Learning Lab: Pima County Public Library, AZ

This post is part of a series where the YALSAblog takes a closer look at Learning Lab grantees from museums and libraries to learn how they engage middle and high school youth in “mentor-led, interest-based, youth-centered, collaborative learning using digital and traditional media.” To read more about the context of the Learning Labs, visit the first post in the series here.

Pima for blogToday we will listen to a conversation about the Pima County Public Library (PCPL) Learning Lab, AZ from Jennifer Nichols, Senior Librarian Jennifer.Nichols@pima.gov.

Some of the highlights of this podcast include:

• Finding a balance between creating structure and letting go for a teen driven project
• Working with evaluators that help teach teens how to project plan including making a timeline, writing surveys, and running focus groups
• Developing a partnership with a ‘pay-it-forward’ model programming space
• Downtown Tucson Innovation group
• Creating a ‘youth center’ vs. just a ‘media lab’
• Keeping the space relevant for teens

Pima County Public Library podcast

Learning Lab: Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX

This post is part of a series where the YALSAblog takes a closer look at Learning Lab grantees from museums and libraries to learn how they engage middle and high school youth in mentor-led, interest-based, youth-centered, collaborative learning using digital and traditional media.” To read more about the context of the Learning Labs, visit the first post in the series here.

sewingToday we will read about a Learning Lab with the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, TX from Jennifer Beradino, Manager of the Museum’s Kinder Foundation Education Center (KFEC) jberadino@mfah.org and Natalie Svacina, Curriculum Coordinator nsvacina@mfah.org. Continue reading Learning Lab: Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX

Learning Lab: University of Alabama and Alabama Museum of Natural History

This post is part of a series where the YALSAblog takes a closer look at Learning Lab grantees from museums and libraries to learn how they engage middle and high school youth in mentor-led, interest-based, youth-centered, collaborative learning using digital and traditional media.” To read more about the context of the Learning Labs, visit the first post in the series here.

Coins

Today we will listen to a conversation about the Geo Tech Lab with the University of Alabama and the Alabama Museum of Natural History from Linda Watson, Director, Placenames Research Center, Department of Geography, University of Alabama lwatson@bama.ua.edu and Allie Sorlie, Education Outreach Coordinator, Alabama Museum of Natural History, acsorlie@bama.ua.edu.

Some of the highlights of this podcast include:
• Partnering with a local University
• Utilizing mentors from the Federal Work Study program
• Getting around the obstacles of heavy traffic and parking to attend a program
• How to ‘sell’ the HOMAGO and Connected Learning theories to parents

Learning Lab: HiTech with Howard County Library System, MD

This post is part of a series where the YALSAblog takes a closer look at Learning Lab grantees from museums and libraries to learn how they engage middle and high school youth in mentor-led, interest-based, youth-centered, collaborative learning using digital and traditional media.” To read more about the context of the Learning Labs, visit the first post in the series here.
HiTech

Today we will read about HiTech, a Learning Lab with the Howard County Library System, MD from Christie Lassen, Director of Public Relations, christie.lassen@hclibrary.org. Continue reading Learning Lab: HiTech with Howard County Library System, MD

Learning Lab: Philadelphia Free Library Foundation

This post is part of a series where the YALSAblog takes a closer look at Learning Lab grantees from museums and libraries to learn how they engage middle and high school youth in “mentor-led, interest-based, youth-centered, collaborative learning using digital and traditional media.” To read more about the context of the Learning Labs, visit the first post in the series here.

FreeLibrary1-1 Today we will listen to a conversation about the Philadelphia Free Library Foundation Learning Lab from K-Fai Steele (pronounced Kay-F+eye), Teen Programming Specialist SteeleK@freelibrary.org. Continue reading Learning Lab: Philadelphia Free Library Foundation

Learning Lab: Dallas Museum of Art and Perot Museum of Nature and Science

In response to President Obama’s ‘Educate to Innovate‘ campaign in 2010, in order to improve student’s participation and performance in STEM, Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and MacArthur Foundation teamed up to offer planning and design grants to libraries and museums throughout the country. “The Labs are intended to engage middle- and high-school youth in mentor-led, interest-based, youth-centered, collaborative learning using digital and traditional media.”

