Exploring Culture in Teen Programming
I first got this program idea from reading the YALSA Teen Literacies Toolkit. I’ve been curious about library programming and the intersection with community identity. The definition of literacy is evolving and it’s exciting to see that these additions are relevant to the audiences we serve.
One of the competencies listed is Cultural Competence. The definition given for this concept is:
Ability to recognize the significance of culture in one’s own life and in the lives of others; and to come to know and respect diverse cultural backgrounds and characteristics through interaction with individuals from diverse linguistic, cultural, and socioeconomic groups; and to fully integrate the culture of diverse groups into services, work, and institutions to enhance the lives of both those being served by the library profession and those engaged in service (Overall, 2009)
This topic is actually very close to my heart. My parents moved to the United States when I was ten years old which makes me into a first-generation immigrant. Growing up, I’ve always felt that I was a part of both the Middle Eastern culture and the American culture. At times, I felt that I needed to pick one and other times I refused to choose and just called myself a “Global Citizen”. I didn’t see that as an intellectual activity at first, culture was always something I explored on my own, it was my hobbies that gave me a love of Reggaetón and Korean fried Chicken.
It’s almost time! ALA Annual is upon us and I’m so looking forward to seeing many of you at the awesome lineup of YALSA events.
It’s an exciting time to be a YALSA member! We’re released the New Teen Services Competencies, written a new report supporting librarians working with teens called Transforming Library Services through CE, and we’ve got so much more on the horizon.
This work could not be completed without the dedication of our members. Many of us volunteer our time to take on leadership roles within the organization. And serving in one is a win-win! YALSA benefits from your experiences and work on a common goal, and you gain leadership, team building, and career building skills.
Join us at our YALSA 301 session at ALA Annual to learn more about how you can take the next step in YALSA. YALSA 301 is on Saturday, June 23 at 9 a.m. in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Room 214.
Can’t make it to conference? I encourage you to contact me and the rest of the Board Development Task Force to learn more. Even if you aren’t ready to run for Board right now, we’d love to share the exciting opportunities that are available!
The Board Development Committee is:
Sarah Hill, Chair, email@example.com
Audra Caplan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Frankin Escobedo, email@example.com
Mary Hastler, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Sogigian, email@example.com
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 June webinar (the full video recording is available after the break), facilitated by Megan Emery from the Chattanooga Public Library, covered the topic of Learning Experiences. In her discussion Megan talked about the difference between formal and informal learning and how to overlap one onto the other, how to supporting teen volunteering as a learning experience, and integrating design thinking into the teen learning experience.
The YALSA board will hold a discussion at #alaac18 about YALSA’s book awards and lists in light of #metoo. I have been a member of the Printz, Odyssey, and Alex Award committees and am bringing this topic to the YALSA board for discussion and possible action.
The #MeToo movement exploded in Fall 2017, when women and some men collectively began to speak out against abusers and harassers. The movement carried over to the young adult publishing world in February 2018 via an article in School Library Journal that led to hundreds of comments to the article indicating certain authors and publisher representatives as harassers or abusers.
YALSA and its board extend their compassion to those harmed by abusers and harassers and commends those for speaking up, while at the same time also extending support to those who were also harmed but remain silent.
The YALSA Board of Directors is headed to New Orleans for ALA’s 2018 Annual Meeting!
The agenda and related documents for our meetings are posted here.
Please feel free to attend our Board meetings on Saturday from 1:00-5:00 and/or on Sunday from 4:30-5:30. All of our meetings will be held in the Convention Center, room 212. YALSA adheres to an open board meeting policy which means we welcome all conference attendees and their contributions with the same respect afforded to fellow board members as detailed in this document. Visitors to the board meeting are encouraged to share information and ask questions during the Open Forum part of the meeting, which is always the first item at the meeting. To learn more about how in-person board meetings function and what to expect, visit the wiki.
