Search Results for: badges

Badges Meets Connect Create Collaborate

In this five minute interview learn from YALSA President Jack Martin about YALSA’s Badges for Lifelong Learning project which gives library staff the opportunity to gain skills related to the association’s Competencies for Serving Youth in Libraries. The project is funded by HASTAC, Mozilla, and the MacArthur Foundation.

An interview with Jack Martin on Badges

The badges, which will launch in early winter 2013, support Jack’s presidential theme which is Connect, Create, Collaborate.

YALSA would like to learn more about your interest and knowledge of badges in learning. Let us know by taking a short survey. The association will be publishing articles and providing a variety of learning opportunities before the badge project launches. Stay tuned for all we have planned.

You can learn more about YALSA’s Badge project on the Digital Media and Learning (DML) site and on YALSA’s website. If you would like to learn more about badges in education check out this article from EdWeek.

YALSA Podcast #104: Badges for Lifelong Learning

This episode’s guest is Erin Knight, Learning Director for the Mozilla Foundation. Erin walks us through all the ins and outs of Mozilla’s new education initiative Badges for Lifelong Learning, a developing system that will enable users to highlight and gain recognition for specialized learning and achievements outside the standard classroom or workplace.

Badges for Lifelong Learning

If’  you prefer, you may go to the’ YALSA Podcast Site, download the Mp3 file and listen to it on the Mp3 player of your choice. To avoid missing future episodes, add’ the feed to Itunes or any other rss feed tracker.

For more information on the program you can visit the project website openbadges.org. Please also check out the Digital Media and Learning Competition for proposals issued by a number of different organizations, including YALSA, for different ways of using the project.

Thanks for listening!

2019 Summer Learning Resources Grant: Rising 6th Graders Bridges to Books

School library media specialists are under considerable pressure to demonstrate our absolute value within our schools. As a fourth-year media specialist, I have seen and read about the numerous cuts to school libraries so very early in my career. Being a career changer going into the library media profession, I never anticipated I would worry daily about my job being eliminated and libraries being managed by un-certified staff. Most recently, I read a social media post about a school librarian who returned to her library over the summer to find library books thrown in the middle of the floor, as two classrooms were being constructed from half of the library space. This story, among several others, has left me in search of the answer to the following questions. Why have school libraries become so disconnected and irrelevant to student learning? Why is the school librarian not viewed upon as an instructional leader and partner?

After much reflection, it was decided I couldn’t keep asking the questions, and instead, I had to create and share the why for our library profession. I made it a mission to step up and participate in any leadership opportunity made available to me as a school library media specialist, and in my reflection, all programs would be based on the student voice of my middle school students. While attending Teacher Leader Academy in a library media specialist cohort at my school district this past year, we were asked to develop a legacy project. My goal was to link the library with reading literacy and create a school culture of readers. Often, library media specialists (and library resources) are overlooked when developing initiatives for increasing student achievement because it is difficult to provide data. I wanted to change this, and I wanted the school library to be a partner in increasing students’ reading scores. Through my legacy project, I worked with a team of 24 teachers and my principal to create a school-wide independent reading program called, Griffin Reads 30. It was a strong collaborative process which now provides our students with 30 minutes of independent, choice reading during each school day. However, the legacy needed to continue beyond our school.

The next step to the legacy project had to expand to our feeder elementary schools to include rising 6th graders entering the middle school in the fall. Before attending middle school, these pre-teens needed the opportunity to visit their soon-to-be middle school, meet me, and learn about our library and our literacy program so that they felt empowered as new middle schoolers. Our library is the heart of the school, and true student voice and leadership are practiced in all areas including the purchase of new books, makerspace programs, and reading promotions and contests. The library is also filled with technology resources and rich databases for student academics. The second part of my legacy project was building “Bridges to Books” for our new students. 

This summer, the “Bridges to Books” program was facilitated in July, two weeks prior to the start of the new school year. All rising 6th graders were invited to attend, and the final attendance reached over one hundred students. As part of a community partnership to introduce our students to their library, collaboration was done with our public library and librarians to share the Cobb Library Pass. This free resource connects students with hundreds of digital books and several research databases. Students are also able to use their school student number to check books out from the public library. This partnership creates a strong presence of the importance of libraries, both school and public, for supporting student achievement and providing access to reading and research materials. 

