YALSA currently seeks program proposals for its 2021 Young Adult Services Symposium. The theme of the symposium is “Biggest Little Safe Spaces: Serving Teens During Times of Adversity.” It will follow a hybrid virtual/in-person format and will be held from November 5-7, 2021 in Reno, NV. Submit a program proposal by April 1.
The past year has presented teens and the libraries that serve them with numerous challenges that will continue to affect them in 2021 and beyond. What does the future hold for today’s teens? Where do we as librarians go from here? What’s next for our libraries? Join YALSA, librarians, and YA authors as we discuss strategies for serving teens during difficult times and continue to develop programs that ensure our biggest little safe spaces thrive for years to come.
YALSA is seeking program proposals that address the following questions:
- How do staff provide inclusive programming and diverse collections? How do we ensure representation and equity of access to materials and information? e.g. book and program challenges, the library as a “neutral” space. How can literature assist us?
- How does staff provide outreach to teens in their community? How do you meet teens where they are?
- How do we create more inclusive and “safe(r)” spaces? How do we empower teens to find their voice and speak out about issues important to them? e.g. gun violence, global warming, #metoo, institutional racism, LGBTQ rights.
- How are staff affected by adversity on the job? How do we address this and other experiences like compassion, fatigue, and burnout? e.g. self-care
YALSA’s symposium is an annual event that has expanded its focus over the years and features programs that cover the entire spectrum of topics related to providing services for and with young adults. In addition to addressing the theme, proposals should also highlight best or emerging practices for libraries of all sizes and capacities in one or more of the following categories:
- Collections and Content Curation
- Digital and Print Literacies
- Equity and Inclusion
- Programs and Services (including planning, implementing and evaluation)
- Tools for Practice (cultural competency models and training, trauma-informed care, mental health first aid, 40 developmental assets, social emotional learning, etc.)
- Youth Participation
Interested parties are invited to propose 60-minute programs centering on the theme via the online form found on the symposium site by April 1, 2021. Applicants will be notified of their proposals’ status the week of May 1, 2021.