Winter 2013 - YALSA - American Library Association

yalsa.ala.org

Winter 2013 - YALSA - American Library Association

The official journal of The Young adulT librarY ServiceS aSSociaTionyoung adultlibrary servicesVOLUME 11 | NUMBER 2WINTER 2013 ISSN 1541-4302The View from ALA4 ALA Washington OfficeLots of Resources for YOU!By Ted WegnerYALSA Perspectives7 Teen Tech Week 2013Get Your Tech OnBy Clair Segal10 YALSA’s National Forum on Librariesand TeensBy Nancy Everhart, Don Latham and Marcia MardisBest Practices13 Making the Common Core Workfor School LibrariesA New York City ExampleBy Elizabeth Naylor-GutierrezHot Spot: Teens & Tech17 Minecraft Programs in the LibraryIf You Build It They Will ComeBy Erica Gauquier and Jessica Schneider20 Autism?There’s an App for ThatBy Renee McGrath25 Teen tXpertsAn EvaluationBy April Layne Pavis28 Sacramento Teens Shape Their Future,One Photo and Post at a TimeBy Lana Adlawan30 Connect, Create, CollaborateHow and Why Social Media is Good for YourLibrary and Why You Should Join the FunBy Michael P. Buono and Amanda Kordeliski32 Learning Labs Learning CurveThe Digital Media Lab—Kansas City ProjectBy Jamie Mayo35 Can We Talk?How School Librarians Discuss Social Mediawith StakeholdersBy Alida HansonPlus:2 From the EditorLinda W. Braun3 From the PresidentJack Martin29 Guidelines for Authors29 Index to Advertisers38 The YALSA UpdateAbout This CoverThis Teen Tech Week (March 10–16, 2013),YALSA invites you to Check In @ your library!®This year’s theme encourages libraries to throw opentheir physical and virtual doors to teens and showcasethe outstanding technology they offer, from servicessuch as online homework help and digital literacyfocusedprograms to resources like e-books, movies,music, audiobooks, databases and more. Official TeenTech Week Products, such as the poster on the cover,are available at www.alastore.org.


featureThe View from ALAALA WashingtonOfficeLots of Resourcesfor YOU!By Ted WegnerThe ALA Washington Office (WO)has a long history of fighting forissues that impact users of all typesof libraries. For decades this office has soughtto raise the profi le of libraries on CapitolHill and in other policy arenas. But it is notalways clear to ALA members what resourcesthe WO has to offer. Here, I lay out fiveWO resources that YALSA membersshould know about and be using regularly.Mobile CommonsMobile Commons is the newest advocacytool in the WO arsenal. By simply textingthe word library to 877877, librarysupporters can sign up for advocacy textalerts from the WO to receive the mostup-to-date information on advocacy alertsand events related to libraries. The optinservice allows ALA to communicateadvocacy messages in a quick and effectivefashion using an innovative texting andcalling feature. The tool enables ALA tobuild a mobile list of library supporters.Most excitingly, this tool gives supportersall the resources they need to advocate forlibraries right from their phone.Using the innovative “text-to-call”feature, we hope to reach supporters innew ways and increase our visibility toCongress. A text-to-call alert is quitesimple. A mobile list subscriber will firstreceive a text message, asking for action tobe taken on a particular issue (i.e., federallibrary funding). The user then texts backthe word call whenever they are ready.After texting back, the user will receive acall where upon answering they will hearrecorded talking points for the issue. Afterlistening to the brief message, the user willthen hear which Congressional office theyTED WEGNER has served as the Grassroots Coordinator forthe ALA Washington Office since 2011. His duties includemobilizing grassroots support, managing ALA’s advocacy tools,and coordinating training activities. He graduated from LutherCollege with a degree in political science and communications.E-mail him at twegner@alawash.org. Call him at 800-941-8478.are about to be transferred to, and voilà,the user is directly transferred to the officeand is advocating for libraries.We hope Mobile Commons will makeadvocacy easier and more efficient. Andsince all you need is texting capability onyour phone (Mobile Commons does notrequire a smartphone), we hope this is away more teens will get involved and feelinspired to take up library advocacy.If you choose to sign up for thisfeature, we will only send you textmessages pertaining to library advocacy.We envision sending two or three textmessages per month out to the mobile list.It may be an action alert, or it may just bea reminder of advocacy-related programsand sessions at ALA conferences.Whatever the message, we hope to engagemore members by speaking to them on aubiquitous platform: the cell phone.Again, to sign up, text the word libraryto 877877. You will receive a text askingfor your mailing address (you can chooseyour library or home address). After that,you will officially be a part of the first ALAmobile list! You can also sign up online athttp://districtdispatch.org/textalerts.WebinarsThe WO hosts a wide variety of advocacywebinars each year for library supporters.The webinars are free to all members andare archived immediately after they airlive. These sessions are led by “AdvocacyGuru” Stephanie Vance, who has overtwenty years’ experience in Congressionalaffairs. She has worked in numerous officesas both a legislative director and staffdirector. More importantly, Stephanie hasbeen working with the ALA for almost adecade and has spoken at ALA and statechapter conferences all over the country.Recent webinar titles include:“They’ve Got to See It to Believe It:Getting Decision Makers into YourLibrary” and “Funding Cuts Got You4 YALS Young Adult Library Services Winter 2013


WegnerDown? Ten Insider Tactics for Impactingthe Funding Debate (For the Better!).”The WO and the ALA Committeeon Legislation’s (COL) GrassrootsAdvocacy Subcommittee are constantlyseeking suggestions for webinar topics.For example, we heard from membersthat in many places it was hard to knowwhat the rules were concerning lobbyingand advocacy. This suggestion led to“Education, Lobbying, and Advocacy—OhMy! What’s Allowed (And What’s Not)When Reaching Out to Elected Officials,”one of our best attended webinars to date.So please, send us suggestions for topicsthat might be of use for your library andspecifically in relation to advocating forteen library services.All archived webinars can be foundunder “Online Courses” in the Advocacyand Legislation section of http://ala.org.All WO webinars are free to attend andfree to view afterward at any time.Legislative Action Centerand CapwizEven though we are excited about thepotential of Mobile Commons, we willcontinue to use the Legislative Action Center(LAC), our Web-based advocacy platform.The LAC is where we post all of ouraction alerts for federal legislative advocacyitems. When a supporter visits the center,they will find a specific legislative “ask,”talking points, and the preferred meansof contacting their legislators for thegiven issue. Often, an action alert will bepresented as a “call alert.” On the LAC,supporters will find talking points for thelegislative “ask,” and after typing in theirzip code, will be given the phone numberfor their legislators. It is important toknow and understand the “ask” whenspeaking with legislators and their staff.While it is nice to ask your legislators tosupport libraries in general, it requiresthem to do very little. At the LAC, youwill always find specific and measurable“asks” of your legislators so they canbetter understand what you’d like to seeaccomplished, and you can better assessif they are supportive of your goals. Onoccasion, we will ask for an e-mail to besent. In that case, supporters will find aneditable message than can be e-maileddirectly to their legislators.At this time, more than 70,000library supporters rely on our e-mailnotification system (called Capwiz) toreceive alerts from the WO. We sende-mail notifications when we need to sharethe most urgent alerts. More often, we willsend out notifications to segmented lists wecan create in Capwiz. These lists are oftencreated for specific Congressional districtsso we can let library supporters know aboutimportant legislation moving throughCongressional committees. It is essentialfor people to get these alerts because one ofthe best places to impact legislation is whenit is moving through a committee.The LAC has been an invaluable toolfor the ALA for more than five years andwill continue to grow in value when used inconjunction with Mobile Commons. TheLegislative Action Center can be found bygoing to http://ala.org/takeaction. If youhaven not visited the Legislative ActionCenter already, we encourage you to signup for the e-mail mailing list at http://distirctdispatch.org/subscribe. Just likewith Mobile Commons, we do our best torespect your time and e-mail inbox. We tryto send e-mail alerts infrequently and onlywhen they pertain to library advocacy.District Dispatch andSocial MediaOne of the best ways to stay up to date onthe latest news and events from Washingtonis through our blog, the District Dispatch.The WO’s blog offers up-to-date newsarticles that focus on legislation, policy, andregulatory issues of importance to the librarycommunity. District Dispatch also offersinstructive articles for library supporterswho are new to advocacy, as well as strategytips and how-to videos for seasonedlibrary supporters. Library supporters areencouraged to subscribe to the advocacy blogto receive the Dispatch’s weekly newsletter.WO staff from both the ALA Officeof Government Relations (OGR) and theALA Office for Information TechnologyPolicy (OITP) contribute posts on a widearray of subjects.OGR staff frequently post aboutlegislative updates on key library issues.Whether it’s federal funding for libraries,copyright legislation, or informationon e-government services, DistrictDispatch posts are designed to give librarysupporters an overview of the latestdevelopments in an understandable way.The blog is also a great place to find outabout new advocacy tools like MobileCommons.OITP staff offer posts on theever-changing world of e-books,telecommunications policy, and federalfunding programs like E-Rate. Recently,OITP published an article announcingthey are accepting nominations foran award presented to libraries usingcutting-edge technology. This is justone example of the type of importantannouncements that appear on DistrictDispatch.The District Dispatch is a greatplace to find out about the programs theWO has planned at conferences. Whenthe spring rolls around, we also post agood deal of information about NationalLibrary Legislative Day, the annual ALAadvocacy event, usually held in early May,where librarians and library supportersfrom across the country converge inWashington, D.C., to meet with membersof Congress to discuss key library issues.While the District Dispatch providesupdates on National Library LegislativeDay, advocates who would like to learnWinter 2013 Young Adult Library Services YALS5


ALA Washington Officemore about the event can find informationat http://ala.org/nlld.The WO also maintains an activepresence on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.We’ve come to know YALSA members assome of the most active ALA members onsocial media platforms. If you haven’t alreadyseen our social media channels, we certainlyhope you’ll follow us for a mix of librarynews, advocacy alerts, and sometimes evena little humor. Our Facebook and Tumblrpages are updated daily, and we love tointeract with library supporters on all of oursocial media platforms.You can visit the blog at http://districtdisaptch.org. Our Twitter handleis @ala_wo. You can find us on Facebookby searching and liking the WO. Check usout on Tumblr at http://libraryadvocates.tumblr.com.WO StaffStaff members at the WO are one of thebest resources we have. Between OGR,OITP, and our communications team, wehave a wealth of knowledge and experiencethat we can share with members. The WOis made up of staff members with extensiveCapitol Hill experience, published authors,copyright experts, and public and academiclibrarians, just to name a few.It is our goal to best serve allmembers of ALA so we do hope you willcontact us with questions and comments.Whether you’re wondering about aparticular piece of legislation, want toknow more about our work on e-books, orneed facts and fi gures for an article, giveus a call or send an e-mail, we’d love tohelp. Additionally, WO staff are availableto help members with advocacy-relatedquestions.You can find a full staff e-mail listingat http://ala.org/wo. If you’re not surewhere to turn, you can always give me acall or send an e-mail, and I’ll be happy tosend you to the right place. My contactinformation is in my author bio on thefront page of this article. We hope to hearfrom you soon. YALSYALSA’s ThirdThursday Webinars60 minute webinars on timely topics. Presented byexperts. Commercial free.See what we’ll be talking about this at www.ala.org/yalsa/webinars.Webinars cost $29 for students, $39 for YALSA members, $49for nonmembers. Group rates cost $195.Webinars 24/7:All archived webinars are free for members. They’re postedtwo months after the live presentation in the For Members Onlysection of the website and nonmembers can buy access for $19at www.ala.org/yalsa/webinarsondemand.6 YALS Young Adult Library Services Winter 2013


featureYALSA PerspectivesTeen Tech Week is the time ofyear when we celebrate bothtechnology’s place in the libraryand the librarian’s role in technology. It’sa wonderful way to start a dialogue withyour teen customers, experiment witha new kind of event, and promote yourservices to the community. But sometimesit can feel easier to justify not celebratingthan to plan and execute programming.With everything that happens in yourdaily routine—everything you’re alreadyresponsible for—it’s easy to understand notcelebrating. “I would do something for TeenTech Week, but _____,” you rationalize,shrugging and making vague promises toyourself about putting something on nextyear. There are other things to take care of,other concerns to be dealt with. Who hasthe time? Money? Support?Put that “but” away, dear librarian.Because if there’s one thing we, the TeenTech Week Committee, excel at, it’s ideasfor connecting teens, technology, and libraryservices. This year’s theme of Check In@ your library® is chock-full of ideas justwaiting to be found!Check In @ Your Library: TheBest Theme EverTeen Tech Week themes are created toprovide a framework, and your initialreaction to them can heavily steer yourprogramming choices for the week. At firstglance, creating programming for Check In@ your library, the 2013 Teen Tech Weektheme, might seem like a bit of a headscratcher.Check in? So you have your kidsuse Foursquare or something? Then seewho becomes Mayor of the Group StudyRoom with the Ugly Brown Chairs?Take another look, and as the MCadvised: “[Stop] break it down.”When your teens “check in” somewhere,whether it’s on FourSquare, by Tweeting,updating their Facebook status, or evenjust by sending a text to let someone knowTeen TechWeek 2013Get Your Tech On!By Clair Segalwhere they are, it’s through a phone. Cellphones and smartphones have become anomnipresent fixture in our teens’ lives to thepoint where many can’t remember life beforethere was “an app for that.” Try explainingthe idea of a car phone to your teens andwatch their faces—“wait, it was attached tothe car? Like, all the time? What?”The beauty of the “check in” themeis that it brings mobile and personaltechnology into your toolbox for the week.Your teens have their own devices to bringto the table—devices that are always onthem, constantly accessible. That’s anincredible asset for any program you’replanning. It’s a resource you don’t have tospend any money on to access, that yourpatrons already know how to use, and hasa thousand and one free applications. It’shardware that’s already in hand—yourteens’ hands—that you can use to plana program that feels modern, cool, andinfinitely relevant.Mobile technology also introducesbrand-new ways of moving beyond theusual “I don’t have the ____ for this”excuses. Strapped for time, money, andideas? Find your excuse below, and let ushelp you find a way to celebrate Teen TechWeek this year using personal technology(and feel a lot less stress).I Am Low on TimeThe problem with Teen Tech Week isthat it doesn’t come with a time machinethat adds minutes to every day.Usage is up, money is down, and theprinter has jammed three times today. Noone even bothered to tell you the last time—you had to fi nd out when you walked by togo to the restroom and saw the forebodinglyblinking orange light. E-mails have to beanswered, staffers have to be managed,and you’ve got to accomplish at least threeimpossible things before breakfast, which willCLAIR SEGAL is the Library Technology Coordinator at the HoraceMann School in New York City. She currently chairs the Teen TechWeek Committee and will be joining Fabulous Films for YoungAdults in the spring. Clair wants to thank the Teen Tech WeekCommittee for all of their hard work this year: Donna Block, LisaFerneau Haynes, Shannon Lake, Karen Lemmons, SamanthaMarker, and Kip Odell.Winter 2013 Young Adult Library Services YALS7


Teen Tech Week 2013consist of half a granola bar and three cupsof coffee.Who has time to plan a week of tech?The introduction of mobile technologywill be your salvation, time-strapped librarian.You have a teen base that’s constantlyconnected. Personal devices give your teensthe ability to use the library even when notin it, whether that’s through the browser ofa smartphone or texting a reference questionto the front desk. Library programming nolonger has to happen inside the library.Take, for example, the old librarystaple of a scavenger hunt. Having a huntin your library requires hiding the items,keeping a careful tally of everything, keepingtrack of teens when they say they’ve foundsomething, and managing the teens asthey’re physically hunting in the library.Try a mobile scavenger hunt on forsize. The entire city, town, school, orInternet can be your hunting grounds.Items no longer have to be pre-hiddenand can run the gamut from literary (e.g.,a piece of clothing your favorite characterwears) to teen culture (e.g., an animephone case) to crowdsourcing (e.g., a chairyou wish we had in the library).If your patrons have smartphones, youcan use apps to plan, keep score, and executethe entire program (Scavenger Hunt withFriends has a free version available for bothiPhone and Android). If teens have accessto camera phones, you can have them takepictures on the go and bring them to you atthe end of the hunt to have points tallied.Now the part of the hunt that involvesyour time is in publicizing it to the teens,picking items for them to find, and decidingon and rewarding the winner. No bonesabout it, this will still take time. But you’veremoved some of the most time-consumingaspects of the program: hiding and keepingtrack of objects as they’re found, monitoringyour teens, and drumming up attendancefor a program that has an inflexible startand stop time. You’ve created a fun, easyto-administerprogram that lets your teensparticipate no matter where they are in theworld and doesn’t require a set block of timeon the library’s (not to mention your own)already crowded schedule.I Am Low-Tech onTech SavvinessThe problem with Teen Tech Week is thattech is not a good friend of mine.You’re working in a library, and you’regood at what you do. You know your teensand their needs. You know your collection.And you know how to do what you need toknow how to do with tech. You’re not techilliterate, but you know your skills and yourown comfort level. It’s not like you can plana week of technology and then pass it off onsomeone else to do the actual technology part.Who has the time to learn how to do allof this stuff for programming?Whether you’re a digital native or a digitalimmigrant, we’re all here now. Technologyhas become an essential part of the library, andremoving it would prove just as detrimental asremoving your reference desk or discarding allof your paperbacks. While you may not be ascomfortable with technology as you’d like tobe, using mobile and personal devices meansyou don’t necessarily have to be.Your teens know how to use their ownphones. They may not know how to best usethem, or how to utilize all of the functions,but they understand the basic workingsand how to get them to do what they want.You’re trying to speak a language theyalready understand, and that opens up thedoor in a huge way for teen-led activities.Talk to your teens before Teen TechWeek to get an idea of how they use theirphones and what kind of devices they have.If your teens are generally smartphoneusers (iPhones, Android phones, etc.), askyour teens which apps they’re using heavily.Which ones are the best? Which wouldthey recommend to other library users?If you’ve got the space and time (anddedicated teen attendance), plan an appdemonstration and recommendationprogram. Teens get up and show offtheir favorite apps and games, as wellas share tips for how to best use theirsmartphones. For a more passive approachto programming, consider having an“App of the Day” board where teens writeabout their favorite app and why it’s theirfavorite. If your library has a blog, let yourteens guest post their recommendations.Customers that rely heavily on oldschoolfeature phones (non-smartphones thatcan’t connect to the Internet) can be moredifficult to plan for, but are no less helpful.Try thinking of them for what they can doand not what they are. They can let you andyour teens talk to each other and exchangeshort messages (via text). They enable yourcustomers to take pictures (camera phones)and record short audio clips.Using older feature phones, teens cansnap quick photos of themselves reenactingbook covers, both in the library and ontheir own time. They can record tensecondbooktalks, making a game of howquickly they can recap their favorite titles.Even the most basic cell phone has fantasticfeatures that you can use to your advantage;and your teens already know how to usemost of them. You’ve essentially taken thetech literacy off of your to-do list and putit on your patrons, allowing them to teacheach other and express themselves.I Am Low on FundsThe problem with Teen Tech Week is thatthings cost money.Your budget has been slashed. Twice.You have twice as many teens and half asmany staffers as you did fi ve years ago. Thingsare tight, you’re working every angle to getmaterials and supplies for your space, butiPads? Kindles? Yeah, okay, sure. You’d settlefor having a printer that wasn’t made ten yearsbefore most of your customers were even born.Who has the money to do a week oftechnology programming?8 YALS Young Adult Library Services Winter 2013


SegalThere’s no way around it, technologycosts money. New tech costs more moneythan old, but pretty much all of it costssomething. Utilizing your customers’personal devices as a tool for programmingis a fantastic cost-saving measure—a way ofwatching your budget that’s easy and cool.Always wanted a video game club, butdidn’t have the funds? Instead of spendingmoney you don’t have on a PlayStation 3or an XBox, arrange a smartphone gamingtournament. Have teens download freegames to their phones, create accounts,and play against each other. If you listtheir usernames on a library bulletin orwhiteboard, they can play against eachother for the title of “Best Library GamerEver.” You can have the same experiencewithout the cash outlay for a gamingsystem, and with no need for a dedicatedspace to host. Now your tournament ismobile—it can happen on the bus, beforebed, or in-between class periods—anddoesn’t require your teens (or you) to beonsite to participate. Teens can tweet orpost their scores to the library’s Facebookpage to show off their scores, brag aboutbeating levels, and share tips on how toget that last pig (the one hiding behind thegray stones like a coward).For non-smart cell phones, a textinggame tournament adds a dash of spice toany program. With cell phones, your teensessentially have mobile, easy-to-use buzzersin their hands. They can text responsesinstantly, everything from a letter to a fullword. Library Jeopardy has never beeneasier! Separate teens into teams, and havethem text responses to you; the first text toget sent and come in, wins.By letting your customers bring theirown technology to Teen Tech Week,you’re eliminating the need for priceypurchases and bloated buying withoutvisibly cutting corners. Instead of goingcheap, you’re “going mobile” and creatinga trendy program that fits into what yourteens are already doing.I Am Low on Spaceand PeopleThe problem with Teen Tech Week is thatI have nowhere to put it and only two hands.You work with teenagers all day. Maybeyou’re lucky enough to have your own spacefor your teens, maybe not. Maybe you’re afull-time teen librarian, and maybe you splityour day between talking about Full MetalAlchemist and answering reference questionsat the front desk. Either way, you don’t haveanywhere to put teens with technology, andyou certainly don’t have the time to sit downand only do one thing at a time.Not everyone is fortunate enough tohave a teen space, and not every libraryhas a dedicated young adult librarian. Formany, space and staff power are at just ashigh a premium as funds and time. Sololibrarians often face the same issues. Ifyou’re an army of one, it’s hard to be onmultiple battlefields at the same time.Personal devices are just that,personal, and they go mobile with yourcustomers. Programming can take placefrom anywhere at any time. Participationin everything from a trivia tournament, toa scavenger hunt, to a karaoke contest canhappen off-site. Mobile devices let teenscreate and share content regardless of theirlocation; find the right way to match theircreativity with your own ability to organizeand display their work, and you’ve gota fantastic program that requires zerophysical attendance.Cell phones can also help solve thestaffing problem. By making personaldevices a building block, you’ve recruitedyour teens into helping you administeryour programming. It’s hard to puton a program and document it at thesame time; when you’re in the middleof running an event, it can be nearlyimpossible to get away long enough totake some great pictures of your teenshaving fun. Armed with smartphones,your teens can snap fantastic shots ofthemselves having fun in the library onInstagram—ready to go for the nextlibrary newsletter or website update.Building your programming aroundpersonal devices turns your teens frompassive recipients of your programmingto active attendees, and encouragesparticipation that won’t tie up yourpeople and places.Now Go Do!You want to put on programming forTeen Tech Week, you really do. Thisyear, you’ve got no reason not to. CheckIn @ your library gives you all of the toolsnecessary to put on a fantastic programwith little to no fuss, muss, time, ormoney. And by integrating technologythat your teens are already using, yourprogramming becomes an organicexperience, part of their routine as opposedto an interruption, and that’s better foreveryone.The ideas in this article are greatjumping off points on which you can build,but they are by no means all inclusive. Alibrary is an ecosystem, and each library isas unique as a fingerprint. Everything fromyour customers to your location makesyour space singular. There isn’t a one-sizefits-allprogramming guide that they handout when you become a librarian, and theseexamples are no different. Tweak ideasand strategies to fit your own needs andspace. Talk to other librarians on listservsand social media about what they’re doingor what they’ve done in recent years. TheTeen Tech Week Committee has also puttogether twenty Programming Ideas forTeen Tech Week (available for downloadfrom the ALA store at http://bit.ly/ttwstore) with suggestions for all levels oftech savviness and difficulty. You also don’twant to miss the Teen Tech Week Ningwith more ideas and resources available athttp://teentechweek.ning.com/.Have fun, and good luck. We can’t waitto see what you come up with! YALSWinter 2013 Young Adult Library Services YALS9


featureYALSA PerspectivesYALSA’s NationalForum on Librariesand TeensBy Nancy Everhart,Don Latham andMarcia MardisYALSA received funding to holda face-to-face summit and virtualtown hall meetings in a nationalinitiative titled National Forum onLibraries and Teens. These events bringtogether practitioners, stakeholders,and experts in the library, education,and technology communities to developa white paper on how young adultservices in libraries must developin order to meet the informationaland recreational needs of twelve toeighteen year olds. The forum will focuson three areas:1. Research (what is known about theinformational and recreational needsof young adults);2. Programs and services (what libraryprograms need in place to supportthese needs); and3. Resources (what resources areneeded to enable school and publiclibraries to effectively meet theNANCY EVERHART is an Associate Professor and Director of thePALM Center at the Florida State University School of Library InformationStudies, Tallahassee. She served as AASL President in2010–2011. DON LATHAM is an Associate Professor in the Schoolof Library and Information Studies at Florida State University.His research focuses on information behavior of young adults,information literacy and literature for young adults. He currentlyis Chair of the YALSA Research Committee. MARCIA MARDIS is anAssistant Professor and Associate Director of the PALM Center atFlorida State University. An experienced school librarian, schooladministrator, and network engineer, Mardis has been working inthe area of youth digital libraries for over fifteen years.informational and recreational needsof contemporary young adults).A major focus will be on how thelibrary community can collaborate withother organizations, including academicinstitutions and national nonprofits andfoundations, to support the needs of youngadults. The project began in October 2012,and here we’d like to provide informationabout the project’s importance, how it willmake a difference and how you can getinvolved.Why Is the Forum Important?As all of us know, libraries are vital butchallenged source of support for thegrowing youth population in the UnitedStates. The “Opportunity for All” studyreported that youth ages fourteen totwenty-four make up 25 percent of alllibrary users and that youth were drawnto libraries to use computers, receive helpwith homework, socialize, and participatein programming. 1 Similarly, schoollibraries are available to about 62 percentof youth enrolled in public schools andyouth turn to their school libraries forrecreational reading, learning support,and technology access. 2 However, criticallibrary resources are endangered bywidespread economic impacts on publicand school libraries. 3,4,5,6Less access to libraries particularlychallenges our young adults. For them,libraries are essential for social learning. 7They also gain new literacies for learningand expression at libraries, whichsupplements the strictures of centralized,classroom curriculums. 8,9,10 Young adultsalso use libraries to gain workplacepreparedness. 11,12Building on Past SuccessIn recognition of these seriouscircumstances, the team at YALSA10YALS Young Adult Library Services Winter 2013


Everhart, Latham, and Mardisdecided that it was time to build on pastefforts to raise awareness in the librarycommunity. These previous effortsinclude:·····The Young Adult Services Division(YALSA’s previous name) sentdelegates to a White HouseConference on Youth in 1960.In 1979 the ALA Youth Caucussent delegates to the WhiteHouse Conference on Library andInformation Services.In 2002 the White House hosted aconference on school libraries.In 2003 Museums and Libraries“Engaging America’s Youth” finalreport was published.In 2008 the Institute of Museum andLibrary Services (IMLS) hosted adiscussion on the future of museumsand libraries.These past events helped YALSAto grow as an organization, andincreased awareness about young adultlibrarianship—a mission the currentnational forum will take further. Theforum will enable the library communityto identify and gain understanding of thesteps it needs to take in order to provideeffective service to young adults who livein a fast-moving and technologicallybased world.How Will the Forum Help?As we mentioned, the forum will focuson three areas: research, programs andservices and resources. The outcomeof the events will be the developmentand dissemination of a white paper thataddresses each of these areas. The whitepaper will be a call to action for thelibrary and education communities andbeyond.The forum includes events that willhelp current and future librarians developeffective services and resources for youngadults by informing current practiceand graduate school curricula. Themomentum, personal and professionalconnections, outreach and white paperproduced as a result of this project willprovide librarians, educators, researchers,and other community stakeholders witha framework for ensuring that librariesprovide timely, progressive and excellentservices to young adults in this constantlychanging environment.How Will theForum Work?The forum is collaboratively planned bythe YALSA project team and an advisoryboard of experts on youth, libraries,education and technology. The forumengages librarians, experts, and researchersin three main phases:Face-to-Face SummitThe face-to-face summit took placeJanuary 23 and 24, 2013, just priorto the ALA 2013 Midwinter Meetingin Seattle, Washington. Along withadvisory board members, other membersof the library, education, and stakeholdercommunities attended the summit. Thisincluded faculty at schools of libraryand information science and schoolsof education, school and public librarystaff, researchers, state library agencyyouth consultants, those who focus onout of school time and those involved ineducational programs.The summit included presentationsby those in the fields of library services,education, technology, and planning forthe future. These presentations helped toset the stage for small-group discussionsof attendees. The summit facilitator, ALAPresident Maureen Sullivan, was assistedby selected attendees in facilitating thesesmall-group discussions.Virtual Town Hall MeetingsIn order to provide more opportunitiesfor members of the young adult libraryservices community, young adults andstakeholders to participate in planningthe future of young adult libraryservices, a series of virtual town hallmeetings will be held March 19,April 16, and May 21, 2013. The topicsand focus of each meeting are based onthe outcomes of the summit.The open online town hall meetingswill take place in YALSA’s AdobeConnect space, and all those interested inthe project will be able to synchronouslypost information from the meetingson Twitter and Facebook in order tobring in discussion from those not ableto attend. Following each town hallmeeting, conversations will be postedon the project website (www.ala.org/yaforum).Young adults will be recruitedfrom YALSA members’ teen advisoryboards to participate in the town hallmeetings in order to provide theirperspective on the information andrecreational needs of today’s youngadults.White Paper DevelopmentOnce all materials from the summitand virtual town hall meetings havebeen gathered, the YALSA ResearchCommittee, headed by FloridaState University’s Don Latham, incollaboration with Sandra Hughes-Hassell, Editor of the Journal ofResearch on Libraries and Young Adultswill draft a white paper and circulateit for review by experts, researchers,librarians, stakeholders and the YALSAcommunity. The white paper will outlinethe challenges in providing library servicesto young adults, the future of libraryservices to young adults, and strategiesfor ensuring young adults have theWinter 2013 Young Adult Library Services YALS11


