Future Ready with the Library

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Future Ready with the Library: Connecting with Communities for College and Career Readiness Services

YALSA, in partnership with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL), is implementing an innovative project that will build the capacity of small, rural and tribal libraries to provide college and career readiness (CCR) services for and with middle schoolers. YALSA and ARSL will work with library staff to build needed skills while also developing, testing and refining turn-key resources, which other libraries can adapt for their own use. The project is aimed at library staff in libraries with a service population of 15,000 or fewer, as well as libraries that are 25 miles or more from an urbanized area.  This project is generously funded by the Institute of Museum & Library Services.  For more information, read the full grant proposal (.pdf) or the press release.

In June 2016 YALSA and ARSL put out a call for applicants for the first cohort who will participate in in-person training at the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta as well as online training. The first cohort of participants was announced in September 2016.  

Use this quick online form to sign up to receive email notifications about the project, including an announcement when the next round of applications opens.  To access an existing compilation of college and career readiness resources, visit YALSA's wiki.

From 2016 - 2018 we plan to:

  • Develop a customized learning program initially for and with 80 library staff in small, rural, and tribal libraries that is highly collaborative as well as project and inquiry based. Then, make the self-paced eLearning modules freely available at the end of the project for the entire library community to use
  • Maintain and refine a community of practice (CoP) within YALSA’s existing Teen Programming HQ that will promote peer-to-peer learning and make it possible for library staff and community partners to learn together and from one another through the support of coaches, guided discussions related to the eLearning content, and more
  • Develop, test and refine a suite of turn-key CCR resources that will be made publicly available so that all libraries can adapt and use in their communities, such as templates for program planning and partner development

Project goals:

  1. Library staff at rural, small, and tribal libraries will learn effective methods for planning and implementing, with a local partner, College and Career Readiness (CCR) initiatives for and with middle schoolers and their families.
  2. Middle schoolers and their families in small, rural and tribal communities will gain valuable future ready information that will better prepare them for starting a career and/or focusing on academics related to a career after high school.
  3. Middle schoolers in rural, small, and tribal libraries will engage in valuable career exploration and workforce preparation experiences.
  4. Library staff in small, rural, and tribal libraries around the U.S. will develop a set of model programs and tools that can be customized by a wide range of communities and libraries.