K-Pop and SEL: A Perfect Match

This post is by Shawnte Santos, Program Manager, Youth Services, and Martin Pi ñol, Youth Services Librarian, South San Francisco (CA) Public Library.

photo of participants in K-Pop programIn October 2018, inspired by a K-Pop 101 program on YALSA’s Teen Programming HQ, South San Francisco Public Library hosted the first of what would become a series of K-Pop programs for and with teens.

This spring, when participating in a YALSA facilitated Teen Services with Impact! workshop, we realized that the K-Pop activities connected with of the Social Emotional Competencies. For example:

Self Awareness
The teens who attended were incredibly appreciative of the program, and excited to see their interests represented in a library program. They were especially thrilled when opening their mystery prize packs and seeing what was included- there was even some screaming; we were happy that they felt comfortable enough to express their emotions in the space.

Self Management
We planned to set up a playlist of K-Pop songs and videos, however the teens made it their own, they took turns choosing what songs they wanted to hear and share with their new friends. Everybody was supportive of each other’s choices, and waited until the songs were over before putting on new ones.
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A Spider in the Tub

Hello again,

One of the tenets of this year’s theme of Striving for Equity Using YALSA’s Teen Services Competencies is ways for the YALSA membership to become engaged with these concepts. In many of your schools, libraries, and institutions, there has likely been some sort of push to better understand and come to terms with our societal issues regarding equity, diversity and inclusion. The American Library Association, YALSA’s parent organization, added Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as its fourth focus area in recent years, and YALSA’s updated, adopted EDI plan affirm’s our division’s commitment to these principles.

Image result for yalsa logo

This is a difficult time for many of the young people we serve, as is outlined in YALSA’s mission statement: Our mission is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. We are in our positions to help alleviate challenges that teens face, especially those with the greatest needs. Those facing inequities are indeed the ones with the greatest needs.

Let’s think for a moment about how we interact with teens and ways in which those interactions can be perceived or modified. In renowned Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön‘s upcoming book, Welcoming the Unwelcome (Shambhala, ISBN: 9781611805659, 2019) she writes:

Welcoming the Unwelcome by Pema Chodron  If I turn on my shower and then discover there’s a spider in the tub, I have two main options. I can let the water run and leave the spider to its fate. This is a polarizing action because it creates a big gap between us. My aversion or indifference to the spider blinds me to what we have in common as living beings. Both of us want to be happy and not suffer, both of us want to live and not die. My other option is to turn off the water, get a piece of toilet paper, and use it to help the little fellow get out of danger. Then I can think “The day’s hardly begun and I’ve saved a life!” As Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche once said, “It may be a small event for you, but it’s a major event for the spider.” But in a sense, it can be a major event for myself as well because it nurtures my awakening heart. We can go through each day with a heightened awareness of our actions, taking every opportunity we find to lessen the gap.*

Engagements:

  • How might this passage remind us of our working relationship with teens? How can we lessen the gap?
  • How does the power imbalance between our roles and those of teens in our libraries and communities influence our actions? What happens when we simply let the water run?
  • How can we relate this to issues of equity and inequity in our own community outside of the library setting?

Thanks for reading, and thank you for the work you do for and with teens!

Todd Krueger, YALSA President 2019-2020   Twitter: @toddbcpl

*Excerpted with permission from Shambhala Publications

Member Opportunity! YALSA Social Media Marketing TF – volunteer by August 5

Hello everyone!

We have heard calls from membership that the YALSA selection lists (Amazing Audiobooks, Best Fiction for Young Adults, Great Graphic Novels, Quick Picks, and others) and the Teens’ Top Ten list have not been receiving the kind of broad dissemination and recognition that they rightfully deserve. In response, the YALSA Board adopted Item #24, the Selection List Marketing Plan, at the recent ALA Annual Conference in Washington DC. This document called for the creation of a Social Media Marketing Task Force.

This group will be responsible for using social media to widely market YALSA selection lists (both current, and those of previous years) and the Teens’ Top Ten list.  This is a virtual opportunity that will run until June 30, 2020, and work will start as soon as possible. If you love teen books and media and our selection lists, and want to promote them to the membership and beyond, this could be a great fit for you!

If you would like to volunteer to be a member of the Social Media Marketing Task Force, please email Letitia Smith in the YALSA office, indicating your interest in this task force, by Monday, August 5.

Thanks!

Todd Krueger, YALSA President 2019-2020  Twitter: @toddbcpl

Volunteer on a Short-Term Group or Committee!