Every year, hundreds of YALSA members fill out a volunteer form and serve on our committees, taskforces and give back in other ways. Over the past two years, since adopting our organizational plan, the YALSA Board has been hard at work to create volunteer opportunities that better fit the lives of our members. Focusing on:
- Virtual opportunities (that don’t require travel to conferences)
- Short-term opportunities (that don’t take a year or more commitment)
- New and unique forms of volunteering (like resource retreats and micro-volunteering)
But in that time, we haven’t really changed how we ask our volunteers to report on the outcomes of their efforts. Committee chair still keep to the same quarterly reporting schedule, using the same quarterly reporting form from years ago (with a few minor updates and tweaks).
At Annual in New Orleans, the Board will be discussing how we can better measure the impact of our volunteer’s time and efforts. We’ll talk about the reporting schedule, what we want to measure and what trends we want to track over time. Learn more in Board Document 31.
See the full agenda of the Board of Directors at ALA Annual in New Orleans. All Board meetings are open to attendees, and you can learn more about the Board meetings on the wiki.
At Midwinter 2018, the Board directed the Organization and Bylaws Committee to update and expand the existing Chair Manual. This update would:
• Reflect the Organizational Plan
• Include more big-picture information
• Add outcomes-focused content
• Update the virtual resources content
• Expand the responsibilities, communication, ethics and policies sections
The Organization and Bylaws Committee has made the requested changes, and has submitted board document #19 for review at ALA Annual in New Orleans. We are excited to receive feedback on this document, both from the Board and membership. Additional information can be found in the board document.
If you have any questions regarding the new Chair Manual, please contact Melissa McBride, Chair of Organization & Bylaws: firstname.lastname@example.org
At this point, most of you who are planning on having teen volunteers help you out with Summer Learning Program have probably already started working with your volunteers. It’s never too late or too early to start planning for next year. In this post, I’ll go through how we promoted our Summer Learning Program volunteer positions and how we handle applications.
We were hoping to attract 20 volunteers this summer. So far we have had about 40 applicants, and we are still fielding applications. It’s always hard to pinpoint causes of success when it comes to dealing with the public, so I can’t say that we received more applicants than we hoped for because of how we marketed the positions. Our marketing approach, however, doesn’t seem to have failed. The two approaches used were personal contact and flyer distribution.
Word of mouth is an effective way to promote any event. Quite a few of the teen volunteers we have this year are individuals whom I or other staff members personally recruited. These were teens who showed some of the traits we look for in volunteers (work ethic, passion for reading, interest in the library, looking for things to do), and seemed to be a good fit. We also reached out to teens who volunteered in previous years. We keep contact information for all of our volunteers on file. Then, when an event like Summer Reading is on the horizon, we reach out and invite them to return. This has the added benefit of padding a volunteer roster with experienced volunteers.
Authored by the YALSA Research Committee
Throughout the current term, the YALSA Research Committee will be looking at Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff through the lens of research. Through our posts, we will attempt to provide a brief snapshot of how scholarship currently addresses some of the issues put forth through the standards.
Researching outcomes, libraries, and assessments, the research committee narrowed the research results to three relatively recent studies on outcomes and assessments. The first study examines advantages and disadvantages for end of programs assessments (EPA’s) for LIS master programs utilizing a survey. In the second report the research committee will highlight a case study of a LIS distant learning program with an outcome of over 90% graduation rate and what their assessments look like. The third report looks at a review of recent research of school libraries and the importance of using evidence for successful student outcomes.
Looking for the best ways to align your work to the Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff? Join us for a free session Friday, June 22, from 1 to 4PM in room 343 of the Morial Convention Center, just prior to the ALA Annual Conference.
You will hear about how YALSA members have integrated the Competencies into their work and have the tools and resources you need to bring that transformation home. Bring a program plan, a job description, a policy, a staff and/or program evaluation tool, or another tool and workshop it along side library staff from around the country.
We’d like to know the types of projects people who plan to attend would like to discuss. That’s why we are asking those who think they will be there to submit our simple form.
If you have questions about the workshop contact YALSA’s CE Consultant, Linda W. Braun or Kate McNair, YALSA Board Member.
Don’t forget YALSA has developed an array of tools to help library staff use the Competencies. You’ll find them listed on the YALSA Competencies web page.