Through networking, advocacy, and professional development, the Young Adult Library Services Association empowers all those involved in the profession to provide equitable, diverse and inclusive teen services.
Our vision is that all teens, from a variety of backgrounds including, but not limited to ability, class, gender-identity, sexual orientation, race, religion and power-differentiated groups, will have access to quality library programs and services ‒ no matter where they occur ‒ that are tailored to the community and that create new opportunities for all teens’ to promote personal growth, academic success, and career development, while linking teens and staff to resources, connected learning opportunities, coaching, and mentoring.
To meaningfully address the challenges teens face today, to foster safe spaces, and to put more teens on the path to a successful and fulfilling life, YALSA will support library staff who work for and with teens in the transformation of teen library services so that:
- Libraries reach out and equitably serve ALL teens in the community, understanding that teens come with a variety of interests and needs and come from a variety of backgrounds, including but not limited to race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, class and abilities.
- The library “space” is at once both physical and virtual. It connects teens to other people, printed materials, technology, and digital content, not limiting teens to a designated teen area but rather inviting them into the full scope of the library’s assets and offerings.
- Teens co-create, co-evaluate, and co-evolve library programs and activities with library staff and skilled volunteers (including mentors and coaches) based on their passions and interests. These programs and activities are inclusive of a diversity of teen voices; connected to teens’ personal, work, or academic interests across multiple literacies; generate measurable outcomes for teens’ skills and knowledge; and are tailored to the community.
- To provide continuing education, resources, and support for professionals and paraprofessionals working with teens.
It will be essential for the YALSA Board, staff, and members to use this intended impact statement to determine whether or not proposed initiatives are appropriate for YALSA to pursue with its time, energy, and financial resources. Thoughtful consideration will ensure YALSA's efforts are best aligned to impact the issues that matter most.
-Adopted by YALSA's Board of Directors on October 17, 2018 as part of YALSA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Plan