Tag Archives: teen librarian

Giveaway WINNERS Announced (Plus an Anaemic Links Round-Up)

13 Apr

Our regularly scheduled programming has been… well, rather irregular this week. The normal posting schedule will resume again next week.

The (belatedly announced – sorry!) winners of the YA Library UK Giveaway are M, who wins a copy of The Ultimate Teen Book Guide, and Lee Mumbray-Williams, who has won a bundle of three new YA novels! Congratulations to both of you.

A few links:

The Edge authors give their top eight writing tips for aspiring young writers.

The Worcestershire Teen Book Award announced their 2011 winner on 22nd March.

As always, I recommend having a look at Teen Librarian, UKYA, and Teen Librarian’s Toolbox.

You should expect a brand new post on Monday!

Links Round-Up (in Brief): UKYA, Teens & Autism, E-Readers, and More

5 Apr

UKYA, a new website “celebrating Young Adult fiction from the United Kingdom.” Read posts at Teen Librarian and Small Blue Thing to find out a bit more about UKYA.

Teens and Autism is an article written by a young person whose younger brother has autism.

A new study suggests that e-readers encourage boys to read more.

This article about “a real-life ‘Hunger Games'” in North Korea might spark a discussion amongst pupils or members of your teen reading group.

This isn’t exactly new, but if you want updates on The Reading Agency’s MyVoice project, check out the latest MyVoice Roadshow news.

On a Shoestring: Reaching Teens in a Few Hours Every Week (or) How to Use Time Effectively When You Don’t Have Any

2 Apr

cupcakes

Quality over Quantity

Recently a commenter mentioned that time is their main challenge to delivering excellent teen service. This is true for many librarians in a variety of sectors, especially in the era of budget cuts (speak up and save libraries!). While you may be aware of external sources of money for libraries and teen projects, it’s difficult to use that money to positive effect without a little time to do it.

Spend time near the teen books

The first place to do outreach is in your own library! Don’t hover or make up jobs, but do appear sometimes and chat to teens whenever you’re looking over books for ideas of what to order next, editing the collection, or putting up posters or displays or signs or leaflets in the teen area. Ask if there are any books they’d like you to order, or if they can think of any events or improvements to the library. Obviously you can’t do everything that’s asked of you, and it’s important to make that clear. But it’s also important to get feedback from young people currently using your service. At least a few of them will have passionate opinions, and be interested in becoming more involved with library offerings.

Dedicate a few hours to outreach

It can even be an hour a month of outreach, to start. Visit a school or a youth club. If you have teen events, prepare some activities or a quick presentation on those. If you don’t, or if you’d rather do something related to your materials, why not try a book talk?

If you go into one school every month that schools are in session, you could easily reach a few hundred young people every year. You’ll also become a friendly face for young people who feel nervous or unwelcome in the library. Young people are far more likely to use the library if they know there is a staff person who is kind, patient, and interested in listening to them.

Work in partnership

One meeting can save ten hours. If you have few or no outreach hours, meeting with someone who can reach the teens you want to work with can be a huge time saver. Your local council will have a department dedicated to all variety of youth services, including local youth clubs, at-risk teens and young offenders, NEETs (young people not in employment or work), and others who can use your service – but may not.

Introduce yourself to youth workers in the council. Tell them a little about your current services for teens, or what you’d like to offer. Ask them about programmes they think youth would like to see, and the best ways to reach local young people. Most youth workers who I have met are interested in getting teens more involved with libraries and reading.

Quality over quantity

It’s better to run, say, one really fun event every two months than to run an poorly planned event every week. It’s also a good way to gauge interest in recurrent activities or groups and make a case for them. Put your energy into a few really good projects, rather than trying to reach every teen all the time.

Support teens in running their own projects and create teen volunteer positions

This tactic requires you to spend time in order to save it. Teens do need some guidance for self-led projects and volunteering, but they can also help run events that you would never be able to put on without their ideas and investment. Read Teen Volunteers and Your Library for more information.

Apply for money for staff training

A little goes a long way. Many staff members are frightened of teens or feel “out of their depth.” Even a few hours of staff training (you can apply for money to fund this via your local branch of CILIP. Some, like East of England, accept applications from local libraries even if the applicants are not current CILIP members. Various Youth Libraries Group branches offers bursaries for conferences and other professional development projects.

Keep records of everything

Nothing is more frustrating than hunting around for that sheet of great book talk ideas, or trying to remember how many hours your teen volunteers have amassed. Don’t forget to keep records, even if they’re brief!

Know a brilliant timesaving technique? Comment or tweet it @yalibraryuk.

