Have you heard? YALSA received funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to facilitate a year-long project. What’s the project about? It brings together library staff that work with teens, educators, library educators, youth development experts, technology experts, and stakeholders to talk about the future of YA services. All leading to a white paper that will outline where teen services should go in the future and how best to support teens in libraries and communities.
In 2011, I attended the Eureka! Leadership Institute in California. It was one of the best professional development experiences I have had to date. For 5 days, I worked alongside 31 other librarians around California with a variety of experience and years in the fieldâ€”from directors to supervisors and managers to part-time and full-time librarians. All had a passion to be a driving force for change in their library systems and were eager to learn how to start the process.
We went through a series of planned exercises and discussions related to management, leadership, change, and the importance of vision. We exchanged some laughs and some tears, ideas and insecurities, and most importantly, we opened ourselves up to our fellow colleagues and really got the chance to examine what it means to be a librarian in the 21st century. After the intensive training was finished, we each went back to our communities, inspired, and committed to a year-long project that filled a demonstrated community need. Another valuable aspect of our training was to participate in an online grant-writing course, develop outcomes and evaluation measures for our projects, and write our own grant to secure funds. Continue reading Connect, Create, Collaborate: The Next Big Thing Takes Leadership & Finding Your Voice
Libraries build community partnerships. That’s something we do. Whether the partnership is to work with another community agency in order to harness that agency’s expertise, or to share resources of space, time, and so on it makes sense to work with other organizations in the community to support each other and extend what each can accomplish.
This weekend YALSA’s YA Literature Symposium takes place in St. Louis. The theme is The Next Big Thing. Last month YALSA’s The Hub blog had a set of great posts on the theme covering everything from e-reading, to science fiction, to why the next big thing isn’t important. This month in the YALSAblog series on Connect, Create, Collaborate we’ll also talk about The Next Big Thing. This week, what’s the next big thing in teen spaces?
There is a lot of conversation these days about libraries and spaces. Hackerspaces. Makerspaces, Learning Commons. And so on. These are all great conversations to have as they get library staff serving teens thinking about what they do to serve the age group successfully. I keep wondering, are we really planning and thinking about the future of library space beyond the activities that go on in that space? Hacking, making, and learning are all really important. It’s great if we can integrate those activities and re-organize space for that now. But, what happens in the not so distant future when: Continue reading Connect, Create, Collaborate: The Next Big Thing in Teen Spaces
I’m the first Teen Services Librarian my library has ever had. When I started, we had a YA fiction collection and a week-long summer knitting camp for middle schoolers, but that was it. No book lists. No staff presence near the YA books. No programs, no TAB, no teen summer reading club. That’s now changed. Over the last two years, I’ve built a lot.
Since YALSA President Jack Martin’s theme for the year is “Connect, Create, Collaborate,” I thought it was a good time to reflect on some of the ups and downs of creating a teen services program (nearly) from scratch. My hope is that it’ll inspire others in similar positions and maybe even give us a way to connect and collaborate to learn from one anothers’ experiences. Continue reading Connect, Create, Collaborate: Building Teen Services (Nearly) From Scratch
Last month one of my Twitter friends tweeted that the administration at her library had just approved an entirely teen-planned summer reading program. A few weeks later, she posted a picture of some art in progress and I knew I had to get the full story. Below is an interview with Faythe Arredondo about her 2013 summer reading program, created in collaboration with her teen advisory group and featuring teen-created art, videos and more. All images are provided by her. [Note: the interview has been edited for length and clarity]
Emily: ‘ Let’s start by talking about how you and your teens made the decision to go with a teen-planned program.
Faythe: I was lucky enough to have a TAG meeting the day after the summer reading program ended and get their immediate feedback on what they liked and didn’t like. ‘ Internally, the staff was trying to decide what summer reading program to sign up for next year between the Collaborative Summer Reading Program and iRead. I wasn’t too thrilled with either theme, so when I met with my TAG I asked them if they were interested in coming up with their own theme and they were. ‘ When I met with them again, I gave them some hard deadlines and said if they couldn’t get it done in the time frame I wanted, we would go with CSLP. In the next hour they came up with the theme, the slogan and a basic outline of who they wanted it to run.
As someone who’s not even really into talking on the phone, I didn’t think I would like Skype. It seemed a little Jetsons-y, a video phone, and would demand entirely too much attention to my body language and apparel, or so I believed five years ago. But I actually discovered what I missing from telephonic conversation was that visual component. I was a quick convert.
I bet that quite a few YALSAblog readers use Skype for connecting to authors, other librarians, teachers, colleagues, friends and family. It’s a great tool for real-time conversations with people across the world. If you haven’t tried Google+ Hangouts in place of Skype, I think you want to. You might find that Google+ Hangouts suits your purposes for connecting with others for meetings, classes, conversations, teaching, training and more, even better than Skype. But, you don’t have to take my word for it, check out the recording of a Hangout below.
Every day librarians and library workers who serve teens connect, create and collaborate with schools, community-based organizations, teen advisory groups, fellow library workers and more to improve services to teens. That’s why my Presidential Advisory Task Force and I chose the theme, connect, create, collaborate, for my Presidential year. It’s a theme that hones in on the important work library staff serving teens do every day in school and public libraries.
Over the next several months on the YALSAblog you’ll get to read how others are connecting, creating, and collaborating with teens in libraries. These posts will give you what you need to try new things, extend what you already do, and maybe even ramp up services for teens in your library. Every Thursday, starting next week through June 2013, a team of YALSA bloggers will write posts on a wide variety of topics related to this theme. I’m really excited to read, see, hear and watch what they cook up. Next Thursday will be the first of these posts. Stay tuned!