At ALA Midwinter 2014, Tutor.com sponsored an event for the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). YALSA held this event to discuss the details of their year-long study entitled “A New Vision for Library Services for Teens: Findings from the Forum on Libraries and Teens.” This study explores the way in which libraries need to adapt to meet the needs of the teens of today.
The session and study stress that the time for the library community to take action with teens is now! After all, teens make up most of the population of who use library services. Despite teens being such a big part of the library population, many services that are offered to them are in jeopardy due to the economy. Technology is also a huge factor that has impacted the way teens learn. Libraries are challenged with how to take advantage of technology in a manner in which they can better communicate with teens and prepare them for the workforce.
Libraries are in the position to support teens from the minute they step foot in the library to the moment they leave the library and set out to achieve their goals.
“Libraries need to be a space to connect, a space to create, a place to be.” – Participant, Yalsa summit.
The study and session outlines how librarians can engage with their teens. Here’s how:
- Become a co-learner with your teens! Work alongside your teens to help them reach their goals.
- Refocus traditional roles and measurements of success.
- Reach beyond the library’s walls and partner strategically. Work with partners who also want to help teens gain the skills to be engaged citizens.
- Create a whole-library and whole-school approach to serving teens- Share ideas with your whole staff to ensure that teens feel engaged with both school and public libraries each and every time they access services.
- Support your staff in gaining new skills!
Help your teen community by making your library a place that gives them the foundation to achieve all of their goals! The Young Adult Library Services Association is a national association of librarians and library workers who strive to expand and build up library services for teens.
To learn more about YALSA and their mission visit www.ala.org/yalsa.