A History of Transforming Library Services for/with Teens through Continuing Education

This post was written by Denise Lyons, the Deputy Director of Statewide Development at South Carolina State Library. She is a co-author of the Transforming Library Services for and with Teens Through Continuing Education (CE) report.

cover of the reportAt the 2016 American Library Association annual conference, two state library agency representatives, from Wisconsin and South Carolina, along with leadership from YALSA, began a conversation about how to build stronger alliances between the groups that serve teens in library organizations. There seemed to be a great deal of overlap with the work of groups at the local, state, and national levels. Yet, there was little collaboration among the different groups.

It seemed reasonable to start considering how to change this by connecting with YALSA. The association already had a relationship with state library agency youth services consultants (“YS Con”). While each state library agency is organized and operates somewhat differently, there is often a person on staff who serves as the youth services (YS) consultant, the one person at the library agency who is the state’s coordinator of children’s and teen services. Many of these positions are part of the Library Development Consulting Department of the state library agency, and most are responsible for providing youth services continuing education opportunities and organizing statewide initiatives such as summer reading and learning programs.
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Transforming Library Services for and With Teens Through CE: What We Learned

cover of the reportIt’s been a year since YALSA and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) started work on the Transforming Library Services for and with Teens Through Continuing Education (CE) Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) project. In that year the two organizations hosted a National Forum on the topic, sponsored virtual town halls to learn about the needs of library staff as they relate to teen services, and interviewed library staff and stakeholders to learn about models for successful CE.

Findings from the year of learning are synthesized in the new report, Transforming Library Services for and with Teens Through CE: Findings and Recommendations. These include a framework for what CE that transforms teen services should encompass such as:

  • Multi-part series that give participants the chance to take a deep dive into a particular topic.
  • Multi-part series that acknowledge more than one approach may yield success and which provide participants with the opportunity to critically reflect on their learning, integrate it into real-life practice, then join with other learners and facilitators to evaluate how implementation went, and try again with changes based on the assessment. Continue reading

Transforming Teen Services Through CE: What’s Your Feedback

photo of participants in the live forum meeting in November 2017Over the past year, YALSA and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) worked together to research the continuing education (CE) needs of public library staff. That work (funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services) led to a report that is now available in draft form. YALSA and COSLA are seeking feedback from the library community on the content of the document.

The report looks at:

  • The skills and knowledge all library staff, not just staff with teen in their job title, need in order to serve adolescents successfully.
  • Why having the skills are important within the context of the lives of teens today.
  • The barriers and challenges in participating in high quality CE in the areas needed.
  • Examples of innovative models of CE

The report also provides a series of recommendations for a variety of stakeholder groups.

The feedback period is open through April 30.

You can learn more about the project on the YALSA website. If you have any questions about the project, the draft report, and/or the feedback requested feel free to get in touch with Linda W. Braun the Project Manager for the Transforming Teen Services Through CE project.

Transforming Teen Services Through CE Town Hall on Cultural Competency and Responsiveness

As a part of the YALSA and COSLA IMLS funded project, Transforming Teen Services Through CE, the association hosted a Town Hall on the topic of Cultural Competence and Responsiveness – with a particular focus on library staff professional learning needs in those areas. An audio recording of the session is available below:

The chat transcript – where much of the conversation took place – is also available.

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Transforming Teen Services Through CE: Cultural Competence & Responsiveness

conversation bubblesAs a part of YALSA’s current IMLS funded project, Transforming Teen Services through CE, the association would like to  invite you to a virtual town hall focusing on the continuing education needs of library staff in the areas of cultural competence and responsiveness.  Learning from you on this topic will help guarantee that YALSA’s future work in this area realistically supports library staff needs.

