One of the recommendations from the YALSA Futures Report was that library workers seek to serve all of the teens in the communities, not just those who come through the library doors. The results of the 2017 YALSA Member Survey showed that over half of respondents embrace this challenge by “reaching out to teens out in the community who are not regular library users.”
Roughly the same number of respondents said that they have been “discovering community needs and seeking out community partners to engage with to support those needs.” These two assertions are likely related, since partnerships are essential to reaching teens who do not walk into the library building. Clearly, many teen library workers understand that a successful young adult program is integrated into the other factions of teen life, be it educational or recreational.
Members who are looking for inspiration in infiltrating their own communities can look at YALSA’s Partnering to Increase Your Impact, a toolkit developed by the Community Connections Taskforce. Another great resource is the free map-my-community tool at https://youth.gov/map-my-community.