Abbas, Koh selected to present paper for YALSA’s Trends Impacting YA Services session at 2016 ALA Midwinter

For Immediate Release
Fri, 10/23/2015


Anna Lam

Communications Specialist

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

CHICAGO – The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has chosen June Abbas, professor, and Kyungwon Koh, assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma School of Library and Information Studies, to present a paper at YALSA’s Trends Impacting YA Services session at the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting. Koh and Abba’s paper is entitled “Competencies Needed to Provide Teen Library Services of the Future: Survey of Professionals in Learning Labs and Makerspaces.” The Midwinter event, which is hosted by YALSA Past Presidents, will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016.

Friends of YALSA funds one individual each year to attend the ALA Midwinter Meeting to present a paper that addresses a topic from YALSA’s Research Agenda. Abbas and Koh will receive up to $1,500 to help defray travel, registration and hotel costs. In addition to presenting the paper at the Trends Impacting YA Services event, their paper will also be published in a future issue of YALSA’s peer-reviewed, open source journal, The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults.

Abbas and Koh noted, “We are eager to share our findings from the survey with the YALSA community. Identifying the competencies information professionals reported as the most necessary for managers, librarians, and staff working in Makerspaces or Learning Labs will help start the conversation about the educational needs of information professionals in these emerging informal learning environments. In order to be sustainable, it is essential that they are staffed by qualified professionals and support staff.  Our study also revealed some of the top challenges faced by professionals, as well as some facilitators that enabled success. The session will engage the audience in the discussion and elicit ideas from professionals and faculty alike related to their experiences, professional development needs, and barriers to developing competency-building educational experiences.”

Sandra Hughes-Hassell, chair of the jury, hailed Abbas and Koh's selection. "We are excited that their presentation will focus on learning labs and makerspaces, both of which represent places for connected learning to occur. Connected learning is a key component of the paradigm shift called for in the report, The Future of Library Services for and with Teens. Abbas and Koh's research provides important insight into the competencies young adult librarians need to implement this framework."

To learn more about YALSA programs and events at the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting, visit

For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and library staff to engage, serve and empower teens.  For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or email,