On Sunday, February 11, during ALA Midwinter YALSA sponsored two sessions on the Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff.
The first session was facilitated by University of Maryland College of Information Studies Associate Professor, Mega Subramaniam. In this quick 90 minutes LIS faculty discussed how they can integrate the dispositions, skills, and knowledge that are the focus of the Competencies into the pre-service and in-service library staff educational setting. The conversation included review of a current syllabus – the syllabus that Mega is using for a Design Thinking course – and considering where the syllabus helps students to gain skills and knowledge highlighted in the Competencies and where changes and additions might be made in order to help students achieve what is outlined in the Competencies. The small group discussed how the Competencies aren’t just about the activity of library staff but also about infrastructure and systems of/in libraries – including job descriptions and internal and external policies. They also brainstormed ways their own syllabi could be revised to support the ideas in the Competencies.
Towards the end of the session, Sandra Hughes-Hassell, YALSA President and Professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science, reminded the group that at the LIS level, instructors don’t need to focus on the bits and pieces of the Competency content areas. Instead they need to support students in being able to demonstrate what is outlined in the Competencies.