Badges for Learning

In the spring of 2012 YALSA was awarded funding to develop a virtual badge program that helps library staff gain skills related to the Competencies for Serving Youth in Libraries. Project funding is provided by HASTAC, the Mozilla Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation.

The idea is that any library staff member can take part in web-based activities to gain skills in the areas covered in YALSA’s Competencies. For example badge earners will be able to:

  • Learn how to use Twitter to connect with teens and other community members and earn a badge in the area of Marketing, Outreach, and Communication.
  • Gain skills in building library collections for teens to earn a badge in the area of Knowledge of Materials.
  • Write an elevator pitch and earn a badge in the area of administration

What Does it Mean to Me?

Since badges are virtual, when you earn them you can add them to a variety of web-based spaces. You can:

•       Add badges to a Facebook profile.

•       Include them in a blog on a variety of platforms.

•       Point potential employers to your badge page on the YALSA website.

•       Include badges on your resume.

By displaying these badges in these virtual spaces you will be able to easily and visually inform colleagues, employers, potential employers, and others about your teen services skills and knowledge.  You can also point colleagues in and outside of teen services to the badges so that they too can learn how to best work with teens.

In the long run, the badges will help guarantee that all library staff have the skills and knowledge necessary to provide high-quality services to adolescents.

How Can I Get Involved?

We expect some of the badges will launch for testing purposes in the winter of 2014.  Once they do you can get started earning badges and letting the world know what you know on your social media spaces and web pages. If you are interested in testing out the badges get in touch with Linda W. Braun,, to learn how to get started.

We’ll also be looking for content experts and mentors. Stay tuned for more information on how you can get involved in that area too.

Where Can I Learn More?

There is a lot of information on the web about virtual badges. Two places to get started learning about them are:

•      DML Central Badges Category

•      YALSAblog 30 Days of Innovation: Learn Something New