YALSA recently released their three-year organizational plan, which will stretch from now until 2018. It’s ambitious and builds off of the YALSA Futures report, published in December 2013. This plan calls for an understanding of a YALSA librarian’s changing role and the need for YALSA to adapt to these changes in the next three years. This plan has been getting a lot of buzz, especially on this blog (see why librarians are excited for this plan, Candice Mack’s great overview of the plan, and a post about member engagement).

In order to evolve and adapt, the plan picks three priorities that fit within both YALSA’s mission and vision statement. These priorities are

  • Leading the transformation of teen library services,
  • Advocacy to policy makers at all levels to increase support for teen library services, AND
  • Funder partner development

With each of the three priorities, YALSA has outlined strategies to reach their priorities and tangible ways to measure three-year outcomes. These outcomes are paired with a learning agenda, recognizing the fact that in order for these outcomes to happen, we as librarians need to keep learning to reach these goals. Finally, there is an implementation plan, which gives activities for 2016 and potential activities post 2016. This implementation plan promises to be a flexible and living document, so it can evolve as the priorities listed above are put into place.

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Today is the day, after a year of research and conversation, YALSA’s white paper on the future of libraries and teens is available. It’s a document for everyone to read, ponder, discuss, and gain inspiration from. In the approximately 18 minute Google Hangout below, YALSA President Elect, Chris Shoemaker, and I talk about the white paper, some of the pieces we think are interesting, surprising, and most important, and how YALSA plans to continue working to support and help library staff move into the future. The next step in that process is a webinar on January 16 at 2PM Eastern.

The publication of the white paper and the year-long research project was made possible through funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. You can read more about the project on its website.

national forum on libraries and teens logo.Over the past several weeks the YALSAblog has run a series of posts on rethinking how we do and what we do in libraries for teens. There have been posts on everything from library card policies to programming to professional development to social media policies. There’s a lot to rethink. And, actually, YALSA has been focused on re-thinking everything that we do in libraries for teens over the past year as a part of a year-long IMLS grant on the future of teens and libraries.

What does it mean to envision the future of libraries and teens? You can find out by reading the draft of the white paper YALSA is developing to help library staff and others determine next steps and how to move forward. And, YALSA doesn’t want you to just read the white paper draft, the association is looking for your comments. Read on for a sneak peek at some of what you’ll read about in the paper.
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image of teachers learning tech by klbeasley on FlickrOver the past several months YALSA has sponsored and been a part of several activities focused on the future of libraries. These include the National Forum on Libraries and Teens and the Connected Learning month (MAY) all about the future of libraries. As I’ve participated in these events one thing has continually struck me as being at the heart of the future of successfully serving teens in libraries – physically, digitally, virtually – and that’s the importance of mentoring. This is mentoring of teens who take part in library initiatives and mentoring of colleagues who are learning how to be successful within new library models.

Consider these Twitter posts related to the topic of mentoring and the future of libraries:

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National Forum on Libraries & Teens logoIt’s happened, YALSA’s three virtual town halls on the future of libraries and teens that are a part of the year-long National Forum on Libraries and Teens have all taken place. The first event in March was all about libraries and partnerships. You can view the archive. The second event in April focused on informal and formal teen learning spaces. You can view that recording too. Today, the third event took place. It focused broadly on the future of libraries and teens. You can view that recording as well. (We apologize that the final recording is missing the first few minutes of audio.)

In today’s virtual town hall participants were asked to imagine their ideal library services. What did participants talk about? Ideal library services would: Read More →

2013! It’s a big year for YALSA and for the future of libraries and teens. Why? Because not only did YALSA receive funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to figure out what that future is, the association partnered with Connected Learning.TV for a month-long series of events on the very same topic topic. (Obviously the future of libraries and teens is something worth talking about.) The Connected Learning.TV series fits perfectly with all of the other activities YALSA has going on as a part of the National Forum on Libraries and Teens. As a matter of fact, the two projects come together in late May when a YALSA & Connected Learning TV event on May 21 at 1PM Eastern provides a lead in into the next and final virtual town hall that will take place at 2PM (that same day) in YALSA’s Adobe Connect Space.

This final virtual town hall is another excellent opportunity for library staff serving teens, educators, library administrators, and stakeholders to come together and make their voices heard. The topic for this town hall is the future of libraries and teens. Participants will be asked to consider ideas such as:

  • Imagine that you have the power to create the ideal library services for teens.’  What would they look like?
  • What do you think is exciting about the future you imagine for library services to teens? Read More →