During yesterday’s YALSA town hall, members discussed the different actions we can take as library staff and as private citizens to support teens, especially those who are the most vulnerable in this current social and political climate.
We discussed how to take social action for teens at the local level, and ways to engage teens in community events to help them become better citizens. We talked about how to welcome conversations on diverse issues, display and purchase diverse materials, and teach youth how to be kind, compassionate human beings. We talked about registering voters in the library, holding town halls, community archiving, interviewing local civil rights activists, and taking teens to legislative events at the state capitol building. Many excellent ideas were shared and we invite you to share yours on the Teen Programming HQ!
We shared many resources, like YALSA’s Advocacy webpage with the recently updated 2017 Advocacy Toolkit, as well as the Advocating for Teen Services in Libraries YALSA wiki page. We reminded everyone of the Supporting Youth in the Post-Election Climate page that was created before last November’s town hall, as well as the Youth Activists’ Toolkit, that can be adapted for use in all types of libraries. We talked about how communities of all sizes could benefit from a library having a resource like Los Angeles Public Library’s Citizenship webpage, A blogpost can’t list or describe all the great ideas that were shared during the town hall. If you’d like to hear more, please listen and read the chat conversation.
Did you know that YALSA has a Legislation Committee? The Legislation Committee, chaired by Heather Dickerson, is currently evaluating advocacy and social action resources for YALSA members and teens to ensure that YALSA has the best information to serve our users in the current political climate. They’re also gearing up for National Library Legislative Day, and are seeking stories of how members have advocated for teens and libraries at the local, state, and national levels. The committee will send out a call for stories in the coming weeks. The committee is also reaching out to individuals from each state who will attend NLLD in Washington to ask for their help in delivering YALSA specific materials to our elected officials, with a particular emphasis on reaching out to members of Congress who serve on education-related committees.
Thanks for all you do to support teens in your community!