Get ready to vote! The YALSA election runs from March 24 through May 1, and to help you be an informed voter, we’re sharing interviews with each of the 2015 YALSA Governance and 2017 Selection Committee candidates as well as the ALA President-Elect Candidates.

Today we’ll hear from a candidate for Board Director-at-large. YALSA Board members serve three-year terms, during which they jointly determine YALSA’s policies, programs, and strategic direction, in accordance with YALSA’s bylaws. They attend both virtual and in-person meetings and serve as liaisons to YALSA’s committee chairs and members. A full description of Board duties and responsibilities can be found here.

Full biographical information on all of the candidates can be found on the sample ballot.

Today we have an interview with Adrienne Strock.

Name and current position:
Adrienne Strock, Teen Library Manager at the Nashville Public Library

What best qualifies you for being a YALSA Board Member?
I’m currently the chair of the Future of Teens and Libraries taskforce where we are working to raise awareness of and practical implementation of The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action. I also served as a mentor to two protégés through YALSA’s Virtual Mentoring Program.

In addition to being a teen librarian, I have been a teen services library administrator and manager and am passionate about serving teens. I’ve been a Teen Services Manager and Branch Manager at the Maricopa County Library District, YOUmedia Manager at the Chicago Public Library, and now Teen Library Manager for the Nashville Public Library.

Talk about the experience you’re bringing to the position with leadership, advocacy, and impact on teen services in the library?
Leadership: As a library manager and administrator, I have led committees, system-wide projects and programs, oversaw multimillion dollar budgets, and have overseen a staff as large as 18 across multiple sites. Though my leadership experience is strong, my leadership style–which is collaborative with high expectations—is my strongest leadership tool.

Advocacy: I think that there are small and big ways to be an advocate for teens in the library, but my favorite ways are the small ones whether it be responding positively to those that want to limit teen access to libraries to allowing teens to participate in library decisions or be their own advocates.

Impact: I’m a strong fan of assessments, statistics, and teen feedback as ways to make improvements and measure success. As the Teen Services Manager at the Maricopa County Library District, I relied on customer and staff surveys as well as teen focus groups to improve the SRP which resulted in a 17% increase in teen participation in my first year and a 21.2% increase my second year. I recently worked on an outcome assessment survey for teens at the Nashville Public Library. The information we collect will help us to begin a shift in services in the future.

How can being a YALSA Board Member help make a difference with issues teens may be struggling with?
I think that the best way a YALSA Board Member can make a difference when it comes to issues teens struggle with is to first be aware of the issues the teens at your library and at other libraries face, then be aware of issues all teens face nationally, and lastly be a voice to raise awareness of these issues and advocate for and develop solutions to these challenges for and with teens.

What are some ways that being a member of a YALSA governance committee can help serve as an even better connector to helping libraries become thriving learning environments for teens?
I think that the best way to help libraries become thriving learning environments for teens is to provide library workers and advocates with practical, real world examples, advice, and guidance on what it takes to develop a thriving learning environment for teens through handouts, stories, articles, videos, conversations, and other resources. Additionally, encouraging library workers to step out of their comfort zones, try out new ideas, involve teens in planning and leadership decisions, and then share their stories with others through YALSA will also encourage library workers to explore what a strong learning environment could look like at their library.

Share a recent example(s) where you made a shift to better focus on the current needs of teens.
I started my position at Nashville Public Library in July, and—although the Main Library has had a teen center for a long time—a separate teen services department at the Main Library is somewhat new, too. We’re still building a dedicated teen services staff team, which has allowed me to develop a vision for teen services into several phases:
First, I’ve been able to use The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action as a roadmap for what teen services could look like at our teen center.

Second, from that roadmap I developed a draft of strategic outcomes and a library impact assessment survey that I distributed to 49 of our teens.

Third and fourth, once the teen center is fully staffed the team will collaborate on the original roadmap and utilize the teen survey results as well as through conversations and direct feedback from teens to improve our vision for services for and with teens at the Main Library.

I see the public library as an informal learning space for teens but I also see it as a space where teens have a say and are provided with leadership opportunities to determine what learning looks like. With the plan outlined above.

Why should YALSA members choose you to be a member of the governance committee?
I see the role of a YALSA Board Member as bringing practical and tangible resources to YALSA members and those involved in teen services in libraries. For that reason, I will always try to connect the work of YALSA directly to our work.

About Kelly Czarnecki

Kelly Czarnecki is a Teen Librarian at ImaginOn with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. She is a member of the YALSA blog advisory board.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation