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 →

national forum on libraries and teens logoTuesday, April 16, 2PM Eastern! That’s the time for YALSA’s next virtual town hall which will take place in the association’s Adobe Connect space. The theme of the conversation is Teen Learning Environments and it’s a chance for library staff, administrators, and stakeholders – yes stakeholders – to consider what libraries need to do to provide learning environments for both formal and informal teen learning. The conversation is a part of YALSA’s year-long National Forum on Libraries and Teens.

If you are a stakeholder with an interest in teens and/or youth you want to attend the virtual town hall to get your voice heard and help guarantee that teens are served in the community as they need to be. Also, those who participate will get an advance copy of the final white paper that will be developed at the end of this year-long project.

If you work in libraries you want to be participate because you will be able to network with other library staff, get new ideas and learn about resources.

Up to 100 people can attend the virtual town hall so feel free to invite colleagues, peers, and others to help YALSA plan the very important future of library services to teens.
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Caffeine_Molecule “Like a caffeine molecule.” That’s how University of Washington ischool student Lauren Woody said she would visually depict her experience attending the two day summit at Midwinter held by YALSA as part of the National Forum on Libraries and Teens. At the summit discussion centered around the future of teens and libraries. Keep reading to find out more about what Lauren and fellow student Jesse O’Dunne said about their experiences at the summit. Read More →

Bring together a group of energizing professionals from different backgrounds who have devoted their talents to serving teens and prepare to be inspired. The Summit on Teens & Libraries was a part of YALSA’s National Forum on Libraries & Teens funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and these two days of creative thinking about missions, opportunities, aspirations and connections was simply dazzling. After a series of speakers and small group discussions, I took away a powerful word: relationships. So often we go about our daily routine, and we take time to think of the best library programming or instructional ideas or focus on our technology and book offerings. Those things are key to our success of course, but none of that matters if teens don’t feel connected.

A teen panel took questions from YALSA President Jack Martin, and in our discussions we kept referring to what they said brought them to the library and what they wanted from their experience. It was clear that connecting with interests, friends, and the library staff kept them coming back. As studies show and our speakers stated throughout, learning driven by teens and their interests is most meaningful. Two powerful statements from the panel that resonate with me are “The library gave me a community” and “I leave with new ideas.” What could possibly be better than that?
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I feel so privileged to have been at the IMLS-supported YALSA Forum on Teens and Libraries the past two days in Seattle – right before Midwinter starts today.

It’s hard to know where to start, but one of the most powerful parts of the Forum was that it wasn’t just library folks talking about our work with each other — like we often do– partners and supporters were intentionally included and asked about how we can continue to engage them.

We have to reach out and partner with other organizations that value youth—we can’t do it all ourselves. We need to attend coalitions or collaboratives in our communities to make sure libraries are included in new projects or initiatives – that we are key players at important tables. While I’ve been here at Midwinter I just learned there is now a Twin Cities Career Readiness Collaborative that I was not aware of – I’m going to find out who’s in charge and see if it could be meaningful for my Library. Read More →