Fall 2012 - YALSA - American Library Association

yalsa.ala.org

Fall 2012 - YALSA - American Library Association

The official journal of The Young adulT librarY ServiceS aSSociaTionyoung adultlibrary servicesVOLUME 11 | NUMBER 1FALL 2012 ISSN 1541-4302YALSA Perspectives4 Teens on the PlatformYALSA’s National Teen Space GuidelinesBy Katherine Trouern-TrendBest Practices7 What If? Exploring How Libraries CanEmbody Trends of the Twenty-FirstCenturyBy Sarah C. MalinPlus:2 From the EditorLinda W. Braun3 From the PresidentJack Martin28 Guidelines for Authors28 Index to Advertisers30 The YALSA UpdateHot Spot: Advocacy10 Good Teen Librarians Make Great LibraryAdvocatesBy Maureen L. Hartman13 A School Library Advocacy AlphabetBy Heather Gruenthal19 A Primer for Teen Parent ServicesIssues, Program Development, and AdvocacyBy Ellin Klor24 Advocacy, Teens, and Strategic PlanningBy Krista KingAbout This CoverStatistics quoted on the cover come from thefollowing sources:Only 33% of public libraries have a YA librarian(“PLDS Statistical Report,” PLA, 2012)The # of school librarians in US shrank by 7%from ’04 & ’11 (“School Librarian NumbersDecline from 2004–2005 to 2010–2011,”Library Research Service, 2012)Only 62% of the nation’s youth have access to aschool library (“Digest of Education Statistics2010,” NCES)57% of public libraries report flat or decreasedbudgets in ’12 (“2011–2012 Libraries ConnectCommunities: Public Library Funding &Technology Access Study,” ALA)62% of public libraries are the only source of freeaccess to the Internet in their towns (“2011–2012 Libraries Connect Communities: PublicLibrary Funding & Technology Access Study,”ALA)


2012–2013 YALSA Editorial Advisory Committee(providing advisory input for the journal)Laura Pearle, Chair, Carmel, N.Y.; Michelle Bayuk, Deerfield, Ill.,Jennifer Brannen, Durham, N.C.; Katherine Covintree, Providence, R.I.;Laura Lehner, Hudson, Oh; Whitney Winn, Goleta, CalifYALSA Executive DirectorBeth YokeGuest EditorLinda W. BraunCirculationYoung Adult Library Services (ISSN 1541-4302) is published four times a yearby the American Library Association (ALA), 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL60611. It is the official publication of the Young Adult Library Services Association(YALSA), a division of ALA. Subscription price: members of YALSA,$25 per year, included in membership dues; nonmembers, $70 per year in theU.S.; $80 in Canada, Mexico, and other countries. Back issues within one yearof current issue, $17.50 each. Periodicals class postage paid at Chicago, Illinoisand additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes toYoung Adult Library Services, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. Members:Address changes and inquiries should be sent to Membership Department,Changes to Young Adult Library Services, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611.Nonmember subscribers: Subscriptions, orders, changes of address, and inquiriesshould be sent to Changes to Young Adult Library Services,Subscriptions, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611; 1-800-545-2433, press 5;fax: (312) 944-2641; subscriptions@ala.org.Statement of PurposeYoung Adult Library Services is the official journal of the Young AdultLibrary Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American LibraryAssociation. YALS primarily serves as a vehicle for continuing education forlibrarians serving young adults, ages twelve through eighteen. It will includearticles of current interest to the profession, act as a showcase for best practices,provide news from related fields, publish recent research related to YAlibrarianship, and will spotlight significant events of the organization andoffer in-depth reviews of professional literature. YALS will also serve as theofficial record of the organization.ProductionCadmus CommunicationsAdvertisingBill Spilman, Innovative Media Solutions; 1-877-878-3260; fax (309)483-2371; e-mail bill@innovativemediasolutions.com. View our media kit atwww.ala.org/yalsa/mediakit. YALS accepts advertising for goods or services ofinterest to the library profession and librarians in service to youth in particular.It encourages advertising that informs readers and provides clear communicationbetween vendor and buyer. YALS adheres to ethical and commonlyaccepted advertising practices and reserves the right to reject anyadvertisement not suited to the above purposes or not consistent withthe aims and policies of ALA. Acceptance of advertising in YALS does notimply official endorsement by ALA of the products or services advertised.ManuscriptsManuscripts and letters pertaining to editorial content should be sent toYALSA, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611; e-mail: yalseditor@gmail.com. Manuscripts will be sent out for review according to YALS’s establishedreferee procedures. Visit www.ala.org/yalsa for further information.Indexing, Abstracting, and MicrofilmYoung Adult Library Services is indexed in Library Literature, Library &Information Science Abstracts, and Current Index to Journals in Education.Microfilm copies of Journal of Youth Services in Libraries and its predecessor,Top of the News, are available from ProQuest/Bell & Howell, 300 N. ZeebRd., Ann Arbor, MI 48106.The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements ofAmerican National Standard for Information Sciences-Permanence of Paperfor Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1992. 1Ó2012 American Library AssociationAll materials in this journal subject to copyright by the American LibraryAssociation may be photocopied for the noncommercial purpose of scientificor educational advancement granted by Sections 107 and 108 of theCopyright Revision Act of 1976. For other photocopying, reprinting, or translating,address requests to the ALA Office of Rights and Permissions.2 YALS | Young Adult Library Services | Fall 2012from theEditorLinda W. BraunHeard in the town hall parking lot: “I’m so excited, the TeenAdvisory Group is going to be talking about plans for thenext manga festival this afternoon.” The librarian utteringthose words was initiating an advocacy conversation with a local parentor town official, perhaps without even realizing it. Library staff membersworking with teens regularly talk about what they do with and for teensin the community. These conversations help to spread the word aboutteen library services. Now add to that same conversation, “I’m sopleased the teens are helping to plan the festival because that way theyget to practice teamwork and decision making” and you’re helpingcommunity members understand that teens aren’t just having fun in theprograms you provide—which I’m sure they are—but you’re also lettingthe adults know that you are helping teens gain the developmentalassets they need to grow up to be well-rounded adults. Fun can befound in lots of places outside of the library. Developmental skills aresomething libraries provide that few other places consciously do. That’sa unique value of what you do, and it’s important for people to know it.This issue of YALS is meant to be your go-to resource for findingout exactly what advocacy is and how to do it effectively. You’ll learnfrom Maureen L. Hartman and Heather Gruenthal that advocacydoesn’t have to be something special that you take part in outside ofyour daily professional duties. You can advocate for teen services duringmeetings you attend with colleagues and community members; and youcan advocate for teens while providing frontline library service.Programs are a great way to advocate for the importance of teenservices. Ellin Klor’s article about programs for teen parents is a perfectexample of these services, which touch on many of the developmentalskills needed by the audience–from literacy, to digital to work force.As full-time teen library staff declines (the most recent datacollected by the Public Library Association shows a decrease in fulltimeteen library staff 1 ) it’s imperative now more than ever that alllibrary staff advocate for teens and library services to the age group.Any staff member can start with advocacy in day-to-dayinteractions, and then build skills and abilities out from there. Asstaff gain confidence, they can take the story of why library teenservices are important to larger community meetings, budgethearings, and even the state house. The key is to get started bymaking sure that whenever talking about teens in the library anexplanation of the value of those activities is included. As HeatherGruenthal states, “we make a difference in the lives of teens!”Fall marks the relaunch of the YALS web presence. Thanks to thework of the YALS Editorial Advisory Board the site will now beupdated weekly with content that expands on the ideas presented in eachissue of the journal. Check out the site to read articles, watch videos,listen to podcasts, and more. The URL is www.yalsa.ala.org/yals/. YALSReference1. Public Library Association. Public Library Data Service StatisticalReport. Chicago: PLA, 2012.


from thePresidentJack MartinWow! What an exciting year to beYALSA President! There areso many cool things happeningin the association right now—everythingfrom a growing partnership withHASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science,Technology Advanced Collaboratory)and Mozilla, which focuses on awardingbadges to library staff who demonstrateskills related to YALSA’s Competencies forLibrarians Serving Youth, to the new TeenBook Finder app, to plenty of otherinitiatives related to teens and literacy. Ican’t wait to see what the next year brings!The YALSA membership (that’s you)and the exciting initiatives that YALSAhas in the works led me (and my super,awesome, presidential, advisory task force)to decide that my theme for the yearwould be:Connect. Create. CollaborateIt’s what teen librarians and librarystaff who work with teens do every day.We welcome teens who come into ourlibraries or into our schools. We connectwith them face-to-face, in the classroom, oronline. We create cool new projects toserve them at home, in the library, orwherever they are (physically anddevelopmentally). We collaborate on somany different levels—with communitybasedorganizations, with partners ineducation, and with our nationalassociation.This year I’ve got a lot of ideas on howYALSA will continue to connect, create,and collaborate, and some thoughts thatwill expand YALSA’s brand and footprintinto the larger world of youth servicesacross the United States.First, YALSA is going to go local thisyear. We want to connect directly withmembers and hear what everyone thinks.That’s why we’re starting the PresidentialRoad Trip. Over the next year, I’m aimingto reach out virtually to nearly everyYALSA member across the county. I wantto hear how we’re doing as an association,what ideas members have on how we canhelp you better serve teens, or what coolprojects that are happening in libraries andother institutions across the country weshould be letting members know about. I’llbe reaching out to all YALSA membersbetween now and next July via e-mail,social media, the YALSA blog, and maybeeven snail mail. I’d love to hear everyone’sthoughts and ideas on how we can mobilizeour association to better serve teens in ourcommunities. Everyone will know where Iam virtually because we’ll be tracking mytrip on Facebook.Second, this association is full ofcreative types: whether it’s members whoare designing cutting edge programs forteens in libraries or creating cool onlinecontent to improve service. We all knowmembers doing cool stuff, and we need tofigure out how we can share what you’redoing with the rest of the association. Oneproject we’re developing is the 365 Days ofYA Calendar. I’ll mobilize a task forcewho will build an online calendar andmenu of great programs and projects forteens in libraries for all 365 days of theyear. Some of the offerings will be simplewhile others will be more involved. Oneimportant thing is that this will not bejust a great resource for teen librarians, itwill also be useful to library workers whomay spend their time in other areas outsidethe realm ofteen services,or for thosewho are justgetting theirfeet wet inworking withteens.Finally, we’ll be looking at manycollaborative opportunities this year. One ofthese is figuring out ways we can work moredirectly with state library associations andyouth roundtables. We know that membersconsistently ask us to have a strongerpresence at local conferences and events, andwe know that these members want to be partof that local presence. Over the next year,we’ll establish a task force to figure out howYALSA can best tap these associations androundtables and mobilize our membership tomaximize our presence in that arena.We also know that many of ourmembers who work in young adult servicesmay also work in other areas of a library suchas the children’s department. Or, they mightbe school librarians. We’ve got that coveredtoo. This year the Joint (YALSA, Assn. forLibrary Service to Children [ALSC]American Assn. of School Librarians[AASL]) Public School Cooperationcommittee is focusing on the summer slideand summer reading. Together they’ll bedevising a plan for how children’s, teen, andschool librarians can collaborate and worktogether to help combat the slide, which weknow impacts the lives of hundreds ofthousands of youth across the country.These are just a few of the projects we’llbe taking on over the next year. I’m lookingforward to working with all of you to helpYALSA connect, create, and collaborate. YALSFall 2012 | Young Adult Library Services | YALS 3


featureYALSA PerspectivesTeens on thePlatform:YALSA’s National TeenSpace GuidelinesBy Katherine Trouern-TrendYALSA’s Guidelines for PublicLibraries Task Force convened in2011 to develop a set of guidelinesfor teen spaces in public libraries. The goalwas to provide the library community witha foundational document that advises onwhat constitutes an effective library spacefor teen patrons.According to the 2012 Public LibraryData Service Statistical Report, only 33percent of public libraries currently have atleast one full-time staff member dedicated toteen services. 1 The guidelines were thereforecreated as a tool for all staff working withteens. They are also a response to changingdynamics of teen culture and standards oftwenty-first century life.Teens have new expectations forinteraction with information as creators,leaders, and collaborators using variedinteractive platforms. There is a clearconvergence of social and learningplatforms where teens are knowledgeableleaders in online environments. Thisincludes gaming environments where teensserve as strategists and team members withpeers and adults rather than solely asconsumers of adult-created content andadult-led experiences. Teens use socialmedia to harvest, create, and shareinformation for entertainment andeducational purposes. Schools aretransforming how they relate and shareinformation with students with theKATHERINE TROUERN-TREND is a Youth Services Librarian at theMark Twain Branch of Hartford Public Library in Hartford,Connecticut. She is a 2010 graduate of Simmons College, GSLIS.She is Vice-Chair of the Ethnic and Multicultural InformationExchange Roundtable; serves on ACRL’s Rare Books andManuscripts, Diversity Committee; and has acted as a convenerfor YALSA’s Managing YA Services Interest Group. Katherine iscontinually inspired by the youth who are a part of her life. Herblog is found at katherinettrend.wordpress.com.implementation of educational technologyinitiatives such as the Games, Learning andAssessment Lab (GLASS) in whichpopular video games are modified to createnew videos that teach and help to evaluatestudent learning skills.The GLASS Lab is based on thepremise that video games are designed tomeasure progress as learning is captured viaa gaming experience and youths’ proclivitytoward digital media makes this a workableoption. With an understanding of teens’high level of engagement in this type ofenvironment, it makes sense that librarieswould model a similar experience for teens.Teens expect to participate, collaborate,create, and consume.With this thinking in mind, theNational Guidelines Task Force set out todevelop a set of standards that are relevantto libraries serving teens in 2012 and arealigned with the reinvention of howknowledge is created and disseminatedtoday. Just as schools are transforming theirteaching models to address new expectationsfor a participatory learning experience,libraries must consider this changing mediaecology in shaping physical and virtual teenspaces to stay relevant with teen customers.Teen OwnershipAn important concept running through theGuidelines is the idea of teen ownership indefining and maintaining both physical andvirtual spaces. If teens are able to createcontent using many popular digital platforms,it makes sense that teens would expect to dothe same in their library space, and it makessense for libraries to pay attention to this.Teens expect to be able to interact withdigital content and share ownership ofinformation relevant to them. The wayteens interact with content in popularvirtual environments should help define theway in which a library structures its onlinepresence with teens. Simply feedinginformation through librarian-created4 YALS | Young Adult Library Services | Fall 2012


Trouern-Trendcontent is no longer an effective means ofreaching teens and engaging them in thelibrary. Giving teens leadership in creatinglibrary content gives them ownership oftheir library’s virtual and physical space.There is a range of possibilities for teens tocreate content for libraries: online bookreviews, music reviews and playlists, gamereviews, website reviews, Facebook pages,Twitter posts about library events orprograms, how-to videos on creatingFacebook cover photos, mixing beats online,or learning dance steps. The key is knowingwhat information is relevant to your teens,what kind of content they want to create orlearn to create, and how your library canfacilitate that to give them ownership of thecontent and what happens in their space.Ourroleaslibrarianhaschangedformany of our patrons, especially our teenpatrons. We, of course, hold specializedknowledge, but we must present informationin a new way that validates teens asknowledge creators and collaborators. Ourrole is as a guide, collaborator, and supporterof teen interests and needs. Our teens useour libraries for varied purposes. We mayserve teens who use the library solely foronline entertainment or as a source ofrecreational reading, that is how they definethelibrary.Wemayhaveteenswhousethelibrarysolelytostudy,thatishowtheydefine the library. We may have teens whouse the library as a hangout, that is how theydefine the library. A library’s purpose is toserve all customers based on thecommunity’sneed.Thisistrueforteensandfor adults. The YALSA National Teen SpaceGuidelines recognizes this need to serve theways teens define the library.Where’s the Money?When most librarians think of teens, theythink technology. The next thought often isabout money and how technology meansspending money. Yes, hardware costsmoney, but there are many creative ways tobuild a high impact teen space that do notrequire thousands of dollars. It’s great if youget funding, but if you don’t have thefunding for MAC labs or iPads, you can stillbuild a vibrant teen space. You work withwhat you have. A way to think about this is,“How do I increase access and engagementwithin the space that we have,” instead of,“We don’t have enough stuff or money forthe stuff we need.” For example, teens havetheir own mobile technology they bring intothe library space, and the Guidelinestherefore recommend the importance ofhaving adequate outlets to accommodatethis technology (cellphones, MP3 players,tablets, laptops) for teens to plug in theirmany devices for use in the library.In my library, with a few extra tablesfrom the Downtown Library, we created aTeen Zone in our branch library. This iswhere teens have exclusive use of an area ofthe library where they can bring in theirlaptops, listen to music, and watch videos.On Fridays we have snacks for teens.Our policy: no earphones required.Conversation easily flows from world news,to school drama, to celebrity gossip, topersonal triumphs and fears. Youth shareand create media with peers using theirown technology brought into the space. Allstaff interact with teens naturally andeasily, giving value to their presence,interests, and needs within the library.Teens check out magazines, urban lit, YAnovels, graphic novels, and we allow theteens to navigate their own experience.Allowing teens to navigate and leadpeers in the library environment gives teens aplatform for engagement and learning. Letteens define their service model and spaceneeds. Teens expect to have ownership ofinformation that is relevant to them, asevidenced by their behavior as creators,collaborators, strategists, consumers, andleaders in their online entities. Teens arecitizen reporters and content creators inonline leisure communities as well aspropagators of information in national events.Model Teen SpacesChicago (Illinois) Public Library,YOUmediahttp://youmediachicago.orgFarmington (New Mexico) Public Library,Teen Zonewww.infoway.org/TeenZone/index.aspPlymouth (Michigan) District Library,Teen Zonehttp://plymouthlibrary.org/index.php/teenTacoma (Washington) Public Library,StoryLabwww.storylabtacoma.orgWaupaca (Wisconsin) Area PublicLibrary, Best Cellarwww.waupacalibrary.org/teensEyewitness accounts of the movie theatershooting in Aurora, CO on July 20, 2012came first through text,photos,andvideosonTwitter by young people. Youth across theMiddle East precipitated the Arab SpringthatbeganonDecember18,2010usingsocial media to provide real time reports onmilitary crackdowns and citizen unrest intheir communities. Online and social forumshave given teens the voice and power to affectlocal, community, national, and globalmovements of empowerment and change.This is their natural environment and theyare the leaders. Teens expect to have a voicein their information environments.The GuidelinesThe National Teen Space Guidelines aredivided into six areas related to shapingphysical teen spaces and three areas focusedon shaping virtual teen spaces. Each is furtherdefined with key considerations andrecommendations for implementingcomponents of the Guidelines.The Physical Guidelines1.0 Solicit teen feedback and input in thedesign and creation of the teen space.Fall 2012 | Young Adult Library Services | YALS 5


Teens on the Platform2.0 Provide a library environment thatencourages emotional, social, andintellectual development of teens.3.0 Provide a library space for teens thatreflects the community in which they live.4.0 Provide and promote materialsthat support the educational and leisureneeds of teens.5.0 Ensure the teen space hasappropriate acceptable use and age policiesto make teens feel welcome and safe.6.0 Provide furniture and technologythat are practical yet adaptive.The Virtual Guidelines7.0 Ensure content, access, and use areflexible and adaptive.8.0 Ensure that the virtual space reflectstwenty-first century learning standards.9.0 Provide digital resources for teensthat meet their unique and specific needs.The Guidelines also provide a list ofmodel teen spaces from libraries with varieddemographics, sizes, and resource structuresthat include Chicago (Illinois) Public Library’sYOUmedia, Tacoma (Washington) PublicLibrary’s StoryLab, Farmington (New Mexico)Public Library’s Teen Zone,Plymouth(Michigan) District Library’s Teen Zone,andWaupaca (Wisconsin) Area Public Library’sBest Cellar. Model spaces were selected basedon their use of space and resources that bestsuit the needs of teens in the community.The Guidelines are meant to be astarting point for defining high impact teenspaces and a measurement tool for librariesto gauge their level of success in meetingthe needs and expectations of twenty-firstcentury youth. The guidelines are availablefor free at www.ala.org/yalsa/guidelines/teenspaces. YALSReferences1. Public Library Association. Public Library DataService Statistical Report. Chicago: PLA, 2012.6 YALS | Young Adult Library Services | Fall 2012


featureBest PracticesIt’s a ChallengeAs we work with schools and publiclibraries to design learningexperiences and environments, we’reoften dealt with the challenge of how to makelibraries relevant to today’s young people. Ourtechnique is to take a step back and considerthelargerpicture:considerlargertrendsinlearning and society as a whole. By focusingon these, we can help libraries achieve greaterrelevance on a holistic, community-basedscale. The following discussion outlinespowerful trends that inform our work andoffer ideas as to how a library can respond tothe trajectory of the 21st century.Trends of Our TimeSociety is undergoing a paradigm shift movingfrom passivity to activity. Technology hasopened up opportunities for participation andassembly at an unprecedented scale. In manyways, it is the era of renewed democraticactivism. All ages, all demographics, allnations are empowered to move away fromresponding to top-down processes andabsorbing information. Now millions aroundthe world are starting their own movementsand experimenting with methods to maketheircommunityabetterplace.Asaresult,we see a global culture powered by socialmedia rather than diplomatic efforts arise.We see nations like Egypt and Tunisiareconsider their form of governance. And, wesee teachers and professors step down fromtheir podium and place students at the helmof their own learning.It is time for libraries to consider howto better serve this shift, appeal to youngergenerations, and stay agile in a time ofrapid change. What does this look like onthe institutional level? What is the modernpublic library?To prove relevant to our hyperconnectedparticipatory world, a librarymust strive to embody current trends, notjust house materials about them. While theWhat If? ExploringHow Libraries CanEmbody Trends ofthe Twenty-FirstCenturyBy Sarah C. Malinfundamental mission of a library will staythe same, its approach and methods mustevolve to incorporate trends related toparticipation and connection.Keep in mind that a library encompassesthree realms: education, social, and civic.How can a library be a better educationalinstitution when society is shifting itsunderstanding of learning from knowledgeconsumption to learning production? Howcan a library be a better social institutionwhen our world is becoming increasinglycollaborative and interconnected? How can alibrary be a better civic institution whenparticipation is available to all? These are thequestions we’re having fun considering.Library as an EducationalInstitutionFor decades the library has stood as acenter of knowledge, supporting theSARAH MALIN is a design ethnographer with The Third TeacherPlus, an education design consultancy that grows out of thearchitecture firm, Cannon Design. The Third Teacher Plus strivesto transform teaching and learning using a design ’thinking’mindset and a design ’making’ process. We work with schools,libraries and other learning institutions to creatively anditeratively reconsider their pedagogy and organizational strategyand then manifest these goals into the environment. Sarahconducts ethnographies to find the human stories and galvanizingvision that create a framework for the design and evaluatesoutcomes to examine how our environments shape our behavior.Fall 2012 | Young Adult Library Services | YALS 7


What If?Driving Questions toDefine the Twenty-First Century LibrarylllllHow can a library remain relevant in ahyper-connected, participatory world?And how can it embody these changesrather than simply house them?What if the library was a physicalform of the Internet?How can the library better facilitatelearning from peers and mentors inaddition to resources?How can the library better leverageits position as a “third space”?What if the library was a catalyst forcivic development and renewal?public’s pursuits of lifelong learning. Ithouses a wealth of resources: a catalog offacts and stories that string togethergenerations of experts and authorities. Avisitor can browse the stacks and tangiblysee the progression of our society. Librariesare viscerally connected to history.But how can a library better reflect theparadigm shift to active learning? What ifwe shift from an emphasis on browsingresources to an emphasis on creating withresources? Learning requires thepersonalization of information. We eachdigest what we come across and weave ittogether to form our own ideas. Withoutthis process and form of engagement, theinformation will not sink in. What ifvisitors added their materials to theshelves? Imagine the library becoming agallery that celebrates the artifacts ofcurrent learning by customers alongside thefindings of established experts. Visitors areempowered to put their own mark on factand take their own place on the shelves.As libraries strengthen their digitalmedia expertise to keep up withtechnological trends, their collectionsbecome more accessible and participatoryfor young generations. The MacArthurFoundation’s Digital Media and LearningInitiative, which supports Chicago’sYOUmedia program, highlights howdigital media can foster intellectualcuriosity in teens and offer a medium foryouth to personalize their library. Mediaproduction is fun for teens, involvingpersonal expression, and an activity toshare with others. It comes naturally asyouth lead lives thoroughly embedded withdigital tools. The library can provideresources and materials to work with aswell as a public venue for showcasing theresults. Libraries will benefit with programslike YOUmedia that combine youthempowerment with leading approaches tolearning that integrate modern technology.Consider the library as a physical formof the Internet: an open-source platform ofresources and information. Reputablesources are interspersed with entries by yourneighbors. A host of mediums are displayedincluding graphics, music, objects, film, andradio. Wise resource navigation, throughthese varying mediums, is a crucial skill ofthe twenty-first century, and libraries areexcellently positioned to be a livinglaboratory for that—experientially as well asdigitally. Librarians can design physicalpaths that would model and teach how towade through these layers of information.Library as a Social InstitutionThe library also serves as a crossroads andgathering place for community members.The rise of social media and an emphasison collaboration in the professional andeducational worlds has reinvigorated thesocial animal in all of us. Society hasrediscovered the value of capitalizing onevery brain and combining ideas to create awhole that is greater than the sum of itsparts. While virtual opportunities for thisabound, we need physical places as well.The library can be an oratory center aswell as a literary one. Visitors can learnfrom interacting with fellow communitymembers, experiencing a more in-depthand personal encounter with informationthrough live recounting of events andpersonalized explanations. Chicago andToronto libraries offer programs thatharness this social capital. The TorontoPublic Library hosts a “Human Library”where visitors can check out “humanbooks” and hear life stories. This programserves as another wonderful example of thebreadth of informational sources beyondbooks that can be made available.MacArthur Digital Media and Learningresearch findings highlight the importance ofblending socializing with learning.HOMAGO (Hanging Out, MessingAround, Geeking Out) represents threedistinct types of interest-driven activities andemphasizes designing for collaborative activity,peer learning, and mentoring relationships.Society no longer defines learning assomething that happens alone in a carrel.The library can also leverage its positionas a third space: an alternative to home andwork or school. Visitors to the library are ableto act in ways that are restricted in other typesof prescriptive environments. In the library,third space learning can happen at one’s ownpace and can follow one’s own interests. It alsomeans interaction and relationships can evolveorganically between library staff and customersand between customers and customers. And,especially important for youth, it allows anindividual to experiment with and negotiateone’s identity. At the San Francisco PublicLibrary, we found that the main branchoffered an anonymous place for youth, distantfrom their neighborhood and those theyknow. This anonymity allowed teens to act inways they might not at home, without ridiculeor criticism. As high school becomesincreasingly laden with responsibilities,consequences, and commitments, there is littleopportunity to experiment without having tocommit. The public library can provide anexperience outside of what teens find in theirhigh school hallways and classrooms.8 YALS | Young Adult Library Services | Fall 2012


MalinSherry Turkle, a psychologist at MIT,argues in her book Alone Together thatvirtual realms like Second Life andFacebook provide the invaluable and rarethird space for teens to try out differentpersonalities. What if the library couldprovide a similar space, but in the physicalrealm? What if it could bridge the virtualrealm with the physical realm’s first andsecond spaces, transitioning teens into theirdeveloped, physical selves? As our societygrapples to make sense of the Internet andunderstand its consequences, the library isinterestingly positioned to learn from theneeds of customers over the centuries.Library as a Civic InstitutionAnd so, how can the library harness alearning community’s momentum andactivate its members to improve theirsurroundings? How can the library be acivic catalyst? This has been a central goalfor the San Francisco Public Library as itreconsiders its teen program. San Franciscohas a long history of social activism andcollective consciousness. Its programsreflect this with Green Stacks that providesresources for living greenly and a socialworker in residence, the first and only fulltimesocial worker dedicated to a SanFrancisco library. As they design their teenlearning lab, they consider themselves to bea powerful aggregator of knowledge,relationships, and public sectorprogramming. Their branches will benodes in a web of learning that spreadsacross the entire city. And, they will defineteens as civic actors who will benefit fromand, most importantly, add to this web.Trends of the twenty-first centurychange the library’s point of view. Insteadof asking, “What will your library do?” ask,“What can your users do?” Powered bythat perspective and integrated into a rich,activated community, your institution cango far. YALSReferences1. Mimi Ito. “When Youth Own theEducation Agenda.” Huffington Post(2010). www.huffingtonpost.com/mimiito/when-youth-own-the-public_b_787866.html (accessed August 11, 2012).2. Mizuko Ito et al. Hanging Out, MessingAround, and Geeking Out: Kids Learningand Living with New Media. Cambridge,Mass.: MIT Press, 2010.3. Sherry Turkle. Alone Together. Why WeExpect More from Technology and Less fromEach Other. New York: Basic Books, 2011.Fall 2012 | Young Adult Library Services | YALS 9


featureHot Spot: AdvocacyGood TeenLibrarians MakeGreat LibraryAdvocatesBy Maureen L. HartmanLots of us are great librarians,employees, youth workers, andsupervisors. But, not all of us aregreat advocates for our library or for ouryoung people—not in the way we need to bein order to build support for how librariesand service to youth are changing. It’s notenough anymore if the only communityadvocates we cultivate are the ones who loveus because of how powerful libraries were forthem as children or because they love the feelof a printed book in their hand. That library,and those books, has already changed; ouradvocacy strategies must change, too.By its simplest definition, advocacy ispublic support for a cause or policy. By itsvery nature, libraries have public support—in the form of our customers (cardholders,program attendees and meeting roomusers). But the public support of ourcurrent users—the ones who are, for themost part, both informed of and contentwith the services we’re offering—onlyscratches the surface of the deep,community-wide advocacy we need forpublic library service to youth, the kind wecan only get by developing and nurturingrelationships out in our communities, notjust in our buildings. Customers areimportant, but they are not necessarilyadvocates. And your greatest advocates maynot be your existing customers.For many years, I wrongly associated“advocacy” with formal lobbying efforts,MAUREEN L. HARTMAN was part of the Afterschool MattersPractitioner’s Fellowship through the National Institute on Out ofSchool Time (NIOST) and the University of Minnesota in 2009–2010and authored “Out of School Time and In the Library” in theSummer 2011 issue of YALS. She is the author, with Patrick Jonesand Patricia Taylor, of Reaching Reluctant Readers: Tools, Tipsand Techniques (2006), and a past chair of YALSA’s Quick Picks forReluctant Young Adult Readers Committee. She is currently theCoordinating Librarian for Youth Literacy and Learning at theHennepin County Library in Minneapolis, Minnesota.referendum campaigns or fundraising, all ofwhich, while necessary, weren’t somethingI could see myself doing. And frankly, whohad the time? As staff in a library (youth,teen, or administrative) we are rarelyresponsible for official lobbying of electedleaders, and staff hired specifically forfundraising or Friends of the Library oftentake on advocacy efforts in our librariesYet, the work that teen librarians do everyday to build and strengthen relationshipswith families and youth is critical to ourongoing success as advocates. In order toadvance in our advocacy efforts, we need todo more of this relationship buildingoutside of our buildings and expand theaudiences we want to reach.Teen librarians are so good at buildingrelationships with young people. Wewelcome them, we don’t judge theirinterests, and we respond by creatingservices and programs that meet particularneeds. We engage teens in leadershipopportunities, help them do theirhomework, and feed them pizza. But, youneed to build relationships with more thanteenagers—right now—not when there is afunding crisis. By no means is it easy. Whileclasses in community organizing,partnership-building, and group facilitationmay not have been required in libraryschool, the skills that come from those typesof classes are essential components of whatwe need to be successful in our work, onbehalf of our library and the young peoplewe serve. Here are some ways to get started.1. Leave the Reference Deskand Leave the BuildingIt’s a significant challenge in many of ourlibraries right now to get off the desk andleave the building to attend meetings ormeet partners for coffee. Even if it’s not you,someone in your building, or your system,needs to be at the right tables to discuss themost important priorities for your library.Depending on the community, sometimes10 YALS | Young Adult Library Services |Fall 2012


Hartmanthe library is invited to sit on the “nice”committees, not the essential ones that aremost closely connected to our mission (thedifference between helping to run the craftstable at a local festival and being a featuredspeaker on the parent education panel).Sometimes we have to build therelationships first (which can take time andrequire leaving the building), and then wefind out about the meetings and individualsthat really matter.2. Focus and ListenYou know how when someone asks us for abook with an unreliable narrator, or maybe aHunger Games read-alike, and we end upgiving them five or six books—and thene-mail them later with some more we thoughtof? We do the same thing in our advocacymessaging: we tell about every resource ofpossible interest—deposit collections, librarycards for teachers, online databases, summerreading programs, etc. It’s too much for nonlibrarypeople to take in. Before offering ourmany helpful services, be quiet and listen towhat your partners are worried about andneed. Then just suggest one or two ideas.You can add others later if needed.3. Know What You WantAs your partnerships develop, know whatyou want to do and articulate what you canbring to an endeavor. In building communitypartnerships, partners often want you tohelp them meet their agenda, not necessarilydo what you want to do. Pick your battles.Maybe you have to do the booklist for themso they know you’re willing to partner, butthink carefully before you decide that thelibrary’srolewillbetocreateabooklistonaparticular topic. (Sometimes when you dothe booklist they want, that’s all they can seethe library delivering.) Try holding out forwhat you really want to do, for example,train their after-school staff or bus a group ofteenparentsandtheirkidstothelibrary.Acolleague and I were reflecting recently thatlibrarians are so customer and answer focusedthat it can be really challenging to buildmeaningful partnerships—we’re so ready todo what our customers are asking us to do—often at great cost to ourselves. Be choosy.4. Think Big and Align withExisting InitiativesFigure out where the energy andmomentum are in your community. Is yourcommunity really concerned aboutkindergarten readiness, high schoolgraduation, success by twenty-one? Arethey rallying around out-of-school time,youth violence prevention, work forcereadiness, or teen pregnancy? All of thoseissues, as well as others, can help bring youto the table, but only if you know what youwant and can do to support these concerns.Your first stop should be to align youradvocacy and partnership work with yourlibrary’s strategic directions. No strategicplan? Think your administration is crazy?They might be, but if you align yourmessaging with that of the administration(even if there is no strategic plan), you’ll havelegs to stand on and better support for yourattendance at community meetings and theprojects that emerge. If there is no strategicplan, then talk with your administrationabout the best way to strategize inpartnerships within the community.5. Attend MeetingsKeep going to the meetings until you findout where the power is. It’s just likeworking with teens, really. If you want thewhole group of kids to stop misbehaving,you talk to the leader. It’s the same withadvocacy and networking. Hang out withthe group for a while, and figure out ifthey’re going somewhere you’d like to go.If so, have the patience and find the time tokeep attending. If not, meet the folks youmight want to work with outside of themeeting, for coffee or lunch, and cut yourlosses on the whole committee.6. Stop Talking about BooksI know books are our thing—that’s notgoing away. But that won’t get you a seat atthe table. Nonprofits can get books fromanywhere including donations frompublishers, used bookstores, wholesalebusinesses, etc. In my experience, the morewe focus on books as our main commodity,the more we limit what the library can andshould be—a true partner working toaddress, in partnership with others, somemajor challenges in our communities.7. Keep Showing UpIt’s so hard to keep going to the meetingsthat are run poorly, that have poorattendance, or that never go anywhere.Look at the mission and vision of thegroup. How closely does it align with thelibrary’s mission or strategic plan? Give upon some of the groups that don’t have goodmomentum, but devote time to buildingrelationships in the few you’ve chosen. Andstick it out. It literally may take years.8. Experiment and Try ThingsThis can be so hard in the environmentmany of our libraries are in right now.Sometimes we haven’t nurtured orsupported a culture of innovation like weshould. And sometimes we don’t havemoney for it. Libraries of all sizes are sodifferent in how they approach fundingand projects. If you can pursue somesmaller-scale grants on your own, you cantry something you may not have triedoriginally, and you’ll start to get on theradar of funders, and of partners who arelooking for funding too. Grants areessential. At the very least, taking someoneelse’s money and putting a deadline to theproject that it funds ensures that your workFall 2012 | Young Adult Library Services | YALS 11


A School Library Advocacy AlphabetResources for Getting StartedAmerican Assn. of School Librarians (AASL): Advocacywww.ala.org/aasl/aaslissues/toolkits/slmhealthandwellnessALA Advocacy Universitywww.ala.org/advocacy/advleg/advocacyuniversityALA @ Your Library Logoshttp://ala.org/@yourlibraryAnaheim Achieveswww.afterschoolnetwork.org/node/188CSLA Annual Conference: A School Year of Advocacyhttp://csla2011.wikispaces.com/A+School+Year+of+AdvocacyFrontline Advocacy Toolkitwww.ala.org/advocacy/advleg/advocacyuniversity/frontline_advocacyRead Across Americawww.nea.org/grants/886.htmYALSA: Handouts and Flyerswww.ala.org/yalsa/professionaltools/handoutsYALSA: The YA Advocacy Action Plan Workbookhttp://yalsa.ala.org/presentations/AdvocacyWorkbook.pdfYALSA: Speaking Up for Library Service to Teenswww.ala.org/yalsa/sites/ala.org.yalsa/files/content/advocacy_final.pdfB = BrandingBranding is a marketing strategy thathelps patrons instantly recognize thecompany. Simple logos such asMcDonald’s Golden Arches or the Targetbull’s-eye ensure that their brand is easilyrecognized regardless of location. If yourlibrary doesn’t have a logo, consider havinga contest for teens to create one. Use it oneverything your department produces.Add a tagline for each promotion alongwith your logo to focus in on yourcurrent mission. 3 For example, if youwant to focus on student achievement,you might use the tag phrase, “Studysmarter @ your library.” ALA hasbranded the “@ your library” Ò taglinethrough the Campaign for America’sLibraries and provides logos andmaterials for library use. You candownload logos on the ALA @ yourlibrary web pages.Marketing in itself is not advocacy, itis about awareness of your brand. Whenyou are advocating, you are asking foraction. The action can be money forstaffing, supplies, a bigger space, oranything that will improve outcomes foryour teens. 4 So how do you turn brandingas a marketing strategy into advocacy?According to a panel discussion sponsoredby the Silicon Valley American MarketingAssociation, we need to identify peoplewho already recognize the benefits ofour services to be “brand advocates.”Brand advocates find value in a product orservice and go out of their way torecommend the services to others. Theseare the people who will be your strongestsupporters when it comes time to askfor help. 5It is also important to give yoursupporters tools to help spread themessage. Jackie Siminitus, who reportedon the panel discussion in her LibraryAdvocate blog, explains, “Do not ‘brand’your advocacy program and urge peopleto ‘JOIN.’ Better to say something like‘If you like libraries and librarians, letus know’ or ‘If you like libraries andlibrarians, here are tools for you to helpshare our message’ or ‘Say “YES” tolibraries!’” 6C = CollaborationCollaboration is one way to build your baseof brand advocates. By collaborating withothers to design programs, you are forgingrelationships and focusing on outcomesinstead of the library as a space. 7Collaboration also gives your partnersinsight into what you can do and what youare capable of. When you collaborate withteachers to incorporate a new technology orresearch skill into a lesson, they come to seeyou as a partner who can help support theirteaching goals. After a successfulcollaboration, teachers are likely to tellothers in their department about whatwent well, thereby becoming a brandadvocate.Community collaborations are also agreat way to build your brand advocates.Programs such as Read Across America,sponsored by the National EducationAssociation, are a great way to reach out tothe community. Partner with a localelementary school and have your teens readto students in lower grades, or invitecommunity leaders to read to your teens. Ifyou have community partners such asthese, they will be there to advocate whenyou need support.Seek out organizations that havesimilar goals. For example, the YMCAoffers afterschool programs on schoolcampuses. This provides the Y with aspace to meet where the teens alreadygather. In my community their programtitled Anaheim Achieves offers students asafe place to be, activities, snacks, andtutoring in a facility available from thetime school lets out until 6 p.m. The Yand the school share the common goalof giving teens a safe way to keep busyin the dangerous after school hours of3 to 6 p.m.14 YALS | Young Adult Library Services |Fall 2012


GruenthalD = DocumentDocument everything. Take pictures andcollect statistics so that if your program isin danger of being eliminated you can showwhat is at stake. Don’t forget to share yoursuccesses with others in your advocacynetwork. For example, give a summary ofthe year’s library programs to your PTSApresident so they know how you havecontributed to academic achievement. Or,count up your library use from the year’ssign-in sheets and report to the principalhow highly used your facility is. 8E = Elevator PitchAccording to former YALSA PresidentLinda W. Braun, it is important to alwayshave an elevator pitch ready to educateothers about the value of the library withinthe community. The YALSA publication“Speaking Up for Library Services toTeens” recommends that your message besomething short and easy to remember—no more than ten words. 9 For example, in aschool library where the most urgent needis to maintain staffing, you might say,“Teacher Librarians teach students how tobe twenty-first century learners.” Once youhave their attention, educate stakeholderswith personal stories of the impact of thelibrary on your students. Detailed steps forcrafting an elevator pitch are outlined inYALSA’s “The YA Advocacy Action PlanWorkbook.” 10F = Frontline AdvocacyFrontline advocacy is the way you interactwith your teens every day. Everyinteraction makes an impression, so makesure you give excellent service. This can beas simple as greeting everyone with a smileor saying, “thank you.” Strive to bememorable, and encourage your teens tocome back for more. 11 For more frontlineadvocacy ideas, visit ALA’s “FrontlineAdvocacy Toolkit.” 12G = GiveGive stuff away! Everyone loves free stuff.Have teens help design bookmarks to giveaway. Giving away promotional materials isalso an opportunity to get your messageout, so include your brand on everythingyou produce. Use address labels to createsheets of stickers with your logo and taglineto place on everything you give away.Borrow some pointers from publiclibraries that run summer readingprograms, and run reading incentiveprograms all year long. If you have areading program such as AcceleratedReader, you can use it to track students’reading and give out rewards based on thenumber of books read or quizzes passed. Ifyou don’t have a tracking program, giverewards to students who turn in a bookreview instead.H = HelpfulBeing helpful can be as simple as givinggood customer service. Greet your patronswith a friendly, “Hello, how can I helpyou?” If teens know the library is a placethey can receive help, they will be therewhen you ask for help in return. Bymodeling your advocacy efforts, you canalso help teens advocate for themselves.When your library faces a crisis, tell yourteens what is happening and ask for theirhelp in gaining support for the programsthey want to see continued. Let them knowtheir stories are powerful and how they canappropriately express them through letterwriting and speaking at a library or schoolboard meeting.I = InformInform others about your teen services andwhat the benefits are. This is the publicrelations portion of your job. For example,when you advertise or give a workshop onyour online databases, include the addedbenefit that this skill gives teens access totheir own library twenty-four hours a day,seven days a week. 13Don’t forget to involve parents.Schools can use their PTSA as a friends ofthe library group by recruiting keyadvocates in decision-making positions.Connect with your parent community bysending messages through their e-maillisting or newsletter. Keep it positive byfocusing on the teens and their needs, notthe library needs. Parents are voters, sothey are your best advocates. Make sureyour parents are ready to step up withletters of support when library programsare in danger. If you need a place to start,AASL has some informative brochures forparents and administrators.J = Just Do ItGet over your fears and get started today!If you wait until your program is beingeliminated, you are too late. You need tohave your stakeholder support before thereis a crisis. 14 A great place to start is withthe YALSA blog series “28 Days ofAdvocacy.” This series of blog posts coverstopics such as getting over your fears anddealing with disappointment. 15K = Know Your StuffBe knowledgeable about the curriculumtaught at your school. When you comeacross information you think may behelpful to a particular teacher, pass italong. You will make yourself the go-toperson for answers when someone wantsinformation. Knowing about thecurriculum will also help you provideevidence for how your program supportseducational outcomes.L = LeaderBe an instructional leader by volunteeringfor key committees that make decisionssuch as the Professional DevelopmentFall 2012 | Young Adult Library Services | YALS 15


A School Library Advocacy AlphabetCommittee, Leadership Team,Superintendent’s Advisory Council, orSchool Site Council. Get active in theaccreditation committee and make sureyour library is represented in theaccreditation plan. If you work in apublic library, get involved in the library’sstrategic planning initiatives and makesure your teens take on leadership roles aswell.M = Meet Teen NeedsTo design programs that meet the needs ofyour stakeholders, you need to connect tosomething bigger than the library. Thebottom line is giving teens the skills thatwill help them be successful in life. Theirjob is to finish school and develop a careerto become productive citizens. Some of thebuzzwords that are trending now ineducation are: twenty-first century skills,STEM (science, technology, engineering,and mathematics), preparing students to becareer and college ready, and educationaltechnology. Make sure you are up on these(and whatever buzzwords come afterthem) so you can meet the current andfuture needs of teens and explain to yourstakeholders why you do that. 16N = Never Give UpMany times you will fail in your advocacyefforts. Don’t give up. Joyce Valenza in her“Manifesto for the 21st Century SchoolLibrarian” insists, “You don’t stopat ‘no.’” 17O = OwnershipIf teens feel a sense of ownership, they willsupport the library and help to advocate forit. If you have bulletin board or wall space,let your teens decorate the area. Update itfrequently so you are always exposing teensto fresh ideas and giving them plenty ofopportunities to participate. Design libraryprograms to help teens take ownership oftheir lives, hopes, and dreams. 18P = Personal StoriesWhenever you have a success story, ask ifyou can use it as an example in youradvocacy efforts. Talk to your teens andfind out what is important to them. Theseinteractions help you bond with your teensand give them a voice. 19 When I wasrunning my Quick Picks for ReluctantYoung Adult Readers focus groups, ajunior high teen came up to me and huggedme in the library. I was surprised because Ididn’t know what I had done to deserve ahug, and she told me it was because Ibrought books to her classroom, and shehad never read books until I startedbringing them to her study skills class.Teens won’t often tell you about howthey’ve been affected, so when they do, it’simportant to share their successes withothers to help tell the story of the value oflibrary’s in teen lives.Q = Quantitative AndQualitative DataQuantitative data involves numbers such asyour circulation statistics or studentassessments. Report these statistics innewsletters, on your library web page, aswell as in your annual reports. Qualitativedata is made up of the stories, photographs,and student projects that can serve asevidence you can use to gain continuedsupport of your program. Don’t be shyabout sharing, this is about your teens’success, not you. 20R = ResolutionALA recently passed a resolution titled“School Libraries and Librarians AreCritical to Student Success.” Theresolution resolves that school and publiclibraries need to work together for thecommon mission of serving teens. 21 Doyou know the key people in charge of teenservices in your local public library?Consider doing joint programs such asholding a library card drive at thebeginning and end of the school year.Public librarians make sure the schoollibrary receives notice of all your programs,especially the summer reading programs.Schools are also a great source ofvolunteers. Many scholarships requirecommunity service, and teens are alwayslooking for ways to fulfill their servicerequirements. By joining forces, it’s possibleto make our advocacy efforts twice asstrong.S = SpaceTeens need a dedicated space they canmake their own. The community benefitsfrom the teens being involved in safe andproductive activities. This is a value foryour parents as stakeholders and also yourcommunity. Make sure your stakeholdersknow the value of the space you provide toteens.T = TeensIt is essential that we advocate for teensbecause as they are breaking away fromtheir parents, they want to be independentbut still need the guidance of a trustingadult. And, they need adults to speak upfor them to make sure they get the servicesthey deserve. Always remember that teensare the reason for the work that we do.U = UniversityEducate yourself using ALA’s AdvocacyUniversity.V = VisibleAttend as many staff meetings as you canto stay in the know. Make yourself a16 YALS | Young Adult Library Services |Fall 2012


A School Library Advocacy Alphabet8. Young Adult Library Services Association,“The YA Advocacy Action PlanWorkbook: Adapted from the YALSAAdvocacy Preconference Institute.” p. 10.http://yalsa.ala.org/presentations/AdvocacyWorkbook.pdf (accessed August12, 2012).9. Young Adult Library Services Association,“Speaking Up for Library Services toTeens.” p. 8.10. Young Adult Library Services Association,“The YA Advocacy Action PlanWorkbook: Adapted from the YALSAAdvocacy Preconference Institute.” p. 6.11. Young Adult Library Services Association,“Speaking Up for Library Services toTeens.” p. 3.12. American Library Association, “FrontlineAdvocacy Toolkit.” www.ala.org/advocacy/advleg/advocacyuniversity/frontline_advocacy(accessed August 12, 2012).13. American Association of SchoolLibrarians, “Advocacy.” www.ala.org/aasl/aaslissues/advocacy/definitions (accessedAugust 12, 2012).14. American Association of SchoolLibrarians, “School Library ProgramHealth and Wellness Toolkit: Advocacy.”15. Young Adult Library Services Association,“28 Days of Advocacy.” February 2009.http://yalsa.ala.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/28_days_full.pdf(accessed August 12, 2012).16. Mark Ray, “Keep it Simple and Sexy.”Teacher Librarian, December 2011, 64–65.17. Joyce Valenza, “You Know You Are a 21stCentury Librarian If. Manifesto for 21stCentury School Librarians.” October2010. http://informationfluency.wikispaces.com/You+know+you’re+a+21st+century+librarian+if+.+.+ (accessedAugust 12, 2012).18. Young Adult Library Services Association,“Speaking Up for Library Services toTeens.” p. 3.19. Young Adult Library Services Association,“Speaking Up for Library Services toTeens.” p. 8.20. American Association of SchoolLibrarians, “School Library ProgramHealth and Wellness Toolkit: Advocacy.”21. American Library Association, “ResolutionThat School Libraries and Librarians AreCritical to Library Success.” June 25, 2012.http://blog.schoollibraryjournal.com/neverendingsearch/files/2012/06/schoollibresolutionfinalrevisions.pdf(accessed August 12, 2012).22. T. J. McCue. “First Public Library toCreate a Maker Space.” Forbes, November15, 2011. forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2011/11/15/first-public-library-to-create-amaker-space(accessed August 12, 2012).18 YALS | Young Adult Library Services |Fall 2012


featureHot Spot: AdvocacyWorking with teen parentfamilies demands a high level ofstaff effort aimed at a smallpopulation, but the impact can beextremely significant in terms of benefitsfor both the teens and their children. Teenparents can face issues that would bedifficult and challenging for competentadults: chaotic and unstable homeenvironments, poverty, and unsafeneighborhoods with limited transportation,access to social services, or access to healthyfood. The positive interventions thatlibrary services for teen parents offer canhelp reduce some of the negative outcomesassociated with teen parenting: lowacademic achievement and dropping out ofhigh school, living in poverty or onpublic assistance, the likelihood that teenparents’ children will enter kindergartenwith a lower level of school readiness, andliving in foster care. While librariescannot mitigate all these problems, ourprograms can help by supporting teenparents in their personal development andin their role as their child’s first teacher.Libraries also provide them with a safehaven and “third place” to go, adding bothfun and practical enhancements to theirfamilies’ lives. 1 This primer covers the basicfactors and concerns that need to beconsidered when developing a library teenparent program, along with solutions fromlibraries with successful teen parentservices.Teen parents, like other teens, areworking through the maturation process,but they have the added responsibility ofparenting a young child. Finding thebalance between providing the stability andunconditional love needed by a child forhealthy development, and the tasks ofadolescent growth—formation of identity,establishment of independence, anddevelopment of meaningful peerfriendships—is the challenge of being ateen parent. One of the best rationales forlibraries’ outreach to teen parents is thatA Primer for TeenParent Services:Issues, ProgramDevelopment, andAdvocacyBy Ellin Klorour multifaceted services can support allthese aspects of teen parent life.Like All Teens, Teen ParentsWant Respect from theAdults in Their LivesGiven that many teen parents may nothave many positive adult role models, it isincumbent upon library staff to take onthat task by being patient, compassionate,flexible, nonjudgmental, and committed tolistening to them, taking them seriouslyand giving them positive praise.A special area of sensitivity for teenparents is their skill at parenting, especiallywhen they are trying to control theirchildren’s actions in public places like thelibrary. Often teen parents are not aware ofthe library’s expectations vis-a-vis parents’responsibilities for monitoring their child’sbehavior, and it is critical for staff to beempathetic as they enforce the rules.Flexibility Is AbsolutelyEssential at All Levels ofTeen Parent ServicesFactors beyond the library’s control,especially logistical issues, are inevitable.Typical instances are restrictive schedulingthat has an impact on availability for libraryvisits, no library visits by the children dueto the lack of safe transportation (i.e., carELLIN KLOR is a Family Literacy Librarian at the Santa Clara CityLibrary in Santa Clara, California. She holds an MLS from theSimmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science andis the coauthor, with Sarah Lapin Nordhausen, of Serving TeenParents: From Literacy to Life Skills (Libraries Unlimited, 2011).Contact Ellin at ellinklor@sbcglobal.net.Fall 2012 | Young Adult Library Services | YALS 19


A Primer for Teen Parent ServicesLiteracy and StorytimeResources for TeenParentsBaby Play And Learn: 160 Games andLearning Activities for the First ThreeYearsby Penny WarnerRead It! Play It! With Babies and Toddlersby Joanne and Stephen OppenheimGymboree Baby and Toddler Play: 170+Fun Activities to Help Your Child LearnThrough Playby GymboreeSupporting Early Literacy in NaturalEnvironments: Activities for Caregiversand Young Childrenby Angela Notari-Syverson andKrysten Ritterseats), or events in the teens’ lives thatprevent them from participating inprograms on a consistent basis, whichmeans that the composition and size ofyour groups will be highly variable, andattendance is rarely consistent, both interms of who participates and the numberof attendees.Challenges like these, and more, area part of working with teen parents.Adaptability, patience, and creative solutionsare necessary. One must accept the fact thatthe services in such limiting situations are lessthan ideal, but meaningful and importantnonetheless. Defining your core goals andpractices can help you maintain reasonableexpectations and will provide perspective onhow much you have accomplished.Collaboration Is Key toSuccessful Teen ParentServices, Both DuringDevelopment and on anOngoing BasisThe most expedient way to initiateteen parent services is collaborationwith another organization thatsponsors a teen parent group—a highschool center for pregnant andparenting teens, a teen parentingclass, a health clinic support group, andso on.Why look outside the library tofind teen parents? It is difficult toidentify teen parents in the generallibrary user population, as many may notbe established library users, and thedemands of school, work, and parentingmay not allow them time to hang out inthe library, with or without children.That’s why it is most practical to find thecritical mass of teen parents needed toestablish dedicated programmingthrough social service and nonprofitorganizations that serve adolescents inyour community. Partnering with otherorganizations will have long-termbenefits. It raises the library’s and teenservices’ profiles in the community,and offers the potential of additionalfunding opportunities and support. Infact, grant funders often makecommunity collaboration a requirementfor funding.In-house collaborations amonglibrary staff have the potential to giveteen parents the life skills support theyso desperately need. Children’s andyouth services staff can provide earlyliteracy and parenting programs andservices, reference staff can developinformation literacy training on topicslike employment and vocational trainingopportunities, and literacy staff can offerreading and writing support for theteensandofferyouassistancewithwriting grant proposals. The higher thelevel of engagement of all library staff inteen parent services, the better theresults and long-term commitment tothe program will be. Additionally, avidsupporters of your work, both inside andoutside the library, can be your bestadvocates.Developing Teen ParentServices Should Be aThoughtful ProcessSuccessful teen parent service developmentrequires definition of your mission(purpose), goals (specificaccomplishments), strategies (methods toachieve your goals), objectives (specificresults), and activities (what is actuallydone; i.e., an early literacy storytime orlibrary scavenger hunt). 2 Establishing thisframework clarifies your focus and makesplanning, budgeting, and execution easier.An example of a mission/goals/objectives/activities model is:Mission: Help teen parents prepare theirchildren to succeed in school.Goal: Develop teen parents’ knowledgeof early literacy concepts and motivatethem to use the concepts with theirchildren at home.Objective: Present four early literacyworkshops to teen parent group.Activities: Adapt ALA’s Every ChildReady to Read curriculum for use withteen parents for early literacy workshops.Establish home libraries by givingparticipants age-appropriate children’sbooks at each workshop.There Is Ample Evidence toSupport Advocating forTeen Parent ServicesThe essence of advocacy is telling apowerful story to the people who need tohear it. The teen parent story has threecomponents: first, the documentednational statistics and information onoutcomes for teen parent families; second,the stories of the teen parents in yourcommunity; and third, the good work thatyou do with them. The first two will garnersupport for starting a teen parent servicesproject, and the last will sustain it on anongoing basis.20 YALS | Young Adult Library Services |Fall 2012


KlorThe National Campaign to PreventTeen and Unplanned Pregnancy cansupply a raft of statistics, including these:llll38 percent of teen girls who have achild before age 18 get a high schooldiploma by age 2267 percent of teen mothers whomoved out of their own families’household live below the poverty levelchildren born to mothers youngerthan 18 years old score significantlyworse on measures of school readiness,including math and reading teststeen childbearing costs taxpayers atleast $9 billion each year, includingpublic sector health care costs,increased child welfare costs, increasedprison costs, and lost tax revenue. 3While specifics are avoided for reasonsof privacy, experienced staff at your partneragency can provide general backgroundinformation on their teen parent clientele.Their situations—homeless or living infoster care, struggles to pass high schoolexit exams, premature births, etc.—eloquently demonstrate the critical needfor library services. Your advocacy mustarticulate to library staff andadministration, funders, partners, and theteens themselves how the library servicesand programming you offer can help themimprove their lives (help them graduatefrom high school and avoid living inpoverty, and help them to be better parentsand prepare their children for schoolsuccess). As your services develop overtime, it is important to document specificconnections between the efforts you havemade—introducing early literacy concepts,booktalking, library resource instruction,etc.— and changes in behaviors—parentsreading aloud to their children, readingmore for pleasure, or using the library’scollections. While anecdotal stories aregreat, the use of simple evaluation forms atthe beginning and conclusion of yourprogram or series of programs provideconcrete evidence.Funding for Teen ParentServices Can Come from aPatchwork of SourcesFew public libraries today have the budgetor staff to fully fund a new service.Hopefully, staff time can be an in-kindcontribution coupled with grants ordonations for books and supplies. Fullgrant funding, including staffing, usuallyfocuses on specific outcomes, and can besought from national, state, or localsources.Many teen parent services begin asgrant-funded projects, and when the grantends there is the challenge to incorporatethem into the library’s ongoing services.One of the best strategies for longevity isplanning and executing an exceptionalinitial service or project.The teen parent services offered bythe Santa Clara City Library in SantaClara, California, for the Santa ClaraUnified School District’s Young ParentsCenter (YPC) are a case in point. Year onewas funded by an LSTA Family Literacygrant through the California StateLibrary. Years two and three werefunded through a federally funded EvenStart grant administered by the schooldistrict; funding was continued based onthe positive responses to the programfrom the Young Parents Center’s teachersand students. The fourth year of fundingwas from the Library Friends andFoundation. In general they do not fundstaffing, but chose to make an exception forthe YPC program rather than let it end.Next year’s support will come from aprivate trust that is intended to benefitchildren at risk. In addition, grants fromthe Lois Lenski Covey Foundation andMargaret Edwards Trust have funded thepurchase of onsite deposit collections ofteen and children’s books. While noneof this funding is permanent, the libraryis making it a priority to keep the programgoing.Maintaining this service would not bepossible if library administrators were notcommitted to it, and if they did not receivepositive feedback from service partners.Potential supporters and decision makersin your library and community—librarystaff and board members, elected officials,local foundations and corporations—allneed to hear your story. Telling the storyof your teen parent services throughprofessional publications and conferenceswill also further enhance the library’sreputation and deepen its commitment tocontinue them.Offer Programs and Servicesfor Teen Parents ThatRecognize the Duality ofTheir Needs and Interests asTeens, and as ParentsWhen planning programs it is importantto tailor the services to your teen parentsgroup and take into consideration theirage, culture, language, interests, learningneeds, and goals. This information can beelicited both from the adult staff whowork with the group at the partner agencyand through a discussion of activityoptions with the teens. While the teenparents’ interests and needs may bedifferent from those of your mainstreamteen population, like their peers theyenjoy interactive activities that engagethem. It is especially important to adaptlecture-based parent programs like EveryChild Ready to Read, or informationliteracy training into a discussion orhands-on format. Successful programsuse this structure: introduce the whatand why of your program, model howto do the activity, and then guide thegroup in practicing the activity. Thisformat will work for anything from a craftFall 2012 | Young Adult Library Services | YALS 21


A Primer for Teen Parent Servicesprogram to a discussion on reading aloudto your child.The logistics of teen parent programsmust be carefully thought through.Consider the facility’s features whenplanning activities, and always haveduplicate supplies to cover mistakes or anunexpected number of participants.Reminders, by phone or e-mail, will boostattendance. Programs that are only forparents will only work if child care isoffered; it is important to include childcare costs in budget planning or workwith your partner agency to provide childcare.Due to economic constraints, teenparents may not be as enmeshed in thedigital world as their peers. While mosthave cell phones, they may not have dataplans that include Internet access nor haveany computer access at home. Therefore,the library can fill a vital role as theconnector to the world of onlineinformation, especially in the areas ofhealth, careers and vocational training, andparenting. While the Internet cannotsubstitute for professional advice or care, itoffers short-term answers for teen parentswhen financial, time, or transportationconstraints limit access to physicians,academic advice, or counseling. Teenparents potentially are unsophisticatedconsumers of digital information and canbenefit from information literacyinstruction. As with any group, the key tosuccess is to design a presentation thatappeals to their interests, make theexperience hands-on, and allow them timeto just browse.Economic necessity often forces teenparents’ educational goals to be orientedtoward vocational skills rather than fouryearcolleges. Library resources can helpthem explore careers and find schoolsthat offer the training they need. Evenoffering some variation on the classiclibrary tour (such as making the activity ascavenger hunt) is important to ensure thatteens are aware of what the library’scollections hold.Parenting concerns like nutrition,sleep, and discipline can be the basis formeaningful discussion and learning. Oftenlocal “experts” will volunteer their time tomeet with a teen parent group, but withadequate background preparation a librarystaff member with whom the teens interactcomfortably can also lead a discussion.When discussing parenting topics, utilizingthe Brazelton Touchpoints Centerstrengths-based approach can help teenparents recognize their competencies andbe open to building on them. This modelrecognizes that the parent is the expert onthe child, is the child’s first and mostimportant teacher, and that the parentwants to contribute to the child’s healthydevelopment. 4Children’s books on important topicsof childhood can also be used asspringboards for discussion. The simpleformat of picture books can help teenparents better understand concepts andemotions, see the world through theirchildren’s eyes, and recognize that bookscan be used to teach their children lifelessons in a positive way.Prior to planning booktalk or bookdiscussion programs, check with partneragency staff on the general literacy level ofthe group. Some teen parents may bereading below grade level and will befrustrated if a book they wish to read is toodifficult. There are several strategies thatcan substitute for traditional booktalksand book discussions. In a classroomsituation, encourage the teacher toread aloud a novel with a compellingtheme to the class. Like many parents,teen parents enjoy hearing humorous orsophisticated picture books like HowAre You Peeling? by Saxton Freymann orone of Mo Willems’s “Pigeon” picturebooks.Recreational pastimes like crafts,cooking projects, and self-care offer teenparents opportunities for relaxation andpersonal self-expression. Many teenparents may have had limited experiencewith these pursuits, so the most successfulactivities are simple projects that blend astructured process with the possibilityof individuality. Using purchased blankboard books to make personalized booksfor their children or making homemadetoys like playdough are crafts that areuniquely suited to teen parents. Alwaysmake a test run sample example ofany craft or project and note the timethat is involved to complete theprocess.Two types of programs are beneficialto groups with parents and childrentogether—early literacy based storytimesand organized play activities. Storytimesoffer opportunities to model early literacyskills, teach rhymes, fingerplays, and otherinteractive activities. Teen parents can bereluctant to participate, being concernedabout looking silly in front of their peers.Over time they may come around.Nevertheless, always include both parentsand children in storytime programs.Observing the pleasure that reading aloud,songs, and fingerplays give their children isa key motivator to encourage youngparents to continue these activities on theirown.Young parents may not realize theimportance of parent-child interaction fortheir child’s development and well-being,and may also be unsure of exactly what todo. Interactive play encourages verbalinteraction, the basis for learning speech,and teaches a variety of basic intellectualskills like visual discrimination and causeand effect. Everyone can learn andexperience the power of play throughstructured play activities. Using ideas fromsources such as Gymboree Baby and ToddlerPlay: 170+ Fun Activities to Help YourChild Learn Through Play or PennyWarner’s Baby Play and Learn, it is possibleto set up preschool style “stations,” and22 YALS | Young Adult Library Services |Fall 2012


Klorhave parents participate in play activitieswith their children. Often the teens have asmuch, if not more, fun than their children.Be mindful that the children of teenparents can be developmentally young fortheir ages and plan storytimes and activitiesaccordingly.Initiating and sustaining libraryservices for teen parents and their familiesrequires commitment, creativity, flexibility,and patience. It is important to maintain along-term perspective on the results, andenjoy those peak moments when everyoneis happily engaged with the activity athand, knowing that your advocacy of teenparent services benefits two generations atone time. YALSReferences1. Ellin Klor and Sarah Lapin. Serving TeenParents: From Literacy to Life Skills. SantaBarbara, Calif.: Libraries Unlimited, 2011.2. Carter McNamara. Nuts-and-BoltsGuide to Nonprofit Program Design,Marketing, and Evaluation. Minneapolis,Minn.: Authenticity Consulting,2002.3. National Campaign to Prevent Teen andUnplanned Pregnancy. “Why It Matters:Teen Childbearing, Education, andEconomic Wellbeing.” July 2012, accessedAugust 12, 2012. www.thenationalcampaign.org/why-it-matters/pdf/Childbearing-Education-EconomicWellbeing.pdf4. T. Berry Brazelton and Joshua Sparrow.“The Touchpoints Model ofDevelopment” 2003, BrazeltonTouchpoints Center, accessed August 12,2012. www.brazeltontouchpoints.org/wpcontent/uploads/2011/09/Touchpoints_Model_of_Development_Aug_2007.pdfFall 2012 | Young Adult Library Services | YALS 23


featureHot Spot: AdvocacyAdvocacy, Teens,and StrategicPlanningBy Krista KingHives. Headaches. Endlessmeetings. Headaches. Thatawkward moment whenstanding up for your beliefs leads to anuncomfortable confrontation. Moreheadaches. Cold sweats. Steely stares.Hand wringing.Did I mention the headaches?These are all powerful feelings andreactions, albeit perhaps a bitpsychosomatic, that often come to mindwhen librarians of all stripes attend thatfateful meeting when they are asked to bearthe burden of exploring, innovating,revising, and downright fighting it out overtheir organization’s strategic plan. But doesthe strategic plan always have to be sofraught with anxiety and frustration? Hasanyone ever had a positive strategicplanning experience? And furthermore—do we have to keep doing things the sameold way?Yes and no. No matter how muchteamwork goes into the planning process,there are always going to be times whensomeone’s feelings get hurt anddepartmental goals and passions may bepitted against one another. However, onthis latest go around of my library’s strategicplanning process, I was never happier to bein my current position as a teen librarian.Though many don’t want to go nearteens with a ten-foot pole, it is the inherent“risk” of working with this group thatultimately allowed me to feel a certainfreedom to advocate more fiercely onbehalf of the age group. In previous missionstatements and service goals of my library,teen services were not adequately covered.As a teen librarian I felt it was myKRISTA KING is the Teen Librarian for Boone County Public Libraryin Burlington, Kentucky, where she serves as the coordinator forthe Teen Advisory Group (TAG). She received her MLS from theUniversity of Kentucky where she acted as Graduate Assistant forthe McConnell Conference on Youth Literature. She just finished ayear as a protege in the YALSA Mentor program and is a reader forthe 9 to 12 grade category of the Kentucky Bluegrass Award. Sheis also an avid Nerdfighter; DFTBA!responsibility to my professional beliefs, aswell as a responsibility to the staff I workwith, to highlight this service area so itcould expand and grow.Though our library was already doinga fantastic job serving teens, the strategicplanning process allowed our staff to take arisk, that was at first met with somecaution and hesitation, to ultimately take astep forward in how we understand andaddress teen services. We did this byactually including teens as part of thisplanning process.Teens’ sheer enthusiasm, or at leasttheir wit and biting humor, can quickly spinany dull or avoided task, including strategicplanning, on its head. Furthermore, duringthis latest strategic planning process, I wasreminded how teen librarianship can bemost rewarding when you, and your teens,are willing to take risks. After much rallyingover an initial month of staff meetings, Iwas delighted when approached by theStrategic Planning Manager who relayedthat our library’s director wanted to appointa teen to the community leaders committee.This set off a series of franticbrainstorming, e-mailing, and“Facebooking” in search of the perfect teento participate. Ultimately I was led to theanswer right under my nose; our library’sown Teen Advisory Group (TAG).Our library’s former TAG VicePresident, Ian McManus, served as the soleteen representative among a panel of abouta dozen community leaders. Of a halfdozen teens on the library’s TAG whoexpressed interest in serving their peers inthis process, Ian was ultimately nominatedand elected, during a series of TAGmeetings over a two-month period, for hisability to confidently and maturelyarticulate not only his own opinions aboutthe library, but also those of teens in thewider county community. Following is aconversation Ian and I had on hisexperience in the library’s strategicplanning process.24 YALS | Young Adult Library Services |Fall 2012


Advocacy, Teens, and Strategic Planninginfluence, when they get involved inadvocacy endeavors. Whether the gesturesare big or small, the mere inclusion of teensin library activities beyond traditional teenservices will strengthen teens’ leadershipskills. These skills will naturally grow andlead to more moments of leadership infuture educational and professionalexperiences.When done right, the benefits of teenparticipation in a library advocacy activitycan extend to library staff, empoweringthem to take more risks to grow and definetheir library’s brand and reputation. Asnoted in YALSA’s publication RiskyBusiness, “It is important to give teensopportunities to gain assets by giving themthe chance to take the risks necessary to doso.” 4 It is also important to give library staffopportunities to support assets by givingthem the chance to think expansively, workcreatively, and by giving them the supportneeded to be “risky.” YALSReferences1. Search Institute. “40 DevelopmentalAssets for Adolescents,” Search Institute,2007, accessed August 12, 2012.www.search-institute.org/content/40-developmental-assets-adolescentsages-12-182. Search Institute. “Developmental Assets,”Search Institute, accessed August 12,2012. ww.search-institute.org/developmental-assets/3. Ibid.4. Linda W. Braun, Hillias J. Martin andConnie Urquhart. Risky Business: Takingand Managing Risks in Library Services forTeens. Chicago: American LibraryAssociation, 2010, 6.26 YALS | Young Adult Library Services |Fall 2012


YALSProfessional ResourcesAuguste, Margaret. VOYA’S Guide to Intellectual Freedomfor Teens. VOYA Press, 2012, ISBN: 978-1-61751-007-6, 204p, $32 (VOYA subscribers); $40 (all others).Bernier, Anthony (editor). VOYA’S YA Spaces of YourDreams. VOYA Press, 2012, ISBN: 978-61751-011-3,244p, $40 (VOYA subscribers); $50 (all others).Danner, Brandy. Dark Futures: A VOYA Guide toApocalyptic, Post-Apocalyptic, and Dystopian Books andMedia. VOYA Press, 2012, ISBN: 978-1-61751-005-2,242p, $40 (VOYA subscribers); $50 (all others).Plumb, Daria. Commando Classics: A Field Manual forHelping Teens Understand (and Maybe Even Enjoy) ClassicLiterature. VOYA Press, 2012, ISBN: 978-1-61751-008-3, 300p, $40 (VOYA subscribers); $50 (all others).These four new guides from VOYA Press will prove invaluable tothose, whether a school or public librarian, who add them to theirprofessional collections. All clearly written or edited by experts intheir particular field of focus, VOYA offers up a well-roundedgroup of resources for practitioners.Margaret Auguste in Intellectual Freedom for Teens has pulledtogether a stellar resource for use during Banned Books Week and farbeyond. The book lives up to its promise in the introduction, whichstates it “will give librarians the tools that they need to fight againstcensorship and for intellectual freedom for young people.” These toolsinclude suggestions of partnerships that support intellectual freedomrelated programming, ideas of educational activities for the classroom,suggestions on where to find pertinent booklists, summaries of bothformal and informal challenges and cases, and the steps to take andcritical components to include when creating a selection andintellectual freedom policy. Auguste further provides clear and conciseexamples librarians and administrators can use when responding to achallenge, as well as information on how to preemptively prepare (i.e.,having alternative reading suggestions that share a theme withrequired reading texts) for challenges. Early chapters focus on thethemes that often get cited in challenges (sexuality, violence, profanity,religion) with each chapter including a variety of viewpoints andinformation on how librarians can take action. Later chapters focus onthe frontline people often involved with challenges and include asection each for authors, librarians, teachers, and teens. Each sectionincludes resources and methods for addressing challenges.VOYA’S YA Spaces of Your Dreams is a compilation of spacesprofiled, from 1999 through 2010, in VOYA’s feature articles of thesame name. Editor Anthony Bernier provides a thorough introductionthat includes a summary of findings from a follow-up survey heconducted with the staff of the profiled YA spaces. While not all thelibraries responded, the survey does provide a good overview of thespace-related trends noted and experienced by the librarians. Thisincludes what is popular in teen space over time, the increase ordecrease in the amount of square footage of YA space to total libraryspace, and the impact of organizational changes on YA space. Thispreface sets the stage for the trends demonstrated through the yearscovered by the compilation. Divided by total square footage of YAspaces, from small being less than 500 square feet up to large beingmore than 1001 square feet, and progressing from 1999 up through2010, this compilation provides something for everyone. The volumeincludes sketches, drawings, and pictures of spaces profiled in lateryears. Having these profiles all in one place, school and public librarianshave a handy tool to use when planning for a new or renovated space;or advocating for one. Features and positive aspects from the differentspaces can be combined for the next dreamy YA space.With the overwhelming success of dystopian publishing postHunger Games, Dark Futures will be a welcome addition to anyprofessional shelf. Covering not just books, but also media, BrandyDanner created a resource that can be used to assist in readers’advisory, book discussions, booktalking, and curriculum support.Deftly broken out into thematic categories, including nonfiction,this guide can be used to target specific titles or for more broad,overarching topics. With summaries; read-a-like suggestions; andnotation of potential audiences covered in each category, for notjust current titles but also classic titles in the genre, readers areprovided with resources for making great suggestions to teens,teachers, parents, and colleagues. The inclusion of media expandsthe title and provides potential programming connections.Commando Classics lives up to its subtitle of being a Field Manualfor Helping Teens Understand (and Maybe Even Enjoy) ClassicLiterature. Organized in steps that are both easy to follow andinspiring, Daria Plumb writes frankly about the challenges andfrustrations associated with this topic, and focuses on methods formoving past them in the library and the classroom. Included in themanual are tips for programs that will connect literature with thereader and an arsenal of resources including sample text sets (with afocus on plot as opposed to literary analysis) for use in taking on manyclassics that are most frequently required reading. Plumb has created amanual that can be just as smoothly read beginning to end as pickedthrough for specific needs. It further provides the librarian with tacticsand ammunition for working with a teacher who may seem skepticalat first about using these methods to teach classic literature in theclassroom. After reading this volume, any reader will feel wellequipped and ready to become a “commando librarian” for their teens.Collectively, these four new resources are worthy additions toany professional collection, for school and public librarians, newbiesand veterans alike.—Stephanie A. Squicciarini, Teen Services Librarian,Fairport (N.Y.) Public LibraryFall 2012 | Young Adult Library Services | YALS 27


Professional ResourcesLudwig, Sarah. Starting from Scratch: Buildinga Teen Library Program. Santa Barbara, Calif.:Libraries Unlimited, 2011, ISBN: 978-1598846072,202p, $40.Agosto, Denise E., and June Abbas, eds. Teens, Libraries,and Social Networking: What Librarians Need to Know.Santa Barbara, Calif.: Libraries Unlimited, 2011, ISBN:978-1598845754, 184p, $40.Drawing on her own experiences designing her library’s teenspace and services, Ludwig offers this enthusiastic andsupportive guide for the new teen services librarian. Althoughthis guide’s primary audience is those who will be serving teensin public libraries, there is a lot of information and practicaladvice that school librarians or anyone new to librarywork may also find helpful, including creating policies,drafting budgets, navigating organizational politics, andcollaboration. Starting from Scratch covers a lot of ground injust over two hundred pages, providing an overview of teenspaces, collection development, programming, teen advisoryboards, outreach, budgets, professional development, andmore, and presents it in a way that isn’t overwhelming. Manysections include lists of websites and additional resources thatlibrarians can turn to for further information. This resourcewill serve the new teen librarian well, providing an effectivestructure for organizing time and energy, and bringing anawareness of all of the elements needed in order to besuccessful and do one’s best work. The author is positive andencouraging—as Ludwig says in the introduction, “Best ofluck. You will be amazing.”—Karin Thogersen, Huntley (Ill.) Area Public LibraryGuidelines for AuthorsThis collection of articles, which is dominated by research-basedfindings and practical recommendations by doctoral level teachers oflibrary and information science, brings the challenge of socialnetworking into a manageable perspective for youth serviceslibrarians. Those who know little or nothing of Facebook, MySpace,Ning, and the variety of other networks available will be at homewith the clear and concise explanations of why teens use them andhow we can meet them there to deliver services they would miss ifthey did not visit a physical library. Issues of privacy and security areaddressed with a realistic view of concerns that often keep adultsfrom approving of or engaging in social network use, balanced withthe benefits of such use to adolescent development, facility withtechnology, and identity formation. A few chapters are written byteen librarians who work with this population on a daily basis andbalance the more academic tone of the rest of the volume; looking atanother library and how the staff handles social networkingchallenges is vastly different from actually working in theenvironment. The bottom line from all involved in this project is thatwe need to listen to our teens, discover what they need, and wherethey are looking for it. This is not just for our own job security, butfor the benefit of our young adults’ lives now and in the future. YALS—Kerry L. Sutherland, Akron-Summit County (Ohio) Public LibraryYoung 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 andpractice relating to teen services and spotlights significant activitiesand programs of the division.For submission and author guidelines, please visit www.yalsa.ala.org/yals/ and click on “Submissions.”Index to AdvertisersiPhone..................................................... 9Annick Press . . . . .........................................26Disney-Hyperion Books . . . ........................ Cover 4Scholastic (The Letter Q) . ............................... 6Scholastic................................................23Tor/Forge Books. .................................. Cover 3Tanglewood Publishing .................................18TRWthanks . . ............................................29Webinar . . . . . . ............................................1228 YALS | Young Adult Library Services |Fall 2012


theYALSAupdateAssociation newsFind the latest YALSA news every Friday at the YALSA Blog, http://yalsa.ala.org/blog.Read YALSA’s 2012Awards SpeechesSpeeches from YALSA’s 2012 literary awardwinners are available online at www.ala.org/yalsa/2012-speeches. Access PDF and videoversions of this year’s speeches, including butnot limited to those from:l Susan Cooper, winner of YALSA’s2012 Margaret A. Edwards Award forsignificant and lasting contribution toyoung adult literature.l Steve Sheinkin, winner of Yalsa’s 2012Nonfiction Award for his book, TheNotorious Benedict Arnold.l William Morris and Michael L. Printzawards-winning author, John CoreyWhaley, for his book, Where ThingsCome Back.YALSA also offers free bookmarks,spine labels, bookplates, and morefeaturing its 2012 award winners. All ofthe free tools can be found at www.ala.org/yalsa/best.Network with Peers andGet Up to Date on theLatest Trends at ALA’sMidwinter MeetingJoin YALSA January 25 to 29in SeattleYALSA has big plans for the MidwinterMeeting in Seattle—and we want them toinclude you! Register by December 3 atwww.alamidwinter.org to save up to $25on onsite registration fees. Here are a fewhighlights from YALSA’s Midwinterschedule (complete details available atwww.tinyurl.com/yalsamw13):Friday, January 25Research on Teens and Libraries Panel,4:00 to 5:30 p.m. YALSA’s ResearchAgenda has four priority areas: (1) Impactof Libraries on YAs, (2) YAs and Reading,(3) Information Seeking Behaviors andNeeds of YAs, and (4) Informal andFormal Learning Environments and YAs.Join in on this discussion to explore whatdirections research might take in thenext few years and how you mightparticipate. Hosted by YALSA’s ResearchCommittee.Saturday, January 26Want to learn how to be more involvedwith YALSA? Come to our SelectionCommittee Leadership Developmentmeeting and YALSA Groups WorkSession! Leadership Development is forYALSA selection committee chairs andthose interested in chairing a selectioncommittee. A continental breakfast will beserved at 8:00 a.m., with the meeting from8:30 to 10:00. The YALSA GroupsWork Session is a working meeting forYALSA’s process committees, taskforces,and juries, but it’s also a chance for thosenot on a committee to learn more by sittingin. It’s a great introduction to the businessof YALSA. Come at 10:00 for acontinental breakfast, with meetingsbeginning at 10:30 and finishing at 11:30.Learn about the latest news in ourprofession at the YALSA Trends in YAPresentation, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., hosted byYALSA past presidents. This event willfeature a paper presentation from CarolTilley called, “Comics: A Once-MissedOpportunity.” The paper will trace thereadership, publication, collection, andpromotion of comics in the United Statesfrom the mid-twentieth century to thepresent day.Sunday, January 22Digital Badges Update: A New Way toLearn and Show What You Know 8:30to 10:00 a.m. This session will provide anupdate regarding YALSA’s Badges forLibrarians project, which will create free,online continuing education opportunitiesbased on YALSA’s Competencies forLibrarians Serving Youth. Individuals whosuccessfully complete the online learningexperiences will earn digital badges todisplay on their virtual resumes, Facebookpages, etc.YALSA elections open soon, so beforeyou vote, come to the YALSA Coffee withthe Candidates Forum from 10:30 to11:30 a.m. Meet and mingle with thecandidates who are on the ballot for the2012 election, president-elect and board ofdirectors at large. Attendees will enjoycoffee and get the chance to win door prizes.Want to know what teens really thinkof books released this past year? Come hear30 YALS | Young Adult Library Services |FALL 2012


local teens reflect on the nominees forthe 2013 Best Fiction for Young Adultslist at the BFYA Teen Session, 1:30 to3:30 p.m.Monday, January 23The most exciting part of any ALAMidwinter Meeting may be the ALAYouth Media Awards Press Conference!Come bright and early Monday morning tothe ceremony (8:00 to 9:15) and find outwho won this year’s top prizes in youngadult literature. The awardannouncements include:llllllthe Alex Awards, honoring the tenbest adult books with teen appeal, willbe announced at 8:00, before the pressconference beginsthe Michael L. Printz Award forExcellence in Young Adult Literature,as well as honor booksthe Margaret A. Edwards Award,which honors an author and a specificbody of his or her work for significantand lasting contribution to writing forteensthe Odyssey Award for Excellence inAudio Production for Young Adults,plus the honor recordings (coadministeredwith the Association forLibrary Service to Children[Association for Library Service toChildren (ALSC)])the William C. Morris Award, for thebest first book written for youngadults by a previously unpublishedauthorthe YALSA Excellence in YANonfiction Award, for the bestnonfiction book written for youngadultsCan’t make it? Watch the event livevia a webcast from the ALA home page orlive-blogged on The Hub at http://yalsa.ala.org/thehub. Details on both willbe available on the YALSA wiki inDecember.After the announcements, attend thecomplimentary Morris and NonfictionAward Program and Presentation from10:30 to noon. Enjoy coffee, tea, and adanish and listen to the winners andfinalists speak about their honored titles.After the speeches, mingle with the authorsand pick up free copies of their books.Finish out conference with yourcolleagues at the ALSC and YALSADivision Member Reception from 6:00 to7:30. Join your colleagues for lightrefreshments and a cash bar.To register and learn more aboutYALSA’s plans for Midwinter 2013, visitthe YALSA Midwinter wiki atwww.tinyurl.com/yalsamw13.YALSA’s ResearchJournal SeeksManuscriptsThe 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 of Researchon Libraries and Young Adults is to enhancethe development of theory, research, andpractices to support young adult libraryservices. Journal of Research on Libraries andYoung Adults promotes and publisheshigh-quality original research concerningthe informational and developmental needsof young adults; the management,implementation, and evaluation of libraryservices for young adults; and othercritical issues relevant to librarians whowork with young adults. The journal alsoincludes literary and cultural analysis ofclassic and contemporary writing for youngadults.Submissions and questions about theresearch journal should be sent to EditorSandra Hughes-Hassell at yalsaresearch@gmail.com. Before submitting a paper, pleaseread through the call for papers and theauthor guidelines at the journal’s website,http://yalsa.ala.org/jrlya.ALA/YALSA ElectionReminderALA and YALSA will hold their annualelections in March 2013! To make sureyou are eligible to vote for candidates forthe YALSA board of directors, awardcommittees (including Edwards,Nonfiction, and Printz), and on bylawschanges, your membership in ALA andYALSA must be current as of January 31,2013. Be sure to check your membershipstatus at www.ala.org/membership. If youhave any questions about yourmembership, please contact YALSA’sMembership Coordinator, Letitia Smith,at lsmith@ala.org or 800.545.2433 x3490.Apply for Nearly$100,000 in Grants andAwards from YALSADeadline: December 1The deadline to apply for the followinggrants and awards is December 1, 2012.To learn more or to apply, visitwww.ala.org/yalsa, and click on “Awardsand Grants for Members.” Awards andgrants available this year include:llllABC-CLIO/Greenwood/YALSAService to Young AdultsAchievement Award. This grant of$2,000 is funded by ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Publishing and recognizesthe national contributions of aYALSA member who hasdemonstrated unique and sustaineddevotion to young adult services.Board Fellowship. Each year YALSAsponsors one Fellow to attendconferences and work on YALSA’sboard of directors to gain leadershipskills and learn about associationgovernance. The Fellowship provides$1,500 to cover the cost of travel toconferences.BWI/YALSA CollectionDevelopment Grant. This grantawards $1,000 for collectiondevelopment to YALSA memberswho represent a public library, andwho work directly with young adultsages twelve to eighteen. It is funded byBook Wholesalers, Inc.Conference Grants. The two grantsof $1,000 each are funded by Bakerand Taylor and are awarded tolibrarians who work for or directlywith young adults in a public or schoolFALL 2012 | Young Adult Library Services | YALS 31


lllllibrary or library agency to enablethem to attend the ALA AnnualConference for the first time. A thirdgrant is funded by YALSA’sLeadership Endowment and is theDorothy Broderick StudentConference Scholarship. It fundstravel to the conference for onegraduate student for up to $1,000.This round of grants will fund travelto the 2013 conference in Chicago,June 27 to July 2.Frances Henne/YALSA/VOYAResearch Grant. This annual grant of$1,000 is to provide seed money forsmall-scale projects that will encourageresearch that responds to the YALSAResearch Agenda.Great Books Giveaway Competition.Each year the YALSA office receivesapproximately three thousand newlypublished children’s, young adult, andadult books, videos, CDs, and audiocassettes for review. YALSA and thecooperating publishers offer one year’sworth of review materials as acontribution to up to three libraries inneed. The estimated value of eachaward is $12,000.MAE Award for Best TeenLiterature Program. Designed tohonor a YALSA member whodeveloped an outstanding reading orliterature program for young adults,the award provides $500 to thewinning librarian and $500 to his orher library. The award is madepossible through an annual grant fromthe Margaret A. Edwards Trust.National Library Legislative DayStipend. YALSA’s YA AdvocacyTravel Stipend will enable twoqualified recipients to receive up to$1,000 to attend ALA’s 2013National Library Legislative Day,which will be held in Washington,D.C., on May 7 and 8, 2013.Deadline: January 1l Summer Reading Program Grant.This grant is designed to encourageoutstanding summer reading programsby providing financial assistance, whilelrecognizing YALSA members foroutstanding program development.The applicant must plan and presentan outline for a teen-focused summerreading program administered througha library. The program must be opento all teens (twelve to eighteen years).YALSA encourages innovativeproposals that are inclusive ofunderserved teen populations,including but not limited to teens withdisabilities and teens who speakEnglish as a second language. The$1,000 grant, made possible by DollarGeneral, is to be used to support theprogram. A total of twenty grants areavailable. Individual library brancheswithin a larger system are welcome toapply.Summer Teen Intern Grant. Thisgrant is designed to encourage librariesto facilitate the use of teen interns toassist with summer reading programs.YALSA will provide $1,000 tosupport a library’s teen intern(s)program. Funds can be used for internstipends, trainings, or other internrelatedactivities as deemedappropriate. The $1,000 grants aremade possible by the Dollar GeneralLiteracy Foundation. A total of twentygrants are available.Rolling Applicationsl Books for Teens. Applications areaccepted year-round for YALSA’sBooks for Teens program that helpslibraries in high poverty areas put newbooks in the hands of theircommunity’s teens.Quick Access to YALSA’sAwards and ListsllVisit the For Members Only portionof YALSA’s website for two URLsyou can bookmark and use to avoidhaving to log in each time. Feel free tobookmark these URLs on librarycomputers as well.Download YALSA’s free Teen BookFinder app at www.ala.org/yalsa/products/teenbookfinder. Ratedawesome by users! This resource,which features three years’ worth oftitles honored by YALSA’s lists andawards, is funded by the DollarGeneral Literacy Foundation.Currently it is only available foriPhones and iPads, but it will alsobe available for Android later inthe year.YALSA Receives Grantfrom IMLS to HostNational Forum onTeens and LibrariesThe Young Adult Library ServicesAssociation was awarded $99,937 in grantfunding from the Institute of Museum andLibrary Services (IMLS) to host a yearlongNational Forum on Teens andLibraries, which will include face-to-faceand online meetings and conversationsabout the status of library services for andwith teens. The result will be a white paperthat YALSA envisions will provide a planon how libraries can best design andimplement teen services in the years tocome.“The National Forum represents avital and groundbreaking turning point foryoung adult services in all types of libraries.This is the first time where experts fromacross the country will come together tobuild a road map for the future of libraryservices for and with teens. ” Jack Martin,YALSA president said.YALSA members are encouragedto participate in virtual town halldiscussions that will take place in thespring of 2012. Visit www.ala.org/yaforumto learn more.About the IMLSThe IMLS is the primary source of federalsupport for the nation’s 123,000 librariesand 17,500 museums. Through grantmaking, policy development, and research,IMLS helps communities and individualsthrive through broad public access toknowledge, cultural heritage, and lifelonglearning. YALS32 YALS | Young Adult Library Services |FALL 2012

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