled, we should have a new Executive director in place by the end of August.
As you may know, the YALSA Board works year round. Since Midwinter we have been creating, discussing & voting on Board documents virtually. We are in the process of preparing for Annual so much of May has been devoted to planning agendas, writing Board documents, and coordinating with other ALA divisions and offices. Check out the documents we’ve approved since midwinter 2018 or will be discussing in New Orleans here.
YALSA has published a number of important documents and reports since Midwinter designed to support library staff in their work with teens including:
We’re all members of YALSA, or should be, but you’re reading this blog for a variety of reasons. You love libraries. Or you love working with teens. Or you’re just trying to find out what’s happening in YALSA. But you’re here, reading this blog post. As members of YALSA we all participate in our association in a variety of ways, sometimes passively by donating to the scholarships or actively by volunteering to serve on committees, by volunteering to blog for a list, by contributing your programs to Programming HQ.
In a recent YALSA survey many respondents voiced the opinion that their voices weren’t heard or weren’t acknowledged or they felt that their perspective wasn’t represented in YALSA. And I’d be the first to admit, yes it happens, it’s the reason I got involved. There was a time when I felt that my voice wasn’t being heard or felt in the list being created by the volunteers doing committee work weren’t representing my experience or worldview. So I stepped up and started volunteering. We make our association work; if you don’t volunteer or if you decide to drop your membership because you disagree, YALSA is going to fall apart and you know who will ultimately loses? Teens! The teens we support in our libraries, whether it be academic, public, or school; we serve the teens in our hometowns, whether it’s a big city or a small country town.
The ALA Annual Conference is nearly upon us and that means it’s time to brush up on your networking skills. Whether you’re new to networking and conferencing or this is old hat, I hope there’s something here for everyone.
Keep Calm and Network On
Networking does not have to be forced and it’s often best when it’s not. Annual Conference is particularly easy because everyone is there to learn and to meet new people, so you don’t have to think of a clever opening line. “Hi, I’m _________ and I work at __________. Where are you from?” works perfectly. And sure, you might meet some folks who are really only there to learn and not to meet people, and that’s fine. Just keep meeting people and don’t let it get you down.
Though they’re terribly old technology, business cards are still the default for exchanging contact information. Be sure to keep a ballpoint pen (those inky ones smear) to write on the card how/where you met the person and any other info that might jog your memory. And as soon as you can, connect with that person via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, an email, whatever works for you. As for your own business card, if you want to spend the time and money to come up with something creative, go ahead, but a basic card will do the job. Your time and money is probably better spent perfecting your website, web presence, or blog.
The New Orleans Public Library Main Library, located in the Central Business District at 219 Loyola Avenue, is worth a visit during your conference down time. This mid-century modern library opened in 1958 and was designed by Curtis and Davis Architects and Engineers, the same firm that designed the Superdome. The first floor houses the adult collections and computers, and just received a facelift. The second floor houses the library’s youth services division and the brand new Best Buy Teen Tech Center. The third floor holds the city archives and special collections.
The Best Buy Teen Tech Center is funded by Best Buy and the Clubhouse Network, a collaboration with the MIT Media Lab. By design, Best Buy Teen Tech Centers foster interest based-learning using new technology with the support from peer and adult mentors. Here, teens in New Orleans can develop their digital media and maker skills in music production, video production, graphic design, and more. The space will contain Macs and PCs, Adobe Creative Cloud, a music studio, drawing tablets, a 3D printer, green screen capabilities, an HTC VIVE Virtual Reality System, and more.
While there is a formal tour set via a LLAMA ticketed event for Friday, June 22, people with questions or those interested in visiting the Best Buy Teen Tech Center can contact the staff at email@example.com.
The Main Library is easily accessible from the New Orleans Ernest M. Moral Convention Center with many options to choose from. The 16 and 22 buses offer an air conditioned ride with a fair of $1.25 in exact change each way. The Main Library is also a 1.3 mile walk or a quick Lyft, Uber, or taxi ride. Lastly, some of the ALA shuttles are likely to get you close enough for free with just a short walk.
Adrienne L. Strock is a member of the YALSA Local Arrangements Committee for ALA Annual 2018 and works for the New Orleans Public Library.
Each month, through December, YALSA is sponsoring free webinars (for members and non-members) on topics related to the Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff.
The May webinar (the full video recording is available after the break), facilitated by Yvette Garcia from the Chicago Public Library, covered the topic Learning Environments. In her discussion Yvette talked with participants about the staff, policies, and space needed in order to provide quality learning opportunities for and with teens.
YALSA will host a follow-up Twitter chat on youth development on Thursday, May 24, at 7PM Eastern. Use the hashtag #yalsace to participate.
Join us for Book Buzz before this year’s annual conference!
What: Book Buzz at the New Orleans Public Library
Where: Main Library, 219 Loyola Avenue
When: Thursday, June 21, 8:00 am-4:30 pm
9:00 – 12:30 Children’s Presentations
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch provided by Publishers
1:30 – 4:30 Adult Presentations
Why?: Find out about new and forthcoming titles for your library, and get advanced reader copies and marketing materials from more than 30 publishers!
The New Orleans Public Library will host Book Buzz as part of this year’s pre-conference festivities. More than 30 publishers will present new and forthcoming titles for you to add to your reader’s advisory toolkits. The morning session will include children’s and young adult presentations, while the afternoon session will focus on adult materials. The publishers will provide lunch.
This event is free and open to librarians. You do not need to be registered for ALA to attend Book Buzz. Because space is limited, registration for Book Buzz is required. Please register through Eventbrite at this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/book-buzz-tickets-45734784973.
For more information about the New Orleans Public Library, visit www.nolalibrary.org.
Are you a new or prospective member of the Young Adult Library Services Association? Do you want to learn more about the programs, services, and opportunities that YALSA has to offer? This session is for you! Attend YALSA 101 on Friday, June 22 from 2:30-3:30 pm.
During this “speed-dating style” session, attendees will rotate tables and learn from experienced YALSA members about topics including:
- making the most of your conference experience
- applying for awards, grants, scholarships, and stipends
- getting involved: award committees, strategic work, taskforces, juries, interest groups
- creating content for YALSA: Programming HQ, YALSA Blog, Hub, Research Journal, and YALS
We will also have prize drawings throughout the session. Kick off your conference experience by networking with YALSA members and learn how the organization can help you!