Young Adult and Children’s Services at UCLA

Teen Digital Literacy Workshop with Linda Braun June 12, 2013

Today a few of us attended the California State Library’s Teen Digital Literacy Workshop, facilitated by teen tech guru, Linda Braun. It was a wonderful afternoon of discussion about the various definitions of, aspects of, and programming around digital literacy. A few takeaways included:

  • dialogue on promoting and defending digital literacy programming to library administration or the community at large
  • a great list of apps available for content creation, production and sharing
  • A broader understanding of app placement within the broader digital literacy conversation
  • Some great online resources to learn more about digital literacy issues via pinterest

Starting out the workshop, we were asked to define digital literacy … whew! We all agreed it is a very broad topic that encompasses a variety of elements. Digital citizenship is a big part of digital literacy, in that all of this content we are generating has tangible consequences and effects. There is a balance between interacting with one’s personal life compared to professional or educational circles and that balance must be learned. The technical aspects of digital literacy are in themselves broad – coding, programming or hardware production are viable options for career paths not often considered by the teen smartphone user. On this topic, one thing to keep in mind, as Linda Braun discussed, is that teens may not be concerned with future outcomes or career options, but are more concerned with immediate impacts on their lives today. How do librarians promote 21st century skill building through igniting this immediate interest? One answer is keeping in touch with what is popular, and using that popularity to facilitate discussion about broader issues like copyright, advertising content and marketing schemes, or evaluating web resources. By hosting a YouTube watch party, allowing teens to share their favorite weekly finds, a librarian or mentor can open discussion pertaining to the content and how it was created, produced, and marketed.

Another interesting discussion today: do teens use eBooks? Linda Braun says that even if today’s teens aren’t that interested in eBooks and still want that physical copy, tomorrow’s teenagers, or today’s ten year olds and younger, may want that eBook and be growing up with eBooks first. We must be flexible in the upcoming years regarding this topic, and not make assumptions based on today’s generation.

Ok – so here are some mentioned apps among teen librarians in attendance today:

  • Vine
  • Notability
  • Fieldtrip
  • Backspaces
  • Evernote
  • Art Authority
  • CoudOn
  • Fipboard
  • Hotspot Shield
  • Subtext

One LAPL librarian uses Vine, a video mashup app, to take shots of teen programs and post on the library’s social media. The best idea I heard about today was hosting a library “App-y Hour” – invite teens to share their favorite app, play with and explore within the library setting. Linda Braun suggests this program with a theme, such as favorite game apps, favorite homework apps, etc.

Please comment on: your favorite app to use in a library setting with youth, teen digital literacy in general, teens utilizing eBooks, or all or any or everything! There will be no change without dialogue within the profession.


Happy Halloween! October 31, 2012

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.


Jeanie Austin in front of Books Beyond Bars collection of donations at the GSEIS building. Thank you Jeanie!

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



Happy Halloween: A Youth Librarian’s favorite time of year!


Juvenile Detention Center Librarianship Speaker! October 24, 2012

Filed under: Activities,Community Service,Programs — yacsucla @ 9:28 pm

YACS, Books Beyond Bars, and ALA’s Student Chapter of UCLA presents:

Who has a say? Power structures and their effect on juvenile detention center librarianship. 

With Guest Speaker Jeanie Austin 

Monday, October 29th

GSEIS Room 111, 12:30 – 1:30 pm

Jeanie Austin is a GSLIS PhD student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and project coordinator of Mix IT Up! Jeanie’s research interests include power of and access to information and information sharing in radical political movements. Jeanie has been a juvenile detention center librarian since Fall of 2009. In 2010 the GSLIS faculty awarded Jeanie the Social Justice Award for her commitment to fight poverty, hunger, and injustice.


Check out her paper “Critical Issues in Juvenile Detention Centers” in YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults.


Don’t forget to visit our friends at Books Beyond Bars on Facebook! Learn more about volunteering for this awesome organization, or donate books for Juvenile Detention centers in LA!


November 4th Meeting November 3, 2008

Filed under: Activities — yacsucla @ 4:50 am
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This is a reminder that we’re having a YACS meeting Tuesday November 4th at 12:30 pm in the IS Commons. We’ll be going over the schedule for the rest of the quarter as well as sharing picture books and doing a quick fall craft. Hope to see you all there!


Dewey Caveman Story October 22, 2008

Filed under: Activities — lessalibrarian @ 5:02 pm
Tags: ,

Thought this might be fun to share and/or do! Maybe good esp. for school libraries.  It teaches the kids the different areas of the dewey decimal system.



For current UCLA Information Studies students