Through the YALSA Dollar General Summer Reading Grant, paperback books were purchased, along with bookmarks, and a button maker which we use to create badges for reading achievement. Students also completed a makerspace project during the summer program and a scavenger hunt to locate books in their favorite genres and practiced checking out library books through the self-checkout system. 

Bridges to Books was a success, and when the students started school almost two weeks ago, students who attended were eager to say hello to me and began checking books out immediately during the first week of school. The library continues to be the heart of the school, and through this sustainable summer reading program, students will build a sense of pride for the library prior to beginning of each school year. It supports the transition into becoming a teen in the middle school by providing a safe environment, along with friendly and familiar faces. An additional bonus is the ability to showcase the importance of school libraries and certified school librarians as key educators in the academic and social emotional success of students. Through the summer reading program, I feel empowered to positively impact students before they begin a new school, so they will utilize library resources throughout their middle school years. 

 

Lori Quintana is a Library Media Specialist at Griffin Middle School in the Cobb County School District.

Celebrate Creativity during National Library Week

(Image courtesy of American Library Association)

This week (April 8th-14th) is National Library Week. Celebrating its 60th anniversary since its inaugural year in 1958 with the theme “Libraries Lead!”, libraries across the nation will be observing the week with activities, programs, and more. This week also celebrates National Library Workers Day (April 10), National Bookmobile Day (April 11), and Take Action for Libraries Day (April 12).

To lead the celebrations is Misty Copeland, author and American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer, who serves as the 2018 National Library Week Honorary Chair. As described on the American Library Association page about National Library Week, Misty Copeland, an advocate for “youth to pursue their dreams regardless of what challenges they may encounter”, invites everyone to “discover your passions and achieve your goals at the library.” (American Library Association).

(Image courtesy of American Library Association)


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Civic Data Zine Camp

Since 2012, The Labs@CLP (Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh) has provided Pittsburgh teens a digital learning space where they can explore new technologies and hone existing skills. We were one of the fortunate programs designated as an IMLS Learning Lab grantee, and our programming continues to develop our curriculum of teen-driven connected learning. Recent additions include a process through which teens can earn badges as they practice and refine new Labs skills, a transition into some of our neighborhood locations that have not yet received weekly Labs programming and equipment, and the annual Labsy Awards, which recognize the creativity and innovation of local teens. Over the last five years, this unique initiative has evolved and extended its reach into new locations, new disciplines, and new avenues of creativity.

Each summer, we invite groups of teens into our libraries to participate in what we call The Labs Summer Skills Intensives. Partnerships with local organizations like 1Hood Media and Pittsburgh Filmmakers, along with individual artists with unique specializations, allow us to explore a specific aspect of literacy—from songwriting to street art to sound recording—in a creative way. Each teen earns $100 for attending the entire week, and bus passes are available for anyone who might need one. These week-long camps give teens a platform for intimate engagement and complete immersion, and the results are extraordinary. In our camps, teens have produced music videos, written original songs, sewn their own fashion projects, and much more.

We saw The Labs Intensive formula as a great opportunity to highlight our teens’ expertise about their communities, while also increasing the reach of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Beyond Big Data initiative. Part of this effort involves the inclusion of data literacy programming into our existing repertoire, and we soon created a curriculum that would allow us to explore open data with a brilliant group of civically-minded teens. On July 31, we grabbed our supplies and headed to CLP – Squirrel Hill for the first day of Data Zine Camp.

The goals of this Intensive were the following:

  • To identify data as it impacts our everyday lives;
  • To think critically about data;
  • To practice storytelling using data;
  • To examine a personal, civic, or national issue through the lens of data; and
  • To create a Data Zine that documents not only our findings, but our process.

We began the week by introducing our partner, PublicSource. This local journalism network is unique because of its data-driven perspective, and its ability to amplify the compelling stories within data. Throughout our camp, the data journalists at PublicSource led us in fact-finding adventures, examined biases through critical discussion, and introduced us to a variety of data visualization tools and techniques.

