Professional Development

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Libraries as Partners During OST

Wednesday, 10 June 2015 04:19

According to a 1999 Wallace Foundation report, libraries play a key role in "supporting the informational, educational, and literacy needs of young people in their community."

Libraries can be an important multipurpose dedicated space for youth to engage in self-directed learning that is generated by youth's interests and needs and what is most useful and compelling.

The National Afterschool Association (NAA) held a Google Hangout with a diverse range of experts who explored how libraries collaborate with and create partnerships with out-of-school time youth organizations. In addition, the hangout group explored how community-based youth organizations could create libraries in their spaces and train staff on how best to use libraries or library services. Some of the tips and resources are below.

Tips for Partnerships between Out-of-School Time Programs and Libraries*

Programs:

  • Offer professional development for librarians to help them understand the context of youth work. Some training topics might include positive youth development, youth leadership, and an overview of out-of-school time programs.
  • Hold events, such as displays of completed projects, in the library community space to help them meet their "door count" and outreach mission.

Libraries:

  • Train youth staff on library resources as well as how to conduct book talks and extension activities to engage youth in reading.
  • Serve as the connector between out-of-school time youth and other community agencies to ensure that youth of all ages are aware of the services offered in their communities.

Programs and Libraries:

  • Use each other for cross-marketing programs and activities, to recruit volunteers and youth for programs and for joint funding of projects and programs.

*Tips generated from Google Hangout of topic experts listed below.

Resources for OST Program and Library Partnerships

The following group of experts generously donated their time to participate in a Google Hangout that included a robust discussion about libraries as partners during OST:

  • Nia Imani Fields, Assistant professor and 4-H youth development Educator, University of Maryland Extension. For more information, contact Nfields@umd.edu.
  • Anne Lawrence, Program officer, The Robert Bowne Foundation. For more information, contact Anne.lawrence@robertbownefoundation.org.
  • Rachel Roseberry, Literacy Coach, Nashville After Zone Alliance/Nashville Public Library. For more information, contact rachel.roseberry@nplf.org.
  • Chris Shoemaker, President, Young Adult Library Services Association, Director of the Rye Free Reading Room in Rye, New York. For more information, contact cinf0master@gmail.com.

Click here to view the Google Hangout.

 

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