YALSAblog contacted all of the grantees to learn more about these exciting plans and partnerships with their organization. While the details for each place varied, especially by incorporating the local significance to the services and programs, there were several aspects that were pretty uniform across the board. Some of these tenets include the importance of teen input, mentorship (peer and adult), Connected Learning, principles of HOMAGO and of course over-the-moon enthusiasm for supporting teens and giving them all opportunities to become successful adults.

Dallas Learning Lab Today we will read about the Dallas Learning Lab in Texas which is a partnership with the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science from Nicole Stutzman Forbes, Chair of Learning Initiatives and Dallas Museum of Art League Director of Education (nstutzman@dallasmuseumofart.org). Twitter: @nicstutzman Continue reading Learning Lab: Dallas Museum of Art and Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Being a Connected Educator

As I work with students and teachers, I keep close tabs on my email and RSS feeds throughout the day. It’s not killing time, it’s keeping up, and it’s essential to my work as a school librarian. And I’m just as quick to respond to a request from a colleague thousands of miles away as to help those in my building. And when I have a question, I throw it out to my PLN, educators and librarians across the country and around the world using a vast variety of networks, automation systems, and applications in a diverse range of settings. And the response is always useful, and often thought-provoking.

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It’s what’s called being a Connected Educator, and this is how it’s described ‘ by the’ eponymous organization:’ “Online communities and learning networks are helping hundreds of thousands of educators learn, reducing isolation and providing “just in time” access to knowledge and opportunities for collaboration. However, many educators are not yet participating and others aren’t realizing the full benefits. In many cases, schools, districts, and states also are not recognizing and rewarding this essential professional learning.”

I’d venture to say that many school librarians were connected educators before connected educators were a thing.If you’ve worked in this field for more than a decade, I’m sure you can remember earlier incarnations of burning up the bush telegraph, via listservs, gopher-esque discussion boards, or text-based email between buildings or across the state. Then blogs and RSS started cropping up, making it even easier to pull the information you want, rather than just the information you need, or to push your own information to others.

So many youth services librarians work alone — as either the only information professional, or the only teen specialist, in a larger institution. And I hope that our professional preparation armed us for combating this this isolation. I remember signing up for two listservs as a requirement in an introductory class in library school in the late 1990s. I chose one for art librarians (I had majored in art as an undergraduate) and one for newspaper librarians. And I now know ridiculous amounts about working in those type of special libraries, just because of that passive exposure years ago.

Continue reading Being a Connected Educator

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 Rethinking What We Do: Professional Development

Amplified! Connected Learning, Advocacy & the 2014 YALSA President’s Program

June 2014 seems a long long long way away. But, it’s really not so far off. And you know as well as I do that what seems far away has a habit of sneaking up on one. That’s why the YALSA 2014 President’s Program Task Force is hard at work planning for the event at Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

The President’s Program Task Force has gladly taken on YALSA President Shannon Peterson’s charge for a President’s Program on connected learning. The team – made up of myself; Maureen Hartman from the Hennepin County Library (MN); Kate McNair, from the Johnson County Library (KS), Candice Mack, from the Los Angeles Public Library (CA); and Carrie Kausch, from the Fairfax County School System (VA) – read the connected learning report, discussed it, and last week sponsored a Hangout with colleagues to consider what connected learning means to librarians and educators. The video of that conversation is below.


Continue reading Amplified! Connected Learning, Advocacy & the 2014 YALSA President’s Program

Connect, Create, Collaborate: Mentoring & the Future of Libraries

image of teachers learning tech by klbeasley on FlickrOver the past several months YALSA has sponsored and been a part of several activities focused on the future of libraries. These include the National Forum on Libraries and Teens and the Connected Learning month (MAY) all about the future of libraries. As I’ve participated in these events one thing has continually struck me as being at the heart of the future of successfully serving teens in libraries – physically, digitally, virtually – and that’s the importance of mentoring. This is mentoring of teens who take part in library initiatives and mentoring of colleagues who are learning how to be successful within new library models.

Consider these Twitter posts related to the topic of mentoring and the future of libraries:


Continue reading Connect, Create, Collaborate: Mentoring & the Future of Libraries