Youth Matters

Outside-the-Box Outreach

November 1, 2018

Your youth services staffers may already be doing this outreach. For instance, your library might bring storytimes to local day cares or crafts to after-school programs. But what about reaching the adults in your community as a means of reaching the kids? This outside-the-box approach to youth services outreach can reap results beyond what you … Continue reading Outside-the-Box Outreach


Tom Bober

The Power of Primary Sources

September 4, 2018

My 1st-grade students recently prepared for a trip to the National Museum of Transportation in St. Louis by analyzing photographs and films of streetcars to better understand the part they played in our city. Inspired to share their learning, students wrote about streetcars and built their own with simple tools like paper, scissors, tape, and … Continue reading The Power of Primary Sources


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


Abby Johnson

Helping Hands

May 1, 2018

At the New Albany–Floyd County (Ind.) Public Library, where I work, we have a teen volunteer program that starts at age 11. We get a high volume of requests for volunteer hours because of a service requirement at a nearby middle school. We’re one of the only games in town for these kids, many of … Continue reading Helping Hands


To Preserve and Protect

March 1, 2018

As we observe Preservation Week (April 22–26), keep in mind that even our youngest students are eager to hear about cultural and historic preservation from the people most invested in it. Our learners realize that everybody has a story and that these stories make a difference. My own preservation journey with 3rd graders at Pilot … Continue reading To Preserve and Protect


Abby Johnson

Self-Directed Programming

January 2, 2018

Hosting a large variety of library programs may be easy when you have enough money, staff members, and space, but what do you do when that’s not the case? How can you stretch your offerings? Self-directed programming is a great way to provide value while mitigating costs. We’ve all experienced that patron who seems to … Continue reading Self-Directed Programming


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


Abby Johnson

Leadership in Librarianship

September 1, 2017

These questions have been on my mind since I attended Power Up: A Conference in Leadership for Youth Services Managers and Staff at the Information School of the University of Wisconsin–Madison in March. This amazing event had a dynamic array of presenters who talked about topics such as empowering teens to be leaders, finding your programming style, … Continue reading Leadership in Librarianship


Megan Roberts

Inclusive Storytimes

June 1, 2017

The month of June, which is both Pride Month and the American Library Association’s (ALA) GLBT Book Month, is a perfect time to celebrate the voices and experiences of the LGBTQ community. I founded Family Storytime at the LGBT Center of Raleigh (N.C.) Library with Director Erin Iannacchione in 2012, after noticing there were few … Continue reading Inclusive Storytimes


Abby Johnson

Summer Reading Reboot

May 1, 2017

It’s understandable. Summer is a busy time at the public library, and repeating a program saves work, even if it’s not the best thing for your youth participants or staff. Though your plans for summer reading are probably set, now is an opportune time to take inventory of what you’re doing, what is and isn’t … Continue reading Summer Reading Reboot



Ashley J. Cooksey

Partnerships Beyond Four Walls

January 3, 2017

Sometimes collaboration is accidental. I’ve had lessons that just happened to coordinate with the curriculum. For instance, our library at West Magnet Elementary in Batesville, Arkansas, was able to give students a “virtual field trip” via live stream to see President Barack Obama answering questions at DC Public Library’s Anacostia branch. Our 4th graders were … Continue reading Partnerships Beyond Four Walls