For immediate release | May 17, 2021

YALSA announces collaboration with IBM to bring focused career prep to diverse teens nationwide

CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and IBM are collaborating to offer a series of skills-based trainings and webinars to their librarian network across the United States aimed at helping diverse teens gain access to key technical and professional skills.

IBM will offer librarians and teens affiliated with YALSA's over 3,600 member network supported access to IBM's free Open P-TECH ( digital skills and career readiness platform. Open P-TECH offers teens and their support systems the opportunity to learn about and build baseline skills in the emerging technologies that are changing the world of work and the world around us.

Teens will be able to learn about topics ranging from artificial intelligence to cloud computing, develop an understanding of the skill sets required to use and work with these technologies, and explore careers in emerging fields in need of skilled employees in the very near future.

Furthermore, Open P-TECH offers a wealth of workplace skill content ideal for teens who are starting out on their career exploration, from courses focused on how to build a professional resume, to ones focused on how to apply design thinking to solve challenging problems. Teens can earn digital badge credentials issued by IBM to begin their professional portfolios, and add those credentials to their LinkedIn profiles, resumes, and future college applications. Librarians across the YALSA network will be trained on how to leverage Open P-TECH's administrative features, from tracking student progress, to activating discussion forums.

YALSA members has long been focused on alleviating challenges that teens face, particularly those from diverse and/or underserved communities. The opportunity to expose teens in their communities to valuable skills of the future was one that made sense to YALSA's leadership. "Libraries play an essential role in helping young people, particularly those from vulnerable or underrepresented communities, prepare for vibrant, successful futures," said Justina Nixon-Saintil, IBM Vice President and Global Head, Corporate Social Responsibility. "That's why we at IBM are particularly happy to team up with YALSA to deliver Open P-TECH to teens as they gear up for a lifetime of learning and achievement." As part of the collaboration, IBM will run live training sessions for librarians to understand how they can leverage Open P-TECH with teens at their libraries, as well as offer live webinar opportunities that connect teens to IBM professionals on topics that are relevant to them.

The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail:


Adamma Ihemeson


American Library Association