LLAMA Report on YALSA Summit on Services to Teens

Submitted by Mary Frances Burns.  On January 23rd and 24th, prior to Midwinter, I was privileged to serve as LLAMA’s Representative to YALSA’s Summit on Teens and Libraries, the face-to-face component of a National Forum on Libraries and Teens funded by a grant YALSA received from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

In order to “come to the table” prepared for productive discussion, prior to this summit, representatives from libraries, library schools, the educational community, publishers, and various organizations committed to serving / studying youth,  read (and watched) various documents related to teens, their needs, and what services to teens could/should be like.

The above issues were then examined at the Summit with the aid of speakers, panels, and moderated small group discussions, each having representatives from the various constituencies represented.  Students from the Library School at the University of Washington captured all the comments made in the moderated discussions. What was unique, and dare I say special, about this summit was the different perspectives of the variety of people present, all who care about youth.  The data gathered here, along with that from several town hall meetings, will be used to produce a report that will provide direction on how Libraries need to adapt to better meet the needs of 21st century teens.

As both your representative for this endeavor, and as a public library director who is conscious of teens “as our future”, I invite you to participle in one of the upcoming virtual town halls.  Help us to continue the discussion started in Seattle, and ensure that all libraries are better positioned to serve teens and youth.  For more information and to access the link to the Town Hall on Tuesday, March 19th, please visit www.ala.org/yaforum.

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