Every day, you find ways to connect teens with the resources they need and want. Now it’s time to share your experiences and ideas with librarians, educators, researchers, young adult authors and other teen advocates at YALSA’s first expanded symposium.
YALSA is currently seeking program proposals and paper presentations for its 2015 Young Adult Services Symposium, Bringing it All Together: Connecting Libraries, Teens & Communities, to be held Nov. 6-8, 2015, in Portland, Ore.
The 2015 theme addresses the key role of connection that librarians have for the teens in their community.
Today’s 21st’ century teens have unique needs and face significant challenges that they cannot deal with successfully on their own. Library staff are uniquely positioned to help teens by not only connecting them to resources in the library and their hometown, but also to resources from affinity communities that thrive online. How can library staff connect with partners, provide programming, enhance collections, and help teens build both print and digital literacy skills so that they can be successful in the future? How can library staff connect with colleagues to form personal learning networks, increase impact and tell their stories? Join YALSA as we explore how to connect teens to their community and beyond.
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Most librarians, myself included, love to pore over award lists. They are great for enhancing collections, making recommendations and creating displays. Even better is the conversation and dialog created, when a book we love is on (or off!) the list, or, even better when a book we loathe makes the cut. â€œWhat were they thinking?!â€ is a phrase commonly associated with discussions and can inspire volunteering for these committees.
Joining a reading committee is a rewarding task that comes with animated book discussing, gushing and arguing. In short, it is a lot of fun for any book lover. However, it is a lot of work and a big commitment, so it is important to know the rules, requirements and goals of any award committee before officially signing up. Many people volunteer for award committees with the best of intentions, but become quickly overwhelmed with the workload. I am starting on my fourth year of reading for the Rhode Island Teen Book Awards (a local book award) and am currently reading for YALSA’s Morris Award, so here is an overview of what to think about and expect with award committee reading.
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For years, library staff working with teens have used the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents‘ to demonstrate how library programs and services can contribute to youth becoming successful adults. Other youth-serving organizations’ also use the language of assets and asset development, so describing library teen services in terms of assets can help align that work with broader community-wide efforts to prepare teens for constructive and fulfilling adult lives.
However, when it comes to the day-to-day interactions individual staff members have with teens, sometimes it can be difficult to figure out what assets are being built, and how best to guide staff to be more intentional about fostering positive youth development.
The Search Institute has created a new framework which can help staff internalize practices that contribute to youth success — and benefit adults, too! The Institute defines a developmental relationship as “a close connection between a young person and an adult or between a young person and a peer that powerfully and positively shapes the young person’s identity.” Developmental relationships involve expressing care, challenging growth, providing support, sharing power, and expanding possibilities.The complete framework, including 20 specific actions and more background, is available at the Institute’s website.
Sara Ryan for the Administrator Resources Taskforce
My term as YALSA Board Fellow began on the last day of ALA conference 2014 when I, among others, was officially welcomed on the board. It was a hot and humid day in Las Vegas, yet a happy one filled with conference goers walking briskly to their desired programs/meetings, going back to their hotel with stacks of books, or preparing to head back home.
Since then, I’ve met with my board assigned mentor to brainstorm project ideas and get feedback on board ethics, as well as actively participated in board duties that include:
- Meeting with the committee chairs to which I am a board liaison to discuss their roles and provide initial support towards managing their committees
- Participating in discussion around the member recruitment standing committee
- Attending a couple of board related conference calls and meetings
- Sending personalized welcome greetings to new YALSA members
- Brainstorming and beginning my diversity related YALSA project
No doubt it all seems like quite a bit of work in just two months. But my experience has already been so great and fulfilling wrapped with lots of support from Executive Director, Beth and the board members.
In addition to grasping new skills and strengthening others, considering YALSA new report Future of Library Services for and with Teens, I’ve been able to contribute my knowledge and time to YALSA’s great mission to “expand and strengthen library services for teens, aged 12-18.” I am glad to be a part of this team that make a difference in the lives of teens everywhere via impactful decisions that give YA services professionals the tools and resources to help teens access college information, access to technology, written resources, recreational activities, safe library environments, among other things.
I am so grateful to have been selected as the Board Fellow this year and plan to continue to use my time to advocate for teens through YALSA.