The 60 minute Town Hall is on Tuesday, March 13 at 2PM ET. Join the conversation using Zoom either via computer, tablet, or by phone, with this login information:

URL: https://zoom.us/j/551959935
Phone:408 638 0968
Meeting ID: 551 959 935
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Transforming Teen Services Through CE: Virtual Town Halls

This week YALSA hosted two virtual town halls as a part of the association’s work, in partnership with COSLA, on the IMLS funded project Transforming Teen Services Through CE. The Town Halls focused on learning from library administrators and library staff about CE needs in their institutions. The sessions were recorded and you can access each of them below and on YALSA’s YouTube channel.

Town Hall for Library Staff
Town Hall Chat Transcript

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Transforming Teen Services Through CE Town Halls

photo of small groups working at National Forum on Transforming Teen Services Through CE meeting in LouisvilleWhat are the teen related continuing education needs of library staff? That’s what YALSA wants to know. To find out the association is hosting two Town Halls this week. The first is on Wednesday, January 31, at 2PM Eastern. This session is geared to library administrators. The second Town Hall is on Thursday, February 1, also at 2PM Eastern. The audience for this session is non-administrative library staff. Each session will last approximately an hour and will take place using the Zoom platform. To attend either session use this login information:

URL: https://zoom.us/j/816954867
Phone: 408 638 0968
Meeting ID: 816 954 867
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Transforming Teen Services Through CE

This post written by Carrie Sanders, Youth Services Coordinator, Maryland State Library.

At the beginning of the month, I journeyed to Louisville, KY for the annual YALSA Symposium. I heard vibrant authors and teen services librarians discussing current literature written to meet the needs and interests of today’s teens, and I learned about serving teens with disabilities, social action programming, and strong teen volunteer programs. At the end of these very full days, my brain took a breather on Sunday afternoon, and then it went into full gear on Monday-Tuesday, November 6-7, during the YALSA National Forum.

photo of participants in the YALSA ForumWhat was the purpose of this Forum? Under the theme “Transforming Teen Services Through Continuing Education”, YALSA and COSLA, through a grant funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), gathered representatives from 45 states, along with YALSA Advisory Committee members and other facilitators, to align library teen services with current societal and learning trends of this age group. We gave equal attention to the “what and the how” of Continuing Education (CE) for library staff: what should today’s content be in our teen programming? — and how should this CE be delivered to library staff so that our public library programming and services, nationally, meet the identified emotional, social, and learning needs of today’s teens? Big questions for us to tackle in a day and a half! We listened to a variety of experienced colleagues with experiences and research to share; we looked at national trends and research about the social/emotional needs of teens and their learning styles; we discussed what we are doing in our states; and we asked questions throughout the Forum that bubbled up from our learning. YALSA will take information gained at the meeting to continue developing a national agenda for supporting professional learning needs of library staff working with teens. And, the state representatives attending the Forum, will take back the findings and discussion from our time together and start implementing, through communications and trainings, some of the learnings from the event.

photo of Sandra Hughes Hassell presenting at the YALSA ForumSandra Hughes-Hassell, YALSA President and Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) opened the Forum noting key paradigm shifts that need to happen in teen services, in response to YALSA’s IMLS-funded report, “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action.” The shifts include:

  • Library services to teens need to be “Teen-centric” – not “library-centric.” Library staff need to put teens first; we need to reach ALL teens in our communities (not just the readers). Today, 48% of our total youth population are teens of color – our services need to reach the marginalized teens in our community. Our services should focus on the person or the process — not the “stuff” or the product.
  • Amplify Teen voice. Library staff should involve teens in the development and implementation of their programs, and they should be the ones to identify social issues in the community. Involving teens in this way is not “giving them a voice” because they already have one. Rather, including them in the planning of teen programs centers their voice.
  • Broaden literacies. Work skills have changed, but skills taught in school are not mirroring these changes. Library staff needs to go beyond book clubs and specific events by focusing on learning in teen programming. Learning should include multiple literacies and include aspects of connected learning: student choice; collaborative, social learning; self-directed learning; authentic audience; maximizing use of technology (producers, not just users). These learning experiences created by and for teens is purposeful and centered on relevant issues. It often includes service learning. Continue reading