Links Round-Up: Two Months’ Worth of News, Activities, Conferences, Contests, and Giveaways

29 Mar

Regular posts resume on Monday, after a six week hiatus. In the meantime, catch up on some teen librarian news.

News and Relevant Reading

CILIP has revealed the full scale of the library cuts.

The Booked Up scheme has been withdrawn and replaced with a scheme that requires schools to pay.

The EDGE has taken over the March edition of Teen Librarian Monthly and provided the world with lovely gems like “Story Time for Teens,” “You Should Read This! It’s Great!: Be Wary of Telling Teens to Read,” and “Guardians of Innocence
How One Writer Feels About the Taboos of YA Fiction.”

Anne Harding makes some good points related to Ofsted’s “Moving English Forward” report and pleasure reading for secondary school pupils.

Activity Guides

April is Script Frenzy month, during which young people (and adults) can dedicate the month to writing 50 pages of a script. Click on the link above to find more information and teaching resources.

World Poetry Day (21 March) has passed, but the Guardian’s guide to teaching poetry has good ideas for any day of the year.

My Fake Wall and Fakebook allow you to design fictional Facebook pages “for study purposes.” So you could, for example, design a “Facebook” page for a fictional character, an author, a historical figure, et cetera. Check out the Fakebook pages of Hermes and Martin Luther. I can imagine a ton of fun uses for this, especially in a school library!

Conferences and Training

YLF Scotland Spring Conference running four sessions for working with teens: http://teenlibrarian.co.uk/2012/03/22/youth-libraries-group-scotland-spring-conference/ £35 +VAT, Friday April 27th. Be there!

Lighting the Future – the joint Youth Libraries Group, School Libraries Association and School Libraries Group conference – will take place in 8-10 June. There are some panels and workshops useful for those working with young people. For those who need assistance there are several bursaries available. See the Lighting the Future website and Youth Libraries Group regional pages for more information on financial assistance.

Anne Harding is offering a one day course for secondary school librarians on cost-effective methods of promoting reading and library use to pupils. The course will take place in Sutton on 17 May and cost £89/120 (early bird/standard).

Awards and Booklists

Winners of the Carnegie Award will be announced in June. For now you can have a look at the shortlist.

Several YA novels have been nominated for the LGBT Children’s/Young Adult category of the Lamba Award.

Bali Rai writes about his favourite YA novels.

Action Librarian has compiled a useful list of YA books with Muslim protagonists.

Contests for Teens

Young people ages 11-19 can enter the International Young Person’s Short Story Award from now until 24 July. The prize is £2500 plus publication! (Info via the wonderful Chicklish.)

Contests for Teen Librarians

Tell the Siobhan Dowd Trust how you spread a joy of reading in your school and win £1000 worth of books!

Win a Set of Eight Signed Novels from EDGE Authors! Contest ends 31 March.

And of course the YA Library UK Teen Book Giveaway is open until 2 April.

If you have a piece of news you think should be included in the Links Round-Up, email me at yalibraryuk@gmail.com or Tweet @yalibraryuk.

Hiatus Update (and a Few Good Reads on Youth and Libraries)

5 Mar

Weekly posts will resume on 2 April 2012. Thank you to everyone who sent a note after my previous post!

The deadline for the Teen Book Giveaway has been extended until 2 April, so enter in (and spread the word!). Winners will be announced by Friday 6 April.

No doubt you miss YA Library UK terribly and are dreading the empty, empty month of March. Never fear, for in the interim you can read a few other wonderful blogs:

I highly recommend the February issue of Teen Librarian Monthly, which (among many exciting things!) includes a fantastic introduction to Nerdfighters and a information on Speak Up for Libraries. Teen Librarian also recently posted an article about John Green and Nerdfighters.

Author Janet Dickey provides a free (and teen-tested!) outline for running a teen writing workshop.

Teen Librarian’s Toolbox is one of my favourite blogs for inspiration. A few interesting recent posts include projects for getting teens involved with poetry, an introduction to Pinterest, and a giant list of craft projects.

Did any of you give books away to young people for World Book Day? What are your plans for World Book Night next month? Will any of you be handing out books to or with young people?

Helping Teens Lead and Fund Library Projects

13 Feb

Money is in short supply these days. However, teens with a great idea for improvements or events that take place in or related to the library can still apply for money. You can find a list of current sources of funding here. Starbucks Youth Action is offering funding for young people right now. Applications due by 9 AM on 5 March 2012.

If you already work with a small group of teens (a reading group, Teen Advisory Group, or just a bunch of library regulars you’ve gotten to know), you may notice that they have ideas for improving the library. This type of event would be great if it ever happened, they say. That collection of books is deficient, they claim. In many cases you may not have the time, budget, or supporting staff to execute their ideas, even if you know the ideas are strong. The good news is that in many cases, you can help young people implement these ideas themselves. By providing guidance and appropriate advice, you can assist them in creating the teen library service they want to see.

