In 2012 and 2013 through funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, YALSA embarked on an ambitious journey to create the National Forum on Libraries and Teens. Its culmination was The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action, or Futures Report for short. The report’s purpose is to provide a roadmap for 21st century teen library services. Its hashtag, #act4teens, boldly reinforces the report’s subtitle. For me, #act4teens is akin to the Yoda quote, “Do. Or Do not. There is no try.” We must act to move teen services in our libraries forward.

YALSA and the Future of Teens and Libraries Taskforce created several #act4teens resources that can be found on the National Forum on Libraries and Teens’ shared resources page, which directs you to three types of tools designed to help you #act4teens at your library and in your community.

You’ll find:

  1. One-page fact sheets to give to a variety of different audiences to raise awareness and excitement about the future of library services for and with teens. Factsheets are geared to the following audiences:
    • Community members, partners, and advocates
    • Faculty and researches at library and information science schools
    • Library staff
    • School administrators and principles
    • Library trustees
  2. Canned presentations to use when you present the report to others and again can be used with a variety of audiences.
  3. A tip sheet geared specifically to help you bring the ideas of the Futures Report to administrators. The tip sheet provides strategies for starting a dialogue with your supervisor about the report and its implications. It also provides steps on how to start moving forward to reimagine services for and with teens in your community.

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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 February 20 and February 26 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to amytthornley on Twitter.
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Peggy Hendershot, Youth Information Specialist at the Johnson County Library, Blue Valley Branch, has just been awarded the 2015 MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens with her program, the Young Adult Discussion Diversity Panel she formed with their Young Adult Advisory  Council (YAAC).  Peggy told me about her experiences.

What was the reaction to winning the award in your community?  How did your students react?

Everyone has been very kind and full of congratulations.  The Kansas City Star’s 913 (Johnson County section) requested an interview. It’s great positive publicity for the library.

We told the teens during our usual round of introduction questions at our February 7th YAAC meeting. We asked, “What was the most exciting thing that happened to you in the last year.” When it was my turn, I said, “Winning the YALSA Mae Award for the Diversity Discussion Panel!” Then we handed out a copy of the press release to the kids. They were very excited!  There was quite a bit of whooping and hollering going on, along with plenty of high fives! We celebrated with cake, ice cream and confetti poppers.  Then they wanted to talk about the next big event they could plan!

You mention in your application that your library’s YAAC takes advantage of the YALSA YA Galley program.  Could you talk about how that works with your group?

The Johnson County Library YAAC groups applied to participate in the YALSA YA Galley/Teen Top Ten book project and were accepted into the program. Publishers sent out galleys and review titles of new and upcoming books. At our monthly meetings, the YAAC teens selected the titles that interested them from the selections sent out. The teens then read the books and completed reviews for them, which were sent back to the publishers. They also rated the books, nominating their favorites for the Teen Top Ten best books. YAAC members also discussed the books they did not select and why they chose not to read them. This information was also sent to the publishers. Our term was up the beginning of this year, but we plan to reapply to the program at the first opportunity!

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Thanks again to all who braved the snowy weather to be part of the 2015 Midwinter Meetings, as well as those who chose to participate virtually with the board and other activities. It was a busy January, and I'm thrilled with all the work that members and the YALSA Board accomplished. Here's a peek at what I've been doing:

Activities

  • Currently appointing to the new Board Diversity Taskforce, which will look at and make recommendations regarding the selection and recruitment of YALSA leaders. If you’re interested in serving, please send me an e-mail and/or submit a volunteer form.
  • With Executive Director Beth Yoke and the board, finalized agendas for Midwinter YALSA Executive Committee and Board meetings.
  • Led discussions at YALSA Board meetings. Draft minutes of those discussions will be posted here.
  • Led discussions during two YALSA Executive Committee meetings. Draft minutes of those discussions will be posted here.
  • Led a Board Planning Session which focused on outcomes training and ways to incorporate outcomes into YALSA’s strategic planning process.
  • Attended formal and informal meetings with Division and ALA leaders at the Midwinter conference.
  • Highlighted the work of YALSA selection committees at the Youth Media Awards.
  • Hosted and celebrated Nonfiction and Morris award winners and finalists at the Midwinter reception.
  • Appointed members to fill vacancies on various committees.
  • Spoke with CNN regarding the importance of the Morris Award and recognizing new authors.
  • Spoke with U.S. News and World Report about teen library engagement.

