Search Results for: badges

Registration for YALSA’s 2016 Young Adult Services Symposium now open

feature-slides-reg-openRegistration for YALSA’s 2016 Young Adult Services Symposium, which takes place Nov. 4-6 in Pittsburgh, is now open. Individuals can register for the symposium with early bird rates now through Sept. 15, 2016.

Early bird rates are as follows:

  • $199 YALSA Personal Member
  • $199 Pennsylvania Library Association Members
  • $199 Pennsylvania School Librarians Association Members
  • $249 ALA Personal Member
  • $310 Nonmembers
  • $59 Students (enrolled full-time in a library program)

Register early to take advantage of up to $50 in savings. Registration includes:

  • Opening session and reception Friday evening
  • Educational programming Saturday and Sunday
  • Option to register for additional events
  • Access to a free webinar
  • Certificate of participation with your contact hours
  • Snack breaks Saturday and Sunday
  • Symposium tote bag

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30 Days of Teen Programming: Project Outcome & Field-Based Examples of Measuring Outcomes of Young Adult Services

YALSA’s recently updated Teen Programming Guidelines encourage the use of evidence-based outcome measurement as a means of developing meaningful programs for young people. The Public Library Association – through its latest field-driven initiative, Project Outcome – is also working to assist with librarians’ efforts to capture the true value and impact of programs and services. At ALA Annual 2016, PLA will launch Project Outcome, designed to help any programmer measure outcomes beyond traditional markers such as circulation and program attendance. Instead, Project Outcome focuses on documenting how library services and programs affect our patrons’ knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors. It will help librarians use concrete data to prove what they intuitively know to be true: Communities are strengthened by public libraries and patrons find significant value in library services.

Lessons from the Field:  Skokie (IL) Public Library

At Skokie Public Library, we participated in the pilot testing of Project Outcome in the fall of 2014 by administering surveys for 10 different programs. The surveys were conducted online, on paper, and through in-person interviews. In one example, teens attending a class about biotechnology were interviewed using a survey designed to measure outcomes for “Education/Lifelong Learning.” Participants ranked the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with statements measuring knowledge, confidence, application, and awareness. Results showed that 85% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they learned something helpful, while only 43% agreed or strongly agreed that they intended to apply what they just learned. The results demonstrated some improvement in subject knowledge, information that can be useful for advocacy. But it also revealed that there’s room for growth in ensuring program participants understand how they can apply what they’re learning. In an open-ended question asking what they liked most about the program, teens mentioned the chemical experiments conducted during the program. This type of data is something that we can pay attention to when planning future programs.

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Thinking (out loud) about learning in makerspaces

I recently made an expedition to SXSWedu in Austin. I was really excited about this conference because I thought it’d be useful to me as an educator/facilitator/enabler of science and technology-based programs and projects at my library. I was looking forward to hearing new-to-me perspectives on student (or in my case teen)-centered learning; maybe I’d pick up some tips on how to help teens feel comfortable expressing their interests or how to frame  a challenging project in a manageable way or chunk it into achievable pieces. What I most hoped to do, I think, was speak with other educators about the unique challenges and opportunities of learning in a makerspace-type environment. It was a valuable experience in many ways, but not quite what I expected. (The usual caveats apply – YMMV, perhaps I picked the wrong sessions, didn’t find the right folks to network with, etc.)

As I left SXSWedu and headed for home, I reflected a bit on my experience. I was disappointed, because I had hoped to connect with experts – people who knew more than me about what I was doing. I didn’t. At a panel where I expected higher-level conversation about makerspaces and learning, I left frustrated that the conversation was ‘what is a makerspace?’ and ‘low-budget vs high-budget’ and ‘you don’t NEED a 3d printer’ instead of ‘this is what makes a makerspace special, and this is how to maximize that opportunity.’ I wanted nuts and bolts and a user’s manual, and I got Tinker Toys. As I thought more and more about what had happened, it occurred to me that if I wanted to talk about this, I ought to just start the conversation I wanted to hear. To that end, here are the questions on my mind right now, and some of my possible answers.

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Gamification of Summer Reading

Home Screen of Teen Summer Challenge

Games often provide an opportunity to have fun, learn new things, simulate real life, and explore things only dreamed of before. Whether playing a board game, role playing game, or a video game, players are challenged to overcome obstacles and use strategy to solve problems and meet goals. In classrooms’ teachers are using game elements’ more and more to encourage practice, assess mastery, or explore new concepts with students, while keeping lessons interactive and engaging.

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ALA Annual 2014: Working the Exhibit Hall

If you’ve never been to a convention before, the Exhibit Hall can be a bit overwhelming. Trust me, I’ve done ComicCon’s enough to know how to get the most out of the time you have and, really, the strategy can be applied to any convention or conference you go to. Here are some of my tips on being as efficient as possible when navigating the exhibits at Annual this year:

What Is the Exhibit Hall?

