What is the YALSA Teen Programming HQ?

If you haven’t heard about YALSA’s new Teen Programming HQ, this is where you can learn everything you need to know. Everyone working with teens in libraries is conscientious in offering programs for and with teens that;

1. Have direct teen input and are teen driven

2. Demonstrate high-quality in teen library programming

3. Have identifiable goals and learning outcomes

4. Include evaluation components to ensure the program the outcomes and goals.

The YALSA Teen Programming HQ provides all library staff working with teens with examples to help create these high-quality programs.

The Teen Programming HQ is a website that anyone can access so to learn about quality program ideas  Each of the programs in the HQ include a description, the cost of running the program, age group targeted, instructions for replicating, learning outcomes and an evaluation strategy.

Where do the Programming HQ Programs Come From?

This is where YOU-teen library staff from all across the country-are needed. For the HQ to be successful we need you to submit your tested programs for review by the HQ team of experts. (Find out more about the experts below.)  YALSA is looking for programs that support the ideas in the YALSA Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action report (frequently referred to as the Futures Report) and the YALSA Programming Guidelines .

Why the Futures Report and the Programming Guidelines?  Both of these documents focus on areas of importance and highlight skills teens need to develop to succeed in life. The documents also focus on how libraries can help teens achieve these skills.  Both talk about the importance of identifying learning outcomes and developing evaluation plans for programs and highlight reasons why these are important.  The documents provide library staff with real-life and research-based recommendations for ways to help teens entering the workforce gain much needed critical and technology-based skills.

The Programming Guidelines specifically are intended to guide library staff who design, host, and evaluate library programs with and for teens. They were developed to align with YALSA’s  Futures Report and are specifically intended to help library staff leverage skills and resources to provide relevant, outcomes-based programs to better the lives of all teens in the community.  (Which is what the Programming HQ is also intended to do.)

Back to how the Teen Programming HQ works-After a program is submitted it is vetted by a panel of Content Experts (the Content Experts have at least three years of direct teen programming experience for and with teens). The Experts make sure that the program proposals are aligned with the Future’s Report, the Programming Guidelines, and fully include all of required content .  If there are aspects of the program proposals that aren’t present or aren’t fully fleshed out, the Content Expert’s role is to mentor and support the submitter of the program in revising the proposal and recommendations for improvement are provided.  YALSA members interested in becoming a Content Expert can contact me at yalsahq@gmail.com

You can also learn more about the role of the Content Expert and the background required on the YALSAblog.

But That’s Not All

The YALSA Programming HQ includes a Q & A section where anyone can post questions about programs and anyone that is registered on the site (as this is a great benefit to registration we hope everyone that goes on the site will register) can comment and answer questions.  This is a great way to build a teen programming community.  By registering, you will have access to the wider community and can continue to share and learn from each other. The Q & A section is a great way to ask question, share ideas, best practices as well as share struggles, it’s a place to connect and learn from each other.   In addition to the Q & A section, by registering you are able to create a profile on yourself in the “people” section and this further builds the teen programming community that you will have access to.  Think of it as a database of teen programs as well as one of teen librarians.

It’s All for You

 The HQ is a resource to be shared; used for programming discussion; and to learn about best practices in creating, designing and implementing teen programs with and for teens.  We would love to hear from you and get your input on programming and share your great ideas.
The YALSA Teen Programming HQ is up and running and we look forward to your input, ideas and program proposals. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. You can contact me at yalsahq@gmail.com.  My name is Jessi Snow and I’m the new Member Manager of the YALSA Teen Programming HQ.  I’m the Teen Services Team Leader, Central of the Boston Public Library and have been developing and implementing programs for and with teens for over 14 years.  I think the Future’s Report and the Programming Guidelines help by providing a structure and guidelines for developing programs that help build skills teens need to succeed.  Part of my role as the Member Manager is to work with the Content Experts to ensure the programs include aspects of the Future Report and Programming Guidelines and to share with the library community this resource as well as promoting the work that you all are doing.  I’m looking forward to connecting with you on the YALSA Programming HQ and seeing and implementing your program ideas.


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