Youth Matters, by Joquetta Johnson

Empower Student Voices

September 3, 2019

Inspired by the 2015 protests following the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who fell into a coma in Baltimore Police Department custody, I developed Lyrics as Literature. The program is a series of four lessons designed to support the district curriculum, amplify student voices, and bring awareness to social justice issues. Each lesson is … Continue reading Empower Student Voices


Amber Williams

Libraries as Sustenance

June 23, 2019

“If food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest country in greenhouse emissions,” Erica Freudenberger, outreach consultant at Southern Adirondack (N.Y.) Library System (SALS), told attendees at “Food for Thought,” a June 22 session at the American Library Association’s 2019 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. “Despite an abundance, many don’t have … Continue reading Libraries as Sustenance


Youth Matters, by Julie Stivers

Building Inclusive Libraries

June 3, 2019

One way I’ve been fortunate enough to do this in my middle school library has been through an initiative called the #LibFive. With 8th graders Cesar Falcon, Jose Gomez, and Jaida Morris, the #LibFive has leveraged teen insights and experiences to create a student-driven professional development program for youth librarians—initially in our district and eventually … Continue reading Building Inclusive Libraries


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




Tweens at Evergreen Community Library in Metamora, Ohio, covered librarian Debbie Henricks in balloons to celebrate a 2017 summer reading milestone. Photo: Courtesy of Evergreen Community Library

By the Numbers: Summer Reading

July 12, 2018

95 Percent of libraries that offer summer reading programs, according to the American Library Association’s 2014 Digital Inclusion Survey. 4-5 Number of books children should read over break to prevent “summer slide,” a loss in reading achievement experienced by young readers between school years, according to a 2004 Harvard study. Studies show children from low-income … Continue reading By the Numbers: Summer Reading


Drew Alvey (in red shirt), manager of Houston Public Library's Stimley–Blue Ridge branch, models interactive play for families. Photo: Houston Public Library

Bringing Libraries to WIC

June 1, 2018

It’s a question that Marisa Conner, manager of youth and family engagement at Baltimore County (Md.) Public Library (BCPL), says her staffers are often asked when doing outreach at Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) centers. She explains: Many WIC clients, particularly those originally from other countries, aren’t sure what a library is or whether it … Continue reading Bringing Libraries to WIC


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


Speakers at the SXSW EDU “Ready to Code: Libraries Supporting CS Education” panel (from left) Mega Subramaniam, Linda Braun, Nicky Rigg, and moderator Tim Carrigan.

Libraries and the Computer Education Spectrum

March 12, 2018

Moderator Tim Carrigan, senior program officer at the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), presented a picture of how the CT work of libraries closely aligns with national and IMLS priorities. Carrigan highlighted the shifts in library practice over the past decade, such as emphasizing audience engagement and experience, embedding activities and programs in … Continue reading Libraries and the Computer Education Spectrum


At Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Civic Data Zine Camp, young adults learned data literacy concepts by presenting statistical narratives and visualizations in a handmade zine format. Photo: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Engaging Civic-Minded Teens

March 1, 2018

But what about data literacy? Did librarians tackle charts and graphs as much as headlines? And what about teens, who are often overlooked in the context of civic and voter preparedness? Increasingly, librarians are addressing these questions by bringing statistical education and opportunities to young adults—and they’re using massive collections of open civic datasets to … Continue reading Engaging Civic-Minded Teens


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