Introduction to YALSA

18 Jul

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA, @yalsa on Twitter) is the foremost source of information and ideas for teen library services in the USA. While YA Library UK will eventually provide similar lists and services, YALSA has been running for decades and has developed an impressive arsenal of resources. A substantial number of YALSA’s resources may be grafted in part or full onto UK library services despite their US bias.

YALSA logoYALSA generates a huge number of book recommendations (including their yearly Best Books for Young Adults list and Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers). While some of the titles are unpublished or irrelevant to UK concerns, many are applicable.

Most of YALSA’s online courses (such as “Booktalks Quick and Simple” and “Growing, Managing and Defending the Young Adult Budget”) apply to UK as well as US libraries. These virtual courses can be accessed by anyone (including nonmembers) for a fee of under 200 USD (£130!).

Of course, not all of us have £130, which is where the YALSA blog and YALSA wiki really come in handy. Both are free and updated regularly with new ideas and discussion about YA books, films, music, online and offline gaming, and general library programming for teens, tweens, and young adults in their early 20s.

Finally, YALSA’s guiding documents may help to inform your burgeoning YA library service. These include Vision, Mission Statement, Priorities, Strategic and Action Plans, and Research Agenda.

YALSA has inspired everything from the name of this blog to my ideas for public lists of YA books, programming, and outreach (there will be more of those types of posts within the next week!). I often trawl the YALSA website and blog for new teen event ideas. If there is any particular YALSA document that you’ve found useful, please post a comment about it!

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