On Sunday, February 11, during ALA Midwinter YALSA sponsored two sessions on the Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff.
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.
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As a part of the Organizational Plan, YALSA renewed the Interest Group model to provide an easy way for members to get involved. If you are looking for a simple way to find members in your area, or who are aligned with your passion, consider joining or starting an Interest Group. Unlike committees, these are not appointed. Members can opt into them any time, and there is no minimum commitment of work or requirement to attend conferences.
Interest Groups are grassroots and member-driven so if you are passionate about something that doesn’t yet have an Interest Group, making one is easy! Work with the Executive Director to develop a petition, get 15 signatures from members who want to be a part of the group, and submit your proposal to YALSA’s Board of Directors. Next, plan a meet-up or make virtual space to engage community members.
We currently have six Interest Groups ranging from local area groups to topics on mental health and picture books for teens. At Midwinter, the YALSA Board of Directors will be revisiting a plan on how we can best encourage and support the Interest Groups. Originally presented in 2017 the plan lays out a year and half of work to support and grow Interest Groups from the simple, like quarterly messages to members advertising the opportunity, to the much more complex, like a manual for Interest Group conveners.
The Board will hear an update on the plan thus far, and moving forward we will discuss how we define success for Interest Groups, what steps YALSA can take to set Interest Groups up for success, and we can best promote Interest Groups to members.
If you are a member of an Interest Group, or thinking about starting one, we would love to hear from you what you think. Leave a comment or send me an email and let me know. See the full agenda of the Board of Directors at ALA Midwinter in Denver. All Board meetings are open to attendees, and you can learn more about the Board meetings on the wiki.
In just aver two weeks the ALA Midwinter Meeting gets started in Denver. While in Denver YALSA is hosting two News You Can Use sessions, each focused on the Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff.
On Sunday, February 11, at 8:30 AM, is a session titled, Incorporating the Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff into LIS Curricula. This 90 minute session looks at how LIS educators and continuing education coordinators can leverage YALSA’s new Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff to better prepare future library employees to work for and with teens. In a participatory format attendees will have the chance to redesign and re-envision their very own youth and school library courses to support successful teen services skill development. Those who plan on attending are encouraged to bring a current syllabus, or lesson plan, to use in re-envisioning activities. This session will be facilitated by YALSA President and Professor at the University of North Carolina School of Information and Library Science, Sandra Hughes-Hassell, YALSA Board member and Associate Professor at the University of Maryland College of Information Studies, Mega Subramaniam, and YALSA CE Consultant, Linda W. Braun.
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