YALSA’s National Forum on Libraries and Teensservices they need from a broad coalitionof organizations locally, regionally andnationally.Meet Your Forum TeamYour YALSA team includes Beth Yoke,the association’s Executive Director asProject Director, who oversees all phasesof the project and supports disseminationefforts. YALSA staff, including NicholeGilbert, who is responsible for planningand organizing the face-to-face events,and Letitia Smith, who coordinatesparticipation and the white paperdistribution, will also support the project.Maureen Sullivan, a talentedorganizational consultant will lead thesummit and Linda W. Braun, a YALSAPast President, will lead the virtual townhall meetings. Don Latham, and SandraHughes-Hassell, will help produce the draftof a white paper on which the communitywill provide feedback.Nancy Everhart and Marcia Mardis,from Florida State University’s PartnershipsAdvancing Library Media (PALM) Center,will undertake the evaluation efforts andensure that the team meets its goals.How Can You Get Involved?Watch the forum website, www.ala.org/yaforum, to keep up on news and events.References1. Samantha Becker et al., “Opportunity forAll: How Library Policies and PracticesImpact Public Internet Access,” 2011.www.imls.gov/assets/1/AssetManager/OppForAll2.pdf (accessed November 19,2012).2. National Center for Education Statistics[NCES], “Digest of Education Statistics2010.” http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2011015 (accessedNovember 19, 2012).3. Everett Henderson and James Lonergan,“Research Brief No. 3: Majority of StatesReport Decline in Support for LibraryServices,” 2011. www.imls.gov/assets/1/AssetManager/Brief2011_03.pdf(accessed November 19, 2012).4. American Library Association, “LibrariesConnect Communities: Public LibraryFunding & Technology Access Study2010–2011.” www.ala.org/ala/research/initiatives/plftas/2010_2011 (accessedNovember 19, 2012).5. Denise Davis, “The Conditionof U.S. Libraries: School LibraryTrends 1999–2009.” www.ala.org/research/sites/ala.org.research/files/content/initiatives/Condition_of_Libraries_1999.20.pdf (accessedNovember 19, 2012).6. Noelle M. Ellerson, “A Cliff Hanger:How America’s Public Schools Continueto Feel the Impact of the EconomicDownturn,” 2010. www.aasa.org/uploadedFiles/Policy_and_Advocacy/files/CliffHangerFINAL(1).pdf (accessedNovember 12, 2012).7. Victoria Carrington and MurlelRobinson, Digital Literacies: SocialLearning and Classroom Practices. (LosAngeles, Calif.: Sage, 2009).8. Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture:Where Old and New Media Collide.(New York: New York University Press,2008).9. Lalitha M. Vausdevan, “Looking forAngels: Knowing Adolescents byEngaging with Their MultimodalLiteracy Practices,” Journal of Adolescentand Adult Literacy 50, no. 4 (2006):252–256.10. David O’Brien and Cassandra Scharber,“Digital Literacies Go to School: Potholesand Possibilities,” Journal of Adolescentand Adult Literacy 52, no. 1 (2008):66–68.11. Frank Levy and Richard J. Murnane,“For Now, Middle-Skilled Jobs Are theMost Vulnerable.” www.cesifo-group.de/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/1191752.PDF(accessed November 19, 2012).12. Partnership for 21st Century Skills[P21], “Framework for 21st CenturyLearning.” www.p21.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=254&Itemid=12 (accessedNovember 19, 2012). YALS12YALS Young Adult Library Services Winter 2013


featureBest PracticesThe adoption of the Common CoreLearning Standards (CCLS) isa gift to school librarians—theCCLS emphasis on the process of learningaligns perfectly with the framework ofinformation fl uency skills that guidesinstruction in the library program. Inthe ten years that I have worked in theOffice of Library Services, “I see theCommon Core era” as school librarians’best opportunity to become instructionalleaders in their schools. School librariansin NYC are particularly fortunate andcrucially positioned to make majorcontributions to the implementationof the CCLS in NYC because of twofactors: the use of the Information FluencyContinuum in NYC school librariesas the instructional blueprint, and thenarrow focus of the NYC Departmentof Education (DOE) on specific CCLSto be implemented via the CitywideInstructional Expectations.Created by NYC librarians andthe Office of Library Services under theinspired leadership of Barbara Stripling,the Information Fluency Continuum(IFC) lays out the K–12 informationand inquiry skills students must masterto develop into independent, collegeandcareer-ready learners. (For links toall of the materials mentioned in thisarticle, see the YALS site at http://yalsa.ala.org/yals.) In addition, the IFCprovides formative assessments to trackstudents’ progress toward that goal.The Information Fluency Continuumpresents a practical way to implement theCCLS demand for “focus and coherencein instruction and assessment.” 1 TheOffice of Library Services has seized thisopportunity to provide librarians andteachers with a concrete approach toimplementing the CCLS through targetedprofessional development, Common CoreState Standards and the School Librarian:A Process for Implementation. This fourdayworkshop reviews the alignment ofMaking theCommon CoreWork for SchoolLibrariesA NYC ExampleBy Elizabeth Naylor-Gutierrezthe CCLS with the IFC, unpacks theindividual standards, offers lesson-buildingguidance aimed at meeting specificinformation fl uency skill standards, andprovides assessments to measure students’progress toward mastering that skill.Before diving into the substance andgoals of the series, a bit of context helpsilluminate the evolution of these sessions.The adoption of the CCLS is suchan enormous shift in instruction thatthe NYS Department of Education’s“evolving, collaborative platform foreducators,” EngageNY has outlined justexactly what the “shifts” are. Recognizingthe magnitude of the change for educators,many organizations have offered“crosswalks” or itemized comparisonsof familiar approaches to help navigatethe change with CCLS. 2 The Office ofLibrary Services also provided a crosswalkthat aligned the IFC with the CCLS andmade the document available on theirwebsite (http://on.nyc.gov/Wtg90U).The similarities in the IFC and theCCLS are remarkable—both follow aninquiry approach to learning and areprocess, not content, driven. However,the differences are even more interesting.The CCLS describe the learning processin broad strokes—for example, ReadingStandards for Informational Text,Grade 5, Key Ideas and Details 1 requiresthat students be able to “Quote accuratelyfrom a text when explaining what thetext says explicitly and when drawingELIZABETH NAYLOR-GUTIERREZ is a Coordinator in the New YorkCity Department of Library Services where she has worked since2002. Prior to that time she was a middle school teacher and ahigh school librarian.Winter 2013 Young Adult Library Services YALS13


Making the Common Core Work for School LibrariesTips for Embracing CCLS Initiatives No MatterWhat School System You Work In1. Become familiar with the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS). Visit the officialsite www.corestandards.org/the-standards, read them online or print them out andtake time to understand the ways in which this process approach impacts currentinstruction.2. Understand that the change to the Common Core Learning Standards is ongoing.Right now no one is an expert, no team or school has it all figured out. The changeoverwill take time and collaboration on the part of teachers, librarians, and administrators.There is hard work ahead and everyone has a stake in it—these standards are notgoing away.3. Figure out how to teach the skills required by the CCLS. As mentioned in this article,librarians in NYC schools are using the Information Fluency Continuum benchmarkskills to implement the CCLS. What is the inquiry process approach in your district?The IFC (Information Fluency Continuum) has recently been endorsed by the SchoolLibrary Systems Association (SLSA) and is finding an audience throughout NewYork State; however, other approaches (Literacy Design Collaborative, IndependentInvestigation Method, etc.) also work to help teachers and librarians break the CCLSinto skills and assessments around which lessons and units can be built. Librarianscan be leaders in connecting whatever inquiry process is being used in their schools tothe implementation of the CCLS.4. Once you have figured out how to teach the skills required by the CCLS, share thegood news! Be your school’s guide to the instructional implications of the CommonCore Learning Standards. Librarians have an advantage in this shifting standardslandscape: we have always been focused on the process of inquiry and the skillsthe process requires. Teachers generally emphasize content and benefit from aninstructional partner who can tease out the skills required to meet the new standardsas teachers address the curricular material. Librarians should be prepared to sharetheir journey toward implementing the CCLS through inquiry. Now is the time forreflective practitioners to collaborate in preparing our students for college and careeras lifelong learners.inferences from the text.” 3 When weunpack this standard we find that thereare many discrete skills embedded withinit: identifying main ideas and details,differentiating between important andunimportant details, making inferencesfrom facts and drawing conclusions frominformation are just a few that jump out atlibrarians familiar with the IFC. However,there is no guidance from the CCLS asto what instruction designed to elicitand assess these skills looks like. Enterthe Information Fluency Continuum.Upon examination of the IFC, it becomesclear that its skills framework basedon the inquiry process is the perfectcomplement to the CCLS and mostimportantly provides a clear and practicalpath to deliver the CCLS to students viainstruction. The CCLS are broad, and theIFC is granular. It was this understandingthat helped the Office of Library Servicescreate the Common Core State Standardsand the School Librarian: A Process forImplementation workshop series.This professional development hasbeen particularly effective because itaddresses the five specific Common CoreLearning Standards selected by the NYCDOE and because the five selected areparticularly well suited to inquiry. TheNYC DOE has identified the followingstandards for the 2012–2013 school yearfor grade six through twelve: 4Literacy Focus—Readingand WritingELA-specific Focus Speaking/Listeningand Language·····Reading Informational TextStandard 1: “Cite textual evidence tosupport analysis of what the text saysexplicitly as well as inferences drawnfrom the text.”Reading Informational TextStandards 10: “By the end of theyear, read and comprehend literarynonfiction in grades six through eighttext complexity band proficiently,with scaffolding as needed at the highend of the range.”Writing Standard 1: “Writearguments to support claims withclear reasons and relevant evidence.”Speaking/Listening Standard 1:“Engage effectively in a range ofcollaborative discussions (one-onone,in groups, and teacher-led) withdiverse partners on grade six topics,texts, and issues, building on others’ideas and expressing their ownclearly” andLanguage Standard 6: “Acquire anduse accurately grade-appropriategeneral academic and domain-specificwords and phrases; gather vocabularyknowledge when consideringa word or phrase important tocomprehension or expression.”The selection of these particularCCLS and the Citywide InstructionalExpectation requirement that in theschool year 2012–2013 all content areateachers must “implement two units ofstudy aligned to the Common Core . . .adapt existing units or adapt/adopt unitsfrom the Common Core Library or other14YALS Young Adult Library Services Winter 2013


Naylor-Gutierrezexternal sources . . . include points ofaccess for all students” creates the perfectclimate for teacher-librarian collaboration.The teacher-librarian collaboration usingthe IFC to meet the CCLS leverages bothindispensable components of instruction:the process skills provided by librariansand the content supplied by teachers.However, before we began we neededto prepare librarians to be effectivecollaborators with their teachers.In the fall of 2011 we began theworkshop series and by the end of thesummer of 2012 we had worked withnearly two hundred librarians. Thefirst session of the series familiarizesparticipants with the IFC and the CCLStargeted in the Citywide InstructionalExpectations (CIE) and outlineshow lessons can be built around IFCassessments. In the second session thefocus is on unit planning. We trainlibrarians to unpack the CCLS anddetermine what IFC skills are needed toaccomplish the task described and to thinkabout what a unit plan designed to addressthe skills would look like. Then, armedwith the Mini-Alignment for the particulargrade, the Unit Planning Worksheet, theUnit Planning Template, and the ICFassessments that apply, the librarian findsa cooperating teacher to collaborate with.Session three explores the importance ofa structured and refl ective approach toreviewing student work. This session isgrounded in the concept that the best wayto improve instruction is to closely andobjectively examine what students produceto demonstrate their understanding.Participants follow a consultancy protocolto look at student work produced fromlessons they have taught. The final sessionfocuses on informational text and thelibrarian’s role in cultivating a love ofreading in students, impacting schoolwidereading choices and instructionaldecisions and building a collection tosupport and extend classroom reading.The CCLS emphasis on informationaltext in all grades (in grade four the splitbetween literary and informational readingshould be 50/50, by eighth grade 45/55,and by twelfth grade, 30/70) affordslibrarians an opportunity to demonstratetheir nonfiction collection expertise andinfl uence the instruction that goes alongwith navigating and deeply understandinginformational text. The Office of LibraryServices produced a Common CoreWorkshop Series LibGuide that isdesigned to support librarians that haveattended the Common Core State Standardsand the School Librarian: A Process forImplementation series.As we begin another school year,we at the Office of Library Services areapplying a bit of refl ection to our ownpractice. In working with librarians overthe past year we discovered that mostparticipants had not had the opportunityto do long-range lesson planning andneeded support in that area. Therefore wedesigned a series entitled CollaborativeLesson Planning with InformationFluency Continuum (IFC) Assessmentsand required that librarians bring acollaborating teacher. That requirementspeaks to the importance of the teacherlibrarianpartnership in building anddelivering an effective lesson addressing theCitywide Instructional Expectations andalso to the need to examine a critical massof student work, which teachers typicallyhave greater access to than librarians.We hope to offer more CCLS/IFCprofessional development opportunitiesfor librarians to bring their collaboratingteachers to this school year.We are just beginning to seethe effect of the efforts of librarianswho participated in the CCLS/IFCprofessional development and the effectsare heartening. One elementary schoollibrarian explained to her principal howthe IFC could be used as a framework forthe delivery of CIE-aligned instructionschool-wide and is now working withteachers, who supply content, to buildlessons centered on IFC assessments. Amiddle school librarian teamed up witha social studies teacher to create a unitaddressing the Citywide InstructionalExpectations through debate. Thesecollaborations are just the beginning; weexpect these opportunities to increaseas content area teachers are requiredthis year to deliver two CCLS-alignedlessons.We’ve hardly scratched the surfaceof the other librarian-friendly part ofthe Common Core Learning Standards:informational text. The expected shiftin reading material is worth mentioningagain: the balance between literary andinformational reading is moving from50/50 in fourth grade to 45/55 by eighthgrade and 30/70 by twelfth grade. Theincreased importance of nonfi ctiontexts provides signifi cant opportunitiesfor librarians to take a leadership rolein their schools: the central schoollibrary becomes an important sourceof informational texts (resulting inincreased visits, higher circulation, andincreased or at least stable budgets),the librarian’s collection developmentexpertise in nonfi ction becomes aresource as administrators and teachersdecide which informational texts willbe used in the classroom and fi nallydatabases (and those who purchase anduse them) will be recognized as the richsource of complex texts and scaffoldingmaterial that they are. The emphasis oninformational text could be the turningpoint for increased and consistentlyeffective use of the free NOVELnydatabases in New York State and othersimilar state-funded databases.Another infl uential development inNYC is the MyLibraryNYC initiative thatconnects New York City public schoolswith the more than seventeen millionbooks and other items that are a part ofWinter 2013 Young Adult Library Services YALS15


Making the Common Core Work for School Librariesthe New York, Brooklyn, and QueensPublic Library catalogs. MyLibraryNYCis expected to provide access to 250,000students in 400 public schools this yearand 1.1 million students by 2015. Each ofthe four hundred schools currently in theprogram has a school librarian who is theliaison between the public library and theschool community. Again, the librariancan facilitate not just the access to andretrieval of this greatly expanded poolof informational text but also guide itsinstructional trajectory. School librariansgrounded in the implementation of theCCLS can help teachers select complextexts from this diverse and rich collection.Furthermore, school librarians continueto work with public librarians in thisinitiative to develop CCLS-specific tags forcurriculum-related materials. Leadershipopportunities abound.The only thing worse than not gettingan opportunity to impact student learningis to be unprepared for the opportunitywhen it comes knocking. Implementationof the Common Core Learning Standardsis knocking, and it is the goal of the Officeof Library Services to make sure thatNYC school librarians who are up to thechallenge of leadership in this season ofopportunity have the support and toolsthey need to help the students in theirschools fulfill their potential and developinto an independent, college- and careerreadylearners. YALSReferences1. New York State Department ofEducation, “New York State P-12Common Core Learning Standards forEnglish Language Arts & Literacy.” www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/common_core_standards/pdfdocs p12_common_core_learning_standards_ela.pdf (accessedNovember 19, 2012).2. International Society for Technology inEducation (ISTE), American Associationof School Librarians (AASL) as well asmany state departments of educations,including Tennessee, Colorado, andConnecticut.3. Council of Chief State School Officers,www.ccsso.org, and the NationalGovernors Association, www.nga.org/cms/home.html.4. All other grade bands (PK–2 and3–5) address the same CCLS (in ageappropriateways) except that for the PK–2grade band students are responsible forWriting Standard 2, “Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic andconvey ideas and information clearly.”BEST BUY IS PROUD TO PARTNER WITHYALSATO SUPPORT DIGITAL LIBRARYSERVICES FOR TEENS© BBY Solutions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.BBYYALSABW0116YALS Young Adult Library Services Winter 2013


featureHot Spot: Teens & TechMinecraft first came onto thegaming scene in 2009 when betaaccounts were made available forsome to test drive the program. It wasn’tofficially released until two years laterduring the winter of 2011. Since then thegame has virtually gone viral with teensand adults. The popularity of Minecraftquickly spread to the teen customers whofrequent the teen lounge at Darien (CT)Library. As a result, it wasn’t too longbefore Minecraft caught our attentionin the Teen Services Department. Thecommon interest in Minecraft betweengeeks and jocks, girls and boys, gothsand preps, and other unlikely cohorts isremarkable. In this way Minecraft createsthe perfect opportunity for building a newprogram with a diverse group of teens whoare already in your library.Minecraft Programsin the LibraryIf You Build It TheyWill ComeBy Erica Gauquier andJessica SchneiderWhat Is Minecraft?Minecraft is like a virtual and ongoinggame of Legos. Players mine for necessarymaterials in order to thrive in the game.You simply move blocks and build uponthem, gathering supplies as you go. Asa player gets better and gains woodfrom trees, wool from sheep, meat frompigs, and diamonds from the earth, thepossibilities for gathering new materialsand resources become greater. The gamecan get even more complicated if you areso inclined, allowing players to create theirown modifications (mods), which leads tolearning essential programming skills.Minecraft was originally created bya Swedish programmer named MarkusPersson, and is now maintained by hiscompany Mojang. Mojang regularlyprovides updates to new and improvedversions of Minecraft.The program is often described as avirtual sandbox in that players have thefreedom to alter the world and create howthey play within the game. Everythingyou can ever imagine has been createdin Minecraft from pop-culture riffs onThe Hunger Games arena to an entirevirtual world based on the best-sellingGame of Thrones series—just two of theamazing recreations already in place. TheInternet is rich with forums for playersto discuss strategies, give advice, and hostcompetitions. The community thatsprung up around this game is a seeminglyendless group of content creators, andthose that are the most excited about itare definitely teens.There is so much you can compareMinecraft to, and yet there is nothingquite like it. The basic need to hunt andgather is so primal and innate in humansthat it just clicks with teens. The gameis about survival and keeping watch overyour property. That natural instinct tolook after one’s goods is not foreign tohumans in everyday society. The criticalthinking piece of the game is huge.Players are constantly faced with choicesthat need to be made. If you don’t makegood choices, it affects your chances forsurvival and affects your quality of life justthe way it does in real life. Making goodchoices really is a constant struggle foradults and teens in their own lives on adaily basis.ERICA GAUQUIER is the Teen Services Librarian at Darien Libraryin Connecticut. She reviews apps for the YALSAblog App of theWeek series and serves as a member of the YALSA Fabulous Filmsfor Young Adults selection list committee. JESSICA SCHNEIDERis the Young Adult Librarian at the Alfred Baumann Free PublicLibrary in Woodland Park, New Jersey. She graduated withan MLS from Pratt SILS. Her current titles include: Master ofMinecraft, Social Media Maven, and Overlord of All Craft Supplies.Winter 2013 Young Adult Library Services YALS17


