Did you know that there are over 4,800 members in YALSA? It’s true! YALSA has one of the largest memberships in one of the eleven divisions in ALA. Each year, YALSA asks it’s member to participate in a survey in order to hear from YOU. What we want to know is ; what do you want more from YALSA, do you have concerns and how YALSA can help you more.
One of the high points from the survey was 49% of those that participated reported they were “somewhat familiar” with the YALSA’s Future’s Report: A Call to Action. This is a much higher percentage from the last survey. Not only were members “somewhat familiar” but they were incorporating a significant percentage of recommendation from the Future’s Report into the work they were doing with and for teens. Thinking more about ways to incorporate connected learning approaches into library activities, facilitating learning with teens, expanding collection development beyond traditional print resources, reaching out to teens out in the community who are not regular library users, discovering community needs and seeking out community partners to engage with to support those needs, providing college & career readiness services for and with teens and working towards closing the digital divide & knowledge gap were among the responses that were reported as being the highest.
Why is being “familiar” or “somewhat familiar” a success? The YALSA Future’s Report report shows that many libraries are continuing to grapple with diminishing resources while at the same time struggling to meet the needs of a changing teen population. Additionally, significant developments in technology have led to the need to rethink how services for and with teens are best created and delivered. The Future’s Report provides recommendations on how libraries must address challenges and re-envision their teen services in order to meet the needs of their individual communities and to collectively ensure that the nation’s 40+ million teens develop the skills they need to be productive citizens. This report is a crucial and deciding document that illustrates the challenges and provides solutions. The solutions are not quick fixes they are things that may take time and they may not work in your community but there are other ideas that may. The mere indication that 49% of YALSA members are “somewhat familiar” with the Future’s Report shows that the document has been read, taken seriously and things have been implemented in libraries. This is huge! YALSA would love to see a higher response of members indicating they are “very familiar” with the Future’s Report for the next survey but at this time this is a success being “somewhat familiar”. Please share your successes with incorporating recommendations from the Future’s Report in your library in the comment box with this post.

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