Programs & Special Events


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YALSA's Young Adult Services Symposium takes place Nov. 3-5, 2017, in Louisville, KY. YALSA will host special events requiring additional registration on Friday, with concurrent sessions taking place all day on Saturday and for a half-day on Sunday morning.

All attendees are eligible to receive a continuing education certificate showing the number of contact hours. There will be a signup sheet at registration and certificates will be e-mailed out two weeks following the Symposium. 

Ticketed Events  I  Free Evening Activities  I  Concurrent Sessions

Ticketed Events (these are an extra fee, optional, separate from registration)

The Five Laws of Library Programs for and with Teens, Friday, 9am-12pm, $79

Are you struggling with teen programs and looking for ways to get teens into your library? Tired of sitting in an empty room with cold pizza? Learn best practices for developing, implementing, and evaluating programs for teens. Attendees will share and learn about the following topics: formal and information programs, outreach, partnerships, funding challenges and opportunities, creating affirming spaces, and connected learning. 

Interactive Teen Lit:  Active and Passive Techniques to Expand Teens’ Reading Experience, Friday, 1pm-4pm, $79.
True literacy goes beyond translating letters into words; it’s immersing yourself in the emotions, characters, and events of a book and then relating those feelings and lessons back to your own life. This session will help you learn how to connect your teens beyond the text; active and passive programming and readers’ advisory techniques will be outlined along with ideas to help brainstorm new programs once you’ve returned to your library.  Attendees will leave with ideas for incorporating these techniques into their everyday work to better serve their teens.

The Muhammad Ali Center, Friday 1:00-4:00pm, $12.
The Muhammad Ali Center is a multicultural center with an award-winning museum dedicated to the life of Muhammad Ali. The Center museum captures the inspiration derived from the story of Muhammad Ali’s incredible life and the six core principles that have fueled his journey. The mission of the Muhammad Ali Center is to preserve and share the legacy and ideals of Muhammad Ali, to promote respect, hope, and understanding, and to inspire adults and children everywhere to be as great as they can be.  Transportation is not provided (it is a 10 minute walk from the Hyatt).  Attendees will meet at the Hyatt and walk over together.

Author Luncheon, Saturday, 12pm-1:30pm, $49. More info TBA.

Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Saturday, 6:30pm-9:00pm, $30.  

This private guided tour features an operating Artisanal Distillery where you will not only learn the process for making Bourbon, but you will see it being made right before your eyes. The tour also includes premium Bourbon tastings and concludes in our Retail Shop where you can take home an array of signature items, including a personalized bottle of Evan Williams. Transportation is not provided (it is a 10 minute walk from the Hyatt).  

Free Evening Activities (included with registration)

Opening Session: Fri. Nov. 3th at 5:00pm

Book Blitz, Sat. Nov. 6th, 5:00pm

Immediately following the concurrent sessions on Saturday, registrants can grab a free YALSA bag and attend the Book Blitz where they can score up to five free books and rub elbows with dozens of authors.  Hors d'oeuvres served. Cash bar.

Concurrent Sessions (included with registration) Saturday and Sunday, 8:30am-12:00pm, Closing session 12-1:30pm

Saturday, 8:30am-10:00am, Saturday, 10:30am-12:00pm, Saturday, 1:30pm-3:00pm, Sunday 8:30am-10:00am, Sunday, 10:30am-12:00pm. 

There will be three sessions to choose from in each of the above time slots.  Then, the Closing Session is from 12-1:30pm on Sunday.  Program descriptions are below.  Exact time slots for each program will be announced in September.

Create a Volunteer Program They Can't Resist!

Many of us love the idea of a volunteer program but quickly find the work load of "free" help overwhelming. With a little planning and some consideration of what your tweens, teens, and their families really need you can create a program where everyone wins.

We'll discuss:

  • Program Flexibility
  • Modern Volunteer Roles
  • Supporting Teens After Volunteering
  • How to Always Have a Task Ready
  • Volunteering as Career Prep/Mentoring
  • Translating Service into a Cash Value Measurement

Presenter: Megan Emery     
Audience: Both school and public library staff

Identity in YA: Representing All Teens - or - The Future Is Us: Who Are We?

