This course is not just for teen librarians but for any person working in libraries seeking to understand and grow themselves as a leader from the ground up. The topics covered were progressive and forward thinking, and challenged traditional leadership norms. Self reflection was a big component of this class. The instructor provided variety in the readings, assignments, and use of technology. I felt very engaged by this course and the instructor, and I will refer back to the what I have learned here as I try to improve my leadership skills.
For four weeks in winter 2018 YALSA ran the Building Basic Leadership Skills E-Course. To accommodate those on the waiting list and to provide the opportunity for more people to participate in the highly rated course, the association is offering another section starting in April. The instructor is Josie Watanabe and you can hear more about what the course covers – including information about topics and assignments – in this 18 minute audio interview with Josie.
The Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff is a resource that can be used in teaching and learning. It also gives library staff the chance to reflect on their skills, knowledge, and practices. That’s why YALSA developed a Ready-to-Go slide deck that anyone can use when facilitating learning related to the new Competencies document. The slide deck includes:
Speaker notes that provide context for the Competencies. They can be used as is, paraphrased, and/or to fill in details about the competencies that facilitators might be be aware of. Read More →
As a part of the YALSA and COSLA IMLS funded project, Transforming Teen Services Through CE, the association hosted a Town Hall on the topic of Cultural Competence and Responsiveness – with a particular focus on library staff professional learning needs in those areas. An audio recording of the session is available below:
The chat transcript – where much of the conversation took place – is also available.
Advocacy is something that library staff working with teens sometimes find difficult to take on. It can seem scary. It can seem time consuming. It can seem like something that someone else can do. However, advocating for the value of library teen services and the value of supporting the successful growth and development of teens is something that every library staff member needs to take on. As a way to help library staff understand some of the ins and outs of advocating for and with teens, YALSA just added three new Snack Break videos on that topic.
One way to get started with advocacy work is through engaging teens in activities that help them gain advocacy skills. In the video below, Jane Gov, Youth Services Librarian, Pasadena (CA) Public Library, provides tips on how to do just that. Read More →
The March webinar kicked-off the series (the full video recording is available after the break). Led by Jutta Dotterweich, the Director of Training and Technical Assistance, ACT for Youth Project at Cornell University. This session focused on positive youth development with particular attention to how adolescent’s brains develop and how youth engagement can be and is an important aspect of positive youth development.
YALSA will host a follow-up Twitter chat on youth development on Thursday, March 22, at 7PM Eastern. Use the hashtag #yalsace to participate. Read More →
When I was a teenager I thought that I’d graduate college and be done with learning. For my generation learning wasn’t something people talked about as taking place out of the classroom or as taking place throughout one’s entire life. It wasn’t until after college that I really began to understand that learning never stops. As that is the case, the YALSA Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff content area on Continuous Learning is important to pay attention to and reflect on.
In the Continuous Learning content area the Developing level includes the phrases “seeks knowledge” and “seeks new knowledge.” I’ve been thinking about these phrases a lot lately and in particular thinking about how these phrases point out that the learning needed is action oriented. Library staff have to actively participate in learning in order to support teens in the community successfully.
What does it take to be an active learner?
Being ready to do hard work. No one should ever expect that learning is easy. Learning might be fun or energizing or interesting. And, in many cases it is probably going to be hard work. The work comes with deeply engaging with the content. The work comes with constantly reflecting on how the learning relates to the work you do with and for teens. And, the work comes with moving outside of what you think you know and what you think is best. Instead you need to work hard to learn about what teens need and think about how you can support those needs in your local community. This hard work can come with asking questions while at a professional development session, talking to people you may never have met before, going out in the community and building relationships, and so on.
Being open to new ideas and new ways of doing things. Sometimes library staff think that new ideas and new ways of doing things in some way reflects poorly on how the job was done previously. That’s not the case at all. The work library staff do with and for teens is always changing as the world in which teens live is constantly changing. Doing things in new ways doesn’t mean the old way was bad it just means that it no longer resonates with what teens need today.
YALSA is currently accepting applications from experienced members interested in being a facilitator for the association’s licensed institutes. Trainers may be asked to facilitate full-day in-person trainings a few times a year, as opportunities arise. YALSA pays trainers a small stipend and covers all travel costs associated with the training. Selected trainers will take part in a virtual training prior to their first assignment and are asked to make a one year commitment.
As a part of YALSA’s current IMLS funded project, Transforming Teen Services through CE, the association would like to invite you to a virtual town hall focusing on the continuing education needs of library staff in the areas of cultural competence and responsiveness. Learning from you on this topic will help guarantee that YALSA’s future work in this area realistically supports library staff needs.
The 60 minute Town Hall is on Tuesday, March 13 at 2PM ET. Join the conversation using Zoom either via computer, tablet, or by phone, with this login information:
YALSA’s February 2018 webinar focused on how informal learning institutions can support teen leadership development by engaging with youth in community action projects. In this webinar clip, Eli Weiss, the webinar facilitator, discusses the Youth Engagement Pyramid (developed by the Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality) and the importance of using a framework like this when designing and assessing youth led projects and activities.
The first session was facilitated by University of Maryland College of Information Studies Associate Professor, Mega Subramaniam. In this quick 90 minutes LIS faculty discussed how they can integrate the dispositions, skills, and knowledge that are the focus of the Competencies into the pre-service and in-service library staff educational setting. The conversation included review of a current syllabus – the syllabus that Mega is using for a Design Thinking course – and considering where the syllabus helps students to gain skills and knowledge highlighted in the Competencies and where changes and additions might be made in order to help students achieve what is outlined in the Competencies. The small group discussed how the Competencies aren’t just about the activity of library staff but also about infrastructure and systems of/in libraries – including job descriptions and internal and external policies. They also brainstormed ways their own syllabi could be revised to support the ideas in the Competencies.
Towards the end of the session, Sandra Hughes-Hassell, YALSA President and Professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science, reminded the group that at the LIS level, instructors don’t need to focus on the bits and pieces of the Competency content areas. Instead they need to support students in being able to demonstrate what is outlined in the Competencies. Read More →