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Professional Development for Young Adult Librarians

Holly Anderson, Youth Services Coordinator with Sarasota County Libraries, felt that her library system had yet to reach its full potential in YA services.

“We could be making a more meaningful impact in our community and in the lives of teens if we were prepared and intentional,” she says.

She wanted the library environment to foster positive development and creativity in teens – to be a place where teens would feel welcome and respected.

To do that, she created a training program for the library’s Young Adult librarians. She based the program on:

Staff participated in the training program over nine months, each building a portfolio demonstrating the YALSA competencies they achieved.

The library has incorporated elements of this training to aid new employees:

  • YALSA competencies included in descriptions for open librarian positions primarily serving teens
  • Discussion of the 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents during new employee orientations

Anderson says, “Discussing this early on with all new library staff helps create a genuinely positive, teen-friendly library culture.”   

imls180.for.panel.jpgMany of these resources and programs are funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Florida's LSTA program is administered by the Department of State's Division of Library and Information Services.