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:
- YALSA’s Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth
- Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents
- Connected Learning Theory
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.”