One of the best parts of being a youth services librarian is the ability to celebrate Halloween with the kiddos.
Whether you’re dressing in costume, making halloween crafts, or handing out candy, it’s a great time to engage young folks in library activities and services. YACS loves to bring ideas to the table, so here’s what we tried this year: Spooky Lollipops! This year we sold our Halloween Pops for .50 cents each, as a fundraiser for our friends, Books Beyond Bars. With the money earned, we’ll be purchasing books for the Nidorf Juvenile Hall Library! This craft is really easy, and with a little prep on supplies, young children through older teens can participate! Flush out the vampire model from the link above with Frankenstein or Ghost versions, or create your own! Tip: We used carmel apple pops for the square shape of Frankenstein’s skull.
On Monday, YACS, Books Beyond Bars, and ALA’s Student Chapter at UCLA hosted Jeanie Austin, a PhD from U. Illinois.
She talked to us about her experiences working as a librarian in juvenile detention centers, and the importance of providing open access for marginalized youth. With little sustainable funding, librarians must continually gather community support in order to provide quality library and information services for incarcerated youth. Worth noting, is some centers will design programs to facilitate a youth’s rehabilitation into society as a positive and productive individual. Others are more focused on punishment for a crime or behavior, and therefore will be more restrictive in available library services. If one intends to work with a juvenile detention facility, every community is different and every system has its own set of rules and expectations that a librarian will have to navigate. Sometimes personal opinion must be suppressed in order to successfully communicate to youth, or provide positive materials for youth, through restrictive administrations and institutional policies.
In other news: the teens have chosen their favorites! Check out YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten list of 2012.
Also, YALSA hosts their annual YA Literature Symposium beginning November 2nd, where they’ll be discussing the Next Big Thing in YA Lit. Read various opinions on the future of YA Lit on YALSA’s blog The Hub: Your connection to Teen Reads.