Librarians working with young adults need no proof that their services have an impact on teens and the community that surrounds them. As soon as you make that vital connection with a teen who trusts you to find a good book for them, or to show them resources for an important paper, you have influenced a life. The greater community, however, may not see the value of this intangible work. It’s taken many years to convince library boards and administrators of the importance of a librarian dedicated to the service of young adults. Now, as budgets are slashed and libraries forced to close, the need to champion the work of young adult librarians is even greater than before.’ What we really need are some Great Ideas that emphasis the urgency of young adult advocacy.

In the new Strategic Plan, Advocacy and Activism play a vital role in YALSA’s ‘ future goals. Since’ YALSA’ is an organization with members working in a variety of settings, we need a variety of Great Ideas. What does your institution do to increase awareness of teen services? What do you wish it would do? What would you do as an individual, given the time and resources?

As a member of the Strategic Planning Committee, which sponsors the Great Ideas Contest, I am always impressed by the ingenuity of our YALSA community. Check out the Strategic Plan to see some of the ideas that’ YALSA’ is pursuing. You probably already do some of these things, or you may have an idea that takes an idea one step farther. Who knows? Maybe you can win $250 for your school or library. Applications are due March 16. The winner will be announced on April 23. For more information about the Great Ideas Contest, go to’

YALSA’s Strategic Plan can be found at’ ‘

Questions? Contact Priscille Dando, Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee,’ at’

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