For immediate release | July 13, 2010

Real-world examples of risky change that pays off

CHICAGO—ALA Editions, the publishing imprint of the American Library Association, announces the release of “Risky Business: Taking and Managing Risks in Library Services for Teens,” by Linda W. Braun, Hillias J. Martin and Connie Urquhart for the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). In the world of YA services, change can be risky business, but librarians must be prepared to initiate change to best serve teens. In this exploration of a topic rarely discussed in depth, but central to YA services in school and public libraries today, innovators Linda W. Braun (2009–2010 YALSA president), Hillias J. Martin and Connie Urquhart explain how to be smart about taking risks without shying away from them. They offer concrete advice for:
  • laying the groundwork for change in key areas such as collection building and programming;
  • including technology components as part of traditional services, such as booktalks, information literacy instruction and book discussion groups;
  • effectively gaining support from administrators and colleagues.
Braun is an education technology consultant with LEO: Librarians & Educators Online. She provides training and consulting to schools, libraries and other educational institutions on how to integrate technology successfully. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science, where she teaches courses on web development and teen services. Braun has written numerous books and is also a TAG Team Tech columnist for “Voices of Youth Advocates.” She was blog manager for YALSA from 2006 through 2009.
Martin began working in libraries at the age of 13 as a volunteer at his local public library in Cornelia, Ga. Since then he has worked in Athens, Ga., and in Providence, R.I., leading him to his current position as assistant director for public programs and lifelong learning for children, teens and families at the New York Public Library. He’s an adjunct professor at Queens College and Pratt Institute, and is the co-author of the book “Serving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Teens: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Libraries.”
Urquhart is teen services coordinator for the Fresno County Public Library System, where she provides services to teens in all communities within Fresno County, Calif. She has presented workshops on booktalking, school and public library partnerships and technology.
The mission of YALSA is to advocate, promote and strengthen library service to teens, ages 12-18, as part of the continuum of total library services, and to support those who provide library service to this population.
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Jill Davis