At any conference or convention there are hundreds of companies renting out booths to try and pitch their products to you, and with thousands of people rushing by, many will try almost anything to get you to stop at their specific booth. Some will offer freebies, some have raffles for awesome items like iPads and free airfare to next year’s conference and others will have author signings with some big-name people. In between all the speakers, panels, division meetings and professional development trainings you’re interested in going to, how do you manage to make the most of your time in the Exhibit Hall?

Make a Schedule

Check back on the official webpage for Annual about a month prior to the conference to see the Scheduler. You can browse, search, and select the specific programs you’d like to see and make a nice list of everything you’re interested in. The Scheduler can be a little hard to sort through but if you use the limiters such as Meeting Type, Sponsoring Divisions, and Subject you can find what you’d like to see. Once you know what your days will look like, take the time in between to visit the Exhibit Hall. And don’t feel like you have to see everything all at once. Stagger your time in the Hall throughout the conference so you have time to visit all the booths you’re interested in.

All the Free Swag

You won’t understand just how much free stuff there is until you see the Exhibit Hall when it opens. It can make librarians go mad, so use your head. At the 2013 conference, there were people with book trucks literally running inside to be the first to grab all the awesome freebies. I got caught up in it too, blindly grabbing things from each booth as I passed by, though I learned from my experience that it’s a good idea to take an extra moment to determine if you really want or need what you’re picking up or you might end up with more stuff than you’re able to get home. Be sensible, and you’ll be fine.

There are limited quantities of the best swag and those tend to disappear quickly. The booths limit how much product they put out each day though, so if it’s “sold out” when you go, ask the representative at the booth what time they’ll put out the next batch of items. It’s usually at opening the next day, so if you’ve got some time before your panel, I suggest stopping by early.’  Also, if you can make it to the ribbon-cutting ceremony on opening night, you’ll see exactly what the booths have to offer.

Author Events

Every publisher you can think of will be at the conference hoping to sell you their books and to pull you in. The best way of doing this is to bring the authors for book signings, a great ploy because it gets you to buy their book and you get to meet some of your author celebrities. For example, last year I met Laurie Halse Anderson, Marie Lu, Patrick Ness, Veronica Roth, Tamora Pierce, Francesca Lia Block, and David Levithan, and my mind was blown! I mean these are rock stars in my opinion! You can use the Scheduler to see who’s coming this year and plan ahead by buying your own books, though usually the publishers will have their books discounted for the signing. Be sure to carry cash on you though, just in case they don’t accept cards.

Some of the big, big name authors have limited spots, so you have to pick up a wristband or a ticket to attend their signing.’  It’s at the publisher’s discretion and is not always listed on the Scheduler so if there is someone big you want to see, find out which publisher they’re going to be with and on opening night for the Hall, visit their booth ASAP to see if you need a ticket to attend.

Raffles and Giveaways

A lot of the booths will have other incentives to get you to stop by, including raffles and giveaways.’  This usually requires your filling out an entry form or leaving a business card so they can contact you, but this also means they have your contact info and will be sending you emails throughout the year. Do keep in mind, if you don’t want a million spam emails, that you can unsubscribe from their mailing list when you get back home. One of the easiest ways to find out what booths are raffling off is to look at the ALA Conference Guide handed out at registration. There is a coupon book with most of the Exhibit Hall promos that you can complete before you go so you can quickly submit your entries for all of the drawings you’re interested in.

Networking Opportunities

If you are in a position high enough where you have the purchasing power to actually invest in publishers, new technologies, or furniture then do take advantage of talking with the reps at each booth to see what they have to offer. You might get some deals if you chat them up and make a new associate.

Getting Everything Home

So you went crazy and picked up way too much swag to actually take back home. What do you do? Brilliantly, there is a USPS Post Office in the Exhibit Hall for all your shipping needs. And the best part about shipping books is that you can use Media Mail which is infinitely cheaper than regular postage. Just make sure you only have books in those boxes and pack your posters, stuffed animals and other trinkets separately because the mail carriers do open up Media Mail to check that only books are inside and will charge you the difference if you have any other items in it.’  Also, to avoid long lines don’t wait until the last day to ship your loot.