Minecraft Programs in the LibraryTeen Communicationand MinecraftThe amount of communication that goeson both through the text function on thebottom of the Minecraft screen and theverbal conversations that sail over thecomputer monitors is incredible. Everyday we observe as teens type away into theMinecraft text box (which is basically likeIM but with some code thrown in to themix), talking to each other and giving eachother demands. The computers in the teenlounge are situated around a large circulartable in the middle of the room; therefore,teens who play Minecraft are all sittingnear each other. While typing to eachother within the game, they also carry onverbal conversations with one another inthe room. Some of these teens go to schooltogether, but most weren’t friends beforethey came to the library and realized thatthey had Minecraft in common. Someare freshman, and others are seniorswho probably wouldn’t have given eachother another look if it weren’t for theconnection they found when playingMinecraft at Darien Library.Getting Started withMinecraft in the LibraryWhen we saw that many teens werecoming to the library specifically to playMinecraft, we began looking for ways thatthe library could capitalize on the teens’enthusiasm. We started working withthemes for building projects. We had theteens work within creative mode in thegame because it meant that all materialswere already available to them and therewould be nothing to hinder building. Teensbuilt replicas of the library, giant Creeperstatues that exploded, and charactersfrom their favorite Nintendo games. Thechallenge they seemed to like the best wasthe amusement park re-creation. Teensbuilt insane roller coasters that defied allrules of gravity and safety.While this was fun, we noticedthat what the teens really wanted to dowas play in a Minecraft world together.They would quickly run through thetheme of the week as fast as they couldand then log on to a server and playin a more collaborative environmentwith other players. A server is a virtualgame space hosted by any individualwith the means to store the data andcontent of that world. This multiplayerenvironment, which many players prefer,is an alternative option to playing alone.After much discussion, Darien Librarysoon began hosting its own server andwe watched in amazement as the teensstarted building their own Minecraftworld.As with any society, there were, ofcourse, problems. Some teens claimedtheir own corners of the world andrefused to let others build there. Someteens actively “griefed” (a Minecraft termmeaning destroyed or vandalized) otherteens’ creations. In this way the parallelsbetween the Minecraft world and the realworld are astounding, refl ecting many ofthe social problems we face every day.We witnessed amazing collaborationsoccurring among the players as well asan emerging sense of community andcooperation. Together, teens built a homebase area on the server that included alibrary, a dock area, and a diving boardamong other things. It became a base forpeople to store supplies, regenerate whenkilled and meet up with other players toplan new buildings. Teens in the roomencourage each other to become moreskilled within the game. They give advicewhen someone is stuck, and willingly sharesupplies and give directions when otherplayers are lost or in need. They createsigns throughout the world with helpfuladvice or instructions. Discussions in theteen lounge about possible mods and otherneeded additions to the server can becomeextremely technical.We quickly realized we would needto recruit a group of mature and advancedteen Minecraft players to help us monitorthe server. Since the players are the onesthat know the most about the game, itjust made sense that we should enlist theirhelp to advise other players, and reportabuses. Most Minecraft servers needgroups of moderators in order to keep thegame running smoothly, and it turns outthe library server is no different. As withany new program, there were some thingsthat worked and others that did not. Alarge group of teens came to the first ModSquad meeting, all interested in becomingmoderators.Moderators are given specialpermissions in the game, enabling themto fl y and temporarily kick users off theserver for a variety of infractions. Wealso created a moderator manual tohelp teens understand what the job of amoderator is and what kind of behaviorwe expect of them. As is the case in thereal world of adults and teens, some teensuse their powers for good, supportingtheir fellow players and helping newbieslearn to play the game, while others abusetheir privileges, using their powers forevil, griefing other players’ property, andkicking off players they have personalgrievances with. There is definitely alearning curve when it comes to lettingteens monitor themselves.As it turned out, letting thirteenyear olds become moderators on theMinecraft server didn’t exactly go as weplanned. We bestowed a certain amountof responsibility and dependability onthe teens. While it worked at first andcertainly gave them confidence, they are,after all, younger teens. When they getmad at each other in real life, they take tothe Minecraft server, using their privilegesto wreak havoc on each other’s houses.Their wrongdoings were brought to justiceeventually, in a Minecraft court of law.The teens themselves suggested violators18YALS Young Adult Library Services Winter 2013


Gauquier and Schneiderstand trial in front of a mock jury of theirpeers. The trial took place in Minecraft,which is only appropriate since that’swhere all of the griefing took place. Thistaught the teens that just like in real life,they were accountable for their actionsand any infractions would ultimately haveconsequences.Rather than kicking them off of theserver and banning them for bad behavior,they stood trial, learned a lesson and werewelcomed back after a period of time. Thisis the way you would teach children inreal life, using actions and consequences.Minecraft is just another platform forus to use as a teachable moment whenthe opportunity should present itself. Ifyour library is considering a Minecraftserver with teenagers as moderators, weencourage it, but before you do, set someguidelines and bylaws and be willing togive the teens chances to make, and workthrough, mistakes.Minecraft and SummerReadingBy the time Darien Library’s teen summerreading program rolled around, we knewit was essential to include a Minecraftbasedevent. We quickly stumbled upon agroup of gamers online who had created aMinecraft world that provided Olympicthemedgames for players. Since thispast summer was also the 2012 SummerOlympics, we thought it would be a perfectway to combine a great summer themeand a group activity centered aroundMinecraft.Before the idea was even fully formedwe mentioned it to one of the teens thatregularly came to the library to play. A weeklater he announced that he and two otherfriends had already begun building theirown Olympic Minecraft arena. These threeteens became instrumental to the success ofthe program, dividing up the work amongthemselves and working hard to keep theirprogress a secret from other players.The Darien Minecraft Olympicsincluded competitions such as archery,climbing, pig rodeo, Minecart racing andan obstacle course. We drew up a bracketon our whiteboard for each event and hadteens sign up for the competitions in whichthey wished to compete. We hooked up alaptop to the fl at screen TV on the wall todisplay the games for everyone who wasn’tcompeting.Our three designers appointedthemselves referees, monitoring eachevent, advising teens who got stuck andkeeping everything running smoothly. Weprovided pizza for everyone and prizesfor the winners. For the final round,winners of each event came together for asudden death round of “Spleef,” a uniqueMinecraft game where players attempt toknock each other off a platform by miningthe blocks beneath each player. Thewinners won Minecraft-related prizes, at-shirt, a foam pickaxe and a foam sword.The teens were really engaged and excitedto participate. They rooted for each otherand worked to help one another througheach event. Without their help andinterest in the game, this program couldnever have gone as smoothly as it did. Thiswas further confirmation that by bringingMinecraft into our library we made theright choice.This program and Minecraft ingeneral is incredibly affordable for a libraryto run. Minecraft accounts are about$27 each, and a program like this doesn’tnecessarily require your own server space.The most costly component of the wholeprogram proved to be the eight boxes ofpizza that were purchased for this specialevent. It was rewarding enough for theteens to compete with their friends andshow off their skills that the prizes werejust an added bonus.Minecraft provides opportunities foramazing collaborative projects with lowaccess barriers. Anyone that knows how touse a mouse and a keyboard can play thegame. Look around your library; you willeven see children as young as five or sixyears old playing. Adults are playing, too;the amount of discussion and competitionacross the Internet is unbelievable. Thebest part is this game has created a wholecommunity of gamers who work tocreate amazing things together, helpingeach other regardless of where they live.Whether your library patrons arefirst-person shooter gamers or they’re intogaming like Mario Kart, Minecraft appealsto both serious and casual players of allages and genders. YALSWinter 2013 Young Adult Library Services YALS19


featureHot Spot: Teens & TechAutism?There’s an App for ThatBy Renee McGrathThere’s a quiet revolution goingon in the autism community.Tablets (such as the iPad), iPodTouches and iPhones offer portabilityand an economical way to communicateand learn. They help in myriad waysand have become an important part ofthe educational, social and emotionaldevelopment of children and teens withautism. Now a person with autismcan carry a device that helps themcommunicate and understand the worldaround them. For teens, there are appsthat help them learn or reinforce topicscovered in school and assist in homework.Mobile Technology and theAutism CommunityHow has mobile technology changedthe autism community? Consider this:the cost of a traditional augmentativecommunication device for someone whoneeds help with speech is equal to the costof approximately twenty-four iPhones andis not portable. Mobile technology hasnot only made access more affordable, andeasier, think about the fact that carrying amobile device doesn’t automatically signalto the world that you are different, whichcan be especially important for teens.At the Nassau Library System, Iam in the middle of a year-long LibraryServices and Technology Act (LSTA)grant to help serve patrons with autismspectrum disorders (ASD). One of mytasks is to purchase iPads and load themup with apps that are suitable for children,teens, and adults with ASD. Ultimately,we will use the iPads with library staff totrain them on using technology and servingpatrons with ASD.RENEE MCGRATH is the Manager of Youth Services for the NassauLibrary System (Uniondale, New York). In her position, she isresponsible for consulting, advising, and supporting the youthservices librarians that work in the system’s fifty-four memberlibraries. She has presented at local, state, and national libraryconferences on many topics related to serving children, teens andtheir families in a public library. Renee served as a member of thePopular Paperbacks for YAs Committee and the Newbery AwardCommittee and is currently chair of the YALSA Strategic PlanningCommittee.The goal of this article is to helpfamiliarize you with some of the appsthat are suitable for teens on the autismspectrum. This turned out to be achallenge for a few reasons.···Many of the apps for the ASDcommunity are for young children.Individuals on the autism spectrumpresent themselves at our libraries inmany different ways and with verydifferent types of challenges andabilities. This means that the playingfield for apps that serve this communityis large—as the saying goes, “If youknow one person with autism, youknow one person with autism.”Many of the apps require theindividual user to customize it to theirneeds, making the app inappropriateto download to a library device.There are many apps that areappropriate to download onto a personaldevice because they require some kindof customization for the individual user.Many of these have to do with executivefunctioning skills: scheduling, goal trackingand organization. Others help withcommunication and living a fuller life. Forexample, there is a wonderful app calledProloquo2Go that is changing the waynonverbal people communicate. Somepeople on the spectrum either can’t speak atall or struggle to be understood. This apphas changed lives and opened the world tomany who couldn’t previously communicatewith others. It is one of the more expensiveapps. At a cost of $179.99, you wouldn’tpurchase it for your library device becauseit has to be customized for the individual.But you could recommend it to a parent of ateen that has difficulty communicating.The focus of this article is on appsavailable for Apple devices. Android isslowly catching up, but right now Appleoffers more variety and depth in their appsfor teens with autism. With that in mind,20YALS Young Adult Library Services Winter 2013


McGraththe recommendations are for apps that aregood to download to a library device andare most often available for the iPad.Most of the recommended apps arefor higher functioning teens that visit thelibrary and possibly attend programs orparticipate in some other way. A wonderfulbook that helped me explore many apps isApps for Autism: A Must-Have Resource forthe Special Needs Community by Lois JeanBrady. I recommend this book for a library’sspecial needs collection. It focuses on appsfor young children, but many can be usedwith teens as well.I’ve looked at hundreds of apps.My research tools consisted of the bookI just mentioned, searching the Appleapp store, reading the YALSAblog, andconsulting professionals that I know inthe field of autism and/or libraries. I alsoreached out to families who have a teenon the spectrum. Many thanks to BarbaraKlipper formerly of the Ferguson Libraryin Stamford (CT), for some of the appsuggestions. I do not pretend to be anexpert in autism (but I have educatedmyself over the past several years becauseI have a young adult son with Asperger’s),so I relied on reviews and suggestions fromthe aforementioned people.As always, what works for oneperson may not be right for another.This is why I’ve recommended thelite (or free) version of an app whenavailable. The best way to describe thelite version is “try before you buy.” Theyallow you to download an app for free.It won’t be the full version, but you canget a good idea if you like it and wantto purchase it. However, lite versionsusually include ads, so manage yourlibrary devices accordingly.Social Skills and Appsfor Daily LivingPoor social skills or social language aregenerally thought of as the classic symptomTips for Using iPads as Library Devices····The accessibility feature on an Apple device can be used to change the way the devicefunctions. For instance, in Settings, under General, the Assistive Touch option will adda home button to the screen for people that have trouble pressing the physical buttonon the bottom of the device.Ziploc bags can be used as a simple way to waterproof and spill proof your devices.Device mounts can be used to secure a device. This website also sells bumper casesand other security items: www.rjcooper.com/tablet-mounts/index.html.The use of a stylus may help some patrons that have difficulty using the devices.Options are available at www.boxwave.com and www.amazon.com.of someone with Asperger’s syndrome.This almost always coexists with otherchallenges and can lower social acceptanceand understanding even further than just theindividual’s lack of social comprehension.Apps that help an individual learn about socialpractices and explain the hidden curriculumof life are very helpful. The term hiddencurriculum refers to the social information thatis not directly taught but is assumed everybodyunderstands. It’s the unstated rules of life thatif not understood make the world a confusingplace and can help isolate an individualon the spectrum. Sometimes the teen youknow without any “common sense” may notunderstand the hidden curriculum of life.These need to be constantly taught because aswe grow, they are constantly changing.Apps that help with understandingactivities of daily living (ADL) are alsoextremely helpful. ADL skills are thingslike personal hygiene and living safely andproductively in a community.Many of the apps dedicated to hiddencurriculum and ADL skills are designedfor young children. However, some ofthe best apps I found are the ConoverCompany’s Functional Skills System apps.This is a series of videos that have beenconverted to app form. The videos showyoung adults in various situations such asgoing to the library and going to a publicrestroom. They are very appropriate forteens on the spectrum. Each app is $.99(High definition [HD] versions are $1.99)and covers a specific topic. Forty-twoseparate apps covering life skills, literacy,social, math, and work skills are available.There are free samplers of each set ofskills. For example, you can download theFunctional Skills Sampler, Social SkillsSampler, or Work Skills Sampler to geta sense of what kinds of skills they teach.You can find the list of available apps byvisiting the Conover Company’s website(http://conovercompany.com) or search inthe app store using Conover Company.Hidden Curriculum forAdolescents and Adults by AAPC(www.asperger.net), $1.99Great for explaining the unwritten rules oflife to teens on the spectrum, and even asone review mentions, this app can be usefulto someone from another country whoneeds help navigating a new environment.Middle School Confidentialwritten by anti-bullying activistAnnie Fox, M.Ed.“Book 1: Be Confident in Who You Are”Graphic Novel Edition, “Book 2: Friendsvs. the Other Kind” Graphic NovelEdition, $2.99 eachWinter 2013 Young Adult Library Services YALS21


Autism?Based on the printed book series ofthe same name, these are the first twobooks in the series turned into apps. Eachbook app focuses on a common problemand helps teens understand the hiddenrules of middle school life.English Idioms Illustrated byRobot Media, Free ($3.99 for twopacks)Idioms can be very difficult for someoneon the spectrum to understand. Thefirst twenty-three idioms are free, andthe other two packs of seventy idiomseach are available through an in-apppurchase ($3.99 for both packs). Eachidiom is illustrated in comic bookpanel style, making them very accessibleto teens.Sensory Issues andTimekeepingMany individuals on the autism spectrumhave difficulty processing and handlingsensory inputs such as light and sound.Often you may see these individualswearing baseball caps to block thefl uorescent lights or wearing earbuds toblock out the sounds around them. Inaddition to sensory issues, an anxietydisorder may exist Teens on the spectrummay have difficulty waiting their turn ortransitioning from one task to another.Timekeeping apps help visualize time andmay help ease anxious thoughts.White Noise AmbienceHD Lite by logicworks, FreeWhile designed as a sleep aid, thisapp can be used to drown out theenvironmental sounds that are all aroundus—even in a library setting. Teens withsensitivity to sound may fi nd this helpfulwhile doing work in the library or waitingfor a program to begin. All that is neededis an individual’s earbuds.iHourglass by HeadlightSoftware, Free ($1.99 forthe ad-free version)iHourglass offers seven different timer designsto choose from (some look nothing like anhourglass). Teens may like the fun visuals.However, it does not offer a countdownfeature, which may mean that for some teensthis app is not helpful. No worries, there aredozens of free timer apps (as well as paid apps)that you can try out. You can download a fewto accommodate different needs. Each onecounts a little differently and offers differentaspects of timing (countdown, early warningalarms, etc.).Literacy and LearningWeb Reader – Text to Speech byChris Chauvin, $1.99There are many Web reader apps, this isone of the highest rated. It will read theentire page or the highlighted text on aWeb page. It will also read .pdf documents.It will even read documents that you openfrom Dropbox or Word in the app.Flashcards Deluxe Lite byOrangeOrApple.com,Free ($3.99 full version)This study aid is highly customizable andprimarily for use by an individual. You canpurchase flashcard sets from Quizlet.comand FlashcardExchange.com to supportcurriculum in literature, vocabulary, mathand science, history and geography and more.Appropriate for all ages. Students can maketheir own flashcards too. The lite version has alimit of four decks and six cards per deck.Dexteria by BinaryLabs, $4.99A set of hand exercises that improve finemotor skills and handwriting. This canbe used for all ages. The level of ability ismore important than the age of the user.YouTube, FreeYouTube can be used effectively for visuallearners. Need to understand how to dosomething? There’s probably a video onYouTube about it. It’s also a place whereyou can find fun and funny videos to passthe time away.Khan Academywww.khanacademy.org, FreeStudents can make use of an extensivevideo library, interactive challenges, andassessments from any computer withaccess to the Web. Their library of videoscover K–12 math, science topics suchas biology, chemistry, physics, and thehumanities. Each video is a digestiblechunk, approximately ten minutes long,and especially purposed for viewing on acomputer. All are free.BrainPop Featured Moviewww.brainpop.com, FreeFor the younger teen, this is a great visuallearning tool. Animated movies on varioustopics make learning fun. One new freevideo is available each day. There are preand post video questions and other funrelated activities.BooksAudiobooks by Cross ForwardConsulting, LLC, FreeOffers hundreds of free audiobooks todownload. There is an in-app option topurchase audiobooks not already on adevice that librarians will want to disable.Please note: I was not able to review all ofthe available book content.AudioBookShelf by Cross ForwardConsulting LLC, $1.99This is the paid version of the previousapp. It includes fourteen classic titles (i.e.,Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Jane Eyre)22YALS Young Adult Library Services Winter 2013


McGrathwith an option to purchase (for $.99) theadventure pack of five classic titles (i.e.,Sherlock Holmes, Tom Sawyer) are readmostly by the same readers as the freeversion. The only differences I can findbetween the free and fee versions are thatthe fee version includes a table of contentsfor each title as well as an attractive spine foreach book. This makes the books slightlymore palatable. Also, the fee version makesthe contents of the app finite. The freeversion includes hundreds of other titlesthat cannot be reviewed for content andneeds to be disabled.Music and CreativityPandora Radio by PandoraMedia, FreeThis could also be filed under the categoryof sensory-sensitive apps. Not only wouldit be great for a teen on the spectrumto plug into when sensory issues getoverwhelming, but it could be used atthe start of, or during, a program to set amood.Faces iMake by iMagineMachine LLC, $1.99For the younger teen, this fun appencourages creativity by having the usermake different funny faces with objectsfrom categories like food, music, candy, andmore. Great for practicing fine motor skillsbecause items need to be placed, sized, androtated into place. It can also be used todiscuss/reinforce the different componentsof facial features.Strip Designer by VividApps, $2.99This app allows you to turn photos intocomic strips. Use the camera on the deviceor download from your photo gallery tomake fun comic book stories with balloonwords and special effect stickers. You canpaint on the photos or draw your ownsketches.GamesGames can be a good way to helpwith social interactions. Turn-takingand working together can help start aconversation, taking some of the pressureoff of teens who struggle to fi t in. Someof these will also work well as ice breakersbefore a program or teen advisory groupmeeting.Labyrinth Lite by ExactMagic Software, FreeGreat for building dexterity. Control asteel ball through a wooden labyrinth.Levels get harder as you progress. Thefull version is on the pricey side at$7.99.Mr. Trivia Lite by Iron SquareGames, FreeFull version is $1.99 and includes overfive hundred questions. Many “aspies”pride themselves on the knowledge of“useless information” that’s stuck in theirbrains. Lots of interactive possibilities aswell as solo play available. The questionsare difficult and are for an olderaudience.Knots by Josh Snyder, FreeThink Twister for your fingers. It looksyoung, but it’s actually difficult to do.Helps build eye-hand coordination andmanual dexterity and encourages socialinteraction while playing with anotherperson. Up to four players can play atonce.The following are classic gamesthat shouldn’t be overlooked.What makes them enjoyable forneurotypical teens is also the reasonthat teens on the spectrum love themtoo. They’re fun, relaxing and helpfill downtime.Reversi by OptimeSoftware, FreeThis is the classic strategy game of Othelloin an app. There are many versions ofOthello at the app store. This is the bestfree one I found. However, it includes a lotof ads, which is a good reason to buy thefull version for $1.99. You can play withone or two players.Tetris by ElectronicArts, $2.99The classic video game in an app for theiPad. Addictive and fun.Angry Birds by RovioEntertainmentNot sure I have to describe this one. Manyfree versions are available. Three words sayit all: simple, repetitive, and fun.Stress Relief/Boredom BustersHelp relieve stress by playing some of these“no-thinking necessary” and entertaining apps.Bubble Explode by SpookyHouse Studios, Free($.99 to remove ads)There are many different bubble-poppinggames from which to choose. I like thisone. There are sounds and music thatcan be turned on or off. Touch screencontrols help make it easy for those whohave fi ne motor skill challenges. Thevarious games are fun and when you popa particularly good bubble group, it givesyou a message like “pretty pop,” “greatWinter 2013 Young Adult Library Services YALS23


Autism?square,” or “nice stairs.” Recommendspending the dollar to get rid of the ads.JELL-O Jiggle-It by KraftNew Services, Inc., FreeFrom the makers of JELL-O comes adancing JELL-O app. It’s silly, yes, butit’s fun, easy to use, and entertaining. Pickyour color of JELL-O, and either playmusic from your iTunes library or turn onthe microphone and it will dance to musicplaying in the room.Uzu by Colordodge Labs,http://uzumotion.com, $1.99A visual delight of colors, patterns, andmovement that is really great for killingtime or having fun with a group of people.“Points of light will shoot across thescreen and fl y to your command, twirlingin a vortex of color and motion.” It’ssuitable for one or a group of people toplay. You can customize color, speed,size, and a number of other settings.Award winning and rated as an “iPadApp of the Week.”General InformationAutism Apps (touchautism.com),FreeBecause there are hundreds of apps focusedon special needs but not categorizedas such, it can be very difficult to findwhat you need. This app is designed as acomprehensive list of apps that are beingused with, and by, people on the spectrumand other special needs. It can be searchedby thirty categories, what’s new, andfeatured apps, as well as via a traditionalsearch box. Each app includes reviews andlinks to information about that app.Volume Purchase ProgramApple offers a Volume Purchase Program(VPP) for iTunes and the App Store.It allows libraries (qualified educationalinstitutions) to purchase multiple copiesof the same app (or book) at once. Thiscan be helpful if putting the same app onseveral library devices. Many of them canbe purchased at a discounted price. Youcan learn more at: https://volume.itunes.apple.com/us/store.ConclusionThis is by no means a comprehensive listof what is available for teens with autism.Keep in mind many apps neurotypical teensuse regularly also fit the needs of thoseon the spectrum. For example, GoogleCalendar and Google Maps work well forteens on the spectrum for timekeeping andwayfinding. With that in mind, I hope thisarticle acts as a starting point to get youthinking about the kinds of apps that canwork for teens with autism. Purchasingapps won’t break the budget, with so manyof them costing less than three dollars, ornothing at all. The apps will be well worththe cost and demonstrate support of theautism spectrum disorder community bythe library. YALS24YALS Young Adult Library Services Winter 2013


featureHot Spot: Teens & TechSometimes you have a really greatidea. One that you just know willbe successful, valuable, and fun.You work out the details, implement theprogram, end it, and wonder just howuseful and fun that actually was. You couldwrite it off as a one-and-done program andwait for the next “big idea,” or you couldanalyze what worked, what didn’t work,and what could be improved to ensure thatusefulness and fun are indeed the result thenext time around. The latter is preciselywhat I and my coworkers have done inthe weeks following the completion of theTeen tXpert pilot program.The idea for the Teen tXperts wasconceived at our monthly teen servicesmeeting in January 2012. It began as adiscussion of two ideas: hiring an internfor the Rust Library’s A. V. SymingtonTeen Center; and adding a technologyhelper, an extra experienced set of hands,at the reference desk to help patronswith technology-related topics such asprinting, scanning, e-mail, and e-readers.We immediately understood that we hada need for technology support and extrahands, so those two ideas quickly mergedinto what became the Teen tXpertprogram, a corps of teen volunteers whowould be trained on the technology thatthe library offers, as well as on customerservice. They would then use thoseskills and their preexisting knowledgeof technology to help the referencelibrarians assist patrons during adultcomputer classes, operate the e-readeropen house, and staff the table at atechnology petting zoo.Once it started we knew the TeentXpert program was successful in manyways, and we also knew there werebumps in the road. In order to assessboth the success and the bumps, a surveywas sent to every librarian who played arole in the planning and hosting of theprogram. Librarian responses, as well asthe survey responses from the four teenTeen tXpertsAn EvaluationBy April Layne PavistXperts, helped us see what elements ofthe program need correcting, if we hostthe program again. The following is asummary of the pieces of the programthat survey respondents noted, and alsoincludes my own observations.PlanningAfter the teen librarians planned andapproved the program, we took ouridea to the reference librarians (whothe tXperts directly supported) andthe branch managers. We thought wehad taken the proper route, going frombottom to top and garnering support aswe climbed. In actuality, we discoveredwe should have gone in the oppositedirection, garnering advice from thesenior management team whose yearsof experience in establishing systemwideinitiatives could have helped ustremendously in setting up the program.After that initial meeting in January2012, we should have gone straight to thedirector and senior management teamfor their experienced opinion and overallsupervision. Because of the approach wetook, by the time we sought approvalfrom administration to move forward,there was not enough time for the ideato be discussed, designed, and finalized.Luckily the director liked the idea enoughto approve one library host a trial run ofthe program, instead of establishing itimmediately as a system-wide initiative.The pilot included advertising forvolunteers, hosting an orientation,and, upon the program’s completion,analyzing success. We now know that allfuture planning sessions need to includea senior management member who willact as liaison to the director and seniormanagement team.OrientationSix teen boys submitted applications tobe tXperts, but four showed up for theorientation. More teens showed interestlater in the summer, but we could notaccept them into the program becausewe only had time to host one orientation.Next time I would like to host at leasttwo orientations per branch, or if theprogram were to expand to the otherAPRIL LAYNE PAVIS is a Teen Services Librarian in LoudounCounty, Virginia, and has been working with teens in librariessince 2006. She earned her Masters in Library Science in 2010 andhas the unique ability to turn any conversation into one aboutlibraries, or a particular book or author.Winter 2013 Young Adult Library Services YALS25


Teen tXpertsbranches, allow teens to attend theorientation that fi ts their schedule. Sincethe program will be the same at everybranch (in terms of library policies teensmust accept and follow and technologytopics they will be assisting patronswith), there is no reason why a potentialtXpert cannot attend an orientation at abranch other than his home branch, if hisschedule necessitates.The orientation itself will need anoverhaul as well. It is critical that we coverlibrary and county policies (confidentiality,Internet use agreement, library code ofconduct) that the tXperts will face aswell as topics they are not permittedto assist patrons with (resumes, onlinebill pay, legal/court issues). One tXpertrequested in his post-program survey, “Asmall tutorial on how to help a librarypatron. Like, bring someone in whoneeds the actual help, and use him/herfor observation.” This is a fantastic ideabecause many of these teens have onlyever helped family members or friends usetechnology, not complete strangers. FuturetXpert orientations will include a roleplayingportion where teens will observehow a one-on-one tutoring session shouldfunction and, just as importantly, how itshould not.Teen tXpertsTwo of our tXperts were brothers, justtwo years apart in age and grade. Theyhad similar interests and enjoyed eachother’s company, but they also likedcompetition and playful brothers-onlybanter. Occasionally we had to ask themto separate and work independently, aswe were trying to put forth an imageof maturity, responsibility, and ability.They were both very good at educatingpatrons, and at summer’s end I askedthem to return for future tXpertsprograms. Next time though, I will besure to schedule family members onseparate shifts, or if that isn’t practicalfor the family from a transportationstandpoint, then I will make sure to haveseparate projects or programs for themto work on so they are not working nextto each other. That should reduce theircompetitive behavior.Even with the best of intentions anddetailed scheduling, not all tXperts wereenthusiastic about the work they wereasked to perform. One tXpert wrote inhis survey, “I found the e-reader tableto be somewhat boring.” He had nopersonal interest in e-readers and e-books,which came across in his willingness toteach patrons about the technology. Iwas sorry to have to ask him to work thee-reader table, but there were only somany opportunities for him during theweeks in which he volunteered. This isa difficult problem to resolve: we wantour volunteers to perform tasks theyare interested in and excited about, butallowing them to pick and choose basedon personal interests versus the library’sneeds is not helping the teen learn orhelping the library serve the community’sneeds. Next time I will impress upon thetXperts the importance and convenienceof e-readers and e-books from the patron’sperspective, so that they can betterunderstand why we encourage their use,and by helping teach patrons to use thee-readers, the tXperts will support theeducation of the community.In future programs we will be sureto develop tasks for the tXperts tocomplete or explore in their downtime,such as when they are between patrons.This could be exploring and reportingon new software that the library isconsidering purchasing (Freading orFreegal, for example), or improving theirskills in Photoshop or Microsoft Office.Their exploration of these programscan only improve their knowledge andskills for future personal use and patroninteractions.SafetyDue to the tXpert’s being minorsand their relative lack of experiencein working with customer service, Iincluded in the orientation a section onsafety and appropriate communicationbetween tXperts and patrons. Moreover,in an effort to promote safety thereference librarians tried very hard tobe available for the tXperts during theirshifts. This was not only for observationpurposes, but for intervention if thetopic got too detailed for the tXpert tohandle, if the patron asked too muchof the tXpert, or if a patron behavedinappropriately towards the tXpert. Onepatron crossed the line of appropriatebehavior by discussing with the tXpertthe possibility of meeting during nontXperthours, something that I told theteens during orientation might happen,but to politely decline. The teen wasmore than happy to meet, as was hisparent, but for the safety of the teenI requested that they schedule theirsessions through the librarians and holdthem within the library, and both partiescomplied. Furthermore, occasionallyproblems came up such as a busy desk orstaff shortage, but in the future we willtry to schedule tXperts at times when areference librarian is completely availableto them; to be able to stop what they aredoing and assist the teen and the patron,if the need arises. We need to fi nd theright balance between allowing the teento teach, and ensuring that the patronsinteract appropriately with them.CommunicationAn ongoing issue was the lack ofcommunication between myself andthe tXperts. Some of this could not beavoided: they would arrive or leave whenI was in my office, on leave or at lunch; orI would be in the library when they signedin, but not when they signed out. I had a26YALS Young Adult Library Services Winter 2013


