Statewide programs connecting all points in Hawaii

Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS) is the only library system in the United States that covers an entire state including 6 islands. Recently our State Library celebrated its 100th birthday.hawaii_jump

Statewide programs are very popular with our teens. The summer reading finale has become a highlight of the summer. If a student enrolls in the program his/her name is put in a drawing. One name is pulled from each of the twenty-five libraries on Oahu. The winners then go a local mall where it is set up to look like the television program Deal or No Deal. Instead of suitcases the prizes are put in Pizza Hut boxes. (Pizza Hut is our corporate sponsor)’  As the student’s name is called they pick a number for the box. Everyone is a winner. Read More →

Teen Advisory Board Summits

For the third year, the New Jersey Library Association and the New Jersey State Library are proud to support the state-wide Teen Advisory Board Summits. The intention of this program is to allow teens who advocate for libraries to really get a chance to meet other like-minded teens who are also passionate in their love for their libraries.NewJersey

Libraries and librarians have professional meetings where we can share experiences and feel a sense of community, but Teen Advisory Boards can feel isolated and there were no resources in place to allow them to all interact. Read More →

Juvenile Justice System Outreach in Missouri

The Missouri State Library is pleased to share with YALSA two programs that are impacting teens in the juvenile justice system in Missouri. The first program is Teen Zine implemented by the Kansas City Public Library.’ missouriTeen Zine is a teen-driven project to publish a magazine featuring writing and art submitted by Kansas City teenagers. In addition to the teens representing nearly all ten branches of the Kansas City Public Library, nine teens in juvenile justice facilities also had material selected for publication. The teen editors stated in the introduction to the section of materials from teens in the juvenile justice system: “The following art and writing is from teenagers who are currently in juvenile corrections facilities. We felt that it was important that their voices are heard. They are often underestimated and overlooked but they have powerful stories to tell.” Read More →

The Teen Loft @ the Dover Public Library

It has been an exciting year for the teens at the Dover Public Library in Dover, Delaware. The Dover Public Library recently moved into a larger, brand-new building. Included in the new library was a dedicated space for teens called the Teen Loft. The Teen Loft offers a variety of different seating choices for teens to work in groups or study on their own. The furniture can be moved around which encourages our teens to gather and create their own space.’ delawareThe Teen Loft also boasts eight computers and three televisions for different movie programs and video game nights. Since the Teen Loft encompasses the entire third floor, we have the advantage of not being the quiet traditional library space. This allows us a lot of freedom to constantly engage our teens and have drop-in crafts or games at the ready.

We are always looking for different ideas and approaches to teen programming. Our teens have become a great resource in helping us decide on new programming. Quite often, we revise our programming to stay current and to meet the changing needs of our community. Our teens are also invaluable in building our young adult collections and we have a great group of teen volunteers to help with shelving and programs.

We have many clubs at our library designed to reach a broad range of teens. Our most popular clubs include an Anime/Manga Club, Doctor Who Club, Film-Making Club, LGBT Club and Chess Club. Recently, some teens have come together and released the first issue of The Loft Lit.’ The Loft Lit is a young adult literary magazine full of short stories, poetry, art and photography, all made and edited by our teens. It is available in a printed format and on WordPress. Next up for the Teen Loft is a small media lab where we hope to give teens access to new resources that will allow them to make short films, book trailers, original anime, manga and more.

teenloftSubmitted by Kerri Hollyday & Katy Goff


Lunch @ the Library Brings Unexpected Rewards for Teen Engagement

Last summer, the Sacramento Public Library, in California, offered free lunches to young people, up to 18 years old, at the Valley Hi-North Laguna Library. CaliforniaThe project was part of the California Library Association and California Summer Meal Coalition’s Summer Lunch at the Library program, developed to keep kids healthy and engaged while school is out. The program combined summer nutrition programs and summer reading programs to meet multiple community needs.’  It was a runaway success, with 3,406 meals served, but the most inspiring result was also the least expected: the engagement of teen volunteers.

We did not anticipate the strength of commitment that this project would engender. Within the first week, teens who did not originally know each other were sitting at the tables sharing lunch and joking.Lunch They were from different backgrounds, and from at least four different high schools and the junior college, but they became a positive and supportive team. With the guidance of volunteer coordinator Susan Bloom, they took the lead in designing the work flow. Intern Kate Ramos served as a mentor for the teens, acting as a sounding board for questions — personal and/or educational. The program provided a safe place for young people to learn how to work together, hone communication skills and provide support to each other in accomplishing a goal.

Susan talked to the teens throughout the summer about the useful skills they were learning. At the end of the program, we had a celebration to thank them. Susan shared job-hunting techniques, including tips from HR personnel at the local Target store. She also invited the executive vice president of a local tech company to talk about his life/job journey, providing a real-world example of a successful outcome after a rough start. And she presented the teens with sample resumes and letters of recommendation, articulating the workforce skills they had developed over the summer. LunchvolunteersJamba Juice gift certificates were also distributed. The Library expected to feed children, and hoped to enroll summer readers. That Lunch @ the Library turned into a training ground for the teens was an unexpected bonus.

The Summer Meals program at Valley Hi-North Laguna was nothing short of transformational.’  The library impacted lives and changed the behaviors of the meal recipients, the volunteer crew and library staff . It also changed everyone’s expectations of what a library is and can be.

