Teens and the Future of Libraries: Sharing Best Practices

Wrapping up the month's conversations and collaboratively documenting/sharing best practices with one another.

About The Speaker(s)

Jack Martin has worked in public libraries since the age of thirteen when his mom volunteered him to work at his local library in Cornelia, Georgia. Jack first got his feet wet in the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) as a committee member of the Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers team. After that he served on the 2010 Michael L. Printz Award committee. Following that he served on YALSA's award winning Board of Directors from 2010-11 before becoming President in 2012. You can follow him on Twitter at @yalsapresident or @jacksondevious.

Perhaps best known as "The Unquiet Librarian," Buffy Hamilton currently serves as the Learning Strategist for the Cleveland Public Library in Cleveland, Ohio. Previously, she was a high school librarian and teacher at 'The Unquiet Library' in Canton, Georgia. Buffy has over 20 years of experience in public education as a high school English teacher, technology integration specialist, and librarian and is passionate about creating meaningful learning experiences for learners of all ages. You can Follow her on Twitter at @buffyjhamilton.

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Resources

Download a PDF of this session's Livestream Chat archive

Access the collaborative document of key points, insights, questions and resources from this session (open to public comments)

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Key Questions and Comments

  • (05:11) What are your thoughts on why our month-long focus has been so timely? What are some challenges that libraries and librarians are facing right now, and how are librarians working together to support each other to overcome these challenges?
  • (08:59) As a profession at large, it really does take this bigger team of a diverse members and contributors...we're all part of this bigger conversation that's informing the narrative of learning in libraries.
  • (12:30) I'm thinking about 'What are our blind spots that we may be missing as we look at these trends and patterns that inform the way that teens utilize social media?'
  • (16:09) That shift to...a community-oriented model--it all sounds great, but there are these really interesting challenges in the shift (that I think a lot of librarians are embracing) to social and production-oriented activities.
  • (18:07) Before I came on today, I asked about 100 kids what one word they would use to describe their learning experience here in the library. They came up with 5 words consistently: learning (feeling scholarly was a part of that feeling), creation (that was a number-one idea about libraries for them), acceptance (it's like 'The Island of Lost Groups' here), access (intellectually and physically), and collaboration (this is the space we go when we want to work with others).
  • (23:32) [To Joyce] Were your kids commenting on the physical space, or was this more of a comment on how they felt about the entire experience of the library space?
  • (27:52) How do we stay reflective and push forward at the same time?
  • (28:44) I think it's really important that--as we think about ourselves as this larger learning community--we don't get hemmed into our "silos," so to speak...I think it's important to position ourselves as co-learners and try to diversify our own personal learning networks so that we can think a little bit more deeply...
  • (31:35) Are there ways that we can start empowering all of the local innovators to get their voices out to a broader constituency who may not be doing that first phase innovation, but would really like to take up the cool stuff that has been tested and practiced a little bit more?
  • (33:33) I teach in library school, but I don't know that, in every class, we're really thinking about what's coming down the road. I know that what my students really want, in terms of access to the materials, is it needs to be available 24/7. I think we need to have a library in every student's pocket, in an equitable way.
  • (35:00) So much of what we've talked about throughout the entire month is the importance of mentors. You don't just throw a program out there and, ka-bam, it happens. You have to have mentors and people with experience there to actually guide kids through the process.
  • (37:06) Unless we're really, really conscious about making these opportunities available to people who aren't already a part of our world, then we're just going to fall into that same cycle.
  • (39:44) One of the things I like to do is have my students try gaming (if they're not gamers, it's a requirement for the course). I think that exposing young librarians to those media practices...takes away the fear of what it is that youth are doing in these spaces...
  • (41:15) What online communities are you all a part of? Or which communities would you recommend for librarians to connect with one another to share ideas and best practices?
  • (46:28) It's kind of like a garden: you're continually crafting and nurturing and weeding it a little bit to be organic along with your work as a practitioner.
  • (48:28) I, too, learn something new every time I talk to kids. It always amazes me how advanced they are in comparison to what we assume. I'm consistently amazed.
  • (50:22) What actions do you all think that librarians and librarian workers who work with young adults can take right now to take hold of the future of libraries?
  • (52:18) Be that co-learner and embrace that. Some people see that as a challenge...I see those as points of possibilities and excitement.
  • (53:30) All we need to do is think about what we traditionally did and translate it for this newly enabled world. And I think that there are great opportunities for librarianship and for us making a big difference.
  • (53:53) Are there really concrete things that can be done today to grow capacity by tapping community resource, whether they're people in the community, or online resources, or experts in interest groups. That seems like a huge opportunity space.

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List of Hangout Participants

  • Buffy Hamilton - Learning Strategist at the Cleveland Public Library
  • Jack Martin - Moderator, President of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), 2012-2013
  • Mimi Ito - Research Director of the DML Research Hub
  • Joyce Valenza - Teacher-Librarian at Springfield Township High School
  • Crystle Martin - Postdoctoral Researcher for the Connected Learning Research Network

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