Future Ready with the Library

photo of middle school students at lunch CC image by WoodleyWonderWorks Middle school. It can be a tough time for many tweens, teens, and the adults who live and work with them. It’s an important time for a young person (and their family) for future planning and decision making. It may seem very early to start thinking about college and career. It’s not. That’s why YALSA is offering a professional learning/funding opportunity for library staff working with middle schoolers on the college and career readiness process. As noted in The Forgotten Middle: Ensuring that All Students Are on Target for College and Career Readiness before High School

…the level of academic achievement that students attain by eighth grade has a larger impact on their college and career readiness by the time they graduate from high school than anything that happens academically in high school. This report also reveals that students’ academic readiness for college and career can be improved when students develop behaviors in the upper elementary grades and in middle school that are known to contribute to successful academic performance. The implication is clear: if we want not merely to improve but to maximize the college and career readiness of U.S. students, we need to intervene not only during high school but before high school, in the upper elementary grades and in middle school.”

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Tell YALSA what’s New with You & Your Library

Back in January YALSA released its report, “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action.”  The report provides recommendations for ways libraries can evolve in order to better meet the needs of 21st century teens.  YALSA would like to hear from the library community and beyond how this report has impacted you and your institution so far.  What changes have you made in regards to serving teens or new things have you tried?  What have been your successes and challenges up to now?  What ideas did the report spark as you read it?  Please take a moment to fill out a brief online form to tell us about what’s been going on with you and your institution since the report came out.   Some of the information we gather will be featured in upcoming issues of YALS.

Also, don’t forget that you can access free resources to help you and your organization learn more about some of the key issues in the report, like connected learning, cultural competence, and more via YALSA’s web site.  We’ll be adding even more resources there over the next few weeks, so check back often.

Learning Lab: St. Paul Public Library

St. Paul Learning LabThis 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.

Today we will read about a Learning Lab with the St. Paul Public Library, MN from Marika Staloch, Youth Services Coordinator, marika.staloch@ci.stpaul.mn.us. Continue reading

Learning Lab: Nashville Public Library

Studio conceptual drawingsThis 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.

Today we will read about a Learning Lab with the Nashville Public Library, TN (http://www.library.nashville.org) from Tari Hughes, President of the Nashville Public Library Foundation, tari.hughes@nashville.gov, and Elyse Adler, Associate Director for Community Engagement at the Nashville Public Library, Elyse.Adler@nashville.gov. Continue reading

Learning Lab: Anythink Wright Farms, CO

This post is part of a series where 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.

AnythinkToday we will read about a Learning Lab with Anythink Wright Farms branch in CO from Mo Yang, Studio Guide. Continue reading

Learning Lab: Kansas City Public Library and Science City at Union Station

This post is part of a series where 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.

Yashiwa Plays_Kansas CityToday we will listen to a conversation about the Learning Lab with Kansas City Public Library, MO in partnership with Science City at Union Station from Andrea Ellis, Learning Lab Project Coordinator.

Some of the highlights of this podcast include:
• Kansas City having over 34,000 digital storytelling jobs and a 7% increase in STEM related careers
• Using a Mad Libs format to elicit feedback and ‘buzzwords’ from teens helping plan the space and activities
• How a mobile component of the Learning Lab would work in the library
• Drawing on the professional community to continue to grow the program
• How prototyping and testing with teens and mentors really made the whole planning of the project all the more exciting
• How adult and youth relationships change through embracing HOMAGO

Kansas City Public Library podcast

Learning Lab: Rochester Public Library

This post is part of a series where 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.

Video Game CreationToday we will listen to a conversation about the Rochester Public Library Learning Lab, imagineYOU @ Teen Central from Tonia Burton, Youth Services Consultant.

Some of the highlights of this podcast include:

  • Partnering with the Rochester Teen Film Festival
  • Looking at the big picture which always circles back to what the teens want
  •  How Librarians and non-Librarians (artists/mentors) can work together
  • Igniting all staff with the project
  • Getting teen interest in the HOMAGO experience
  • Adhering to the structure of “making BIG mistakes”
  • What cooking classes have to do with digital media

Rochester Public Library podcast

The Future of Teens & Libraries: A Call to Action

Today is the day, after a year of research and conversation, YALSA’s white paper on the future of libraries and teens is available. It’s a document for everyone to read, ponder, discuss, and gain inspiration from. In the approximately 18 minute Google Hangout below, YALSA President Elect, Chris Shoemaker, and I talk about the white paper, some of the pieces we think are interesting, surprising, and most important, and how YALSA plans to continue working to support and help library staff move into the future. The next step in that process is a webinar on January 16 at 2PM Eastern.

The publication of the white paper and the year-long research project was made possible through funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. You can read more about the project on its website.

Report Available: The Future of Library Services for and with Teens

Libraries provide a lifeline for teens, their families and communities across the nation by providing a safe and supervised space for adolescents to engage in creative, educational activities with caring adults and mentors. But a variety of significant developments point to a need for libraries to change in order to successfully meet the needs of today’s teens.

The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action, is the result of a year-long national forum conducted by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) in 2013, with funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Call to Action lays out a new path for serving 21st century teens through libraries. This 2014 report (.pdf), authored by Linda W. Braun, Maureen Hartman, Sandra Hughes-Hassell, and Kafi Kumasi, shows that many libraries are continuing to grapple with diminishing resources while at the same time struggling to meet the needs of a changing teen population. Additionally, significant developments in technology have led to the need to rethink how
services for and with teens are best created and delivered. The Call to Action provides recommendations on how libraries must address challenges and re-envision their teen services in order to meet the needs of their individual communities and to collectively ensure that the nation’s 40+ million teens develop the skills they need to be productive citizens. Continue reading

Learning Lab: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

This post is part of a series where 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.

Carnegie Library
Today, we will listen to a conversation from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Learning Lab in PA with Corey Wittig, Program Manager The Labs @ CLP.

Some of the highlights of this podcast include:

• How their Learning Lab is able to serve the entire system through an artist-in-residence program
• How the Teen Media ‘Labsy’ Awards motivate and acknowledge teens’ creative work
• Grants with the Heinz Endowments, Sprout Fund and Grable Foundation
• Using the skills the teens learn at the library to work in the community through the Hive Learning Network
• Extending the Learning Lab concept as an outreach offering to local schools

Podcast