Amanda Barnhart, YALSA President-Elect, is seeking volunteers for the following member groups:

Selected Lists Blogging Teams (Virtual; 1 year starting Jan. 1)

  • Amazing Audiobooks Blogging Team
  • Best Fiction for Young Adults Blogging Team
  • Graphic Novels Blogging Team
  • Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers Blogging Team

Book Award Committees (Face-to Face & Virtual; 1 year starting Feb. 1)

  • Alex Awards
  • Edwards Award
  • Morris Award
  • Non-Fiction Award
  • Odyssey Award
  • Printz Award

Member Award Juries (Virtual; 3 months starting Nov. 1)

  • Collection Development Grant Jury
  • Great Books Giveaway Award Jury
  • Henne Research Award Jury
  • Innovation Award Jury
  • MAE Best Literacies Program Award Jury
  • Outstanding Achievement Award Jury
  • Volunteer of the Year Award Jury
  • Writing Award Jury

Short-Term Groups (Virtual)

  • Board Development Committee (1 year, starting Jan.1)
  • Book Awards Oversight Committee (1 year, starting Feb. 1)
  • Midwinter Marketing & Local Arrangements Taskforce (6 months, starting Sept. 1)
  • YALSA National Library Legislative Day Taskforce (6 months, starting Dec. 1)

Learn more about the work of these groups and submit the Committee Volunteer Form (must sign into your ALA account) by Aug. 1.

Equity and YALSA’s Competencies

Hello again,

In this post we are going to examine the concept of equity, and what it means within this year’s theme Striving for Equity Using YALSA’s Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff.

Equity is often confused with equality, and it seems to be the least understood of the three concepts of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. There is a well-known graphic, the original by Craig Froehle and updated by Angus Maguire (below), of three boys attempting to watch a ballgame over a fence, and how the concepts of Equality and Equity are very different. (Interestingly, this graphic may not satisfy everyone, as this Cultural Organizing blog post, and others, explain.) There, too, have been many variations and additions to this graphic’s differentiation, which we will get into as the year goes on.

There are many definitions of equity. One that deftly explains the differences between equity, diversity and inclusion is the “table” analogy. Diversity attempts to invite people from various backgrounds to the table. Inclusion ensures that the voices of those invited to the table are heard. Equity looks at the actual structure of that table to determine if the table itself is what is preventing full participation from folks of all backgrounds.

The Independent Sector clearly defines Equity as: “the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness within the procedures and processes of institutions or systems, as well as in their distribution of resources. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society.”

There are many inequities, and although we will attempt to look at ways to mitigate them this year through the lens of each of the YALSA Teen Competencies for Library Staff, it will not be possible to cover them all in detail. But as an example of the sort of inequities we will explore this year, the chart below from the University of Southern California School of Social Work blog MSW@USC’s Diversity Toolkit (attributed to Jeremy Goldbach) is a place to start. Keep in mind that this perspective is that of a typical “western” society; other cultures may and will have different points of view of who the target and non-target groups would be.

Next week, we will start to explore some of the engagement strategies that we will be examining in the months ahead.

Todd Krueger, YALSA President 2019-2020    Twitter: @toddbcpl

New Issue of YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults: Vol. 10 N. 2

Volume 10, Issue 2 of of YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults (JRLYA) is now available online at http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/.This issue features research papers relating to public library teen youth services staff, cultural depictions in award-winning young adult literature, and the digital practices of teens.

With their paper,“Perspectives on Youth Data Literacy at the Public Library: Teen Services Staff Speak Out,” Leanne Bowler, Amelia Acker, and Yu Chi present data and analysis from the second phase of a three-year study exploring the relationship between teens and data literacy with regard to public library teen services.  Through their focus on teen services staff, the authors present a model of youth data literacy that is intended to prepare teens to thrive in a data-driven society.
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Leading from Local: ALA joins the Aspen Ideas Festival

This post was written by Marijke Visser, Associate Director and Senior Policy Advocate in the ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office

photo of Aspen Ideas LogoLibrary staff are community leaders everyday. They lead with humility, making space for and including diverse voices. Libraries are hyper-local, with programs and services that respond to community needs and priorities. Libraries are mission-driven and their value is collectively determined as they serve the entire community. These may not be “big ideas” to library staff, however, as I traveled from the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. to the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, I considered that the core values that library staff adhere to are also held up as essential by leaders across the United States, in addressing national and global social, economic, and political challenges.

At the Festival, themes of empathy, equity and inclusion, innovation, collaboration, social responsibility, and community engagement were woven across plenary and concurrent sessions in tracts as diverse as Hope Made Visible, American Renewal, Economic Progress, Conservatism, Next World Order, and Art of the Story. Throughout the Festival, speakers and attendees were prompted to consider how successful local initiatives can and should inform national and global policies. Attendees, leaders from non-profit organizations, foundations, businesses, government, philanthropy, and associations, like ALA, were also challenged to consider what kind of leader we might each be. This challenge highlighted the fact that all of us have a voice and can play a leadership role where we work and in our communities. A final common theme in the sessions I attended explicitly connected leadership, community engagement, storytelling, and advocacy.
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What are the YALSA Teen Competencies for Library Staff?

