One of the exciting aspects of the YALSA Young Adult Services Symposium is that on the first day – this year Friday, November 1 – there is the opportunity to attend Symposium preconferences and delve a little more deeply into a teen services topic. This year there are two preconferences – an AM and a PM – and each focuses on connecting teens to opportunities to build skills and make a difference in their communities.
Check out the videos below to learn more about the preconferences.
There’s lots of opportunities this winter to take advantage of YALSA CE that focuses on making sure teens in your community have access to materials and services that meet their specific needs. Here’s what’s on our lineup:
Currently, there are many social issues that are happening not only in the United States, but across the globe. In this time, teens may look through school, or outside their school, for ways that they can help those in need during these trying times. One great way for teens to do this is to start a campaign, and one organization that has many fun, interesting campaigns is the Harry Potter Alliance.
The Harry Potter Alliance is a non-profit group that works on campaigns to bring social change and donations to those in need. Their motto is that “The Harry Potter Alliance turns fans into heroes,” and their campaigns allow their participants to live up to this idea. The vision of the group is to make a “creative and collaborative culture that solves the world’s problems.”
There are many different chapters to join or start. There are chapters that are affiliated with schools, communities, libraries, etc. There are chapters all over the world, working together to help those in needs. Being a part of the HPA is a great way to get teens active in their community. Starting a library chapter is a great way for teens to work together to make social changes, and give back to their community. It is also a great way for teens to meet other teens in their community, and is a positive outside school activity.
What do YALSA’s December and January webinars have in common? They each focus on how a #teensfirst approach to teen services is important . Both the December webinar on user-centered teen spaces, and the January session on supporting teen social justice and equity conversations, look at how to provide library services by paying attention to teen specific interests and needs.
On December 15 YALSA hosts, What Do You Want to Do Here? Designing Teen Library Spaces that Work, San Antonio, TX, teen librarian Jennifer Velázquez and Lee VanOrsdel, Dean of University Libraries at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan will discuss how their new spaces support the activities that teens and students want to participate in in library environments. Each has taken an innovative approach to creating user-centered spaces. You can learn more about the spaces Jennifer and Lee have developed in American Libraries and Jennifer’s space in the fall 2016 issue of YALS. (Login required)
The December Snack Break, produced by teens at the Hartford (CT) Public Library, provides examples of what teens like to do in library spaces.
Yesterday over 40 YALSA members met online during the YALSA virtual town hall to discuss ways that we can support youth in our community during turbulent times. The outcome of the recent election has caused many young people to feel anxious and uncertain about the future of their rights and of our country, and we know that many incidents of bullying, hazing, harassment, and hate crimes have been reported in the past week. Because of this, the focus of the town hall was changed to focus on what we can do create safe spaces for our youth, how to create empathy, and how to empower teens to promote positive change in our community.
Why do need to offer these types of services to our youth? Because it’s our job. Last year, the YALSA Board approved a document called Core Professional Values for the Teen Services Profession that focuses on nine core values that define professionalism for those who work for and with teens through libraries. Three of those nine are compassion, inclusion, and social responsibility–values that have been extremely important in the past few weeks.
YALSA has created a list of resources on this topic–Supporting Youth in the Post-2016 Election Climate. We hope that you will find the information useful and share it widely with colleagues and co-workers. In addition, ALA has created a Libraries Respond web page with further resources. If you weren’t able to participate in the town hall, you can listen to the audio recording, read through the comments that were posted in thechat, and check out the tweets with the hashtag #yalsachat. Many members shared what they are doing inside and outside of their libraries, and it was also great to hear what people were thinking about doing in the future. As a result of the town hall, a YALSA Interest Group hopefully will soon be forming around ideas to help teens understand and empathize with our changing world, as well as to empower them to advocate for change in a positive manner. Look for more information on that coming soon. Also, if you’re interested in this topic, watch your YALSA eNews for information about the January YALSA webinar led by Renee Hill on the topic of helping youth recognize their ability to engage in social justice and equity activities.
Yesterday’s conversation was energizing and hopeful–thank you all for caring for the teens in your community!
Developing collections that meet the specific needs of the teens in a local community is not an easy undertaking. It requires knowing who the teens are in your community – those teens that use the library already and those that are not library users, yet. It requires building relationships with the teens in the community to truly understand their needs and interests. It requires building relationships with others – librarians, educators, stakeholders, community members, and more. And, it requires ongoing work with and for teens and the community. This is not a one and done process.
Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults (JRLYA), the official research journal of YALSA, is currently accepting submissions for a special themed issue. It will highlight research related to social justice issues and public and school library services for teens. Researchers, librarians, graduate students, and others who conduct research related to teens (ages 12 – 18) and libraries are invited to submit manuscripts. Papers describing both scholarly research (qualitative, quantitative, or theory development) as well as action research are welcome for peer review and consideration of publication. Papers that report library programs but lack an original research component will not be considered.
JRLYA is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal located. Its purpose is to enhance the development of theory, research, and practice to support young adult library services. JRLYA presents original research concerning: 1) the informational and developmental needs of teens; 2) the management, implementation, and evaluation of young adult library services; and 3) other critical issues relevant to librarians who work with this population.
Did you know that African American male youth are disproportionately affected by failing schools and a lack of quality educational opportunities?’ Did you know that consequently, their life outcomes and opportunities are disproportionately constrained compared to their peers in the dominant white cultural group?