Issues & Current Projects

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

Badges for Learning: 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 badge site launched in August 2015. Read about an overview of the project via this four page case study (.pdf) from Mozilla.

Cultural Competence: over the past year a taskforce has been working to compile resources to help library staff build cultural competence skills and knoweldge in order to better serve the teens in their communities.  Visit YALSA's wiki to access their compilation.

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

Maker/Making 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 worked 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.  The Board of Directors adopted the document in June 2015.

Teen Programming HQ: with grant funds from the Best Buy Children's Foundation and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, YALSA launched an online clearinghouse of teen programming on Oct. 1, 2015.  Users can upload and share their own program ideas as well as talk about programming related issues via forums.

Programming Guidelines: a member taskforce has developed national standards for planning, delivering and evaluating teen programs, and YALSA's Board of Directors voted March, 5, 2015 to adopt them.

Shark Bowl: Up until April 1, 2015, members could submit their 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  Winners were announced in July via this press release.

Strategic Planning:  YALSA’s Board of Directors is working now through Feb. to develop a new strategic plan for the organization for 2016—2018.  The report, "The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action" is the guiding force behind the development of the new plan.  For weekly news and updates now through Feb. 2016, visit the "YALSA Info" section of the YALSAblog. To access the current strategic plan, visit this web page.  To provide your input, ask questions, or volunteer to support rolling out the new plan, please fill out this brief form.

Teen Tech Week