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


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


Getting Teens “Real Ready” for the Future

June 27, 2017

The case studies that were shared with YALSA membership at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago on June 26 were sterling examples of the impact young adults can have—on their neighborhoods, their futures, themselves—when libraries and local organizations support their needs, interests, careers, and visions. The library projects profiled spanned the … Continue reading Getting Teens “Real Ready” for the Future


Librarians Go to Juvie

June 27, 2017

In Monday’s session “Librarians Go to Juvie,” Susan Warner, head of youth services at Kalamazoo Public Library (KPL), explained that 85% of juveniles involved with the court system are functionally low-literate, and involvement with the court system dramatically increases the high school dropout rate. In addition, 70% of all incarcerated adults cannot read at a … Continue reading Librarians Go to Juvie


The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Welcoming Schools and the National Education Association organized national I Am Jazz school and community readings in May. Photo: Human Rights Campaign

Standing Up for Our Communities

June 21, 2017

Underserved communities need libraries now more than ever, and among the most vulnerable communities are youth who identify as LGBTQ+. Unfortunately, library services to this group are, at the moment, “woefully inadequate,” despite the social and legal progress the community has made over the past several years. Yet libraries must take on and live up … Continue reading Standing Up for Our Communities


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