The current Libraries & Learning issue of Young Adult Library Services (YALS) emphasizes how learning is at the core of our work in school and public libraries, and how we can support teens’ learning. While libraries have historically focused on learning by providing print and digital resources, many are also considering ways to incorporate the process of learning into library programs, outreach partnerships, and staff development. As YALSA President Candice Mack states in this issue’s editorial feature, “think of how dramatically the conversation changes when instead of saying, “I bought a 3D printer for our library,” we say, “the teens in our community need help preparing for 21st century careers, so the library is providing hands-on workshops so teens can use the latest digital tools to create something that supports their schoolwork or hobby.”
This week’s Instagram illustrates how libraries and other community agencies are supporting teens’ learning through financial education workshops, college test prep, sewing, music instruction, public speaking, and more. The Future of Library Services for and with Teens report indicates that the role of library staff is to support teens as facilitators of self-directed inquiry. The library needs to shift from a place to find content to a place of learning and engagement. In order to step into these new roles, library administrators need to provide planning and resources to support continual staff development, so that staff can meet the learning needs of their communities. Finally, don’t be afraid of failure! Library staff are encouraged to use failure as a means of ongoing improvement, in order to better serve our teens.
For more information, please see the following resources: