Greetings from the JRLYA Advisory Board! Have you ever thought about submitting an article to #JRLYA, but maybe you need a refresher in how to prepare an article for a peer-reviewed journal? Well then, this blog post is for you! Following is a list of tips to help you get your work ready to submit:
- First, do a bit of research. If you’re not a regular reader of the journal in question, look at a few articles in some of the previous issues to make sure your work will fit.
- Next, carefully read the call for submissions, if there is one, and make sure your article clearly connects to the theme.
- If there is no specific theme, make sure that your article is a good fit for the journal. Is your subject matter appropriate? (In the case of #JRLYA, does your article report research related to teens (ages 12 – 18) and libraries?)
- Carefully read the writer’s guidelines. Is your paper formatted correctly? Do you know how and when to submit it, and to whom? (For #JRLYA, you can find the writer’s guidelines here: http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/author-guidelines/)
- If you are submitting to a journal that primarily publishes research articles (like #JRLYA), rather than a trade journal, is your article written in scholarly language? Generally, this means more formal, as opposed to conversational, English.
- Usually, articles prepared for peer-reviewed journals follow a basic format: Introduction > Literature Review > Purpose/Research Question(s) > Methods > Results > Conclusion(s)
- Introduction: the introduction should give a brief overview of the subject matter and a focus for the rest of the paper (the intro is usually around 1-2 paragraphs).
- Literature Review: the literature review should summarize the existing body of related work.
- Purpose/Research Question(s): here you should state the purpose of the research and/or the research questions that drove the project’s design and implementation (this is generally not more than a paragraph or two).
- Methods: what did you do? What were your methods? Summarize your approach step by step.
- Results: this is where you give your facts and figures – what did the data show?
- Conclusions: this is where you tell the audience why they should care about the research you conducted – what did the data analysis bring to light that makes this important? Also, what still needs to be done?
- Finally, PROOFREAD! Articles are often rejected due to poor grammar and multiple typos.
Hopefully, this blog post has demystified the article prep process a bit. We hope that you will consider writing up your project and submitting it to #JRLYA! You can contact the journal editor at email@example.com, and be sure to check out the latest issue at http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/!
The Interactions with Teens content area of the Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff centers on this main idea:
Recognizes the importance of relationships and communication in the development and implementation of quality teen library services, and implements techniques and strategies to support teens individually and in group experiences to develop self-concept, identity, coping mechanisms, and positive interactions with peers and adults.
As I’ve talked with library staff over the past several months I’ve become more and more aware of how important it is to connect this Competency content area to what library staff often label as teen behavior management issues. The reason why these go hand-in-hand is that if library staff build relationships with teens, then the teens will trust that staff and feel respected by them. And, when trust and respect exist a majority of behavioral issues are likely to go out the door.
Consider these two scenarios.
By Ryan Fisher
White Rabbit Comics, 2016
How is a Seattle-based graphic novelist related to ALA and the YALSA Midwinter Wiki? This is a story of resourcefulness.
The Pacific Northwest is home to a multitude of creative endeavors, but my personal brush with it comes in the form of a relationship built almost two decades ago. Once upon a time, I taught high school Marketing as well as Forensics (speech and debate, not dead bodies) classes. Ryan Fisher was one of my students who,incidentally, was invited to Artist’s Alley at the 2017 ALA Conference in Chicago.
Three things about Ryan stand out:
- He’s a Seattle author/artist (the connection to the location is starting to coalesce)
- The themes of his book Torchlight Lullaby resonate with our teens who have survived trauma (the connection to our work at YALSA is becoming more apparent)
- He availed himself of the RESOURCES around him (and BOOM the main point of this posting)
Ryan has had to be resilient. Nothing has been handed to him. His success is the result of building relationships with a network of people who can connect him to needed resources. I got to be one of those resources. Even after he graduated from high school, we continued communicating about his ideas and how he might go about making the world a better place through his writing. After creating two successful webcomics, he focused his energy on creating Torchlight Lullaby. I display his graphic novel with pride in my school library, since it represents the fulfillment of a dream of a former graduate. Want a copy? They are tough to come by. Without the backing of a publisher and marketing team, Ryan promoted his self-published title (which currently enjoys a 4.5 rating on Goodreads) and sold out of the first run. While he is waiting for a larger publisher to pick up a second run, he’s working on The Night Crew, a new trilogy of graphic novels featuring teens that he describes as a drama/mystery.
The use of available resources makes for a much more successful and satisfying venture. As the date for Midwinter approaches, YALSA members have a great resource for discovering some of the exciting things that will be happening at the conference as well as some fabulous sights to see and restaurants to visit. For the past couple of weeks, the members of the Midwinter Marketing and Local Arrangements Task Force have been updating the Midwinter Wiki. Want to know if your favorite book won an award? Check out the wiki to find out when the awards session will be occurring. Questions about how much it costs to hop a bus or Light Rail? Look it up in the Getting Around section of the wiki. Is your mouth watering for the best vegan restaurants in the Seattle area? You guessed it, there’s a section for that on the wiki. YALSA members are some of the most welcoming, fun members of any professional organization of which I have been a part. We hope this resource will enhance your experience with YALSA and make your stay in Seattle memorable.
Jodi Kruse is a Teacher Librarian at R.A. Long High School.
Dear YALSA members,
Each fall, the President-Elect of our organization joins the YALSA Executive Director to attend a leadership event to better understand the tenets of leading a nonprofit organization and how leadership styles may mesh and what improvements can be made to ensure a seamless transition and continuity for YALSA. Earlier this month, Executive Director Anita Mechler and I had the opportunity to attend ASAE‘s CEO Symposium in Washington DC, led by representatives from Tecker International. Tecker has worked with ALA and many of its divisions over the years to help with decision-making, strategic planning and training.
Held at the historic Watergate Hotel, this year’s event was of particular importance to YALSA leadership, as it was the first time that Anita had attended the event, so both of us were new to the training. Before the program started on Thursday, we took the opportunity on Wednesday afternoon to meet with local partners. Anita met with the ALA Washington Office and discussed matters of advocacy affecting YALSA and teens in general. Then the two of us connected and met with Kelcy Shepherd, Tim Carrigan and Sarah Fuller of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) where we had a very fruitful meeting discussing potential grant opportunities and partnerships that our organizations could jointly tackle. Finally, it was our great pleasure to meet with Abby Kiesa of 22×20 to further establish our working relationship. More information about all of these relationships will be forthcoming.
The ASAE CEO Symposium brought hundreds of nonprofit leaders from various fields together to discuss Board and leadership issues, trends, and behaviors. Key to the two-day event was the time that Anita and I spent speaking one-on-one on how our backgrounds and knowledge inform our decision-making and leadership styles. We took a modified Myers-Briggs test and learned our strengths and potential pitfalls as individuals and as partner leaders. Responsibilities of Board members, fiduciary issues, governance models, and case studies were all covered in this whirlwind learning opportunity. As the next YALSA Strategic Plan will be determined in the coming months, the timing of this event was fortuitous to create a strong understanding between the Board leadership and our Executive Director. An added bonus was to spend time with fellow attendees ALSC Executive Director Aimee Strittmatter and ALSC President-Elect Cecilia McGowan. The four of us talked at great length about potential partnerships, both official and unofficial, between our divisions and simply enjoyed getting to know each other.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
Todd Krueger, YALSA President-Elect
One of the most difficult moments of the month was observing my English Learners come to check out books with their classes and not be able to find anything they could read at the high school level. It broke my heart to see dejection on their faces. It did not matter that I myself could not understand the words they were saying; I could just see it. Students perform better academically in literature courses when they see themselves in the materials and simply enjoy independent reading more. While I had some titles of interest for my Latinx students topically, all of them were in English. I set out to add books to my school library collection to assist my Spanish-speaking students. To purchase fiction in Spanish, I first posted a request on Donors Choose (www.donorschoose.org) for just ten novels. When the project was funded and the books arrived, I labeled each with a green S and shelved them above our fiction cases to aid new students trying to find them. After that success, I added another Donors Choose project to bring ten Spanish memoirs to West Haven High School, as all of our seniors must read a memoir.
This project garnered the attention of the Greater Bridgeport Latino Network (GBLN), a local organization working to feature Latinx success stories, encourage political activism, and support community endeavors. GBLN showcased the story on their website, and it was subsequently picked up by a local newspaper, the New Haven Register. It was my desire to inform the audience it was not just me, my school, or my district needing these materials and support from the Latinx community:
“Literacy is necessary for being a productive member of society. Volunteering time such as reading at a toddler story hour, helping at a resume writing class, or speaking on a vocation or cause are all ways to support local libraries, especially those serving predominantly Latino communities. Woychowski welcomes the donation of new or gently used books to her own library, but she also encourages readers to donate both books and time to their own local school or public libraries.” (http://gbln.net/books-in-spanish-needed-for-high-school-library/)
Sharing this story via social media has been a blessing in terms of the varied audience reached. Links to the story appeared on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and were shared numerous times by personal friends and professional connections. Books began appearing on my home front porch and in my school mailbox from all corners of the community, from a prominent defense attorney to a small Catholic Church to a representative of the Hispanic Nurses Association of a large local hospital. Our community’s support of literacy is invaluable, and as school librarians, we must be willing to advocate for it on behalf of our students.
Jillian Woychowski is a School Library Media Specialist at West Haven High School and is a member of the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School-Public Library Cooperation.
From large urban libraries to small rural ones, makerspaces are happening. Spaces like these are important because they give people of all ages the opportunity to gain knowledge on their own through hands-on exploration. The possibilities are endless and can range from being tech-based, such as 3D printing and multi-media, to art carts and building stations.
Libraries are Always Ahead of the Game:
In 2015, The Teen Tech Week theme Libraries are for Making highlighted the fact that indeed libraries have always been “centers for “making” and “creation” for as long as we have been having crafts, programs, and classes! Everyone seems to think that a makerspace needs to be high-tech and technology driven, but all it really needs to be is a program or space that enables and encourages teens to explore, create, and share.,” says Christie Gibrich, Senior Librarian at Grand Prairie Library System. (Young Adult Library Services, Volume 13, Number 2)
Our Art Cart
I work at the Reading Public Library, District Center in Reading, PA located in Berks County. We are fortunate to have a space dedicated to teens called the Teen Loft. In that space, teens have simple makerspace areas that I have created based on the interest of the teens and the resources many lack at home. One of those spaces is our Art Cart. We take for granted having access to simple things such as crayons, markers, paper, scissors, and glue. Our building makerspace consists of K’Nex, Legos, Moon Sand, and more. We also have a monthly themed makerspace challenge to keep things interesting such as our Granny Square project and decorating bookends that we featured for Teen Read Week this year. In many circumstances, these are luxuries for our patrons because their parents and guardians cannot afford them. They look to us for a space to relax and socialize with their peers. Programs are great and fortunately, we can provide them daily, but there is something about being able to have the time to explore on your own terms. Makerspaces provide that opportunity and support resources in our collection.
How Do I Start a Makerspace?
Image from the Pajama Program
When librarians think of picture books, the first thing that comes to mind is of story time and lots of children. Picture books have long been associated with early literacy and encouraging young children to fall in love with reading. Not to mention, the countless memories created stories before bed or reading to a newborn. However, picture books aren’t JUST for children, but for teens as well. While it’s essential that children have access to picture books, teens need them to whether they admit it or not. In fact, authors like Dr. Seuss, Patricia Polacco, Chris Van Allsburg, David Wiesner, and Walter Dean Myers have been writing books for elementary school aged children without realizing that these stories have the power to connect with teens as well . While most picture books are marketed to specific age groups, or reading levels, many picture books go above and beyond to draw in a wider audience. Here are a few of my favorites:
Ever wanted to get to know the YALSA Board of Directors more? Here’s your chance! All month long, we’ll be posting fun mini interviews with each board member so you can get to know them a little better. Here’s the next Director:
What does YALSA mean to you?
When I first started library school, I knew that I wanted to work with youth, teens in particular. YALSA was my go-to resource as I studied library and teen services. As I’ve advanced in my career, YALSA continues to be an important resource for me: learning and networking opportunities, leadership development, and as a training tool for my staff.The creativity, passion, and dedication of YALSA members is a great source of inspiration for me.
What are your hopes for the future of teen services?
I hope that we can successfully advocate and provide support so all libraries are able to develop and deliver unique services for and with teens and that ALL teens’ needs and interests are represented in library services.
What was your favorite band as a teen?
What’s your ultimate comfort food?
Mac & cheese
Name one cool fact about yourself (birthmark, cool tricks, met a celebrity, etc).
As YALSA embarks on forming its next Strategic Plan, we would like to get feedback from the library community about their interests around services for and with teens and the direction of the organization. The feedback you provide will help us to design the next iteration of YALSA to best suit your needs.
You do not have to be a member. All survey responses are strictly confidential and will not be shared beyond YALSA. The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete. Please complete the survey by Dec. 15.
Thank you for helping us to improve YALSA.
One of the best decisions I ever made in my life was becoming a librarian…twice. Once as a school librarian and again as a public library consultant. As an English teacher, I loved sharing great short stories and books with my students. It was one of the best parts of the profession. So when I heard about an alternative certification program to become a school librarian, I jumped at that chance. I realized quickly that I didn’t truly know all of the things school librarians were responsible for and all of the things they did. However, I learned very quickly. While I was working on becoming certified as a school librarian and earning my MLS, my journey began. I had no clue I would one day become…The Dual Librarian!
Being a School Librarian
I am so thankful that I had a support system through my alternative certification (AC) program when I became a school librarian. It was a lot of on-the-job training since during the AC program, you became a full-time school librarian as you learned and became certified. When I first start programming for my middle school students, it was difficult because none of them stayed after school – they were all bus riders. I had to get creative. I realized that our students had plenty of time in the morning after they ate breakfast and sat and socialized in the open “auditorium” area. So I began doing programs before school! During one Teen Read Week, I got the teachers involved and did competitions such as Are You Smarter than a Middle Schooler and Name That Tune. It was great! It gave our students something constructive to do and let students and teachers learn more about each other and see each other in different ways. It also helped them see the library as a fun place and more students started to be active in the library.
In high school where my students did stay after school, I started programming with only academics in mind. However, I quickly realized that I could program events that were not academic at all, like scary movie nights and game nights just to get students in the library. Other events were connected to academia like book trivia, book clubs, and the Straight Talk program which went over topics that students were interested in like college readiness and health. I learned I needed to do anything I could to connect to the culture of the school and do programs that my students really wanted. Right as I was beginning to get my in my groove and feel successful as a school librarian, an opportunity came up to shake up my world.