Submitted by Christie Hamm, Manager of Youth and Community Services, Sacramento (CA) Public Library


“Read It Forward” is Moving Forward!

One of the most popular tables at the Youth Services Section’s Table Talks Workshop [during the 2013 NYLA Annual Conference] was the “Read It Forward” table.’  This presentation was given by Deena Viviani, a Young Adult, Programming, and Circulation Services Librarian for the Brighton Memorial Library in Rochester, NY. ‘ Deena credits the idea to a presentation she attended at the YALSA Symposium in St. Louis, MO, in November of 2012 – given by YA Librarian Carrie Dietz – so it appears that this idea has quite a bit of forward momentum already! ‘ ‘ ny

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A Project that Brings Teens Together

At the Ellsworth Public Library (in Ellsworth, Maine) we have a small, but dedicated Teen Advisory Board.’  They are willing to help out with anything from craft prep to after school programs.’  During the meetings we talk about upcoming volunteer opportunities (as well as brainstorming for future teen programs and watching the occasional YouTube video).’  This is great because the TAB members can get their required volunteer hours and I have a wonderful, helpful group of teens to work with.’ maine

However, I have been looking for a project they could relate to.’  This year, I think I found it–the CSLP Teen Video Challenge.’  Inspired by the teen slogan for CSLP 2014 (“Spark a Reaction”) the teens have written, directed, and filmed a short video to promote summer reading.’  We happen to have a couple of aspiring film makers in the group who are studying video at a local technical school, Hancock County Technical Center, so we partnered with them to produce the video. Read More →

Little Libraries on the Big State’s Prairie

The South Dakota State Library has seen some wonderful advances in teen services across the state in the last year after our summer Library Institute (June 2014) focused on teen services and programming.’  Our Library Training Institute is designed for directors and staff of our medium and small libraries.’  Our definition of medium and small is very different than the standard definitions – we’re talking libraries that serve populations of 5,000 – 15,000 for a medium and under 5,000 people for small libraries.’ SD Our curriculum is on a four year rotation – one year is on children’s & early literacy, one year is on teens, and two years are spent on administration, reference, grants, and technical services.’  For 5 days in June of 2013, 30 librarians from 26 libraries came together in Aberdeen, South Dakota and took part in intense learning about teens in their libraries.’  Topics covered included teen advisory boards, social media, programming ideas, booktalks & displays, book discussion groups, and how the teen brain functions.

As a result, we have not only seen an increase in programming for teens (annual report numbers are still coming in), but three libraries that had never done much for teens than purchase YA books started teen advisory boards and teen programming!’  For a state with only 111 public libraries, This. Is. Huge.’  At the 2013 Institute we featured the books Cinder and Scarlet, and we were even fortunate enough to Skype with Marissa Meyer! SQUEEEEE!!!!!’  Recently, one of the libraries that started a brand new teen advisory board also reported getting an 80 year old grandma hooked on Cinder!’  How awesome is that?

Two other statewide teen library initiatives have also seen wonderful growth over the last several years.’  The South Dakota State Library has focused more time and energy on promoting teen summer reading in our summer reading program workshops.’  Thanks to the amazing teen summer reading manual from the Collaborative Summer Library Program, teen summer reading numbers climb every year, with over 3,000 teens participating in summer reading in 2013!’  Also, in cooperation with the South Dakota Library Association, the South Dakota Teen Choice Book Award – YARP – has also seen increases in teen voting for the last 5 years.’  Over 2,000 teens voted last year across the state!

We can’t wait to see what happens in 2014!

Submitted by Jasmine Rockwell
Youth Services Coordinator, South Dakota State Library

Annual Teen Summit Focuses on Professional Development for Librarians Working with Teens

This fall, Massachusetts librarians working with teens will be celebrating their 6th Annual Teen Summit. The Summit is a professional conference, focused on the needs of librarians working with teens. Originally developed as a concluding program for a LSTA Serving Teens and Tweens grant, the summit has grown to an annual event that includes national speakers, peer-led breakout sessions and much needed networking opportunities for our librarians.Mass

The summit was developed to address the need for professional development needs of our librarians working with teens. While our regional systems did an excellent job covering collection development, technology, and programming trainings, the state youth consultants saw a need for training on bigger themes as well as a great need for networking opportunities for those who work with teens.

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On Friday, February 7, sixty library staff from across the Commonwealth of Virginia gathered for a one day STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) workshop hosted by the Science Museum of Virginia and the Library of Virginia. Funding was provided by the Institute for Museum and Libraries Services (IMLS).virginia

The workshop provided a framework for presenting science challenges to create thinking and learning experiences.’  Chuck English, Director of Playful Learning and Inquiry at the Science Museum, introduced an interactive and thoughtful way to present programs.’  We began by learning fun ways to assess the participants’ science skills and knowledge levels and ended with simple ways to measure learning outcomes.’  In between, participants were given challenges that mimicked a library STEM program.’  One such challenge was, with a bag full of items, create a prosthetic hand for a baby chimpanzee that would hold a banana.’  Although each group was given the same items, not all the engineering designs were similar.’  Another challenge was to trace a body, draw in the skeletal system and then create with an iPad an instructional video. Read More →