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National Guidelines: Take a Look

When I took on the role of the National Guidelines Oversight Committee chair I didn’t know this was going to be the last year for the committee, but it makes sense to me. You’ve no doubt heard about the big changes ahead for YALSA that are being guided by the “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action” report. It’s always a good idea to take a hard look at what you are doing to make sure you are putting your efforts where they will be most effective and support your mission. YALSA did just that and decided to re-envision itself. As part of the restructuring the National Guidelines Oversight Committee will be sunsetted and its work moved to staff starting in July 2017. If you want a good overview of what’s happening and the new organizational plan check out Sarah Hill’s recent blog and the link she included to a great PowerPoint slideshow that summarizes the changes.

So what was the purpose of the Committee and why sunset it? Here is its official charge:

“Oversee YALSA’s portfolio of national guidelines, including performing such tasks as: working with staff to disseminate and promote the guidelines ; regularly evaluating the existing guidelines and making recommendations to YALSA’s Board for updating or revising guidelines and/or the need to create supplementary materials or tools; assisting staff with establishing and maintaining liaisons with appropriate decision makers and stakeholders , both inside and outside the library profession, that monitor and evaluate the performance of teen services programs and librarians. While the Oversight Committee is charged with making recommendations, the authority to adopt, direct the revision of and/ or sunset guidelines rests with YALSA’s Board of Directors.”

Judging from my experience on the YALSA Board a few years ago, I think YALSA staff is doing most of this already. Moving responsibility for oversight of the guidelines to staff means they can stay focused long-term, unlike a committee whose members have a one year commitment and then move on. That does not mean the work of the committee isn’t important or hasn’t been valuable over the years, and sunsetting the committee doesn’t mean members will no longer be able to have input. Going forward staff can be focused on regularly evaluating the various guidelines to make sure they reflect the changes happening in the library profession and in the organization. Once they identify areas that need attention, they can create more volunteer opportunities by seeking input from members and inviting them to participate in updating and/or creating new tools and resources.  However, right now the responsibility remains with the six virtual members of the National Guidelines Oversight Committee and we are focused on the National Guidelines and promoting them.

I have to say that before taking on my role with the committee, it had been a while since I really looked at the National Guidelines and I was glad I did. There is a lot of valuable information to help us in our work, but the guidelines need to evolve along with the profession. Looking at them now I am happy to see that YALSA (and previous National Guidelines Oversight Committees) have stayed on top of this. The Teen Programming Guidelines and Core Professional Values were updated just last year.  The Competencies for Librarian’s Serving Youth and a new Research Agenda are in the process of being updated and will hopefully be approved by the Board soon. Even YALSA’s micro-credentialing program, Badges for Learning, which focuses on the Competencies are being updated and you can look for the new version in early 2017.

The Competencies are a good example of the need to continually evaluate and update to stay relevant. They were last updated in 2010, and the Futures report was adopted by the YALSA Board of Directors in December 2013. The report challenges us to think differently about what we are doing and that means we have to carry this through to the guidelines. When I look at the Competencies I can’t argue with anything the document says, but I’m looking forward to seeing how the updated version will address the issues brought up in the Futures report.

This is an exciting time for YALSA! When was the last time you reviewed YALSA’s guidelines? If you’re anything like me you get busy and might need a little prompting to take the time to look, but be sure to check back and see what’s changed. You’’ll be glad you did!

Gail Tobin is Branch Coordinator of Schaumburg Township District Library, IL & National Guidelines Oversight Committee Chair.

What I Learned from YALSA

 

I started a new job as a teen services librarian one month before I graduated with my MLS. I was thrilled to get a full-time position serving my ideal population – at a dream location, to boot! My MLS program was amazing, and I learned more than I expected to. I felt confident with my library skills as I started the job. But any librarian can tell you, everything isn’t book-smarts! (No library pun intended.)

The skills that have really helped me roll with the punches as I get comfortable in my new position were learned from YALSA. Blog posts about passive programming have helped inspire me to bring some easy-to-implement ideas to my library’s teen section, which are looked at favorably since I’m new and not asking for lots of programming money right away. And countless other posts, along with the wiki, have good ideas for programming that I’m adding to my list for when I do feel comfortable asking for money.

It’s also nice to know you’re not alone, that other librarians and library workers have the same problems you might face: “Finally the big day arrives, it’s program time and…not one teenager shows up. Now you’re standing in the middle of the room, surrounded by supplies, and alone with your formerly fabulous program idea.” [from Pop-Up Programming 2 by Becky Fyolek]. And I say “you might face” already knowing, just two months in, that you are going to be alone in that programming room, and it’s going to make you feel pretty pathetic.

As far as really not feeling alone, YALSA resources like Teen Programming HQ, Badges for Learning, and assorted electronic discussion lists have been amazing. Any time I feel stumped, I turn to one resource or another and find a solution – or at least a welcoming community I can ask.

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YALSA 101- What I learned attending this session twice!

My second ALA annual conference is done and I am starting to feel like a seasoned pro. However, I am still learning so many new things I missed my first time around. I attended YALSA 101 last year and was inspired to be more active. A few months later though, I had forgotten about time requirements for “book” committees, what exactly were award committees, and there was something about badges. I decided to attend YALSA 101 again this year to brush up on what is offered in my YALSA membership and learn where I could volunteer my services.

Speaking of selection versus award committees, I have some clarification. Juries select grant or award winners, like the Great Books Giveaway. Selection committees are the book committees that select specific media and booklists such as Great Graphic Novels for Teens or Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. Book committee members are responsible for obtaining review copies, but many are provided by publishers or shared by committee members. Selection committees usually have a two-year commitment. Being a selection committee administrative assistant, the person who distributes the nomination lists, organizes the committee and acts as its secretary, is a lot of work. However, it can be a foot in the door to join a selection committee. Strategic committees run the business of YALSA. Strategic committees carry out many roles like planning Teen Read Week and Teen Tech Week, membership recruitment, running The Hub and YALSA Blog, and more. Except for the Executive Committee, all strategic committees meet virtually, with no requirements to attend conferences. Most strategic committee appointments last for one year.

One topic of YALSA 101 was advocacy. I did not realize how many options there are to easily approach our legislators to advocate for libraries. I can participate in National Library Legislative Day by going to the offices of my legislators in my state or Washington, D.C. I can tweet or email them if I am unable to travel and I can do this anytime I want to. One idea I came away with is inviting a local politician who is a stakeholder such as a school superintendent, town selectman, or school board member to come be “Librarian for Day” so they can see my job in action.

I had forgotten about YALSA’s YouTube channel. YALSA Academy has a series of short, five minute long videos for training or inspiration. You can take a quick break and get ideas for maker spaces, coding, Twitter basics, or starting a mock Printz award program. Any librarian can create a video for YALSA Academy, so think about showing off something you do for summer learning/reading, Teen Read Week or Teen Tech Week. As a brand new feature, the YouTube channel also has “snack break” videos that are about fifteen minutes long. These videos give guidance on partnering with a local museum or assessing program impact.

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YALS – Libraries and Learning: A Resource Guide for “Make, Do, Share”

cover of spring yalsYou should have already or will soon be receiving your Spring 2016 edition of YALS. The topic of the issue is Libraries and Learning. All the articles are excellent but the one that stood out to me was the featured interview with Shannon Peterson, the Youth Services Manager for the Kitsap (WA) Regional Library (KRL). The library received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for their program Make, Do, Share: Sustainable STEM Leadership in a Box.

One of the great things about this interview is that not only did we learn the context of this project (it began with a project called BiblioTEC, sponsored through the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation) but also heard about how Shannon and her staff frame the work they are doing. Many times in public libraries, we are so focused on helping our community, we don’t think about the reasoning behind our behaviors. These behaviors and the programming we create can be influenced by the theory we read and the theory we believe grounds our work as librarians. Shannon’s interview was full of all the things she and KRL was thinking of as they created the Make, Do, Share programming.
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Rethinking YALSA: I learn best when…

Tweet As YALSA moves closer to completing the association’s organizational plan, the Board of Directors has discussed a variety of topics related to YALSA initiatives. To this purpose, the Board is considering the areas needed to support teen library staff successfully. In this series of blog posts, we look at… Continue reading