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

Contract Concerns

November 1, 2019

The American Library Association–Allied Professional Association’s Library Worklife site states: “Union contracts often provide for fair and flexible working hours, better pay for overtime and work on evenings and weekends, more paid holidays, paid family and medical leave, and employer help with child care and elder care.” These conditions are undoubtedly important. But when talking … Continue reading Contract Concerns


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