Monday, May 7, 2007

Meet Your YS Consultant!

In David Letterman Top Ten Style, we presented 10 great reasons to contact your regional youth services consultant before previewing the new online reading program debuting this June.

A PDF version of our slideshow is at:

10. It’s All About US!
We're lonely! In between our multitude of projects, we are just waiting for your phone calls, emails and IMs, asking us about all things related to serving youth in school, public, and special libraries. Contact info is at
Those of us who miss working with children and teens welcome a chance to share in your triumphs and commiserate in your disappoints. Liven up our day by sending a photo of a program, responding to a post on one of our blogs, or calling with a question.

9. Harness the Collective
We are well connected locally and nationally, and often first in the know about grant opportunities, professional development opportunities, children's literature events, and freebies (like review copies!) that we can pass along to you. Keep in touch with us so we know your interests and needs, and can pass along specific, relevant information in a timely manner We all have special areas of expertise:
Beth - Gaming, Teen Behavior, YALSA Serving the Underserved Trainer
Ken - gov docs ;) Running an Effective Meeting, Contract Negotiations
Janet - Early Literacy, Intellectual Freedom, Internet Safety, Massachusetts Children's Book Awards, Programming, Summer Reading
Maureen - NASA Certified, Programming with Science, Year of the Teen
Susan - Early Literacy, School Long Range Planning, Book Reviewing
Vickie - Financial Literacy, Performer's Showcase

8. Networking
We make sure to bring you together through workshops, emails, IM, blogs, wikis, and discussion lists (MassYac and Regional Email Discussion Lists). We want you to network with all of your colleagues, academic, public, school, and special libraries! One of the most popular and effective methods of networking that all six regions provide is discussion roundtables. Be sure to visit your regional library systems website to learn about upcoming workshops and roundtables.
Susan creates workshops based upon requests from members, a couple of her blogs are in direct response to workshop series (LMS and YA), and she has a Yahoo Groups Teen Services discussion; librarians throughout SEMLS have created discussion groups that meet reguarily throughout the year to swap program, craft and resouces ideas. We also have in existing a group of core librarians who make up our Youth Services Advisory Committe. Vickie meets with them quarterly to discuss upcoming projects and to seek their advice on creating new continuing education program offerings.

7. Try Before You Buy!
Visit the SEMLS Massachusetts Online Performers Directory! Preview the latest professional development titles from regional library systems, then purchase theone that is the best fit for the needs of your library - NMRLS uses LibraryThing to promote new titles. View new books from regions with review collections and write a review for your colleagues! At CMRLS, you can try out DDR with metal pads before deciding which software and mat to invest in. Whether it's Ellison dies, Guitar Hero kits, button making machines, DVDs for staff development, or the newest books about serving youth, we can save you (and your library) money, by purchasing and circulating expensive items that may be outside of your budget.

6. Collaboration
The regions are all about collaboration - in individual libraries among departments, between school and public, and with academic and special libraries! One great example is the recent Catch the Beat for Your Library Massachusetts Library Bookfair, which raised $4700 for Massachusetts libraries.

5. Mentoring
Are you at a time in your professional life when you’d like someone to call for advice or to be a sounding board? Someone who can help you shape your professional development or even your career? A mentoring relationship is a relationship of choice between two people, one who wants to see the world more widely, and another who has insight to share. The commitment that the mentor and mentee or protégé make to one another can be as simple as an initial meeting and followup IM or phone chats, or more formal with regular in person meetings. We act as mentors, and pair up folks as well! In 2001, Susan Babb paired YA librarian Beth Gallaway with new children's librarian in North Reading, Christi Showman. Christi's job was just part-time, and her heart belonged to YA services. Beth is now a YS consultant, thanks in part to Susan's mentoring, and Christi now has the job of her dreams as a YA librarian (in Beth's region, no less).
Leadership Institutes are a wonderful way of growing mentors: YSLEAD and LLMA. Take advantage of any training offered!

4. Summer Reading
Need a password? Want discounted or free admission coupons to a number of great MA attractions? Want to add an online component to your statewide summer reading program this year? We can't wait to fill you in! This is another area where we work really hard to save you money, negotiating volume discounts for incentives and paper products to promote and run your program valued at $40,000 to participating MRLS member libraries. Janet provided a wonderful overview of the history of summer reading in MA that truly demonstrated there is strength in numbers.

3. Statewide Standards for Public Library Service to Youth in MA
The Children's Standards unanimously passed at the YSS breakfast, and the YA Standards were approved in 2005. They are online, and print copies courtesy of Walden Media are available from your consultant. We are well-versed in the benchmarks for creating a superior program of library services for youth in terms of collections, facilities, programs, and staff, and present classes on these topics on a regular basis. Did you know... we are also available for one on one consulting? Please contact us for help with weeding, space planning, tracking statistics, or staff management issues.

2. Long Range Planning
You can' t apply for MBLC grants without having one on file. Consultants at each regional library system have special training in long range planning for school libraries, and want to help you make your case that well funded, well staffed school libraries have a direct, proven impact on student achievement! Beth consulted with Patsy Divver at the Millis M/HS library on crafting a long range plan. The process included an initial meeting, setting up a pair of summer workshops for any interested members on how to write a plan, and ongoing support and feedback during the project.Vickie worked with Silver Lake Middle School in drafting their long range plan. She shared with them some actual long range plans from members in past workshops, suggested questions for their pre and post survey of students and faculty, offered comments during writing process and reviewed final plan

1. It’s All About YOU!
We are member driven organizations, and your feedback and input drives our resource collections, CE programs, and the statewide summer reading program components: theme, coupons, package, and PR. We can't stress enough the importance of completing SRP evaluations, getting active in MLA/YSS and MSLA, the SRP Steering Committee, or regional YS Advisory Committees.

Photos from the session are online at:
(thanks to Sonya for taking pictures!)

Keep your eye on for online summer reading details.

A preview of the MA Summer Reading Program templates is online at:

No comments: