Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff: A Progressive Library?

cover of the teen services competencies for library staffA colleague and I recently had a debate. She said she thought a specific library was progressive and I disagreed. Why? Because as I see it the library she was talking about isn’t progressive as a system. There are a couple of staff that manage programs that are certainly progressive, but the library overall, not so much.

I think this distinction is important to consider. Think about it, if we want teen services to be future and teens first focused – as defined by YALSA in recent reports, blog posts, and books – then we can’t simply assume that if a library has a few good programs led by awesome people that the whole institution is progressive, future focused, and teens first focused. Thinking about this I asked my colleague, “What happens if the people facilitating the progressive activities leave the library system? Would the library still be progressive in your mind?”
Continue reading

YALSA Professional Learning Series: The Future of Library Services for and with Teens – Thinking Differently

photo of sneakered feet surrounded by notebooks, devices, and writing implements In the final week of discussion related to thinking differently about library services for and with teens, let’s talk about barriers and successes that people have had with thinking differently and implementing change. Thinking about what you’ve read related to this topic, and what you’ve been able to accomplish, let us know:

  • What barriers have you faced to making change and thinking differently
  • How you overcame those barriers, or questions you have about overcoming those barriers
  • A success you’ve had in your library implementing YALSA Futures Report related ideas that help make change in your work with and for teens
  • What you think helped to make the change possible
  • Ideas and suggestions you have for others who are also working towards change
  • Questions you have about implementing different thinking, innovation, and change in your work with and for teens

You can read the original post in this series as well as the follow-up.

YALSA Professional Learning: The Future of Library Services for and with Teens – Thinking Differently

photo of sneakered feet surrounded by notebooks, devices, and writing implements This week in discussion related to thinking differently about library services for and with teens, let’s talk about successes that people have had with thinking differently and implementing change. Thinking about what you’ve read related to this topic, and what you’ve been able to accomplish, let us know:

  • A success you’ve had in your library implementing YALSA Futures Report related ideas that help make change in your work with and for teens
  • What you think helped to make the change possible
  • Ideas and suggestions you have for others who are also working towards change
  • Questions you have about implementing different thinking, innovation, and change in your work with and for teens

You can read the original post in this series as well as the follow-up.

YALSA Professional Learning: The Future of Library Services for and with Teens – Thinking Differently

photo of kid feet in sneakers surrounded by books, notebooks, tablet, and smartphone Last week in the first post in this month’s YALSAblog Professional Learning series on innovation and change, I posted a set of resources to read, listen to, and view. This week it’s time to start a discussion about barriers to thinking differently about teen services in libraries and how the resource materials posted last week help you to think about new ways to overcome those barriers.

One of the barriers I regularly face, and also see in other people’s institutions, is that of time. There are lots of ways to think about time within the context of thinking differently. One of the things that I found the article about disruptive innovation focused on really well is that thinking differently, doing things differently, and disrupting traditional practice takes time. And, not only that, but it takes time to fail, analyze what didn’t work, and try a new or different approach. In libraries this time factor can be a really big barrier to thinking differently. It’s a lot more convenient and takes less time to keep doing things the way they have been done before.
Continue reading

YALSA Professional Learning: The Future of Library Services for and with Teens – Thinking Differently

photo of kid feet in sneakers surrounded by books, notebooks, tablet, and smartphone Welcome to the first in YALSA’s new monthly professional learning series. Each month we’ll highlight a topic and give readers the chance to learn about it as well as discuss it with others. Here’s how it works:

  • On the first of each month the YALSAblog will post an overview of the topic of the month. That overview will include links to resources to read, watch, listen to, etc.
  • If you are interested in participating in the learning during the month, comment on the initial blog post to say something like, “yes, I’m in.”
  • Each week the facilitator of the topic – that’s me this month – will check-in with participants with a post that poses questions and helps to focus conversation on the topic.
  • Participants can converse with others about the topic by commenting on those posts.

We hope this is a low-stress way to learn something new or expand your knowledge on a topic. There is no pressure, just a desire to learn and discuss your learning.

Onto this month’s theme – Thinking Differently
Continue reading

What Your Manager Wishes You Knew – Part 5

Do you sometimes wonder what you could do to get more administrative support for teen services in your library? There are some relatively simple steps you can take to win friends and influence managers! This is a six-part series that shares some tips from managers that you can integrate into your work life and maybe make some positive changes in your library.

In the first four weeks, I talked about’ presenting yourself as a professional, speaking the language, collecting data, and about sharing information up the ladder.’ This week let’s move ahead to:

Taking a Big-Picture Look

You may think that it is obvious that changes are needed in your library. It may be crystal clear to you that teen services needs a bigger materials budget, more staff, and a higher profile. But somehow, your library’s upper-level management is not seeing the same thing you are. Now what?
Continue reading

Define Teen Services: Innovation, Risk, Change, Relationships, Passion

Last week I had the chance to attend meetings of the Hennepin County Library Media Mashup project. Media Mashup is an IMLS funded project that looks at how innovation and change happens in libraries. The way that’s being investigated is through the use of Scratch software with teens in libraries in Hennepin County and around the country. Last week’s meetings were inspiring and I left with several words bouncing around my head: Continue reading