For immediate release | July 24, 2012

Learn to build programs for teens, by teens in new eCourse!

CHICAGO — ALA Editions announces a new facilitated eCourse, Collaborating with Teens to Build Better Library with Jennifer Velásquez.

Only a foundation of teen participation can build a vibrant scene such as the one in San Antonio’s main library, where teens use computers, listen to music, take cooking classes, do homework, participate in books clubs and generally hang out.

“Teens want a place that welcomes them; they want a role in decision-making, a place that responds to their needs, where they can congregate, socialize, and have a relationship with adults that care about them, who are not their teachers or parents," says Jennifer Velásquez, coordinator of teen services for the San Antonio Public Library System (Texas) and a 2011 Library Journal Mover and Shaker.

In this ALA Editions eCourse, Velásquez will present practical strategies for giving teens the lead in developing high-appeal collections and services. Through lectures, readings and interactive assignments, you will also learn how to draw from the insights of teens to create an online presence that is both relevant and effective.

Topics include:

  • identifying and overcoming possible internal and external barriers to teen library programming including lack of funds and organizational resistance;
  • how to position teens for success in program development and implementation;
  • designing teen-friendly library spaces;
  • developing, maintaining and displaying your collection for teens;
  • publicizing your library effectively with social media and the Web;
  • motivating teen volunteers;
  • developing library policy that works for teens, by teens;
  • how to demonstrate positive results to library administrators, board members, city officials, community members and other stakeholders through high-impact, low-cost methods such as photos, videos and teen comments.

In addition to her role in the San Antonio Public Library System, Jennifer Velásquez is a lecturer in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University (Calif.). In 2005, she was awarded the New York Times Librarian Award in recognition of her work in teen library services. She also received the La Promesa Award for Outstanding Programming to Latino Youth from The National Latino Children's Institute in 1996.

Registration for this ALA Editions facilitated eCourse, which begins on Sept. 4, 2012, can be purchased at the ALA Store. Participants in this course will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message board participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (MP3 files), and downloading and viewing PDF and PowerPoint files.

ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide.


Dan Freeman


ALA Online Resources (AOR)

(800) 545-2433 ext.5413