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: 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

Rethinking What We Do: Everything!

national forum on libraries and teens logo.Over the past several weeks the YALSAblog has run a series of posts on rethinking how we do and what we do in libraries for teens. There have been posts on everything from library card policies to programming to professional development to social media policies. There’s a lot to rethink. And, actually, YALSA has been focused on re-thinking everything that we do in libraries for teens over the past year as a part of a year-long IMLS grant on the future of teens and libraries.

What does it mean to envision the future of libraries and teens? You can find out by reading the draft of the white paper YALSA is developing to help library staff and others determine next steps and how to move forward. And, YALSA doesn’t want you to just read the white paper draft, the association is looking for your comments. Read on for a sneak peek at some of what you’ll read about in the paper.
Continue reading

YALSA Board @ Annual 2013: National Forum on Libraries & Teens Update

National Forum on Libraries & Teens logoIt’s been quite a nine months. Yes, just about nine months ago YALSA launched it’s IMLS funded project focusing on the future of library services to teens. At YALSA’s Board meetings during Annual Conference 2013 the Board was updated on the project and what’s coming up next.

The report to the Board included an overview of what’s transpired in the nine months since YALSA’s research on the future of library services to teens began. In that time the association:

  1. Hosted a national summit on libraries and teens that brought together library staff, educators, stakeholders, and others to brainstorm, listen, and plan what the future of teen services in libraries will look like.
  2. Sponsored three virtual town halls that gave a wide-range of people the opportunity to provide feedback on where library services for teens are headed. Topics covered included partnerships and collaborations and informal and formal learning spaces for teens.

Board members discussed what’s next on the project agenda: Continue reading

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

Imagining the Future of Libraries and Teens – YALSA Virtual Town Hall #3

National Forum on Libraries & Teens logoIt’s happened, YALSA’s three virtual town halls on the future of libraries and teens that are a part of the year-long National Forum on Libraries and Teens have all taken place. The first event in March was all about libraries and partnerships. You can view the archive. The second event in April focused on informal and formal teen learning spaces. You can view that recording too. Today, the third event took place. It focused broadly on the future of libraries and teens. You can view that recording as well. (We apologize that the final recording is missing the first few minutes of audio.)

In today’s virtual town hall participants were asked to imagine their ideal library services. What did participants talk about? Ideal library services would: Continue reading

Virtual Town Hall on Partnerships

Earlier today YALSA sponsored a Virtual Town Hall on how libraries and stakeholders can work together successfully to support teens. The event is a part of YALSA’s year-long National Forum on Libraries and Teens that is looking at the future of library services to adolescents.

Conversation at the Virtual Town Hall focused on four key questions:

  • Why are partnerships important?
  • What opportunities are a part of partnerships between libraries and stakeholders?
  • What do successful partnerships look like?
  • What’s required of libraries and stakeholders in order to support teens into the future?

You can view the lively discussion .
Continue reading

YALSA Seeks Leaders for Summit on Teens & Libraries

As part of its year-long National Forum on Libraries and Teens project, YALSA will host a Teens & Libraries Summit Jan. 23-24, 2013, in Seattle.’  The Summit will feature speakers, panels and small group discussion to examine the current state of library services for and with young adults, and to explore how library services may need to evolve to meet the needs of 21st century adolescents.’  Funds provided by IMLS will be used to cover the cost of travel and related expenses for 15 applicants who wish to participate in the Summit.’  Key stakeholders from the areas of libraries, education, technology, adolescent development and the for-profit and nonprofit sectors are encouraged to apply (.doc) by Nov. 1, 2012.’  The 15 accepted applicants will join with approximately 35 other stakeholders at the face-to-face Summit.’  At the conclusion of the year-long Forum, YALSA will produce a white paper which will provide direction on how library services for and with teens needs to adapt and potentially change to better meet the needs of 21st century teens.’  To learn more about the National Forum, read the initial press release.

Seen, Heard, Read

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve collected a variety of bits and pieces of information that I thought would be of interest to YALSA blog readers.’ Here’s what I’ve collected:

  • In mid-September IMLS (The Institute of Museum and Library Services)’ announced the National Leadership Grant awardees. The list of 44 institutions and projects includes several that are youth (and teen) oriented. ‘ These include:’ 
    Hennepin County Library’s project titled, ‘ Media MashUp: Public Libraries, Youth and 21st Century Literacy. This project focuses on developing best practices for innovative technology implementation.
    San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Studies project titled,’ Making Space for Young Adults in Public Libraries. This project aims to collect and analyze data on teen library spaces. The findings will be disseminated in order to help those serving teens create successful spaces for the age group.
    New York Public Library’s project titled,’ Homework NYC Widgets: A Decentralized Approach To Homework Help By Public Libraries.‘ This project focuses on the development of a suite of digital tools for students to use as a part of the homework process. It also includes working with teachers to help them understand the role these tools play in supporting student homework needs.
    Continue reading