At 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. Continue reading
It’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
Over 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.
Do you work with youth in a small, rural, or tribal library of any kind?
Would you like to help middle schoolers start to think about how they can turn what they love to do and are interested in into a career?
Do you want to join with your community members to support the success of middle school youth and their families?
Are you interested in learning more about teens, community engagement, connected learning, and college and career readiness?
If you answered “yes” to the above questions then it’s time for you to consider applying to participate in the third cohort of YALSA’s Future Ready with the Library IMLS funded project. The application period runs from April 9 to May 15, 2018. All are welcome to apply, regardless of job title or type of library. Note: ALA/YALSA membership is not required to apply. Continue reading
In March ALA asked advocates to contact their Rep in the House to support library funding. Now, it’s the Senate’s turn! ALA is circulating one letter in support of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and one for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program. ALA is also maintaining a list of Senators who have signed. Please take a moment to find out if your Senator has signed, and email their office via this quick form if not. You can also Tweet or call. Then help spread the word by encouraging others to do the same! It’s important that this a large, grassroots effort–Congress is only moved to action when they are inundated with calls, emails, Tweets, etc. from voters like you.
For other simple ways you can take action to support libraries and teens, read this earlier blog post. And follow the action on social media via #FundLibraries. Thank you!
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.
We are coming up on the deadline for Congressional Representatives to sign this year’s letters in support of federal library funding. As you probably know, the White House budget for the coming fiscal year removed all federal funds for libraries, so it’s up to us to tell Congress to put the funds back in. Right now, one letter is circulating in support of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and one for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program.
As an update, we currently have 84 signatures on LSTA, and 49 for IAL. Last year, we were able to get over 140 signatures for both letters. We can do it again, but we need your help!
With the deadline coming up – March 19th! – I’d like to ask your help in getting the word out about this campaign. ALA is maintaining a list of Reps who have signed at ala.org/fundlibraries. Please take a moment today to find out if your Rep has signed, and email their office via this quick form if not. You can also Tweet or call. And then help us spread the word by encouraging others to do the same! If they have signed, send them a quick thanks.
As 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:
The proposed White House budget for FY19 that was released February 12, 2018 calls for eliminating federal funds for libraries and the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS), the only federal agency charged with providing support to the nation’s hundreds of thousands of libraries and museums. Now it’s up to Congress to decide whether or not they want to change that. ALA and YALSA need your help to ensure that IMLS and federal funds for libraries are saved, because without libraries teens will not have the resources and support they need to succeed in school and prepare for college, careers, and life. Here’s what you can do right now:
Send an email or Tweet to your members of Congress. ALA has ready-to-use messages waiting for you in their Action Center.
Sign up via the ALA site to receive action alerts so you can easily email or call the offices of your Congress members at critical times during the budget process between now and Sept.
Read and subscribe to District Dispatch, the ALA Washington Office’s blog, to stay up to date on the issues.
Encourage your library users to share their stories about what their local library means to them. ALA will use these with their advocacy efforts. Direct patrons to this quick and easy form.
Connect with your members of Congress when they’re in their home districts to keep them informed about the many ways the library helps community members. Congress is typically not in session the week of a national holiday, like Presidents’ Day. Schedule a meeting at their local office, and/or invite them to your library. YALSA has free resources and tips to make this an easy task!
Join YALSA, or make a donation, because together we’re stronger. YALSA’s the only national organization that focuses its support and advocacy on teen library services. Dues start at $63 per year. Your support will build our capacity to advocate for teens and libraries.
Encourage your patrons, advocates groups, friends, family, and colleagues to do the above as well.
Don’t know much about IMLS? Here’s a quick overview: through IMLS, every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. territories receive funding to support their state or territory’s libraries and museums. In FY17 the total funding IMLS distributed to states and territories was $156,103,000. In addition, IMLS offers competitive grant opportunities that individual libraries and museums can apply for. In FY17 they awarded competitive grants to libraries and library-supporting institutions totaling more than $27,469,000. Visit the IMLS site to see how much funding your state receives from them.
Want to take further action to support teens and libraries? We salute you! Check out the free online resources we have to make speaking up for teens and libraries easy.
Each year the federal budgeting process kicks off when the White House releases a draft budget. This will happen sometime in February, and there’s talk that the FY19 draft budget may be released on February 12, 2018. If you recall last year, the White House’s draft budget called for the elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as well as all of the federally earmarked funds that the nation’s libraries depend on to provide critical services to their community. However, a grassroots advocacy effort led Congress to keep funding for IMLS and libraries for FY18.