Issues & Current Projects

Keep up to date on the latest projects and issues via the YALSAblog

Advocacy Benchmarks: a member taskforce is developed a document that librarians and library workers can use to measure their current level of advocacy activity and identify strategies for even greater success and impact.  The benchmarks and accompanying documents can be found on YALSA's advocacy page.

Badges for Librarians: with $75,000 in funds from Digital Media & Learning, YALSA is developing digital badges as a new means of delivering continuing education to its members and to the library community.  Continuing education is critically important in the field of librarianship, due to the constantly changing nature of information technologies and the fact that libraries are seeing a fundamental shift from being content providers to also assisting patrons with using, creating and sharing content.  The badges are being tested in early 2015, for a launch later in the year.  To keep up on the latest developments, visit the YALSAblog.  Read about an overview of the project via this four page case study (.pdf) from Mozilla.

The Future of Library Services for & with Teens: As part of a year-long grant funded effort that brought together key stakeholders from the areas of libraries, education, technology, adolescent development and the for-profit and nonprofit sectors to explore the world of young adults and library services to this population, YALSA published a report in Jan. 2014 which provides direction on how libraries need to adapt and change to better meet the needs of 21st century teens.  Grant funding is generously provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  For more information, and to access the report please visit http://www.ala.org/yaforum/.

Makerspace Resources: throughout 2014 - 2015 a taskforce is working to create a variety of resources to help members learn about the maker movement and how libraries can be a part of it in order to increase their value in their community.   Activities include: creating a "Making in Libraries" toolkit (PDF) released in conjunction with 2014 's Teen Tech Week; implementing a maker programming contest during summer 2014 for members to highlight best practices; maintaining the maker page on YALSA's public wiki on an ongoing basis and encouraging members to contribute to the content there; identify writers to create maker related posts and articles.

Professional Values: A taskforce is working throughout 2014 - 2015 to investigate best practices in associations and professionalism, then identify core professionalism values of a librarian or library worker serving teens, and use it for a basis for creating guidelines for professionalism for librarians and library workers who work with and for teens.

Programming Clearinghouse: with grant funds from the Best Buy Children's Foundation and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, in 2015 YALSA will create an online clearinghouse of teen programming.  Users will be able to upload and share their own program ideas.

Programming Guidelines: a member taskforce is has developed national standards for planning, delivering and evaluating teen programs, and YALSA's Board of Directors will vote in March 2015 to adopt them.

Shark Bowl: Between now and April 1, 2015, submit your idea for a digital literacy-focused program or service that you want to offer the teens in your community for a chance to win a trip to ALA's Annual Conference in San Francisco as well as cash and technology prizes.  Learn more at http://yalsa.ala.org/shark/