Pavisgreat e-mail relationship with one parent,but had a hard time getting in touch withthe other tXperts or their parents, byboth e-mail and phone. This created someconfusion when I would verbally confi rma change in schedule with the tXpert,but he forgot or did not see the remindere-mail, leaving the reference librarianwith no tXperts (or too many) at theTech Tuesday program, the librarian-ledcomputer course with a rotating calendarof topics.Next time I will establish early onthat constant communication via phoneand e-mail is expected. I will follow atimetable of communication and wille-mail the tXperts every Friday to remindthem of their schedule for the followingweek. It will be their responsibility torespond by Monday morning that theyreceived my e-mail and, if applicable,inform me of any schedule changes. Thiswill not only help me stay on top of theschedule, but it will teach the tXperts tobe accountable.ConclusionThe Teen tXpert program was successfulin that it fulfilled its mission of helpingthe reference librarians teach patronshow to use technology, and how touse it efficiently. The teens were givenexperience in teaching, the patrons weretaught valuable skills, and the librarianshad educated assistants aiding them.Reference Librarian Valarie Hooversaid of the program, “It was great to seeintergenerational friendships develop and asense of pride and accomplishment on thepart of the tXpert and adult student.”The problems came when we did notdiscuss the program with the director earlyon in the process; in making the customerservice element of our orientationcomprehensible; and in communicatingclearly with the tXperts throughout theprogram. Luckily, these are the kinds oferrors a librarian only makes once. Futuresessions of the program will be much moresuccessful because of the evaluation weconducted of the pilot. YALS HC: $16.95 / 978-1-56145-623-9“The changes within Sarah arereal and moving, and the openending underscores the idea thatalthough death may be certain, lifeis full of surprises.”—Publishers Weekly,Starred ReviewAvailable in paperback April 2013HC: $16.95 / 978-1-56145-578-2PB: $9.95 / 978-1-56145-700-7www.peachtree-online.comWinter 2013 Young Adult Library Services YALS27


featureHot Spot: Teens & TechSacramento TeensShape Their Future,One Photo and Postat a TimeBy Lana AdlawanIn communities across the UnitedSates morning headlines bombardreaders with stories that provokestrong emotional responses. We processthese stories and then move on withthe demands in our own lives. But whathappens to the people in these stories thatwe leave behind?In terms of teens and their stories,what does it really mean that there isa large percentage of youth affected bysome of the events covered in nationalnews stories—growing unemploymentor drastic cuts to education? What doesit mean for teens when we read storiesabout the repercussions of growingcrime rates on families and the safety oftheir neighborhoods? These are societalproblems, but they impact individualsand their families in significant ways.Teens react to these by sharing their lifestories with friends or in their schoolcommunities, and there’s a commonexperience that is a part of our nationalconsciousness, within this age group, thatneeds to be documented. SacramentoPublic Library is facilitating this byempowering teens to publish their ownstories with the help of twenty-firstcentury technology.Our program, “Preserving OurPresent,” is supported by the U.S. InstituteLANA ADLAWAN is a Library Supervisor for Sacramento(California) Public Library. She is also a current member of theCoretta Scott King Book Awards Committee and just completeda one-year fellowship with the Eureka! Leadership Institute inCalifornia. Previous committee work includes the Asian PacificAmerican Librarians Association (APALA) Young Adult LiteratureCommittee and the YALSA Alex Awards. She was a 2009 ALAEmerging Leader.of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)under the provisions of the LibraryServices and Technology Act (LSTA) andadministered in California by the StateLibrarian. Sacramento Public Libraryis the fourth largest library system inCalifornia and is unique in that it servessuburban, urban, and rural populationsacross its twenty-eight branches. Theethnic and socioeconomic diversityacross the Sacramento region also addsto the collective narrative, providing arich tapestry of shared cross-culturalexperience. Preserving Our Presentfocuses on teen-driven content andnarrative from students across Sacramentoand makes it available through thePreserving Our Present website (www.preservingourpresent.org).The first community profiled as partof the project is the Gardenland/Northgatecommunity, a diverse neighborhood justnorth of the capital. Once known for itsagricultural abundance, the neighborhoodis now primarily an urban hub with manyof its residents living below the povertyline. Gardenland/Northgate was selectedas the pilot for this project in large partbecause of an active group of teensworking in an afterschool project througha local nonprofit, The GreenHouse,an organization that works to supportresidents in the area. Twelve teens betweenthe ages of thirteen and eighteen agreed towork with their local librarian in creatingcontent for a Tumblr site that focuses onthe collection of local history, reflects theethnic diversity of the region, highlightsthe teen experience, and gets teens engagedin the civic arena. In return, teens notformerly connected with library servicesvisited two Sacramento Public Librarylocations; worked with Apple applicationslike Garage Band, iMovie, and iPhoto; andreceived instruction in videography andoral history interview techniques. Withthe help of LSTA funds, teens contributedover forty hours each in afterschool time on28YALS Young Adult Library Services Winter 2013


Adlawanthis project. The teens used two MacBookPro computers, five digital cameras, andtwo digital audio recorders. As part ofthe educational support for this project,teens also received a tour of the technologyresources at Sacramento State Universityand viewed historic material available inSacramento Public Library’s archives ontheir neighborhood region.The process of documentingcommunity stories in their neighborhoodand interviewing prominent communitymembers was an empowering experiencefor many of the teens. One of theparticipants, a young man named Brayan,said, “During this project, we tookhundreds and hundreds of pictures. As wewere taking the pictures, I started thinkingthat I was just so used to living in myneighborhood and things that I had seen,but I somehow just ignored it and it wokeme up in a way to see that our communityneeds improvements.”The results of this project included1,600 digital photos of the community,seven oral history interviews withprominent community members andelected officials, seven personal teenblog essays, and three online photodocumentaries. The significant collectionof materials for the project was notthe only outcome for the community.Many teens found that their own liveswere changed by the interpersonal workrequired of them on the project. “Thisproject has taught me respect, honesty,trust, hope and about family, community,and to be honest with the ones yourespect,” Veronica, a senior in highschool shared. Karla, a fifteen-year-oldsophomore who conducted an interviewwith Sacramento’s vice mayor, AngeliqueAshby, noted “we learned lots of newskills, like learning how to dress for theappropriate thing, interviewing skills, andI learned how to get along with people thatI don’t really know and to put myself outthere.”The impact of the work on thelocal community was astounding.Many residents took pride that theirneighborhood was the first to be featuredin Sacramento. It also substantiallychanged their assumptions about youthbeing actively engaged in the community.After viewing the work collected for thesite at a community premiere, a residentof Gardenland/Northgate for the lastseven years shared that she hopes “that theyouth continue to help the community andinspire others to do the same.”The technology and educationalsupport for Sacramento students willcontinue in the town of Courtland (pop.355) in the Sacramento Delta. Teensworking in partnership with their locallibrary and various neighborhood agencieswill document the stories of another activeagricultural community, one that has seentremendous growth in the number ofLatino families in residence.Stay tuned to www.preservingourpresent.org to find out more from Sacramento’s youth,working to shape their futures and community,once story at a time. YALSGuidelines for AuthorsYoung Adult Library Services is the official publication of the YoungAdult Library Services Association, a division of the AmericanLibrary Association. Young Adult Library Services is a vehicle forcontinuing education of librarians working with young adults (agestwelve through eighteen) that showcases current research and practicerelating to teen services and spotlights significant activities andprograms of the division.For submission and author guidelines, please visit www.yalsa.ala.org/yals/ and click on “Submissions.”Index to AdvertisersDisney-Hyperion Books ................................................. Cover 4Peachtree Publishers ............................................................... 27Teen Tech Week ................................................................ Cover 2Tor/Forge Books ............................................................... Cover 3Winter 2013 Young Adult Library Services YALS29


featureHot Spot: Teens & TechConnect, Create,CollaborateHow and Why Social Mediais Good for Your Libraryand Why You Should Jointhe FunBy Michael P. Buono andAmanda KordeliskiThe YALSA Division of Membershipand Promotion committee (DMP)is using social media to reach outto anyone who works with young adultsand expose a broader community to theassociation. Social media can be used as aneffective promotional tool and is a tool thatcan quickly and effectively reach far moreassociation members and nonmembers thanmore traditional venues such as listservs andMICHAEL P. BUONO serves the Patchogue, Medford, and Sachemcommunities (Long Island, New York) as an adult and teenlibrarian. He believes that to empower the young is to empowerus all, and he has made that his mission. You can reach him viatwitter @michaelbuono or at his website www.michaelpbuono.com. AMANDA KORDELISKI is the Librarian at Irving Middle Schoolin Norman, Oklahoma. She holds an MLIS from The Universityof Oklahoma. Amanda currently serves on the YALSA DivisionMembership and Promotion and Teen Read Week committees andis a participant in the YALSA Summit on Teens and Libraries. Sheparticipated in the Spectrum Leadership Institute in 2011 througha Reach21 grant. You can follow Amanda on Twitter @akordeliski.member-only Web spaces. Social mediais also a way for library staff working withteens to connect with anyone interestedin young adult library services—fromcollections, to programs, to why we do whatwe do.Why Use Social MediaLibrarians work passionately to servetheir communities by developing qualityprograms and building communitypartnerships. Social media helps librarystaff serving teens connect with theircommunities in a variety of new ways.Social tools are a great way to expandand enhance networks, partnerships, andcommunication with teens, particularlybecause they promote transparency,engagement, and exposure.Transparency: Transparency iswhat we desire in our politicians, andit is what community members desirefrom institutions that use public funds.With social media you can be moretransparent with what you do becauseyour conversations about programsand services for teens can be public andreach more people. listserv conversationsbetween teen services staff are fi lled withpassion, provide examples of hard work,and build excitement around a book oridea, but they are just between the peoplewho subscribe to a particular listserv.By having those same conversations viaTwitter or Facebook, you can includecommunity members and potentialpartners. These groups then get a tasteof the passion you have for servingteens and begin to understand why teenservices in libraries are important in thecommunity.Engagement: Social tools also makeit possible to engage teens and adultsin conversation. Have a conversationon Twitter about the materials in yourcollection that might be controversial. Engagethe community—teens and adults—in the30YALS Young Adult Library Services Winter 2013


Buono and Kordeliskiconversation and you give people a chance tobe better informed. People like being heard,and people have greater buy-in to somethingwhen they are a part of conversations aboutit. This form of engagement can take placeevery day via social tools.Exposure: If you expose thecommunity to what you do throughsocial media, you get to build supportand interest. Tweeting about successfulprograms gives other librarians the chanceto try out the program themselves andalso creates positive exposure in thecommunity. A library Facebook pagefilled with information about events andmaterials exposes teens, and the entirecommunity, to what you do.How to Be Successful onSocial MediaContent was king in old media, and it is stillking in new media. It is more importantthan ever that your content be timely,relevant, and creative. Regardless of thesize of your staff, you have the power tobecome a content creation engine that sendsout up-to-date and creative informationto the community. What kind of contentis relevant for libraries? Think about thecasual conversations you engage in withpatrons, and build content related to that.Good content will generateconversations with your patrons. Postphotos from programs that teens can tagthemselves in on Facebook. Bibliographies,program handouts, and media lists might alsobe useful. Many of the traditional physicalproducts librarians produce are examples ofthe content librarians can put on social media.Easy ways to produce content include:··Save your booklists as a pdf. Postthem on your blog, link that to yourFacebook page, and promote onTwitter.Take pictures of your programs witha cell phone. Post them instantly to··the Web! Worried about gettingparental permission? Encourage teensto take pictures, upload them to socialsites, and then ask them to tag thelibrary on Facebook, Pinterest, orother social media platforms whenthey post their own photos.Set up a live tweet hashtag before aprogram, and ask teens to tweet aboutthe program using that hashtag.Use other people’s content. Forexample, link to Free Application forFederal Student Aid (FAFSA) formson your social media presences whenit’s college application time. Or, postinformation about events taking placein the community that teens will beinterested in.The content you post will bedetermined by your, and your fellowstaff members’, skill sets and knowledge.Work with colleagues in the library tocreate content that matches their interestsrelated to teens and teen library services.Encourage colleagues to brag about theirprograms or comment on a news articlethat relates to teens. If they are out ofideas, get them to champion a forgottenbook or novel from the stacks to give itnew life. Make sure to create a schedulefor posts, and make sure that all staff whoare posting on social media keep up withthe schedule.How Do You Know What Isthe Right Tool for the Job?In the fall of 2012 a social networkpromotional campaign was organizedby YALSA’s Division Membership andPromotion Committee to promote theYALSA member survey. The committeehad to use different social media platformsto accomplish different goals of thecampaign. Committee members knew thatchoosing the right tool for accomplishingtheir goals was key to success. Oneplatform does not meet all needs or reachevery stakeholder, community member, orteen. A combination approach allows youto leverage technology to your advantage.For example:·····By using Google+ you can havecollaborative meetings and evenauthor or expert visits for teens.Google+ makes it possible to havemultimedia conversations andintegrate Google Drive and othertools. It works well for working withothers in real time when it’s notpossible to meet in a traditional faceto-facesetting.A Facebook fan page is useful foradvertising events, providing lists ofmaterials and resources, and engagingin discussions that need to be morethan 140 characters at a time.Facebook is also good forconnecting community membersand stakeholders to informationabout the value of teen services inlibraries. “Like” ALA, YALSA, andother library-related resources andresearch on your Facebook page sothat others in the community seethat these organizations and toolsare available.Twitter can be useful for real-timecommunication with teens and othersin the community. You can usehashtags to categorize conversationsabout books, homework topics orother things that teens are interestedin. Twitter is also good for connectingcommunity members to informationon teens and what they require inorder to grow up successfully.Blogs can be used to post bookreviews, showcase programs offered inyour library and provide informationabout important issues in yourcommunity.(continued on page 40)Winter 2013 Young Adult Library Services YALS31


featureHot Spot: Teens & TechLearning LabsLearning CurveThe Digital MediaLab–Kansas City ProjectBy Jamie MayoLearning Labs ProjectOverviewIn November 2011, the Institute ofMuseum and Library Services (IMLS)announced the first-round winners ofthe John D. and Catherine T. MacArthurFoundation competition to build 21 stCentury Learning Labs in libraries andmuseums. Twelve institutions, of whichthe Kansas City (MO) Public Library isone, and their partners, received up to$100,000 each to plan some aspect ofa digital media lab for teens. The grantperiod runs from January 2012 to June2013. A second round of grantees began inJanuary 2013. More information about thegrantees and their projects may be foundat www.imls.gov/news/21st_century_learning_lab_locations1.aspx.The grant competition is part ofan effort to help museums and librariestransform themselves from being key playersin the information age to becoming keyplayers in the dawning creativity age. Ideasassociated with this project are the outcomeof recent research. Through studying andgathering information from eight hundredyouth over three years, a research team ledby Mizuko Ito became aware that teensengage in activities at three levels that alllead to learning about and with technology.They have termed their findings “HangingOut, Messing Around, and Geeking Out”(HOMAGO). They found that even at theleast focused level—Hanging Out—teensare engaged in acquiring technical and medialiteracy skills as a by-product of spendingtime engaging with friends. The learninglabs are expected to offer opportunities forfostering all three types of engagement andare expected to continue research in the areaof digital media and learning.JAMIE MAYO is the Manager of the Central Youth ServicesDepartment for the Kansas City Missouri Public Library. Sheco-wrote the proposal, that landed the Learning Labs PlanningGrant for the Kansas City Public Library, with Crystal Faris, KCPLTeen Services Director. She is a traditional storyteller intent oncrossing over into the digital world, and is currently working onshaping the storytelling curriculum for the grant.To remain relevant to our communities,we need to create increased opportunities forinteractivity rather than simply collecting andmaking resources available. The MacArthurFoundation’s interest in digital media andlearning led to their funding the LearningLabs project. IMLS and the MacArthurFoundation chose the Urban LibrariesCouncil (ULC) and the Association ofScience-Technology Centers (ASTC) tohelp lead this project. Along with the twelvegrantees, and a handful of early adopter sites(including the Hirschorn’s ARTLAB+,http://artlabplus.si.edu; YOUmediaChicago, http://youmediachicago.org; andYOUmedia Miami), these organizationscomprise the Digital Media Learning (DML)community.The organizations leading the projectfacilitated a number of virtual learningopportunities for grantees along with twoin-person convenings. Site visits will beconducted in the next few months with thegoal of providing specific support to helpeach project to move toward its goals. Overallthe Learning Labs project is designed to be amultidirectional learning experience:···with the grantees learning fromexperts, provided by the leadorganizations; from each other viatools provided on the YOUmedia site,virtual meetings and informal contact;the research team learning fromgrantees as we report back on ourtrials and successes;and, any organizations interested instarting their own lab learning fromour work through the compiled datawe all provide.Learning Labs in Kansas CityThe Kansas City team is a partnershipbetween the Kansas City Public Libraryand Science City, Kansas City’s sciencemuseum, which is housed in a historicUnion Station train depot (a building32YALS Young Adult Library Services Winter 2013


Mayothat has been converted into amulti-use facility, which includesrestaurants, theaters, shops, and officespace as well as the science museum). Webegan our project with a solid plan—without truly grasping the effort it wouldtake to meet our own ambitious goals.We’ve been expanding our thinking andrunning hard trying to catch up eversince. In creating our concept for thelab we started out by identifying specificchallenges the teens of Kansas City face.We then looked for opportunities thatmight help us help teens meet thesechallenges. We are historically a raciallydivided city and, in fact, a significantnumber of our teens rarely venture outof their neighborhoods. Many of ourteens are subject to poverty or violence.Our public school system has been introuble for years, and last year we lostaccreditation. Many of our teens have beenhanded stories about themselves and theirpossible futures that are dismal.On the opportunity side, we havea neighborhood rich in digital mediacompanies that lies adjacent to ScienceCity. It is located between the east and westdivide of the city and many of the major busroutes run past it. Because of its proximityto the digital arts district, there is a vastwealth of knowledge and skill that can betapped to enrich our lab and the experienceof the teens using it. Science City has accessto advanced digital tools; the library hasconnections to the youth we want to serve.Together, our combined connections to thecommunity will enhance the lab.Because of our teens’ tendencies toremain close to home, we felt we neededto create a mobile lab that we could take totheir neighborhoods. The hope was thatthe teens would be enticed by exposure tothe smaller mobile unit to come and try thepermanent lab, and thus come to interactwith teens from different parts of thecity. We have since decided that a threetiersystem—with mobile labs, the lab atScience City, and satellite labs at some ofour branches—would be more conduciveto engaging teens. The idea for the bridgeexperience of the satellite labs comes fromour new understanding that it takes time tocreate places where teens feel safe and oneway to do that is to create permanent labsin their neighborhood branches. We arenot throwing out the mobile lab concept,just looking at utilizing the mobile unitsto create awareness for teens not alreadyconnected to either partner organization.There have been a number of thingsthat have helped us to expand our sense ofthe work that needs to be accomplished tocreate a vibrant learning lab for teens. Keyamong these is the resources and activitiesprovided by the funding and oversightorganizations. The first convening of theDML grantee community was held inChicago shortly after the grant periodbegan, and it was a game-changer for theKansas City project. So much informationwas packed into that two and a half-dayperiod that I am still unraveling andfollowing up on a good deal of it. Everytime I go back and review my notes, Idiscover some new nugget that helps meto deepen my thinking about what we aredoing and what is possible. The conveningwas designed to help us get to know eachother and to get a basic sense of what eachgrantee hopes to achieve. We were exposedto practitioners with expertise in workingwith teens, digital media, and connectedlearning, along with a tour and showcase ofactivities at Chicago’s YOUmedia site.YOUmedia Chicago opened in 2009.It is a partnership between the ChicagoPublic Library and the Digital YouthNetwork and is housed on the first floor ofthe Harold Washington Public Library indowntown Chicago. It is a large, open room(five thousand square feet) that housesover one hundred computers and laptops,audio and video recording equipment,a recording studio, comfortable seating,and plenty of print materials. It is host toa buzz of activity. Walking in the door ofYOUmedia helped me grasp the essence ofwhat a learning lab could be.In addition to having my thinkingtransformed in the first five minutes of beingin the space, it was also transformed by thecomments of two of the teen members ofa panel that spoke about YOUmedia. Thefirst ended up at YOUmedia because of herinterest in a boy. She was content to watchhim participate for a long period of time—and in that time, she became known to thementors and they discovered her passion forpoetry. Eventually she became a member ofthe lab’s slam team.Prior to hearing her story, I had beenfocused on the Geeking Out phase ofHOMAGO, and pretty much just viewedHanging Out as the necessary means toget to the “GO” end. But after hearing theteens, and listening to the researchers sharetheir observations, all of us on the KansasCity team acquired a greater appreciationof the need for, and value of, all threephases in the HOMAGO model.The other teen that spoke at theconvening told us point blank that if wehad extra money, we needed to put it intothe mentors. Previously, we intended toget volunteers from the community toteach workshops in their area of expertiseand, largely, to staff the center. Now weunderstand that engagement with the teensis paramount in a learning lab, and thatit can only be fostered over time. We areworking on creating a full-fledged staffingplan that will provide consistent, engagedinteraction with the teens using the lab. It hasbecome clear to us that we have to changeour model of operation—do great thingswith few resources—to a model that can leadto success now. We have to think bigger,create a compelling program unhampered bythoughts of limited funds, and share thesevisions with funders who can appreciate theimportance of what we expect to accomplish.The first convening also introduced theidea of adjacencies—those organizations,Winter 2013 Young Adult Library Services YALS33


Learning Labs Learning Curveideas, and concepts that naturally fittogether or complement each other.We were encouraged to look for theseadjacencies for our projects and were evenconnected to some by the project leadership.Once we got back home, what we began toexperience was that those adjacencies arefinding us as fast as we are finding them.We now plan to create a comprehensivelist of organizations that are serving teensor engaged with digital media and learningso that we can create easily navigablepathways for the teens that may haveslightly different interests, that may desireadditional support, or that have aged out ofthe opportunities they were engaged in andneed the next step to open before them.We have encountered some strugglesas we have engaged in our process.Structural things that are peripheral tothe plan but that are essential to successhave cropped up as we have focused oncreating our plan. Something as simple asfinding times when five very busy peoplecan get together to hammer things out hasproven more difficult than anticipated.Language has been a challenge as well.Creating a common vocabulary betweenscientists and librarians has taken timeand awareness. We have had to work toconstruct effective communication systemsbetween the project leadership team andmembers of the staff and administration ateach partnering organization. If there wassomething that I could change about ourwork so far, it would be to have utilized afacilitator who would have worked with usfrom the outset to help bring to the surfacesome of the things that we have learnedthrough experience. It would also havebenefited us to have forged a very clearcommon vision earlier in our process.We did realize from the outset thatwe needed an outside coordinator for thisproject. The hiring process took longer thanexpected, which we have learned is endemicto partnering and simply has to be accountedfor at some point in the process. Thingsbegan to gather steam once our projectcoordinator was in place. One of our mostpressing priorities was to begin getting inputfrom the teens. Our coordinator organized ateen summit to take place at Union Station.We used the summit as an opportunitynot only to engage teens, but also to engagepotential allies in the community and withinour own organizations.Getting Teens InvolvedThe summit balanced soliciting input andgaining a sense of possibilities for the lab.We collected input on the technologiesthe teens already use (and how) and whatmight interest them in the future. Weshowed them four different spaces inScience City/Union Station and askedtheir opinions. After touring the spaces,they created two collages: one of what theywant in their space and one of what theydon’t. Each team presented their collagesand the thoughts behind them to therest of the group. From this, we created adocument to help guide us as we explorewhat to include and where to locate thepermanent and satellite labs.We offered two series of threeworkshops on different technologicalactivities on digital video creation, gamingdesign, audio recording, website design, and2-D and 3-D animation. We made thesetwenty-minute sessions as hands-on aspossible. To help us collect data and evaluateit, we partnered with a class at the HenryW. Bloch School of Business and PublicAdministration, University of Missouri–Kansas City. The evaluators observed theproceedings and offered feedback on howthe different activities were received by theteens. The document they prepared offersa good foundation for soliciting pertinentinformation from other groups of teenswhom we hope to have guiding us throughthe finalization of our plan.Our most recent accomplishmentwas hiring our twelve-member teenadvisory board. From a field of forty-nineapplicants, a team of six representativesfrom Science City and the library chosetwenty-seven for interviews. We designeda process that would allow us to observeall of the applicants at one time with theobjective of seeing how well they workedtogether and which roles within the teamthey assumed. We split the group intothree teams and asked each of them towork together to create a Prezi comparingtwo different forms of media, with theunderstanding that the emphasis was noton the final product but on the process.Two staff observed each team. Threeof us were assigned to a specifi c teamfor the duration of the process whilethe other three split their time rotatingbetween the teams. We scored them onprofessional behavior, teamwork, teampresentation, personal communication,and fi t for the board. After the teamspresented, we did an individual videointerview with each teen. This provedto be invaluable as we made our fi naldecisions, allowing those of us who hadn’tbeen privy to observing each candidateto have some exposure to them; thus wewere all able to participate meaningfullyin the decision-making process.We’ve come a long way from wherewe started, even though we did not makeprogress at the rate that we had expected.Forming a team with a partneringorganization takes longer than working ona project solo. However, the strength ofwhat we can create together will far surpasswhat we could have accomplished alone.From here, our focus will be on workingwith the teens to envision a compellingspace for creating and learning and onmaking it sustainable. Our expectation isthat we will take the plan that we will havebeen able to form through the funding andguidance from MacArthur and establishan enticing learning lab that will benefitnot only the teens, but the library, ScienceCity, and the community as a whole. YALS34YALS Young Adult Library Services Winter 2013


featureHot Spot: Teens & TechIf you’re reading this article, you probablyuse (or want to use) social media in yourwork with teens. You know it’s the rightthing to do: integrating social media intoyour work develops digital literacy, buildsrelationships, helps you meet teens wherethey are, and helps to provide access toinformation. School library staff who wantto use social media with their students oftenstart by talking to a group that can easilykill plans: worried stakeholders. There aresome approaches librarians can take whendiscussing social media in school withstakeholders-like teachers, administrators andparents-that can turn negative conversationsinto productive and positive experiences.To find out what approaches others areusing I created a short survey with questionsabout positive discussions on social mediain the school environment. I promotedthe survey on Twitter, the MassachusettsSchool Librarians electronic discussion listand solicited librarians whom I know forresponses. I found out what current researchsays about using social media with teens inschool. I talked with a high school librarianwho created a successful digital literacycurriculum. And, I curated a collection ofblogs and websites to find the best currentexamples of work in this area.For this article, I define social mediaas tools like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr,YouTube, Flickr, Shelfari, Goodreads,Pinterest, LibraryThing, Instagram,WordPress, Google+, IM, and e-mail.Stakeholders are administrators, teachers,parents, students—anyone with a vestedinterest in teens using social media in school.Surveying School LibrariansIn the summer of 2012, fifteen schoollibrarians generously answered six questionsabout discussing social media with schoolcommunity stakeholders. 1 As I read theresponses, it became clear that fifteen schoollibrarians were describing fifteen uniquesituations taking place on a continuum. ItCan We Talk?How School LibrariansDiscuss Social Media withStakeholdersBy Alida Hansonalso became clear that the idea of “usingsocial media” has different meanings indifferent school.At one end of the continuum, thediscussion people engage in is aboutblocking. Do we set the filter to blockFacebook, Twitter, Tumblr—even personale-mail—at school so that students andteachers do not access them for personaluse? At the other end of the continuum,we talk about how to use these tools inclassrooms—do teachers know how to usethe tools? Are they afraid of failure? In themiddle of the continuum is conversationabout how we use social tools in ourpractice to promote the library program.This is often where we model digital literacypractices for our school community.All of the respondents described arecent conversation with stakeholdersabout using social media. At the “blocking”end of the continuum, one librarianreported adversarial conversations withadministrators and that teachers andstudents feel bullied because they areblocked from using common tools likee-mail at school. But, it was reported thatthis adversarial relationship produced anunexpected benefit: teachers and studentsshared the same concerns and operated asa unit to make change in the school andwith the school administration.“No conversation, that’s the problem,”said one respondent. This librarianin a large district observes that its sizeprecludes a conversation and, as a result,administration uses a top-down approachto decision making. A parochial schoollibrarian explains the Diocese approvesuse on a case-by-case basis. Each of theseschools shares a trait that makes discussiondifficult: an administration that makesdecisions independently, without input fromstakeholders like teachers and students.ALIDA HANSON is the Librarian at Weston High School in Weston,Massachusetts. She worked for many years in book publishingbefore she became a librarian. She loves new media and literature,and tweets from @alidahanson.Winter 2013 Young Adult Library Services YALS35


Can We Talk?Survey Questions1. Describe, analyze, or reflect on arecent conversation about socialnetworking tools with stakeholdersin your school.2. What are some common areas ofanxiety that need addressing?3. What kinds of information andapproaches elicit positive responsesfrom stakeholders?4. How do you define success intalking about social media policywith administrators, teachers, andparents?5. How are you involved with writingacceptable use policies for socialmedia?6. Which social networking tools haveyou used in your library?7. Which social networking tools do youwant to use in your library?8. Anything else you’d like to say?In the mid-range of the continuum,discussion happens but social media isnot implemented, even though there arediscussions. Several librarians reporttalking about maintaining distinctionsbetween teacher professional and personalsocial media accounts. Another groupdescribes discussions about using socialmedia for professional development. Onelibrarian reported a conversation centeringon administrators’ anxiety about usingFacebook to communicate with students.Another reports that stakeholders arenegative about using social media inschool, but are eager to introduce a BringYour Own Device (BYOD) policy. In oneschool, the administrators are supportive,but the parents are not. In another, thetech department is supportive, but theadministrators are not. These schoolsrecognize that social media is a force thatmust be acknowledged and they engagein conversations to clarify and debate, notnecessarily leading to any movement orchange, however.In schools with more fully developedpolicies and technologies, teachers arefree to use social media. In a school likethis, one librarian talks to teachers aboutusing it. Another librarian says that whileproductive conversation happens, “thewill [to use social media in the classroom]is there but not the practice.” Neither ofthese librarians report that social mediais used extensively in classrooms. Fear offailure and lack of time to learn how touse the tools are the factors that librariansthink hold teachers back. Addressingthese fears when talking to teachers canhelp to encourage them to introduce socialmedia to their classrooms.Defining SuccessfulConversationsKendall Bontini of Waltham (MA) HighSchool believes that “success doesn’t have tomean that all of the stakeholders agree onone path forward. In fact—that’s probablynever going to happen. What really mattersis that the voices of those who are mostaffected by these policies are heard andvalued. It takes FOREVER for our policiesto change in schools—we cannot allow thedecisions and actions of a few to dictatepolicy for years to come.” In Bontini’s school,“an aggressive filter blocks any website thathas to do with games/gaming, alcohol,etc.” YouTube, Facebook, MySpace,and personal e-mail are blocked, but notTumblr, Flickr, and other photo-sharingsites. When blunt filtering excessively andarbitrarily restricts teachers and students, it’stime to stand up for your rights.Schools with nuanced fi lteringhave different defi nitions of success.One librarian reports that “[a]ny kindof open dialogue” is welcome. JenniferDimmick of Newton (MA) South HighSchool says, “[w]e want to be respectfulof [administrator’s] concerns and notcause rancor. If we plant the seed, thenslowly tend to it by directing thoseopposed towards positive examples,we are confi dent that it will grow.”Some librarians look for results-basedoutcomes like “getting teachers to try it,”“focus[ing] on how it benefi ts students,”“administrators see[ing] educationalmerit or usefulness as a PR tool” and “awillingness to try something new.”Robin Cicchetti, Director of Libraryand Technology Inegration at Concord-Carlisle (MA) High School defines successas “the lessening of anxiety. [Stakeholders]are afraid of making the wrong decision. . . .An example from our learning commons isfiltering Facebook. Initially, Facebook wasfiltered because it was considered dangerous,a source of bullying, and inappropriate forschool. A discussion about positive waysit was used (organizing sports teams, classevents, school clubs, and study groups)with examples gathered from students, thebenefits of bringing it into an open space toreinforce the understanding that Facebook isnot private, and helping students build selfregulationskills resulted in the filter beingremoved. I have heard my principal explainthis to parents who asked why it wasn’tfiltered. Everybody relaxed, there was lessanxiety, and we succeeded in our goal not toban social media.”Anxious StakeholdersIf we want to discuss social media withstakeholders, we must understand theirfears. Only one librarian mentionedcyberbullying as the dominant stakeholderfear. Distraction from schoolwork was citedmost often, followed by “terror,” in somecases, of “inappropriate contact betweenteachers and students.” Lack of control isa free-floating anxiety reported by severallibrarians, including a fear of “students[posting] disrespectful information36YALS Young Adult Library Services Winter 2013