One Hidden Small-but Fun-Activity

While walking around last year’s conference, I noticed that many attendees had these cool ribbons on their badges saying what division or round table they were in, if they were a first-timer, or even cute funny ones like “Library Superhero,” and I wanted to know where these ribbons were coming from! ribbonsThe division and round table ones are almost all located in the ALA Membership Pavilion in the Exhibit Hall, or sometimes near registration, and you can pick and choose which ones you’d like.’  Then there are the fun ones put out by different booths and it’s like a random scavenger hunt to find them. If you see someone with one you like, the best way to find it is to ask them where they got it.ribbons close Otherwise while you’re exploring, take a second to see if the booths have any quirky ones that you’d like. My friend and I made it a goal to see who could get the most and the coolest ones and ended up with five-foot long ribbons.’  (photo from facebook.com/farm4.static.flickr.com)

Having Fun and Relaxing

To be honest, I was exhausted by the end of the conference last year.’  Between running around to all the panels, joining up with colleagues and meeting new ones, and finding time to eat and rest, hanging out in the Exhibit Hall was actually quite relaxing and fun after the free-swag madness was over. Sometimes just taking some down time to stroll around and browse or wait in line for author signings was a nice little break from everything. I definitely advise taking time visit the Hall and enjoy what’s going on. Overall, don’t stress, have a good time, and try to pick up some good freebies or meet some authors if you can!

Submitted’ by Soraya Silverman, YALSA Local Arrangements

YALSA at ALA Midwinter 2014 Round-Up

The dust is just beginning to settle on another successful Midwinter conference. The primary purpose of this conference is’ dedicated work time for the board and’ committees’ and my goodness, YALSA was able to accomplish A LOT. If you weren’t around to follow the #alamw14 twitter feed, here’s a few highlights (and for the record, I’m making an effort not to include an exclamation point for each bullet):

  • YALSA members served as liaisons to various ALA committees and attended meetings to represent the organization and to report back updates or decisions that may interest or impact the division.
  • The Youth Media Awards were announced.
  • YALSA Selection committees finalized their annual lists.
  • The YALSA Board and Executive Committee met for a number of meetings.
  • Members presented at a number of well-attended sessions ion topics such as trends impacting YA services, digital badges, advocacy benchmarks, The Future of Teens and Libraries report, and transforming schools.
  • All ten award winners and finalists attended an amazing Morris/Nonfiction event.
  • Teens charmed and dazzled at the BFYA feedback session.
  • AASL, YALSA, and ALSC co-sponsored a successful United States Board on Books for Young People program.
  • YALSA members and friends served on other book committees such as the Amelia Bloomer Project and Rainbow List..
  • YALSA Executive Committee members attended budget and finance meetings with other leaders within ALA.
  • President-Elect Chris Shoemaker and myself spent time getting to know and have discussions with other division leaders.

I’m sure I’m missing a slew of other amazing happenings, but thank you thank you to Continue reading

Rethinking What We Do: Professional Development

It’s not a new premise that you can take part in professional development on your own time and at a computer. But, have you thought about the ways you can take part in professional development not just to learn new things but to expand your professional learning network (PLN) and learn from colleagues about how to provide exceptional service to teens? That’s the real new world of professional development. It’s not just about taking content in by listening to some expert tell you how it’s done. It’s also about connecting with others who have experience you can learn from and learning from a wide-range of community members how to do your job even more successfully. For example:

  • YALSA's communications badgeBadges: You’ve probably read posts on this blog about the YALSA badging project which will help library staff working with teens gain skills in the areas covered by the association’s Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth. A key aspect of the badges is that participants will get the chance to show what they’ve learned by creating artifacts. They’ll share those artifacts with other library staff serving teens. And, they’ll get feedback from those staff who will be members of the YALSA badging community. That’s a great way to learn and a great way to improve what you do. Not only that, when a learner completes an activity in the badge program, he or she will actually get a virtual badge. Continue reading

Connect, Create, Collaborate – Connect, Connect, Connect & Don’t Assume

image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons user niiicedaveA couple of recent events and conversations have me thinking, once again, about the importance of library staff working with teens connecting with stakeholders, administrators, teens, etc. to make sure that teens have the best services possible. Here’s a brief rundown:

  • When Chris Shoemaker and I presented on YALSA’s Badges for Lifelong Learning project at the ALA Midwinter Meeting some participants talked about the struggles they continue to have in their schools and public libraries accessing what now we might call traditional technologies – YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.
  • I’ve been reading about the “new” digital divide and talking to library staff that work with teens who talk about why they can’t use devices with those they serve because of access issues.
  • I listened to teens at the YALSA Summit on Teens and Libraries talk about their use of digital media (including the aforementioned Tumbler which is filtered out of some libraries) and the importance of relationships with library staff on library use.

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Preparing for College at the Free Library of Philadelphia

The Free Library of Philadelphia is the 10th largest public library system in the United States. They are governed by their own city agency and have their own Board of Directors and a separate non-profit organization. They host a wide range of services for their patrons throughout the year and in 2009 began offering a college prep program.

The early college prep program was very flexible, Isamar Ramirez, Programming Specialist for the Free Library informs me during our interview, college students would come in on Saturdays to help high schools students with financial aid, the college admissions/application process, ‘ and the library also offered three hour SAT workshops.
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