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Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 6.50.52 AM

Title: Post-it Plus

Cost: Free, with in-app purchases

Platform: iOS

From LiveScribe to Moleskine, there have been a number of visions on how to capture the physical process of notetaking in a digital incarnation. Like many with a love for stationary, I had played around with the digital sticky note applications, but when a student raved about the Post-it app, it sounded like something more than a mere yellow placeholder.

IMG_1085

There are two methods for creating notes. You can add them with a click, as you might in decades-old Windows programs, or your can photograph your actual physical notes. The in-app photography mechanism is among the easiest I've seen, coaching you on light levels and holding your device steady. But it's what happens when you take that picture that sets this app apart. Read More →

SEA Urban Academy visit to TC & CEN Fall 2010

A partner brings some skeptical-looking teens to the library for a research workshop. (I'm pretty sure we won them over in the end.)

In my last post, I talked about the importance of relationship-building in outreach and community partnerships. It's not always easy to create the time and space necessary to figure out what a partner organization really needs from the library, but for a strong community partnership, it's well worth the investment.

But "community partnership" is a pretty vague term. I should probably clarify what I'm talking about.

For me, library partnerships fit into one of two main categories. Read More →

Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 24 through May 1, and to help you be an informed voter, we're sharing interviews with each of the 2015 YALSA Governance and 2017 Selection Committee candidates as well as the ALA President-Elect Candidates.

Today we'll hear from a candidate for ALA President-Elect. The ALA President serves a one year term. The role of the ALA President is to be the Association's chief spokesperson and to work closely with the ALA's Executive Director in identifying and promoting library issues nationwide and internationally. A full description of ALA Presidential duties and responsibilities can be found here.

Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with James LaRue.
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A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

February is Library Lovers' Month, a close but sometimes ignored cousin of National Library Week in April. There is no elaborate, ALA-driven campaign for Library Lovers' Month, just an older website with resources and links that are still active (and helpful!). However, it should come as no surprise that many public and school libraries have initiated innovative programming, displays, and outreach that often combine the concepts behind Library Lovers' Month and February's more popular celebration, Valentine's Day.

The initial campaign identified #libraryloversmonth as, "... a time for everyone, especially library support groups, to recognize the value of libraries and to work to assure that the Nation's libraries will continue to serve" (librarysupport.net). As other national campaigns evolved, #libraryloversmonth was given the chance to morph into an informally awesome celebration. Individual libraries define #libraryloversmonth as they see fit; some libraries heavily incorporate Valentine's Day (romance-themed book displays, card-making workshops), while others focus on the love between patrons and their libraries. Interestingly enough, a quick survey of Instagram's content "proves" the biggest participants in #libraryloversmonth are teens and middle grade children. Keep working the YA love, librarians!

Is your library participating in Library Lovers Month? What programs did your library develop? Do you have a favorite Library Lovers Month campaign? Share in the comments below!

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Businesses all over Seattle showed their 12th Man Support. Image courtesy of downtownseattle.com

Here in Washington almost everyone has been excited to support the Seattle Seahawks this season. The Seattle Mayor even declared that Fridays were “Blue Fridays” in support of the team. Last year the fans were coined the 12th Man (there are 11 men typically on a pro football team - the fans are the 12th man on the team), and that continued throughout this season. Not a big fan of sports, I didn't think much of it, but as the season continued, everyone started to show their support. Teens, parents, and businesses found ways to dress up, display signs, or even keep their lights on at night in patterns of a 12.

On Fridays and game days, staff would dress up or wear buttons - this really impacted the way the community engaged with us. Many were excited to connect with us in a new way. People would come in and ask us what the score for the game was, then proceed to let us help them with other library business.

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