Hello again!

As a reminder from last week, the theme of this year is Striving for Equity using YALSA’s Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff.

So, what are these Competencies, and how did they come about? If you have seen the one-page snapshot below either in print, on Twitter, or elsewhere, you’ve come to realize that there are ten components of the Teen Services Competencies (TSC). There are also two much more in-depth versions of the TSC, which are highly recommended. The “full” version, along with expounding on the TSC themselves, gives a great understanding of the history and background of the TSC. The “mid-sized” version explains in clear bullet points the three levels of service: Developing, Practicing, and Transforming. Having a baseline understanding of the TSC goes a long way to help you provide excellent service to teens in your institution and community.

After the development and implementation of the watershed project report “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action” in 2014, it quickly became clear that YALSA’s previous edition of teen services competencies, published in 2010, needed updating. This overhaul resulted in the TSC that were released in late 2017.

In the development of this edition of the TSC, a number of documents were reviewed to look for an appropriate model. Those of the National Afterschool Association were selected as a framework, as these “allowed YALSA to create a document that puts teens first and communicates to library staff the need to work with teens, their families, and their communities to provide high-quality library services.” As promised, we will further discuss the teens first concept as the year goes on. We will also look at the various levels of the Competencies, and where members and non-members can receive more information about each of them.

In the coming weeks, we will also tackle that other important element of this year’s theme: Equity. We will investigate how we can define it, what it means today, and the myriad ways it relates to the Teen Services Competencies.

Todd Krueger, YALSA President 2019-2020

 

 

Want to grow interest in computing at your library? Host a meet-up!

This is a guest post by Marijke Visser from ALA’s Washington Office

The ALA’s Libraries Ready to Code initiative and NCWIT Aspirations are working together this year to provide monthly topics through the “Community Champion Learning Series for Libraries“. This month our focus is on connecting libraries with local young women passionate about computing.

If your library values equity of opportunity and has a common goal to increase the meaningful participation of girls in women in computing locally, serves as a hub for resources and programs within the community and you have an interest in supporting local girls/women with the opportunity of computing and the “Aspirations” programs, you may be interested in hosting a local NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Community meet-up at your library.

In person meet-ups have several benefits for the library host and for the local Aspirations in Computing Community members that attend. Click here for more information and next steps.

Visit the archives here for past and upcoming topics. Questions for NCWIT? Email aichelp@ncwit.org.

An Introduction from the New YALSA President

Hello YALSA members and readers of the YALSA blog!

At the ALA Annual Conference in Washington DC last week, I was inaugurated as the 2019-2020 YALSA President. Having served on the YALSA Board since 2015, it was an honor to become President-Elect in 2018. Over the years, it has been my pleasure to meet many of you in person at ALA events and/or at YALSA Symposia, and I’ve been in contact with many members virtually. My hope is to engage with as many YALSA members as possible during my year as President! I’ll do my very best to continue the amazing leadership of our past YALSA presidents, including my terrific predecessor, Crystle Martin. It’s always critical for the president to work closely with colleagues on the YALSA Board and our Executive Director, Tammy Dillard-Steels and her staff to fulfill the mission and vision of the organization and our ongoing strategic plan. Finally, you will come to know my enthusiasm for the concept Teens First and all that entails.

A little bit about my work life and background: for nearly fifteen years I have been employed as a Selector in the Collection Development department at the Baltimore County Public Library in Towson, Maryland. This affords me the opportunity to help shape the library system’s collection, including areas of interest to YALSA members such as our teen and graphic novel collections. This has allowed me to become acutely aware of the trends of what materials teens using our branches are seeking out, and I hope to learn from YALSA members in diverse communities around the country and internationally about the relationship between teens and their libraries, in terms of collections, services, programs, and interactions. I’m originally from the Midwest and in my career I have worked as a bookseller, research librarian, rare books librarian, library director and more.

The theme of my presidency is Striving for Equity Using YALSA’s Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff. Each month, from August through May, we will look at one of the ten competencies and think about them through an equity lens. More information about that in the weeks ahead.

Please let me know if you have any questions for me and the YALSA Board!  Feel free to contact me at todd.yalsa@gmail.com with any thoughts you have about YALSA and your place in the organization.

I’ll reiterate this intentionally: I am very much looking forward to engaging with the membership in as many ways as possible.

Thank you for reading, and for your support!

Todd Krueger, YALSA President 2019-2020

P.S. Happy Canada Day to our Canadian members and to all in the “True North” who serve teens!

 

Photo by Paula Willey