My library, and perhaps many of yours, has made some serious cuts to our training, travel and professional development budgets. Ironically, I keep hearing about amazing non-library conferences I’d like to attend. Has anyone attended the BOOST conference? It’s one of the biggest conference for out-of-school time providers, and they’re currently accepting program proposals for their April 2010 conference in Palm Springs. If your program proposal is accepted, you get free registration! When I’ve talked with OST professionals, they’re always very interested in how to partner with the library.

Are there other non-library-specific conferences that you’d recommend to others?

Just a few short weeks ago, I held a teen summer finale party to honor those teens that had turned in hours of reading over the summer.’  This is the first time at my current position that I have held a finale, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.’  The program components were pretty standard:’  food, Wii gaming, and a craft.’  I invited the teens and had about 17 RSVPs.’  Although I felt that my finale activities were fun, I wasn’t sure if IT would happen.

The teens started to trickle in to the room, and I felt nervous.’  The room was so quiet.’  A few kids were playing Wii, and other muched on cookies and watched them.’  Unless something happend soon, I figured my party would be a bust.’  No one was talking.’  Then IT happened.’  Read More →

Recently on YALSA-YAAC there has been some discussion regarding the terminology used to define library services to 12 – 18 year olds- is the term “young adults” an appropriate label for this age? Or is “young adults” more appropriate for the’ 19 – 35 age range?’ ‘ What ages should we be providing services for?’  Check out the discussion at

I’ve always struggled with the term “young adult” because as someone in the under 30 set, I’ve always considered myself a young adult.’  I have begun refering to my department “Teen Services” because not only is that the terminology that my target audience identifies for themselves, but it also clarifies the confusion for patrons unfamiliar with the ‘ library terminology.’  The biggest adjustment has been for staff, who struggle to no longer refer to the Young Adult area (recently named The Teen Zone through a vote of’  teen regulars) or me as the Young Adult Librarian (I go by Teen Services Librarian now).’  Officially, my library defines my service age as 13 – 18, truly the teen years, however I also provide services to the 10 – 12 year old set as well in collaboration with the Youth Services department.’  I believe that is how teen librarians should address the 19 – 25 set as well, through collaboration with Adult services.’ 

Read More →

Over the last 4 years at Red Deer Public Library, I have found that there is a fine line between social work and teen librarianship. I am quite comfortable with the tweeny boppers plunking themselves down in a chair every day after school (or during if they are skipping) and telling me all about their lives.’  This I can handle, as usually they just want someone to nod and smile and offer the occasional bit of advice. Read More →

The YALSA Research Committee has completed an annotated bibliography entitled “Current Research Related to Young Adult Services, 2006-2009.” The articles included in the bibliography are listed under seven subject headings: 1) information seeking behavior, 2) intellectual freedom, 3) the Internet and other electronic resources, 4) public library services to teens, 5) school library services to teens, 6) young adult literature and teen’s reading, and 7) major non-LIS research studies related to teens.

The bibliography can be found at:

YALSA is looking for libraries that are holding events for teens some time during the week of July 27 that utilize volunteers.’  If your library is doing something, please share a brief description of the event and how volunteers are involved on the YALSA wiki (registration is required, but it’s free and takes about a minute). Please encourage colleagues and friends who have events for teens scheduled next week to list their information on the wiki as well.

Thank you and thanks for all that you do to ensure teens have access to great library services and resources!

Right now, thousands of our colleagues are skittering about Chicago, attending programs, meeting authors, diligently attending to board, committee, and interest group work, and enjoying every open bar event they can find.

But if you’re like me, one of the rising number of people who can’t attend conferences because your travel budget has disappeared or, more sadly, the coworkers who would normally cover your travel no longer have employment, you’re less likely to be pushing through lines for Catching Fire than you are to be breaking up a fight in your Teen Space.

So if you want to wait out the conference craze before sorting through the tweets, blog posts, meeting minutes, selected lists, and live coverage, try one of these things to take a load off and enjoy your time on the homefront. Read More →

In 2009, only months after the Pittsburgh Steelers won an NFL record sixth Super Bowl, the Penguins won the NHL Stanley Cup with players who–not too long ago–were teens themselves. The win came alongside news that The Economist ranked Pittsburgh America’s most livable city and that President Barack Obama hand-selected Pittsburgh to host the September G20 summit. Pittsburgh’s also been fortunate enough to be seen as a national example for recovery from media outlets like The New York Times and Newsweek.

Indeed, it’s been a banner year for the Steel City. But what does it mean for your library’s teen services? Read More →

On June 9 YALSA hosted an online chat about the economy and its impact on libraries, teen services, and you. The chat was a great experience—I really enjoyed hearing so many different voices chime in, and the opportunity to answer questions in real time. This was definitely the sort of thing that I believe is “engaging the YALSA community”! It seemed clear that more online chats were in YALSA’s future and so I’d like to announce our next one:

On Wednesday, July 1, 8-9pm EST YALSA will host an online chat in ALA Connect. The topic for this chat will be Summer Reading Programs for teens. Read More →

working during the dayAt The New York Public Library when a teen reaches 18 they are no longer allowed to take part in programs, and spend time in teen spaces, designed specifically for adolescents. These teen spaces are meant to be just for teens as a way for the library to demonstrate support to the age group, and as a way to give teens a place where they can hang-out as comfortably as young children who frequent library children’s rooms.

However, when teens reach 18 at NYPL they sometimes feel at a loss about where to go next, within the library context that is. As a matter of fact, a few years ago I remember a conversation I had with one of these teens. It was the end of the school year and he was headed to college, in New York City, in the fall. He said to me that he was considering telling the librarians at NYPL that while he was going to college he wasn’t yet 18. That way he could continue to hang-out in NYPL’s Teen Central that he’d been going to for several years. Read More →