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?



Call Number Podcast: Let Them Lead

November 13, 2020

In Episode 56, Call Number looks at library efforts to support and engage teen activism. First, American Libraries Associate Editor Sallyann Price speaks with Donnell Washington, senior library assistant at Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library, about the Better Hope for Tomorrow virtual summit for teens that he helped organize. Next, American Libraries Managing Editor Terra Dankowski … Continue reading Call Number Podcast: Let Them Lead


Teen Librarians Talk Empowerment

November 11, 2020

This year’s symposium focused on partnerships, empowerment, and using YA literature to promote equity. At the Saturday, November 7 session “Our Teens Have a Voice: Methods in Planning and Executing a Youth Conference on Social Justice,” the two presenters—Erin Hoopes, branch manager of Philadelphia City Institute of the Free Library of Philadelphia, and Gabrielle Miller, … Continue reading Teen Librarians Talk Empowerment



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: 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


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


A robot displays aspects of computational thinking. Photo: Jamie Santoro

Focusing on Teen Needs

November 7, 2018

Three key takeaways from the symposium: Students need computational thinking (CT) to succeed. YALSA 2018 Symposium attendees had an opportunity to experience CT in action in “It’s True: Computational Thinking and Libraries Are a Perfect Match,” an interactive session led by Marijke Visser, associate director and senior policy advocate for the American Library Association’s Public … Continue reading Focusing on Teen Needs


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