Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Achieving Relevance

May 2, 2022

On the surface, the staffers who decided to put up the banner most likely wanted people passing by to know that libraries provide a variety of services that go beyond checking out materials. Perhaps they also hoped that if members of the community knew more about these services, they would perceive the library as a … Continue reading Achieving Relevance


Youth Matters, by Molly June Roquet

Rethinking Digital Literacy

March 1, 2022

But instead of helping students understand these phenomena, digital literacy curricula tend to focus on individual behavior and responsibilities: Do protect your private information. Don’t cyberbully your classmates. Do use citations. These lessons often aim to correct perceived misbehavior or build academic skills but do little to raise students’ awareness of the complex social issues … Continue reading Rethinking Digital Literacy


Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Crisis Averted

January 3, 2022

Consider, for example, a library activity in which teens can talk about the spaces that make them feel comfortable and can help design an area of the library that is just for them. In this exercise, teens articulate what evokes happiness and calm—two emotional states that are central to positive mental health—and are given an … Continue reading Crisis Averted


Youth Matters, by Julia Torres

The Switch to Genrefication

September 1, 2021

Early on, students would often ask, “Miss, where can I find the ______ books?” I love few things more than finding just the right book for each student. But as the library’s lone staff member, suggesting books to those browsing titles can get overwhelming when I’m trying to teach class, check students into the workspace, … Continue reading The Switch to Genrefication


Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

What Does It Take?

June 1, 2021

The pandemic has only reinforced questions youth services staffers have asked themselves before: What skills, knowledge, and mindsets are needed to serve young people and their caregivers in the modern age? And in particular, what does it take to reach nondominant youth and families? (That is, those who belong to historically marginalized groups and may … Continue reading What Does It Take?




Youth Matters, by Jennifer Casa-Todd

Making Time to Check In

January 4, 2021

We’re in a crisis unlike any other, so we must make time to check in with our students. Similar to the way we hold icebreakers and getting-to-know-you activities in our classrooms at the beginning of each school year to familiarize ourselves with our students, we can find ways to gauge wellness and build connection amid … Continue reading Making Time to Check In


Youth Matters, by Becky Calzada, Anita Cellucci, and Courtney Lewis

Reset and Reconnect

November 2, 2020

This past summer, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) created a document and chart titled “School Librarian Role in Pandemic Learning Conditions” to assist K–12 librarians as they encounter a variety of situations this school year. The document analyzes the five key roles that we fill—instructional partner, teacher, leader, information specialist, and program administrator—in … Continue reading Reset and Reconnect


Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

From Reactive to Proactive

September 1, 2020

I noticed that youth library workers were, understandably, operating in reactive mode. But a quote from Bob Johansen, the author and futurist who introduced the VUCA Prime model in 2007, helped me realize this may not be the best method: “You have to be very clear where you’re going but very flexible in how you … Continue reading From Reactive to Proactive


Youth Matters, by Leigh Fox

Partners in Crisis

June 1, 2020

As youth librarians, our most important partners are schools and educators, which these days include many caregivers who have been thrown into homeschooling for the first time. In my system, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library (BPL), staffers have been busily figuring out ways to provide resources that our students, parents, and teachers may need as they … Continue reading Partners in Crisis


Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Give Teens the Lead

May 1, 2020

As Luke Kirkland, teen department head at the Waltham (Mass.) Public Library, describes teen-driven services, they are initiated by youth: “Adults are invited to support teens in executing their ideas. Teens retain power of decision making and agency throughout execution.” It’s important that our libraries progress from a teen-centered to a teen-driven model. The latter … Continue reading Give Teens the Lead