Category Archives: Youth Services

YA Resources Addressing Racism

From the Colorado Virtual Library

Recent national events have brought a critical focus on racism in this country. To help address this topic in your library, here are some resources for youth services staff.

Professional Development

Collection Development

Talking with Kids and Teens about Race

What Else You Can Do

ALSC and CLEL Launch a Virtual Storytime Services Guide

From the American Library Association

During times of crises, libraries continue to play a vital role in connecting their communities to resources, information, and to each other. The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL) have released a Virtual Storytime Services Guide to assist libraries in creating high quality and meaningful online experiences for their patrons.

As libraries of all types are expanding their digital collections and exploring virtual program offerings, this free guide is offered as a comprehensive resource to support librarians in this shift to more virtual work. Topics covered in this guide include:

  • Technology Tools
  • Suggested Practices
  • Copyright Considerations
  • Serving Diverse Children and Families
  • Promoting Virtual Storytime Programs
  • Other Virtual Children’s Programs
  • External Resources to Support Early Literacy

Each of these sections includes resources and suggestions for library leadership, departments involved in the virtual program editing or marketing processes, and virtual program providers.

Virtual Storytime and Copyright: Resources

From the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has received many questions recently about virtual and online storytimes. They wanted to curate a few resources that may be helpful during this time. If you need legal advice, they would highly recommend that you reach out to your library’s, city’s or county’s legal counsel if available.

Virtual Storytime Information

  • Online Story Time & Coronavirus: This post from the Programming Librarian was posted by ALA’s Public Program’s Office. This should not be taken as legal advice, but may offer one perspective.

Copyright and Creative Commons Information

  • U.S. Copyright Office: The website of the U.S. Copyright Office provides a a plethora of resources on copyright law.

They hope you find this information useful. For further reading, you may also want to view the TSLAC’s previous blog post, Copyright and Fair Use Resources.

Have a safe and healthy summer!

Lasso a Library Card this September

From the American Library Association

This September, DC’s Wonder Woman is embarking on a new mission with the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries nationwide to champion the power of a library card as Library Card Sign-up Month Honorary Chair.

On this mission, Wonder Woman will remind the public that there is nothing more empowering than signing up for your own library card. Through access to technology, media resources and educational programs, a library card gives students the tools to succeed in school and provides people of all ages opportunities to pursue their passions and dreams.

In the coming months, Wonder Woman will appear in free Library Card Sign-up Month graphics, including print and digital public service announcements (PSAs) and library card artwork. Free tools, such as a template press release, a proclamation and sample social media posts will also be provided through the Library Card Sign-up Month webpage.

Wonder Woman posters, stickers and bookmarks are currently available for purchase through the ALA Store.

Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, the ALA and libraries unite together in a national effort to ensure every child signs up for their own library card.

CSLP Offers Teen Video Challenge

If you are looking for an idea for your teens this summer, the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) has refreshed their Teen Video Challenge.

The challenge is for teens (13-18) to create a public service announcement-type video promoting libraries and reading, that shows their unique interpretation of the 2020 CSLP slogan “Imagine Your Story.” Themes might include fairytales, mythology, and/or fantasy.

Entries must be submitted by August 7.

Videos are to be no longer than 60 seconds. All audio and artwork must be created by the entrant or be in the public domain.

If chosen, the kids creating the winning videos will receive $200 and their library will get $50 worth of CSLP summer reading materials.

Find information and links to instructions and forms on the Summer Reading Teen Video Challenge guide at

For more information, contact Chris Van Burgh at

Sharable Summer Reading Resources

From the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

With the current pandemic crisis, summer reading plans have been altered. In response, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) has created summer activity challenges that you can distribute to your communities and patrons. These challenges are meant to be completed by children and teens in their homes, with families and loved ones, to both combat summer slide and provide activity ideas for families.

The challenges are provided on a shared Google Drive, and they have Creative Commons licenses so that you can download and edit them to fit the needs of your library and community.

The activities included can be distributed digitally (on your website, via email or newsletters, or on social media). They can also be printed by your libraries and distributed in the mail, via community partners, or at your libraries.

Diversity Audits of YA Collections

From the Idaho Commission for Libraries Scoop newsletter

For those library staff who are working from home and still have access to your catalog, you may consider taking this time to conduct a Diversity and Inclusion Audit of a portion of your Young Adult Collection.

What is a diversity audit?

“A diversity audit is basically doing an inventory of a collection to determine the amount of diversity within the collection. It’s a way of analyzing collection data to make sure that we include a wide variety of points of view, experiences and representations within a collection. Our goal is to provide a well-balanced collection that can be both a mirror (reflect a reader’s experience) and a window (so readers can experience different experiences and points of view). (See We Need Diverse Books’ FAQ.)

There are several existing resources to aid you in your audit. Consider:

Wyoming Reads on the News

Thanks to reporter Ryan Matoush at KTWO-TV in Casper, Wyoming Reads got some great coverage on the news this week! Enjoy this video with program founder John Jorgensen on how this program came about and what it does for children’s literacy.

Wyoming Reads was recently honored by the Library of Congress with a State Literacy Award, after being nominated by the Wyoming State Library through its Center for the Book Program. Although the event had to be postponed this year due to the pandemic, they are working to make sure this year’s batch of first-graders get their books to keep, read, and cherish.

Wyoming Reads Postponed Until Fall

2020’s Wyoming Reads Day, originally scheduled for May 12, will look a little different than past years. As with so many other special events in our world at this time, Wyoming Reads recently made the difficult decision to postpone this year’s literacy celebration until the fall of 2020 in hopes that the children will be back in school by then.

Annually, Wyoming Reads gives a personalized, hardcover book to every first grade student in Wyoming. Celebrations take place across the state when the books are distributed. In the coming months, organizers will make decisions locally as to whether to choose another date to hold their events. A fall event may not be possible for every school and district with which Wyoming Reads partners, and organizers are working accordingly to accommodate as many of this year’s first graders as possible.

In October 2019, a group of area teachers, librarians, leaders, and readers selected six very special books for students. Children were able to select which books to add to their personal collection, and will be receiving their chosen book at this year’s celebration later this year. The six book selections include:

  1. The Very Impatient Caterpillar by Ross Burach
  2. Nobody Hugs a Cactus by Carter Goodrich
  3. Cake! by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnett
  4. El Chupacabras by Adam Rubin
  5. Once Upon a Goat by Dan Richards
  6. High Five by Adam Rubin

The Wyoming State Library’s Central Acquisitions Program acquires these books at discounts up to 40 percent, stretching precious dollars so more books can be delivered to grateful young readers.

John Jorgensen established the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation and the Wyoming Reads celebration to honor his late wife’s commitment to literacy and books. Since its inception in 1996 in Casper, Wyoming Reads has grown to supply books to first graders in all of Wyoming’s 23 counties, as well as several other states, including Oregon and Minnesota. Over 100,000 children have received books through the combined literacy celebrations, reaching nearly 7,500 first graders in 2019 alone.

Free Virtual Event: Middle Grade Magic

Join School Library Journal for their Middle Grade Magic virtual summit, a day-long celebration and exploration of one of the burgeoning and most important areas of publishing for young readers: literature for children ages eight through 12 and beyond! This free, completely virtual conference takes place on Wednesday, April 8, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. MDT. CE credits will be available.

Learn more and register.

Attendees will get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at some of the most anticipated new titles for kids and tweens and have the opportunity to check out the virtual exhibit hall, chat directly with authors, download educational resources, and receive prizes and giveaways.

Can’t make the live date? No problem! The entire environment will be archived and available for up to three months.