Wednesday, December 07, 2005

 

That's All Folks!

I hope you've enjoyed my first attempt at blogging; the experience has been both an educational and relatively painless one for me. There really is a lot of good information (and many useful resources) that is readily available to youth services librarians. Although I am discontinuing this blog, I will continue to learn about my chosen profession so I can better serve my young patrons!

Monday, November 28, 2005

 

Do You Belong to LM_NET or PUBYAC?

Blogs and listservs are great ways to share thoughts, solve problems and discuss issues. LM_NET is an international listserv for "school library media people" on the Internet, and PUBYAC is a an Internet discussion list concerned with the practical aspects of Children and Young Adult Services in Public Libraries. I've joined various librarian listservs in the past, and I'm proud of the many thriving virtual communities that have been created to support our challenging profession.

 

Virtual YA Index

Part of my responsibilities as the Young Adult Librarian at the Ossining Public Library has me providing content and design suggestions for "The Place for Teens", the young adult section of the library's website. I've wondered about how The Place for Teens compares with other young adult websites, and I recently discovered a good resource to help me compare. The Virtual YA Index lists links to public libraries (and a few library systems) in the U.S., Canada and New Zealand that have young adult sections. Through browsing the Virtual YA Index, I was able to glean some great ideas for how to make the Place for Teens more interesting and exciting, and it was also encouraging to see so many web pages devoted to young adults.

Monday, November 21, 2005

 

School & Public Library Collaboration

One of the American Association of School Librarians 12th National Conference workshops that I mentioned in my 11/9/05 posting was a session entitled "Scratching Each Others' Library Backs: School and Public Libraries Tell All." I looked through the conference handouts, and discovered information about how to access over 200 examples of school/public library cooperation that was collected by the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Joint Task Force on School Public Library Cooperation. The School/Public Library Cooperation website contains program ideas submitted by librarians throughout the country, a bibliography on school/public library cooperation, a list of exemplary websites, and a form so you can add your story to the collection. If you want some great ideas on how schools and public libraries can support each other, please take a look at this site.

 

TAG You're It!

My Director just gave me a workshop notice for something I really need. On Tuesday, December 6th, the Mid-Hudson Library System will be offering a workshop on "Teen Advisory Groups/Boards" also known as "TAGs" or "TABs". I'm in the process of starting a TAG at the Ossining Public Library, so this workshop is very timely. I've seen TAGs used more in public libraries than in school libraries, however, they can work well in either environment. Teen Advisory Groups are organizations that enable libraries to engage teens and attract them to libraries while providing teens with opportunities to develop important leadership skills and have a good time in the process. There are a number of helpful websites and books on the subject of TAGs, including: Libraries and Teen Advisory Groups sponsored by the Jervis Public Library, YALSA's TAGS - Teen Advisory Group Site, and the book Library Teen Advisory Groups by Diane P. Tuccillo. Although TAGs take a fair amount of work, the benefit to both young adults and the library are well worth it, I've been told. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

 

S.O.S. for Information Literacy

I received some interesting information in the mail from the Syracuse University School of Information Studies about a new web-based resource called S.O.S. for Information Literacy. S.O.S. stands for "Situations, Outcomes, Strategies", and is a "database of standards-based information literacy lesson plans and other teaching materials, emphasizing collaborative planning and delivery with classroom teachers and integrated with the curriculum, that can be used "as is" or adapted to specific needs." S.O.S. is a free resource that is available to K-12 library media specialists and classroom teachers; a higher education version is in the works. School library media specialists in particular will want to check out S.O.S. for Information Literacy. Funding for the project was generously provided by the Institute for Museum and Library Services through a National Leadership Grant for Libraries.

 

200 Years of Young Adult Library Services History

Ever wonder about how and when youth services librarianship started? Well, VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) (one of the two main young adult literature review resources I use, the other being KLIATT), included a fascinating and detailed chronology called Two Hundred Years of Young Adult Library Services History: A Chronology in their June, 2005 issue. Not only did I learn a lot from the article, I gained additional respect for my current calling. I had not realized that the first public library was for children! The Bingham Library for Youth, was founded in Salisbury, Connecticut in 1803, a full 31 years before the Peterborough Town Library (often credited as the "earliest public library") was founded in New Hampshire. This article is a must read for all youth services librarians, and the article's compilers are continuing to gather data to keep the chronology up to date, so don't hesitate to contact Anthony Bernier at VOYA if you have an addition to contribute.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

 

AASL 12th National Conference

Prof. DiBianco (who teaches my Integrating Technology into the School Media Curriculum course) suggested that the class browse the online handouts from the American Association of School Librarians' latest conference, and I'm very glad I did. Among the many workshops and sessions being offered there were several that looked to be relevant to young adult librarianship in general, and the public library setting in particular. Terrific Titles for Teens, Success in Teaching Teens to Search the Internet, Do Your Students only Google, Yahoo, and Ask Jeeves, and Scratching Each Others' Library Backs are among the titles that contained really helpful information I can use immediately. The AASL 12th National Conference handout page will be available to the public for about 8 weeks. After the 8 weeks have elapsed, handouts and other conference material will be moved to the AASL Conference Archive and will only be accessible to AASL members, so do yourself a favor and visit the AASL conference website soon.

Monday, November 07, 2005

 

Collaboration is Key

I was visiting Ossining's Anne M. Dorner Middle School yet again this morning as part of an observation requirement for one of my library school media classes. Although these weekly visits make for a very long day for me on Mondays, they've proven to be immensely valuable.

Visiting the schools in the community that I serve provides me with rich opportunities to get to know teachers, students and staff in person, and enables me to build crucial partnerships with these important constituents. I'm really excited about an English Language Arts Test Preparation Workshop the library is offering this Thursday to help middle school students prepare for an important exam. I was thrilled when the head of the ELA Dept. asked if the library might be able to assist the school in preparing students for this exam because it showed that the library is starting to be recognized as an important educational partner.

Regardless of which capacity in which you decide to serve young people, make time to develop relationships and collaborate with others who also serve your target audience. Collaboration is truly key to your success.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

 

Teen Spaces, Cool Places

The primary reason I attended last week's NYLA Conference was to participate in a full-day pre-conference workshop entitled "Teen Spaces, Cool Places", which was all about creating cutting-edge, interesting, fun, and welcoming spaces for teens in libraries. The workshop was awesome!! The workshop was lead by Kimberly Bolan, a library consultant and author of "Teen Spaces: The Step-by-Step Library Makeover" (ALA Editions, 2003). Ms. Bolan's been consulting on the design of teen-friendly spaces in libraries for ten years, and she really knows her stuff! Kim explained that public libraries have been warming up to the idea of innovative teen spaces since the late 1990's, however, school libraries are taking longer to embrace the idea. I left the workshop thoroughly energized and committed to helping create an outstanding teen space in the Ossining Public Library's new building that should be completed next year. I also left with a fat packet of valuable resource material covering a bunch of things, ranging from teen advisory boards, graphic novel websites, sources for purchasing teen-friendly furniture and accessories, to a list of core magazines with teen appeal. I can't wait to explore my treasure trove more thoroughly!

 

2005 NYLA Conference

I returned from attending the 2005 NYLA Conference in Buffalo, New York this past Thursday. Unfortunately, I missed most of the conference, but the part I did catch was wonderful! Conferences and other professional gatherings are valuable opportunities for professional development for all librarians, but perhaps particularly for youth services librarians. Whether we work in schools or public libraries, we are often working alone, or are the only professional focused primarily on the needs of our young patrons. The camraderie that develops in a room full of youth services librarians is just as valuable as the information you take away from the experience.

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