CHICAGO — Three new titles in the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Teens @ the Library Series, from Neal-Schuman Publishers, help YA librarians hone their skills and improve their programs to serve teens more effectively.
"Being a Teen Library Services Advocate,” by former YALSA President Linda W. Braun, covers what advocacy is and isn’t, what it takes to be an effective advocate for teens, how to practice advocacy skills and techniques and how to set up a successful long-term library teen services advocacy initiative. Front-line public and school librarians working in YA services will find the volume useful for day-to-day advocacy when communicating with administrators, colleagues, community members and government officials. Included are examples of advocacy campaigns from inside and outside the library world that demonstrate basic principles of successful advocacy efforts, showing readers how to navigate the barriers of time and funding.
More teenagers than ever turn to librarians and teachers to ask private questions they are too afraid to share with family and friends. "Answering Teens' Tough Questions,” by mk Eagle, offers a quick primer on talking with young adults about tough and often controversial topics. Chapters address such issues as sex, sexuality, homelessness, tattoos and piercings, dating violence, abuse, drugs and alcohol, emotional and mental health and the juvenile justice system. Within these chapters, readers will find answers to specific questions about maintaining online sexual health resources, creating passive health displays, working in a school or community with abstinence-only values and/or curriculum, creating positive atmospheres for healthy discussions, making the library a safe space for everyone and maintaining teen privacy when other teens speculate. Eagle offers valuable advice on how to develop protocols for all of these situations, notice signs of abuse, report to the proper authorities, develop partnerships with agencies inside and outside the justice system and provide much-needed mental health resources in a confidential way.
"Evaluating Teen Services and Programs,” by Sarah Flowers, provides basic information to help teen/youth services librarians, library directors, library school students studying teen services and middle/high school librarians examine all aspects of their teen programs and services to determine where improvement is needed. Flowers shares pointers for developing goals and objectives for evaluation, showing how to collect data that gives a realistic picture of a program’s strengths and weaknesses. Readers will learn how to evaluate YA collections, teen summer reading programs, special events and library staff. Also included are explanations of the YALSA competencies, the YALSA teen services evaluation tool and models for what excellent teen services programs should look like. Ready-to-use evaluation forms and checklists save precious time and resources and get assessments geared up in minutes.
Braun is an educational technology consultant with LEO: Librarians & Educators Online. She provides training and consulting services to schools, libraries and other educational institutions on how to integrate technology successfully. She was the 2009–2010 president of YALSA and served as the association’s blog manager from 2006–2009. She is a professor of practice for Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science, where she teaches courses on web development, technology and teen services. In addition to writing numerous books for ALA Editions, YALSA, Neal-Schuman, and Information Today, she is a columnist for Voice of Youth Advocates.
Eagle manages the YALSA Blog and has presented at the ISIS Conference on New Media, Youth & Sexual Health. She is the librarian at Holliston High School in Holliston, Mass.
Flowers has worked as a young adult librarian, a supervisor of adult and young adult services, manager of a community library and as deputy county librarian for the Santa Clara County Library in California, where she learned the practical details of analyzing and evaluating library data. She was a member of the top 40 distinguished alumni of the San Jose State School of Library and Information Science and was a member of the first class of Library Journal’s “Movers and Shakers.” She is the author of four nonfiction books for young people and numerous articles and reviews for library journals, as well as the author of “Young Adults Deserve the Best: YALSA’s Competencies in Action”(ALA Editions, 2011). She is the 2011–2012 President of YALSA.
The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is the fourth largest division of ALA, with more than 5,400 members. YALSA’s mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens and young adults. Through its member-driven advocacy, research and professional development initiatives, YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens and young adults. YALSA’s major initiatives include Teen Read Week™ and Teen Tech Week™. Known as the world leader in recommending books and media to those ages 12–18, YALSA each year gives out six literary awards, including the Printz Award, and chooses titles for seven book and media lists.
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