Evaluate your public library’s teen services with new, free tool from YALSA

For Immediate Release
Tue, 03/22/2011

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CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, released a new evaluation tool for libraries to determine the health of teen services at their institutions. The downloadable tool, approved by YALSA’s Board of Directors in February 2011, derived its areas of evaluation from YALSA’s Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth: Young Adults Deserve the Best and can be downloaded at www.ala.org/yalsa/competencies, along with fact sheets for a variety of audiences.

Potential users of this tool include library administrators, library trustees, teen services librarians and community members and job-seekers hoping to assess a library’s commitment to teen services. The tool is not intended to be an evaluation of an individual teen services librarian, but rather of an institution’s program; however, of necessity some things will apply specifically to teen services staff.

Not every element of the rubric will apply to every library situation, but the tool can serve as a place to begin the conversation about what constitutes excellent public library service for teens. YALSA’s board used input from library workers actively engaged in providing service to teens in public libraries across the United States to develop the tool, with the hope that individual libraries, library systems and even state libraries can use it as a template to create their own tools to evaluate teen library services.

“The members of the task force, and the YALSA Board, are hoping that libraries will find this tool to be a practical way for them to take a good look at their teen services program and identify areas that can use improvement,” said Sarah Flowers, YALSA president-elect and chair of the task force that developed both the tool and YALSA’s competencies. “We hope that the tool will enable communities to start the conversation about what constitutes excellent library service for and with teens and take steps to achieve that excellence.”

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audiobooks for teens.  For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or e-mail, yalsa@ala.org.