YALSA Fact Sheet
YALSA believes strongly that teens deserve the best, yet many libraries have too few trained staff and resources to address the needs of teens. Studies also indicate that teens are reading less and fewer of them possess critical literacy skills. Therefore, YALSA’s mission is to advocate, promote and strengthen library service to teens, ages 12-18, as part of the continuum of total library services, and to support those who provide library service to this population.
Facts about YALSA
- Current membership is more than 5,400 members
- Founded in 1957 and headquartered in Chicago, YALSA is a division of the American Library Association, a financially stable 501(c)3 charitable association.
What We Do
Nurture teen literacy
- Teen Read Week: Work to increase the number of teens who are skilled and avid readers through this and other initiatives.
- Encourage adults to help teens select books that are a good fit for them and their families.
Promote young adult literature
- Awards & Lists: YALSA is the world leader in evaluating, selecting and recommending books, audiobooks, and films for teens via its annual selected lists, four literary awards, Web site, and publications. Recommended reading, listening, and viewing for teens can be found on YALSA’s Web site at www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists.
Foster computer and information literacy in teens:
- Teen Tech Week: The purpose of the initiative is to ensure that teens are competent and ethical users of technology, especially those that are offered through libraries.
Support young adult librarianship:
- Conferences & Institutes: Provide training for library workers serving teens at ALA’s two annual conferences, a biennial symposium, and through our licensed institutes
- Training: With our Serving the Underserved program, YALSA has trained more than 100 librarians in 33 states and 3 countries to reach out and train other library workers how to serve teens effectively.
- E-Learning: Deliver e-courses on key issues relating to serving teens in libraries
- Awards and Grants: Each year we administer more than $50,000 in underwritten grants and awards, including the Great Books Giveaway Competition.
- Research: We encourage related research through various means, including the Frances Henne/ VOYA Research Grant and the Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults.
- Advocacy: YALSA represents the interests of librarians and staff who work with young adults to relevant organizations, agencies, and industries and promotes the expansion of library services to young adults.
- Publications: Besides books relating to teens and libraries, we publish a quarterly journal, Young Adult Library Services, and the online members-only newsletter, YALSA E-News, and developed and disseminate national guidelines for serving teens in libraries, called Young Adults Deserve the Best: Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth.
- Continuing Education: