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.
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.
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