YALSA releases new report, Transforming Library Services for and with Teens Through Continuing Education

For Immediate Release
Thu, 05/31/2018


Anna Lam

Communications Specialist

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)


CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association has released its new report, Transforming Library Services for and with Teens Through Continuing Education (CE). The report was authored by Linda W. Braun, YALSA CE Consultant; Nicole A. Cooke, Director of the MS/LIS program at the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign; Denise Lyons, Deputy Director of Statewide Development at the South Carolina State Library; Sara Ryan, Teen Services Specialist at Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon; and Beth Yoke, YALSA Executive Director.

The report is the result of a year-long national forum that took place from June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018, and was hosted in partnership with the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) and generously funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

“At YALSA we believe it is critical that all library staff, in all types of libraries, engage in continuous learning (CE) in order to be able to effectively serve teens,” said YALSA President Sandra Hughes-Hassell. “The recommended strategies included in this report provide guidance for various stakeholder groups on how to transform CE opportunities and create a culture of continual learning thus enabling library staff to put teens first.”

The project brought together state library agency (SLA) chief officers, youth consultants, library practitioners and others to discuss the challenges, opportunities, and recommendations for improving CE for library staff to aid them in transforming teen services. These discussions took place both in-person and virtually and resulted in the following overarching recommendations to help improve the CE landscape for serving teens through libraries:

  1. Commit to CE that promotes deeper learning  
  2. Connect with others to provide a richer learning experience 
  3. Create an organizational culture that prioritizes staff learning   
  4. Embrace effective models for CE

Additionally, recommendations for specific stakeholders such as national organizations, state library agencies, public and school library staff, funders, and more were identified. Recommendations for each group include some or all of the following:

  • Setting a strategy and vision for CE
  • Identifying and promoting models and best practices
  • Building capacity
  • Embracing and promoting a culture of learning
  • Advocating for high quality CE
  • Embracing national guidelines
  • Advancing a 21st century vision for teen services
  • Adopting best practices in CE delivery
  • Gathering data for informed decision making

Learn more about the project and access the executive summary and the full report here. A follow-up project titled “Transforming Teen Services: A Train the Trainer Approach,” which will implement many of the recommendations mentioned in the report, will start July 1, 2018. Learn more at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/train-trainer-project.

COSLA is an independent organization of the chief officers of state and territorial agencies designated as the state library administrative agency and responsible for statewide library development. Its purpose is to provide leadership on issues of common concern and national interest; to further state library agency relationships with federal government and national organizations; and to initiate cooperative action for the improvement of library services to the people of the United States.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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 www.ala.org/yalsa, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail: yalsa@ala.org.