Even in the current economic climate, there is some funding is available to young people leading projects in their local area. The primary criteria of these projects is usually that they be teen-generated and teen-led. Many of them (like 02 Think Big) also expect there to be adult supporters involved. That’s your role! You can also help teens structure and articulate ideas, and assist them by helping them break intimidating aspects of projects or applications into manageable tasks. You’ll act as their supporter: librarian and cheerleader rolled into one.

Premise: The teens you work with have a great idea! They want to host a manga day, or to start a volunteer programme to help younger readers, or to improve the teen space, or something probably much clever than anything I’ve come up with. Now what?

Break the process into five steps:

Get Permission
Brainstorm
Choose Funding Source
Be Realistic and Optimistic
Fill Out the Application

Get Permission

If you need permission for some portion of the project, ensure that you have it. If teens obtain funding to revamp the teen area but your supervisors aren’t keen, that money may never go to fund a great project. “We’ll fund it ourselves!” usually makes a winning argument.

Brainstorm and Choose a Funding Source to Apply To

Take a look at the various funding pots. Is the proposed project a £300, £3000, or £30,000 project? The easiest way to establish this is to guide them through the particulars. This is an area where you’ll definitely be of help, as you most likely have more experience articulating the finer points of a project and drafting budgets. Help them turn general assertions (“we want it to be awesome”) into specifics (“we want a new set of awesome books that cost £200”) through brainstorming.

Be Realistic and Optimistic

Next, take a look at the applications. Maybe the £30,000 project is amazing, but given the needs of the application (that a certain amount of hours be dedicated, for example, or that other funding be secured), the £300 grant is the best to start with. (Again, you can help by demonstrating how the project can be broken into meaningful chunks.)

Complete that Pesky Application Form

Young people need to be able to articulate the following (not necessarily in order of importance!): 1) why the project is important to them; 2) how it will benefit them and others (in the community); 3) how they will deliver the project; 4) what they’ll deliver, when they’ll deliver it by, and how much it costs. The last issue (what/when/cost) doesn’t have to be exact, but it does need to demonstrate some concrete pre-planning. Other considerations – depending on size and scope of the project – might include how they will consult their peers/those benefiting from the project, and how they will evaluate the project.

Your role here is to guide, not to dictate. Allow them to write the proposal. You can help by offering structural hints when they get stuck, editing, and finding helpful reference materials (this last one is especially handy when compiling a rough budget or helping them locate local demographic information). You liaise with staff and supervisors; young people commit their time to the project.

Young people will benefit from the project itself, which will not only empower them but will also boost their CV. I also recommend that you offer volunteer hours (there will be a post about this soon) and recommendation letters to young people who become regularly involved in these types of projects.

The benefit to the library is tremendous: young people will know – or find out – how to reach and benefit other young people in the area. Their projects will help the library build rapport with local teens and the broader community. It also helps support projects that the library wants to develop but couldn’t otherwise fund.

Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, “But the teens in my library aren’t proactive.” Many young people aren’t used to feeling empowered to enact change in their communities. Engage them in a dialogue about improvements they’d like to see in the community. Take their ideas and concerns with respect. Let them know that there are funds (and adults!) who can assist them in achieving these goal. (Of course, you don’t have to embrace every project idea with open arms; “swimming pool in the library” is a good part of a healthy brainstorming session but should probably never grow beyond a daydream. That said, if you do end up building a swimming pool in your library, please tell me, because I’d love to have a swim surrounded by books.)

If you’re reading this and thinking, “great, but I don’t already know the teens in my library,” start reaching out to those already using your service. Introduce yourself, host an event, or reach out to teens in the community. For those who are feelings daunted based on time constraints, look out for an upcoming post about reaching teens in just a few hours every week.

The YA Library UK Teen Book GIVEAWAY!

9 Feb

To say thank you for your interest in teen library services in the UK – and HOORAY for 100+ email subscribers and 400+ Twitter subscribers – YA Library UK is hosting a giveaway! I will randomly select TWO winners to win a bundle of three new YA novels OR Cool Teen Programs for Under $100 OR Young Adults Deserve the Best: YALSA’s Competencies in Action OR The Ultimate Teen Book Guide (your choice!). (Both winners will receive the prize they select, even if they both choose the same prize.)

The contest is only open to residents of the United Kingdom. This is YA Library UK, after all!

Entries to the giveaway close on 2 April 2012. The Giveaway is now closed. Winners will be announced by Monday 9 April.