This panel and Q&A pairs YA creators – writers, illustrators, and editors – with librarians to discuss the portrayal of diverse characters in YA and how these books can be used in public and school library programming. YA creators will highlight a book while their librarian partners will present programming ideas inspired by the titles that can be easily implemented in schools and public libraries.

The session will end with an audience Q&A.

Presenter: Shaina Birkhead    
Audience: Both school and public library staff

Helping Teens Navigate Information in a Post-Truth, Alternative Fact World

Helping Teens Navigate Information in a Post-Truth, Alternative Fact World explores trending news and press related media. This session provides guides which support teens as they evaluate sources and verify facts. Learn about successful library programs that have engaged teens through current events and empower them to share knowledge to better impact and influence their future.

Presenter: Sam Helmick    
Audience: Both school and public library staff

Ready, Set, Action!: Fostering Literacy, Creativity, and Empowerment through Teen Filmmaking and Theater Programming

Filmmaking and theater production programming provide opportunities to develop and showcase young people’s creativity, teamwork, perseverance, and innovation.  They also empower teens to explore their own passions and express their point of view. Our panel of librarians and educators will share techniques and best practices from their experiences creating successful teen filmmaking and theater production programs, including practical advice about collaborating, budgeting, acquiring technology, scriptwriting, and showcasing teen creations. Participants will gain strategies to leverage community partnerships, utilize digital media, evaluate learning outcomes, and encourage teen creators.

Presenter: Alice Son    
Audience: Both school and public library staff

Making Teens' Ideas Happen

What do teens REALLY want from your library?  To find out, give them a voice and a part to play in the nuts and bolts of the process!  From collection development to field trips, find out how teens in one high school library have made themselves an integral part of planning and grant-writing, and how to transplant ideas like these into your own programming.

Presenter: Catherine Andronik    
Audience: Both school and public library staff

Pioneers in Violence Prevention: Libraries and Rape Crisis Centers

Libraries and library staff are already models in their communities, particularly of the creation of safe and stable environments open to all community members; this session invites participants to explore how they can additionally become pioneers of violence prevention, specifically the prevention of bullying, dating, and sexual violence. By sharing examples of a partnership between the local library, high school, and rape crisis program in her own community, the facilitator will engage participants in discussions and activities designed to give them ideas and feasible action steps for working in their own communities to empower teens and adults to reduce violence.

Presenter: Loren Droege    
Audience: Both school and public library staff

Filling the Leaky STEM Pipeline: Teen Multi Media Learning for College and Career Readiness

This session will explore how library multi-media spaces and activities are catalysts for college and career exploration. Activities have evolved beyond the walls of the library, providing middle and high school students, especially at-risk and disconnected youth, with fun project opportunities that build interest in STEM subjects and prepare them for post-secondary options. Participants will learn how libraries are partnering with schools, business leaders, and other community entities to align programming, enlist career mentors, and address the “leaky STEM pipeline” by providing youth with opportunities to engage in active learning, develop skills. and make community connections for 21st century careers.

Presenter: Emily Samose    
Audience: Both school and public library staff

Everyday Disability: Welcoming and Empowering Teens with Disabilities  WHAT KINDS OF DISABILITIES, E MAILED 3/20

People with disabilities, be it physical, mental, or medical, are among the most disadvantaged in our society. According to the US Department of Labor, only 16% of people with disabilities will complete a Bachelor’s degree and less than 50% will find gainful employment. This session will offer actionable strategies for welcoming teens with disabilities into your libraries and helping prepare them for college and future careers. A brief presentation will be followed by case studies with a focus on group brainstorming and time for questions and discussion. After this session, attendees should feel confident in advocating for and empowering their teens to succeed.

