YALSA core professional values cover

YALSA identifies nine Core Professional Values in the Teen Services Profession;  accountability, collaboration, compassion, excellence, inclusion, innovation, integrity, professional duty and social responsibility.  

These core values were developed in 2013-2014 by the Professional Values Task Force of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Members of the task force were Sarah Debraski, Meg Finney, Gretchen Kolderup, Amanda Murphy, Lalitha Nataraj (chair) and Vivian Wynn. YALSA’s Board of Directors adopted the guidelines on June 27, 2015.

What does collaboration look like?

COLLABORATION Fosters relationships within the library and within the community in order to best serve teens.

A person practicing this value;

  • Works with other departments within the organization to create a holistic approach to serving teens

Do other departments in your library understand the developmental difference of working with teens versus children and or adults?  Are you able to share with your colleagues information about ways to work with and for teens?  Serving teens is our mission and we can help our colleagues learn skills to help them better serve teens too.  Linda Braun’s paper The Importance of a Whole Library Approach Public Library Young Adult Services: A YALSA Issue Paper points out ways to work with your colleagues by identifying possible trainings, modeling, providing professional development and more.  The practical things the paper points out are easy ways in which you can work with your staffs to better serve teens.   The same can be said for collaborating with outside organizations, by sharing your knowledge, offering training and professional development.

  • Fosters partnerships with schools and other community organizations that serve youth

The partnerships you form outside of your library is just as important as the partnerships you form and foster inside the library.  This means they see the library as a resource, understand the role of the library and use the library (in person, online or through outreach).  Are you fully aware of all kinds of the schools (public, private, alternative, technical and vocational) in your community and working with them?  Are you aware of organizations in your community that work with and for teens?  Go to these schools and these organizations and if they don’t know about the library tell them about the all of the great resources you have for teens, invite them to come to the library regularly and you go visit those organizations and schools regularly.  

  • Leverages the talent, expertise, and resources available in the community

Having a comprehensive knowledge of the organizations, schools and community members is a  resource for your teens as well as your library.  How? Think of the community members you could reach out to/connect/network with, to partner with and how they may be able to informational sessions/programs for your teens in their areas of knowledge.  Our community members are incredible resources and more often than we may think are very accessible and interested in partnering with the library, all we need to do is ask.

The core values are a powerful tool for you to use to help strengthen your existing values and develop others you may want to bolster.  Share the core values with your colleagues as well as administration and your community.

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