Building Reflective Collections...Always Teens First

Monday, 3/20/2017 - Sunday, 4/16/2017

In this four-week eCourse, participants will explore building reflective, responsive collections that represent their teen communities. We will discuss ways to learn about patrons—both users and “not-yet” users, in addition to assessing current collections. In the process of acquiring materials, we will discuss #ownvoices, problematic reviews, counter stories and the need for diverse professional networks. The framework threading through this course will be that diverse collections are only one step in building inclusive libraries.  

Course themes:

    1. Learning about your Community
      • The Basics: Who is it...really?
      • Data
      • Surveys
      • “Soft” Data
      • Users + “Not Yet” Users
    2. Our Current Collections
      • Assessment
      • Identification of Gaps
      • Reaching out to your End Users / Stakeholders [teens, teachers, parents]
      • Weeding
    3. Acquiring New Materials
      • Librarians Reading Widely
      • The Nature of Reviews
      • Importance of #ownvoices
      • Counterstories
      • Collecting Beyond the Big Four of Historical Fiction, Social Issue Books, Award Winners, and Biographies
      • Digital Collections
      • Diverse Networks: Social Media, Conferences, Authors, Colleagues
    4. Reflective Books are Only the First Step
      • Libraries ≠ neutral: Collection Development as Social Justice
      • Using Diverse Collections to Build Inclusive Libraries
      • Programing
      • Design

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course partiipants will know how to:

  • Employ assessment techniques in their community in order to successfully build responsive and reflective collections for and with teens.
  • Design methods for connecting with teens who are not yet library users to build collections that meet their specific needs and interests
  • Recognize how to build diverse collections just right for the teens in their local community
  • Recognize how to build professional networks that support building inclusive library collections for and with teens

Who Should Attend

  • Public library staff working with teens
  • School library staff working with teens
  • Administrators looking to support teen library services
  • Out of school time providers that work with diverse populations


Julie Stivers (MSLS, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) has worked with teens in different settings, including schools in Durham and Wake Counties in North Carolina and with incarcerated youth at the Durham Youth Home. She is currently the Librarian at Mount Vernon School, an alternative public middle school in Raleigh, NC, where she loves finding engaging, reflective literature to put in her students’ hands.

Stivers has presented on diverse youth literature at conferences including YALSA’s Young Adult Literature Symposium and the National Conference of African American Librarians and Librarianship. Her research and writing have appeared in School Libraries Worldwide and on websites such as YALSA, School Library Journal, and American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL). She is a contributor to Middle School Monday, an SLJ Teen Librarian Toolbox blog and is the co-creator of Equity in the Library, a web-site devoted to collating information, resources, and research on issues of equity relating to library collections, programming, and services for ALL youth.




Individual Registration:

  • $155 YALSA members
  • $195 ALA Members
  • $215 nonmembers

Organization-Exclusive Course Offering: (20 or more registrants)

Note: With an organization-exclusive offering, all registrants, regardless of membership status, will receive the YALSA member rate. As CEUs are optional, if your organization would like its registrants to receive CEUs, an additional fee of $20 per person will be added to the individual's registration fee.

Organization-Exclusive Course Offering without CEUs - $155 per person
Organization-Exclusive Course Offering with CEUs - $175 per person

How to Register


To register visit the ALA Online Course Registration page.

For inquiries about how employees at your organization can participate in an offering exclusive to your group, please contact Linda W. Braun, YALSA CE Consultant at or 917 847 7804

Tech Requirements

Course platform information available in February.


1.2 CEUs are available for this course.


For more information contact Linda W. Braun, YALSA CE consultant, or 917 847 7804.