Hansonanonymously.” Stakeholders are afraidthat students will receive unsolicitedinappropriate content. Violating CIPA,hacking accounts, security, filtering, andweak networks complete the menu of techanxieties. Teachers have especially painfulanxieties: being too busy to learn how to usesocial media well, and fear of failing.Discussion StrategiesWhy spend time reading this litany ofanxieties? “Recognizing and validatingconcerns, and not dismissing them out ofhand helps build trust and respect,” saysCicchetti. Acknowledging that we will losesome control and even fail sometimes isan honest approach. For example, when Iintroduced Twitter to a class, nobody couldsign in to start their accounts. The day afterthe class, everyone could. The lesson welearned was not to stop using Twitter—butto make account sign-ups a homeworkassignment before classes meet.Getting to “Yes”Most librarians believe that givingcommonsense, concrete examples of waysto use social media in the classroom is key.Some of the ways we do this is by givinginstructional support, creating rubrics andassessments, and leading workshops. Riskierresponses to stakeholder anxieties areguaranteeing success (an impossible promise)and complete monitoring over local areanetworks (how can we watch every screenevery second and teach at the same time?) aswell as proving connections to learning.Citing research is a foolproof way toget serious attention from stakeholders.Unfortunately, right now, research inthis area is still in its infancy. Importantresearch exists on social media and teens,but much of it is outside of the educationsetting. 2 Until the research catches up,anecdotal evidence offers importantinformation. While anecdotes lack thescientific grounding of research, they ofteninspire educators to challenge themselvesand lead to real change in the field. Whenwe give stakeholders evidence of ourcolleagues’ social media success stories, theyoften think “if they can do it, why can’t we?”A beautiful facet of this approach is thatwe often gather these anecdotes from socialmedia (professional learning networks onTwitter, Facebook, Nings, blogs, etc.). Besure to point this out to stakeholders.Luckily, as teachers and librarians, wecan move social media into the classroomby creating curriculum for it. Jen Thomas,the Librarian at Bishop Stang High Schoolin North Dartmouth (MA), uses socialmedia regularly in her Digi Lit course.Thomas says that the course is “based onthe belief that librarians are in the businessof giving access to information, not blockingit. Students can make bad decisionsabout social media, or learn how to use itproductively. The best decision I madefor this course was to use Tumblr as themedium for delivery and work collection. Ineeded a blog and asked the class which toolto use. The students help with the design ofthe course. I model collaboration.”It took Thomas three years to developthe curriculum in collaboration with theEnglish department and a professor fromthe University of Rhode Island. Thecurriculum is embedded in a FreshmanEnglish course and counts for 10 percentof the final English grade. She encourageslibrarians to look at her course materialsand use it for inspiration for our owncourses, http://fc.dfrcec.com/~jthomas@bishopstang.com/. (You can find moreresources related to this article on theYALS website, http://yalsa.ala.org/yals.)Civic Engagement andAcceptable Use Policies (AUPs)A minority of librarians in my unscientificsurvey report having input into theirschools’ acceptable use policies (the policiesthat codify technology use in schools). Thisneeds to be rectified, and you can makeyour voice heard by volunteering to be onthe AUP committee. You are an importantpart of the discussion because youunderstand the strengths of social media,know how to use it and have built yourcareer on giving access to information.Consultant and educator DebbieAbilock thinks that schools shouldintegrate civics education into creation ofschool policies. 3 Following her suggestion,remember the very important stakeholderswhose voices need to be heard: the teenswith whom we work. When you volunteerto be on your schools’ AUP committee,invite students to sit at the table and jointhe discussion.Talking about social media withstakeholders yields enduring rewards.Because we acknowledge and validatestakeholder anxieties, the conversationshelp build trusting relationships.Civic responsibility grows because thecommunity starts to think about how tobuild effective acceptable use policies forsocial media. When locating anecdotalevidence of social media use, librarianscreate and strengthen their personallearning networks. Finally, as educators,we are pushed to challenge ourselves,accept failures as part of getting to success,and effect real change in our fields. YALSReferences1. Various librarians, “School LibrariansTalking About Social Media,” GoogleDocs, Google, August–September 2012(accessed October 2012).2. Mizuko Ito, “Hanging Out, MessingAround, and Geeking Out: Kids Livingand Learning with New Media,”(Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012), 21.3. Debbie Abilock, “Is Your Ethics Policya Quick Fix or a Civic Outcome?”KnowledgeQuest 34, no. 4. Library andInformation Science Abstracts (LISA).Winter 2013 Young Adult Library Services YALS37


theYALSAupdateASSOCIATION NEWSFind the latest YALSA news every Friday at the YALSA Blog, http://yalsa.ala.org/blog.Promote the Best of theBest @ Your LibraryAs this issue mails, YALSA willbe announcing its award winnersat the Youth Media Awards atALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. Theannouncement will take place January 28.In addition, YALSA will announce itsselected book and media lists for 2013.Beginning in February, visit www.ala.org/yalsa/best to find downloadable toolsto promote winners at your library, part ofYALSA’s new Best of the Best! You’ll beable to download customizable bookmarksfeaturing the winners of the 2013 Alex,Edwards, Morris, Nonfiction, Odyssey,and Printz awards. We’ll also offer pressreleases, which you can customize andsend to local publications to let teens knowthat award winners are available at yourlibrary. You can also download logos to useon your website or in marketing materialsin your library, spine labels to apply totitles that appear in the Best of the Best,and other tools to promote the awards,as well as the Amazing Audiobooks forYoung Adults, Best Fiction for YoungAdults, Fabulous Films for Young Adults,Great Graphic Novels for Teens, PopularPaperbacks for Young Adults, and QuickPicks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers.So check it out at www.ala.org/yalsa/best!Join YALSA at ALAAnnual Conference!Early bird registration ends April 12.YALSA has big plans for Annual2013—be part of the action in Chicagothis summer, June 28–July 2.There are plenty of interestingprograms and ticketed events to attend,including Attracting Reluctant MaleReaders, the Odyssey Award Presentationand Program, 20 Programs Under $20,Maintaining Teen E-Collections, andGeneration Us – IntergenerationalPrograms That Build Community. Formore detailed information on all YALSAhas to offer at Annual 2013, visit www.ala.org/yalsa/events.Early bird registration ends April12. Find more details about registrationand housing at the ALA Annual website,www.alaannual.org. For the latest detailson YALSA’s Annual schedule, visit theYALSA Events page at www.ala.org/yalsa/events.2013 ALA/YALSAElectionsYALSA’s Governance and AwardsNominating Committees have submittedthe following slate for 2013. YALSAmembers will vote for president-elect,directors at-large, and members of theEdwards, Nonfiction, and Printz AwardsCommittees.Elections will be held March 19–April 26, and will take place entirelyonline. Details about the 2013 election areat www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/governance/alaelection/.YALSA 2013 SlatePresident-ElectSharon RawlinsChris ShoemakerBoard of DirectorsFranklin EscobedoMaureen HartmanKrista McKenzieMatt MoffettEdwards Award CommitteeAlicia BlowersSophie BrookoverJoy KimJackie ParkerBeth SaxtonGail ZachariahNonfiction Award CommitteeMartha BadenTeresa BrantleyTodd KruegerDrue Wagner MeesJoy MillamBrenna ShanksPrintz Award CommitteeHayden BassRobin BrennerAdrienne ButlerDiane ColsonNaphtali FarisAngela FrederickShelly McNerneyTerri SnethenHave Fun While BuildingYour Professional Skills!Update your skills, get leadership andnetworking opportunities, be a part ofmoving YALSA forward, and have agreat time by joining one of our processcommittees or juries! President-Elect38YALS Young Adult Library Services Winter 2013


Shannon Peterson will be appointingcommittee and jury members to 2013–2014 process committees and juries thathelp the association advance its missionand the profession. Interested in beingmore involved? Read on to find out how.A Guide to ProcessCommittees and JuriesYALSA has two types of committees:selection committees, which select specificlibrary materials or choose YALSA’sawards; and process committees, whichhelp carry out the work of the association.Process committees include:····those that plan YALSA events,including initiatives and conferences,such as Teen Tech Week,WrestleMania Reading Challenge,and the YA Lit Symposium PlanningTaskforce;those that help YALSA governitself, such as Organizations andBylaws, Strategic Planning, andNominating;those that help support specificmember resources, includingPublications, the Hub AdvisoryBoard, and Division and MembershipPromotions; andmany more!What to Know BeforeYou VolunteerBefore you volunteer to serve on acommittee, advisory board, or jury,you’ll want to learn what the group doesand what your responsibilities will be.Contact the chair directly, explain thatyou’re interested in serving, and then askquestions about what your involvementwill entail. Names and contact informationfor all the chairs are available at www.ala.org/yalsa/aboutyalsa/yalsaalacontacts.On the YALSA website you’llalso find information about the groups’functions, size, and more. Just click on“Governance.” Finally, be sure to readthrough YALSA’s handbook, especiallythe sections that list responsibilities forcommittee members. View it onlineat www.ala.org/yalsa/aboutyalsa/yalsahandbook.Complete the VolunteerFormTo be considered for a committee or jury,you need to fi ll out a volunteer form. Itis available online (go to www.ala.org/yalsa/aboutyalsa/yalsahandbook andchoose the Committee Volunteer form).When you fi ll out a form, please be sureto include the names of the committees orjuries on which you’d most like to serve.If you don’t indicate a few that you’reparticularly interested in, it is very difficultfor the president-elect to fi nd the best fi tfor you. Forms are kept on fi le for onlyone year, so you must fi le a form eachyear that you would like to serve on acommittee or jury.TimelineApplications will be accepted throughFebruary 1. After you have submittedone, look for an e-mail confirmation fromYALSA. Appointments will be made bythe president-elect in March and April. Ifappointed, your term begins July 1, 2013.The Fine PrintAll of YALSA’s process committees arevirtual appointments, meaning you do notneed to attend the Annual Conferenceor Midwinter Meeting to serve on acommittee. Appointments are for eitherone- or two-year terms, depending on thecommittee or jury. Some groups are verypopular and may receive dozens of volunteerforms for just two or three available spots.Your membership in YALSA must becurrent in order for you to be eligible toserve on a committee or jury.Questions? Please contact ShannonPeterson, YALSA’s president-elect,at shannon.peterson@gmail.com, orYALSA’s membership coordinator, LetitiaSmith, at lsmith@ala.org.For other ways to build yourprofessional skills and/or get moreinvolved in YALSA, please visit www.ala.org/yalsa/getinvolved/getinvolved.Land Named YALSA’s2013 Board FellowYALSA’s board of directors choseCarla Land, YPL/Children’s ServicesDepartment Head, at Las Vegas-ClarkCounty Library District, as its 2013 boardfellow. Land will begin serving as boardfellow in June 2013.The YALSA Board Fellowshipgives YALSA members an expandedopportunity to be involved in theleadership of the association. Each yearone fellow is selected from that year’s poolof applicants to serve a one-year term(from June to July of the following year)on the YALSA board as a nonvotingmember.The fellow is expected to participatefully in the work of the board includingattending and participating in all face-tofaceand virtual meetings and discussions.They will receive a $500 stipendper conference to help defray travel,registration, and hotel costs.Applications to be YALSA’s 2014board fellow are available at www.ala.org/yalsa/awards&grants and are due byDecember 1 each year.YALSA’s Research JournalSeeks ManuscriptsThe Journal of Research on Libraries andYoung Adults (http://yalsa.ala.org/jrlya),YALSA’s peer-reviewed, open-accessonline research journal, seeks manuscriptsfor future issues.The purpose of the Journal ofResearch on Libraries and Young Adultsis to enhance the development of theory,research, and practices to support youngadult library services. Journal of Researchon Libraries and Young Adults promotesand publishes high-quality originalresearch concerning the informationaland developmental needs of young adults;the management, implementation, andevaluation of library services for youngadults; and other critical issues relevant tolibrarians who work with young adults. Thejournal also includes literary and culturalanalyses of classic and contemporary writingfor young adults.Submissions and questions about theresearch journal should be sent to editorSandra Hughes-Hassell at yalsaresearch@gmail.com. Before submitting a paper,please read through the call for papers andauthor guidelines at the journal’s website,http://yalsa.ala.org/jrlya.Winter 2013 Young Adult Library Services YALS39


Virtual Town Halls onTeens and LibrariesThe National Forum on Libraries andTeens is a year-long effort bringingtogether key stakeholders from theareas of libraries, education, technology,adolescent development and the for-profitand nonprofit sectors to explore the worldof young adults and library services. Oneend product of the Forum is a white paperthat will provide direction on how librariesneed to adapt and potentially changeto better meet the needs of twenty-firstcentury teens. This project is funded bythe Institute of Museum and LibraryServices.As this issue mails as part of theForum, YALSA will be hosting a Teensand Libraries Summit January 23and 24, in Seattle during ALA’s 2013Midwinter Meeting. The Summit willfeature two days of speakers, panels, andsmall group discussions to examine thecurrent state of library services for andwith young adults, and to explore howlibrary services may need to evolve tomeet the needs of twenty-first centuryadolescents.Beginning in March, all YALSAmembers can join the discussion in aseries of Virtual Town Halls on Teensand Libraries, facilitated by Linda W.Braun. The issues raised during thevirtual town halls will be based onwhat is discovered during the Summit.Please save the following dates and visithttp://www.ala.org/yaforum/ for moreinformation. To keep up via Twitterabout the year-long project, follow#yalsaforum. We hope you participate inthis important project!Virtual Town Halls on Teensand Libraries:Tuesday, March 19, 2013· Tuesday, April 16, 2013Tuesday May 21, 2013 YALS·Connect, Create, Collaborate (continued from page 31)··Pinterest is an online pinboard forphotos and images. Pin pictures ofyour displays, and use Pinterest tofind examples of fresh new ideas foryour library. You can organize yourideas and photos by creating multiplepinboards.YouTube allows users to create achannel to upload videos. Createtutorials, book trailers and shortvideos about your library, and addthem to your channel. You canembed your YouTube videos onblogs, Facebook pages and eventweet a link connecting patrons toyour videos.Newcomers to social media or librariansworking alone may find using social mediato communicate with their communityoverwhelming. It’s a good idea to just take itone tool at a time. Decide what one thing youwould most like to achieve using social media,and then start with that tool. Take smallsteps, and don’t try to do everything at once.You Can Do ItThe successful use of social media is notreliant on a strong understanding of howtechnology works. Knowledge of thetechnology will help you choose the righttools, but teens and colleagues can helpyou with that too. Successful use of socialmedia requires a set of goals, organization,interpersonal skills, and a plan of action.Technology is just a platform forcommunication and getting somethingdone. Ask yourself, “How do I build anonline community for my library usingsocial tools?” Social media allows you tohave real-time communication with yourstakeholders, community members, andteens using a platform they are familiarwith, comfortable with, and use frequently.Use social media to connect, create, andcollaborate with your community as a wayto make your library an even better placefor teens. YALS40YALS Young Adult Library Services Winter 2013


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