The new application period is underway and closes on December 1st. Here’s a link to the application http://www.ala.org/yalsa/awardsandgrants/yalsa_fellows_program, and I’m very happy to answer any questions you may have about YALSA or the Board Fellow program. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow @YALSA and me @nicolalmcdonald on Twitter for the latest YALSA updates.
I hope you’ll consider applying for this great opportunity!
As you’ve no doubt heard, YALSA is currently conducting a survey to get member input on the next strategic plan. If you want to share your opinions with the Strategic Planning Task Force and YALSA’s Board of Directors, now is the time! Tomorrow (Wednesday, September 17) is the last day to fill out the 2014 member survey.
We can’t develop a strong strategic plan without hearing from as much of our membership as possible. Help YALSA help you by completing the survey online today. If you’ve already filled it out, take a moment to remind your YALSA peers to follow your awesome example by sharing the link with your network via email or social media.
And don’t forget, if you choose, you can enter your email address at the end of the survey for a chance to win a free teens and technology training kit (a $199 value).
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us!
The YALSA Strategic Planning Task Force
Utter the phrase â€œStrategic Planningâ€ and many of us cringe a little at the daunting process these words imply. YALSA is at the beginning stages of this task and needs your feedback in our member survey. The information you provide will be used to help the YALSA Board of Directors develop the association’s next strategic plan.
Being a member driven organization, your opinion matters! What services, tools, or resources do you need to be best librarian you can be? Are there challenges you are encountering in serving teens and young adults in your library? How can YALSA continue to be relevant to you and the profession? Help us answer these questions and more, by taking a few minutes to answer a few questions in our member survey.
The member survey will be open for just one more week, until September 17, so take time now to complete it. Also, if you choose, you can enter your email address at the end of the survey for a chance to win a free teens and technology training kit (a $199 value).
We look forward to your feedback and your awesome ideas!
The YALSA Strategic Planning Task Force
In January 2014, YALSA issued the report, The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action, based on a yearlong national forum of research, interviews, and stakeholder discussions. The Call to Action looks at how teens are now using libraries and recommends ways for libraries to provide new and more relevant services to teens, and the report will definitely be a starting point as the YALSA Board of Directors begins to craft the next strategic plan.
For the next step, we are seeking member comments about the services YALSA provides to its members, to librarians working with teens, and to the library world at large. Everything YALSA produces originates with the membership, and your input is vital for the Board to plan for the next direction in teen services.
Please take the opportunity now to add your voice and let the Board know where you see teen services headed, what you need as a teen librarian, and which of the services YALSA provides that you value. Our member survey is now open and will be taking responses until September 17.
As a bonus, if you choose, you can enter your email address at the end of the survey for a chance to win a free teens and technology training kit (a $199 value).
We look forward to hearing from you!
The YALSA Strategic Planning Task Force
Previously, you learned about what it takes to serve on the Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults committee. Here, some of the current Amazing Audiobooks committee members explain why they love to listen.
Sarah Hashimoto is serving on her first year as a committee member:
I remember listening to The Hunger Games when it first came out on audio in 2008. I was new to audios at the time and was unprepared for how much of an impact they can make. I was listening and gardening when I came to the scene just after Rue has died, when Katniss receives the bread from Rue’s people. It’s such a poignant scene, but the audio version really brought it to life for me. I ended up weeping into my garden gloves, creating a scene of my own!
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Each year after the Midwinter conference, YALSA releases a list of 25-30 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults. The list is the result of hundreds of hours of listening, discussion and debate by the nine-member Amazing Audiobooks committee. The committee also names the top 10 best titles of the year. Committee members generally serve two year terms. We are librarians, professors, and retirees. We work for public libraries, universities, schools, and community colleges. In addition to the nine committee members, we have one extraordinarily hard-working administrative assistant who does not cast votes, but does receive titles and can listen as much as she chooses.
In February, the committee begins gathering possible titles for the next year’s list. We get audiobooks in a number of different ways. First, we make suggestions. Any audiobook published in the last two years with relevance for teens is eligible for the list, so we seek out recent titles. We love to get suggestions from other librarians! If you’d like to nominate a title for Amazing Audiobooks, the form is here. We also receive boxes (and boxes and boxes) of submissions directly from publishers.
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