Welcome to the TAGS section of the blog! YALSA’s TAGS committee will host this section, and as the current TAGS chair, I’m pleased to kick off the discussion. Other members – Judy Macaluso, Kendra Skellen, Lisa Youngblood and Melissa Jenvey – will be posting TAGS-related questions, comments, suggestions and resource ideas in the near future, too. The key is for everyone reading the blog to share their thoughts, questions and comments about Teen Advisory Groups – we knows there is a lot to discuss when it comes to growing and maintaining a dynamic, energized TAG!

So, take a minute to brag about your TAG and tell us what you love most about your group and why? A little background information about your TAG would be great, too.

If your TAG is not already registered with YALSA’s TAGS directory, here’s your chance to sign up: http://www.ala.org/yalsatemplate.cfm?section=yalsa&template=cfapps/yalsa_tags/default.cfm

About Paula Brehm Heeger

Past-President of YALSA (President, 2007-2008) and current member of the YALSA Board of Directors (2006-2009). Past YALSA Committee Chair positions include Partnerships Advocating for Teens (PAT), TAGS, Intellectual Freedom; Past ALSC Chair positions include Notable Children's Videos; Contributing author to upcoming "Quick and Popular Reads" (ALA Editions, forthcoming)

6 Thoughts on “Posted by Paula Brehm-Heeger

  1. Our TAG- named YAAC (Young Adult Advisory Council) although it sounds like you might be throwing up- has been going for 8 years.
    There are two unique things they have been involved in:
    -interviewing me for the Teen Librarian position My boss wanted teens to help decide who the Teen Librarian should be so they sat in on the 2nd round of interviews, listened to our booktalks and answers, and asked their own questions and deliberated afterwards.
    They delighted in reminding me who got me my job:)
    Those three teens, yes, our YAAC started with 3 teens, stayed invovled through their senior yr of HS. With 3 members there was no where to go but up & recently the YAAC spoke @ our system-wide manager meeting- a moderated teen panel – answering some basic questions about their experience with the library. I used ?’s out of “Teens & Libraries: Getting it Right” by Walters & Meyers. The response from managers was incredible & extremely positive.

    It can be a lot of energy @ times but they really keep our services grounded and it continues to be an excellent way to connect young adults and the library.

  2. lyoungblood [Member] on March 6, 2006 at 8:55 am said:

    I’ve been working with the Harker Heights TAB since we established it in 2000. Our TAB and Teen Volunteer programs are somewhat mixed together.

    The Teen Advisory Board basically works with me on our Young Adult collection and programs for young adults.

    My Teen Volunteers help me with a variety of other projects including children’s programming, booklists, and more.

    Our Teen Advisory Board has sort of become the Teen Advisory Board for the entire City. They volunteer as a group for other departments, speak for teens to our City Youth Task Force, and attend community events even if they are not sponsored by the Library.

    I’m excited because some of my teens have grown up and are now full-fledged employees at my Library.

  3. As you might know by now, I love talking (bragging?) about our TAB at Coshocton Public Library. Over the years, our teens have been subjected to my many whims and vice versa as we have explored what we could do as a group. It is never the same two years in a row, and that is one of the things I like best. The combinations of different personalities, talents, interests, and abilities means we are always ready and willing to try new projects. I am not sure how I would be able to do my job without the teens’ feedback and ideas. TAGs, TABs, or even YAACs, no matter what you want to call them, are a great idea!

  4. mjenvey [Member] on March 8, 2006 at 1:36 pm said:

    We have been having weekly TAG meetings at The New York Public Library’s Nathan Straus Teen Central for going on 2 or so years now. Our TAG makes suggestions for non-print, print and programming. We call them Teen Central’s “quality control” They have helped to create order lists for the rest of the system for cd’s, dvd’s and magazines that are of interest to teenagers and are a wonderful audience for our author visits and programs. We are also lucky enough to be in NYC, close to many of the publishing houses, once a month an editor comes in with pages of the manuscripts that she is working on and gets feed back for the author. The teens love having thier voices heard and seeing the results in print. Last year they hosted our first annual ANTI-PROM and are brainstorming on this years theme. I’ll let you know what they come up with! Our next project will be working on a gaming program, it should be very interesting and I can’t wait to see what this new media will bring.

  5. macalusoj [Member] on March 14, 2006 at 7:17 am said:

    Active Teen Advisory Boards in our 20 branches is a goal we have been working on for a few years. In 2005 Diane Tuccillo came to our library for a 1/2 day presentation about TAB’s based on her book. She was wonderful and it really helped so many librarians learn various skills and methods for working with TAB’s. Currently we have 12 TAB’s – some small and just getting rolling and others that have 40+ members and do incredible things for their library. One thing we did was create a TAB Logo which was designed by our Graphics Dept, but voted on by the TAB’s. It really does create an identity for the groups. I have interest in hearing from more librarians who are in a support position such as myself – I don’t run my own TAB, but as Teen Services Coordinator I need to provide contintuing education/training/support for librarians running TAB’s and also to keep pitching new and fresh ideas to the group. Feel free to contact me and lets keep the TAG Blog a hoppin’ place!

  6. jberns89 [Member] on March 28, 2006 at 1:38 pm said:

    I was wondering if anybody would like to give me some advice about starting an advisory group at my library. I have been researching and thinking about this for a little while now but any advice you have would be very helpful. At this point I plan on beginning to chat with the teens in the library about the idea. Once I pick a date for the first meeting I plan to market it at the schools as well and hopefully draw in some students that aren’t regulars. What else did any of you do when starting your TAB to draw in the youth? Also do you have any recommendations on what to do with the first meeting? I hope to establish a mission statement for the group and talk about what the teens would like to get out of the group. Any other ideas would be much appreciated.

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