Transforming Teen Services

Transforming Teen Services is a series of trainings designed to help improve library services for teens. There are five basic content areas: Educational Equity, Ages and Stages of Youth Development, Connected Learning, Computational Thinking, and Youth Voice and Program Facilitation. This series was developed as part of an IMLS grant partnership between YALSA and COSLA. In the fall of 2019, State and local library staff from around the country were trained to implement the Transforming Teen Services trainings in their states. Jennifer Redford, Youth Services Consultant at ICfL, and Maria Ricks from the Meridian Library District, were trained to facilitate trainings in Idaho through 2021.

Some Idaho library staff have taken parts of this training, but no one has been able to access ALL of it…until now. The Transforming Teen Services training is now a tutorial on the ICfL’s Niche Academy. There is a section for each of the five subject areas, and a workbook to help you keep track of notes and assignments. After completing the entire tutorial, you will have the knowledge and skills (and maybe even a plan!) to provide high quality programs and services for and with teens.

Launch Transforming Teen Services Niche Tutorial

This Course is Made to Work for YOU

Unlike previous online Transforming Teen Services trainings, there will be no mandatory Zoom sessions for this tutorial. You can work through it at your own pace. Fair warning: it’s long. But, it’s worth it. Here are some ideas on how to take the course:

  • Do one module each week for five weeks. If you have questions or would like one-on-one coaching, contact Jennifer Redford:
  • Connect with others from your library system or school district to learn the material together. The ICfL can facilitate discussions with your group – contact Jennifer Redford to arrange something:
  • If there is interest in a state-wide Zoom facilitation of the course material, the ICfL will connect with learners and host the discussion.

Educational Equity

Educational equity is a foundational concept for working with youth. The ideas presented in this module should inform your thinking about your work with teens. They should be woven into your programs and services. When you complete this module, you should have a clear understanding of:

  • What is Educational Equity
  • Identity
  • Recognizing Implicit/Unconscious Bias
  • Educational Equity Through the Library
  • Educational Equity in Practice

Ages and Stages of Youth Development

A basic understanding of youth development is crucial for those that work with tweens and teens. This module summarizes key research in child and youth development and focuses on how to create programs that are appropriate for the youth in your community. After this module, you should be able to:

  • Understand the cultural concept of childhood in the United States.
  • Identify the various ages and stages of child development.
  • Design developmentally appropriate activities and learning environments.

Level Up Teen Learning

Tired of planning awesome programs for teens and no one shows up? Looking for a way to level up your programming game? Why not try Connected Learning? Use teens’ interests to create programs and services that are engaging. Build relationships. Create learning opportunities that are fun and relevant to teens in your community.

This module will introduce you to the framework of Connected Learning. You will develop knowledge and skills to reach teens in a new way.

Training Teen Brains

Life is hard. The world is complicated. Computational Thinking can help teens at your library face challenges and solve problems. In this module, you will learn how to help teens train their brains to make better choices. And you might get some cool program ideas too!

Youth Voice and Program Facilitation

So, you’re supposed to do programs for teens but have never really done programming in a library before? You are not alone!

The Connected Learning (CL) framework and Computational Thinking (CT) skills are integral to high-quality teen programs. Now that you have a firm grasp of both CL and CT, let’s focus on how to use them together to improve your programs and services to teens. After this module, you should be able to:

  • Understand the importance of Youth Voice in teen programming
  • Understand how to get started designing CL-connected CT activities

Q: Will any of these trainings be offered in-person?
We will be doing a focused in-person training for school librarians at Summer Summit in 2021, but no other in-person trainings are planned at this time. If your library system or school district would like a training, contact Jennifer Redford:

Q: Are these trainings for public library staff or school library staff?

Q: So how do the trainings actually work? What platform are you using?
We are using Niche Academy to host the trainings. You will need to create a login and password to record your enrollment and save your progress. You can work through the five sections of the tutorial at your own pace, using the downloadable workbook to record notes and engage with assignments. When you are finished, you will have a plan to improve your library’s services to teens.

Jennifer Redford

Youth Services Consultant
Email / 208-639-4147
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