CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) awarded the 2014 Frances Henne Research Grant to Crystle Martin. This $1,000 grant, funded by VOYA magazine and administered by YALSA, will provide seed money for her research project, “Youth Library Services and Connected Learning as a Means to Support Youth Learning.” As part of the grant, Martin will publish her work in a future issue of YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults.
The research project is designed to examine the practices of youth librarians and determine how those practices could align with the connected learning framework. Connected learning — learning that is socially embedded, interest-driven and oriented toward education, economic or political opportunity — aims to address the new equity gaps arising from the privatization of learning, that is learning opportunities that are only available with access to capital. Libraries are opportune locations to facilitate connected learning for youth, allowing youth to more easily succeed in school and their career trajectory. This study will begin to describe libraries as a hub for connected learning by determining the current alignment of youth librarian practices with the connected learning framework.
“Martin’s research will be the first to explore the practices of librarians through the lens of connected learning,” said Jury Chairperson Dr. Carol L. Tilley. “Libraries play a crucial role and building off research on the learning and information practices of youth in their informal spaces, this study will show youth librarians how to support youth in transitioning their skills to academic settings.”
Martin is a postdoctoral research fellow for the Connected Learning Research Network at the Digital Media and Learning Hub, University of California, Irvine, working with Professor Mizuko (Mimi) Ito. She finished a PhD in Curriculum & Instruction, specializing in Digital Media, with a minor in Library Science, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2012.
“I am thrilled to be selected for the Frances Henne Research Grant. Libraries are ideal hubs to facilitate connecting youth, allowing them to succeed in school and in their career trajectory,” said Martin. “This award will enable me to learn from youth librarians about how libraries can best fill this role.”
Members of the Frances Henne Jury are: Chair Dr. Carol L. Tilley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Ill.; Robert Bittner, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada; Don Latham, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla.; Maribel Lechuga, Kitsap Regional Library, Port Orchard, Wash.; and Dr. Cindy C. Welch, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.
The Henne Research Grant funds projects that support YALSA’s Research Agenda, which can be found online at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/guidelines/research/researchagenda. Guidelines for applying for the grant are available in the Awards and Grants for Members section of the YALSA web site at www.ala.org/yalsa/awardsandgrants/yalsaawardsgrants. Applications are due by Dec. 1, 2014.
For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to www.ala.org/yalsa, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail: email@example.com.