Presenter: Vera Haynes    
Audience: Both school and public library staff

Introducing Coding and Technology to Teens in After School Programming: A Tale of School & Public Library Partnership

Providing opportunities for teens to learn new skills that make them more viable candidates in the workforce can be difficult. With a new emphasis on introducing coding to students, Boone County Public Library partnered with area middle schools to bring coding clubs and 3D Printing Club into the schools' after school offerings. Learn how this partnership started and has evolved, and how you do not need to be an expert to create these clubs, and hear from teen participants to discover why they joined, their thoughts on the program, and what they like and don't like about the clubs.

Presenter: Pamela Jayne    
Audience: Both school and public library staff

Makers with a Cause: Building a Better Future in Your Library

Librarians can lead the way in empowering youth in our communities to be the change they wish to see in the world. Service based projects can increase the scope of your library programming through nurturing philanthropic qualities and instilling an empathic mindset in teens. The presenter will discuss her MakerCare initiative, a maker program empowering teens to make a difference through creating authentic items to be donated to charitable organizations. Takeaways include how to build community partnerships and numerous project ideas from simple low cost crafts to 3-D models and wearable technology.

Presenter: Gina Seymour    
Audience: Both school and public library staff

Leave No Teen Behind: A Teen Driven Mental Health Initiative

The Pasadena Public Library Teen Mental Health Initiative is teen driven. From inception to implementation, the Teen Advisory Board co-creates and co-leads with library staff to sustain a mental health resource center and provide their peers with free access to mental health resources and programs to advocate for teens with mental illness. This presentation will give attendees a complete plan and insight on how libraries can engage their youth and community partners to help all teens build a better future together.

Presenters: Jane Gov and Deborah Takahashi    
Audience: Both school and public library staff

The Real-World Road to Virtual Reality: Our Journey to Incorporate VR Gaming into Teen Programming

One quick peek into Virtual Reality convinced our library to incorporate this cutting-edge technology into our established teen gaming program.  That was the easiest decision of the whole process. It led us to investigate various VR systems in order to choose the best fit for us, to seek and combine grant opportunities to pay for it, to carefully navigate through the often-violent games to find titles that are both library-appropriate and what teens want to play, and even to develop extra hygiene procedures to keep the helmets clean.  Come hear what we discovered along our journey to help you decide if this path would be right for your programming - and perhaps take a quick peek into Virtual Reality yourself with Google Cardboard!

Presenter: Laura Bjornson    
Audience: Both school and public library staff

Helping Teens Make a Difference

This session will demonstrate the steps involved in bringing service groups from several local high schools together to participate in National Make a Difference Day. Over 50 high school students came together to work on various projects for agencies in one community. The library provided the materials, the project ideas, and the meeting space, and the teens supplied the labor and enthusiasm. In this session we will delineate the planning, coordination, and communication that are necessary to undertake this type of event.  The teens left that community room energized, engaged, and eager for a similar program in the future.

Presenter: Anne Rhodes    
Audience: Both school and public library staff

Don’t SEL Yourself Short: How to Build Social-Emotional Learning into Any Teen Program

Youth need more than traditional literacies to succeed in life – they also need emotional intelligence.  Learn how you can build Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) into any teen program and help your teens develop their self-management, social awareness, and relationship skills.  You’ll leave this collaborative session with great resources and concrete ideas for incorporating SEL at your library.

Presenter: Brin Bugo    
Audience: Both school and public library staff

College Access Resources: An Overview

Teens who apply to college without the assistance of a professional are likely to come across scholarship scams, invitations to apply for unnecessary high-interest loans, and misleading or outdated information. This session will focus on introducing some of the high-quality resources (both print and online) that librarians serving college-bound teens should be familiar with and will show how these individual tools can be used to help teens and their families.

Presenter: Amy Estersohn    
Audience: Both school and public library staff

You Want to Do This! College Career Readiness with Middle Schoolers & Community Partners

How do you take activities you are already sponsoring for middle school youth and tweak them to include college career readiness components? What are some ways to connect with community partners to help middle schoolers think about their futures? Why should you pay attention to college career readiness in middle school? In this session, facilitated by participants in YALSA’s Future Ready with the Library IMLS funded project, you’ll learn the answers to those questions and more.