A brief look at ‘grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

Following up on last week’s Instagram of the Week post on connected learning, this week’s installment continues the discussion of libraries as connected learning centers by focusing on the importance of collaborating with other organizations in the community. The Future of Library Services for and with Teens report explains that, in the past, library staff have been seen as the “information keepers” who hold the answers to patrons’ questions. However, this role of the in-house expert is shifting such that library staff should be seen as co-learners, guides, or facilitators who learn alongside patrons as they link teens to information and resources. By forming connections with teens and discussing their interests and passions, library staff can establish new avenues to support teen interests and learning that go beyond what libraries could traditionally offer. Seeking experts and organizations in the community that relate to teen interests provides an opportunity to establish partnerships and collaborate on programs that directly support teen needs. These types of connections are important as they provide opportunities for hands-on learning experiences and put teens in contact with experts and leaders in fields of interest who can serve as mentors.

From local elected officials and television newscasters to animal shelters and music schools, this week’s featured Instagram images highlight the types of programs libraries are offering as a result of collaborations with local individuals and organizations. Has your library established community partnerships to support teen interests? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below. How did you determine teen needs? Whom did you contact to establish partnerships? What outcomes have you observed as a result of your collaborative programming?

The current issue of Young Adult Library Services (YALS) focuses on community engagement and includes several feature articles about community partnerships in the”Hot Spot: Community Engagement” section.

For more information about forming community partnerships, please see YALSAblog’s archived posts on partnerships, the Map My Community tool from youth.gov to search for resources in your area, and the Librarians as Community Connectors & Education Facilitators video.

Visit YALSA’s Connected Learning tumblr and view the Connected Learning view for more information about connected learning.


About Meaghan Darling

Meaghan is the Youth Services Librarian at the Sparta Public Library in Sparta, New Jersey.

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