YALSA’s new report is a call to action for the library community to meet the needs of 21st century teens

For Immediate Release
Wed, 01/08/2014

Contact:

Jaclyn Finneke
Communications Manager
Young Adult Library Services Association
jfinneke@ala.org

CHICAGO — As part of the year-long National Forum on Libraries and Teens effort, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has released a report, “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action,” providing direction on how libraries need to adapt and change to meet the needs of 21st century teens. Visit www.ala.org/yaforum/project-report to download the report and executive summary today.

With funding from a 2012 grant awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the forum provided an opportunity for the library community to join other youth-development organizations to engage in a conversation about how the library community can better meet the needs of adolescents in a time of diminishing resources and rapid demographic and technological change.

“This report provides a roadmap for the library community for working with teens,” said Shannon Peterson, YALSA President. “It explains the shift occurring, what our core missions and values must be, and provides recommended strategies for moving forward into the future.”

The report is a call to action for the library community.  It provides recommendations on how libraries must address challenges and re-envision their teen services in order to meet the needs of their individual communities and to collectively ensure that the nation’s 40+ million teens develop the skills they need to be productive citizens.  By acting on this call, the library community can work within their own local communities to create the kind of spaces, services and opportunities that today’s teens need in order to succeed in school and in life.

Now is the time for public and school libraries to join with other key stakeholders and take action to help address the issues that negatively impact teens and, ultimately, the future of the nation. Today’s 40+ million adolescents face an increasing array of social issues, barriers and challenges that many of them are unable to overcome on their own. With nearly 7,000 teens dropping out of high school per day, the nation is in danger of losing an entire generation, which in turn will lead to a shortage of skilled workers and engaged citizens.

 “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action” was written and edited for YALSA by Linda W. Braun, Maureen L. Hartman, Sandra Hughes-Hassell and Kafi Kumasi, with contributions from Beth Yoke. It was adopted by the YALSA Board of Directors on Dec. 16, 2013.

To learn more about the project visit www.ala.org/yaforum.

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: yalsa@ala.org.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.