Author Archive: Linda W. Braun

Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Connect to Connected Learning

May 1, 2019

“Library staffers still are uncertain what the [CL] framework actually encompasses and how to integrate it into library services for and with teens,” says Lance Simpson, youth services director at Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Public Library. Simpson is a member of the project Transforming Teen Services: A Train the Trainer Approach (T3). A joint endeavor of the … Continue reading Connect to Connected Learning


Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Career Readiness for Teens

January 2, 2019

“Our Teen Squad programs are driven by youth interests while focusing on work readiness and 21st-century skills development,” says Kate Aubin, teen educator at PPL. “With our diverse community partners, we provide interactive and engaging competency-based programming that builds relationships and connects teens to workforce development opportunities.” One such offering under the umbrella of Teen … Continue reading Career Readiness for Teens


Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Organizational Barriers

June 1, 2018

I’ve thought a lot about this disconnect and realized that, at least in part, library staffers continue to stay inside because of systemic barriers. What are some of these barriers? Job descriptions. Think about how your work is defined. Do your responsibilities include regularly going outside of the building to build relationships with teens and … Continue reading Organizational Barriers


Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Undoing Harm

November 1, 2017

Teens sometimes talk loudly, run around the building, or harass peers and those younger or older than themselves. They may get into fights or act carelessly with library materials. One way schools and libraries are working to help teens effectively manage these behaviors—and lessen behavior problems overall—is through restorative justice. In a May webinar on … Continue reading Undoing Harm



Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Ready to Code

September 1, 2016

The OITP–Google project, Libraries Ready to Code, launched in April 2016 and will continue through the fall of this year. The team working on the project hosted focus groups and one-on-one interviews and conducted site observations in order to learn what’s going on across the country. As project researcher for this initiative, I wanted to … Continue reading Ready to Code


Linda W. Braun

Using Design Thinking

May 31, 2016

What if I said that that’s not how that program—or any library program—should work? By running a program in that way you aren’t really supporting youth learning. Imagine instead if you: Start by asking youth to talk with one another, in small groups or in a full group, about what they like and don’t like … Continue reading Using Design Thinking


Linda Braun

Everything Is Messy

October 30, 2015

I realized that word was a fitting—and not necessarily negative—description. Many people serving youth and families in libraries may find it to be a “messy” business. It’s messy because: The audience we work with is not static. What youth and families need is always changing, and how libraries support those needs has to change too. … Continue reading Everything Is Messy



Linda Braun

Listen First

May 20, 2015

Listening and not speaking up are often hard for me. I think they’re hard for many library staffers. Those working in libraries are often so focused on telling others about all the great stuff we have to offer youth and families—databases, homework help, free books, downloadable music, etc.—that we don’t always make sure we understand … Continue reading Listen First


Linda Braun

Moving Beyond Same-Old

December 10, 2013

As I wrote this column, I decided to check my go-to dictionary, the Merriam-Webster, about the definition of “outreach.” It stated: “the extending of services or assistance beyond current or usual limits <an outreach program>; also: the extent of such services or assistance.” Youth services outreach frequently centers on luring young people inside the library … Continue reading Moving Beyond Same-Old


Linda Braun

The Whole Library Approach

August 12, 2013

It’s probably no surprise to you that sometimes library staffers prefer to work with one age group over another. Children’s services staff members may love working with kids but may not be so crazy about working with teens or adults; young adult staffers may be wild about teenagers, but preschoolers and adults may be another … Continue reading The Whole Library Approach