It’s National Library Legislative Day! Today, library supporters across the United States are participating virtually by contacting their representatives to encourage them to support libraries. YALSA has created the Tweet Your U.S. Senator Map to simplify the process for you. Two clicks, and you’re a library advocate. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Visit the Google Map (below or at this link). Make sure you’re logged into Twitter through your web browser.
  2. Click the Tweet Me button on your senators.
  3. A message automatically generates, encouraging your senator to fund LSTA and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy Act with the #nlld hashtag. All you have to do is click “Tweet.”

It’s that simple. Share the map and advocate for libraries today!

View YALSA Tweet Your US Senator Map in a larger map

The YALSA Legislative Committee is pleased to announce the March Advocate of the Month: Anna Hartmann

Anna Hartmann has been the teen services librarian at the Council Bluffs Public Library for the last three years. The position was newly created when she came on and she has made every effort to provide the best service to her teen patrons. This includes the designing and overseeing of the new Teen Central space at the library (with input from teen patrons), designing programs aimed directly at teen interests, revising both her practices and programs to better fit the needs of her patrons, and generally being the best librarian around. She advocates for the importance of the library in teens’ lives by making sure they have a space in the library where they will be respected and appreciated. Please see the Council Bluffs Library website at for more info.

If you know someone like Anna’¬†who deserves recognition for their advocacy work with teens and libraries, please consider nominating them for YALSA’s Advocate of the Month at:

Thank you on behalf of the YALSA Legislative Committee.

When it comes to advocating for teen services, many of us have had to justify the importance of our role to our communities, library boards, and sometimes even fellow staff members; the unfortunate reality is that we will need to continue doing so for the unforeseeable future. With cuts to staffing and operating hours affecting how we do our day-to-day jobs, it can be easy to put advocacy on the back burner instead of keeping it at the forefront of all that we do. As we rush from program to program, patron to patron, we could all use more help advocating on behalf of the teens we serve. What better resource than the teens themselves to help promote libraries and, more specifically, teen services! Read More →

Have an abstract concept to solve like, figuring out what is needed for the library in order to create the kind of experience we want for our teens? Ask our teens what they want from us.

Sure we may hear things like, ‘a roller coaster’, ‘a swimming pool’, ‘a McDonald’s attached to the library’. Then it’s our turn to ask those probing questions (we’re Librarians after all, we are likely familiar with the reference interview). We add a variable by saying something like, I don’t know that we could have a McDonald’s but what about better food in the library?’ It’s the teen’s turn and they suggest a compromise in their original idea because they understand context and figuring out another way to do something (think ‘choose your own adventure books!’) and suggest a snack bar. By then you might be thinking to yourself, ‘why not, why couldn’t we have a snack bar and what would that even look like?’ Maybe it turns out to be allowing food in the library where there once never was before. Seemingly small change but HUGE impact.
Read More →