At this year's recent ALA Midwinter Meeting (January 25-29, 2019), the ConnectedLib team officially launched the ConnectedLib Toolkit, a research-based professional development toolkit that offers youth-serving library staff a free, customizable, and self-paced program to create engaging teen programs and services with digital media.
With generous support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), faculty members from the library and information science (LIS) schools at the University of Washington and University of Maryland collaborated with public libraries (Providence Public Library, Seattle Public Library, and Kitsap Regional Library) to create this professional development resource that supports library staff in their efforts to leverage new media technologies and promote youth’s connected learning experiences in libraries. Connected learning connects teens’ personal interests, their relationships with peers and mentors, and real-life opportunities to help prepare youth for life after high school with 21st century skills and new literacies, creating highly motivating learning experiences for teens.
Library staff who work through the modules in the toolkit will have the opportunity to evaluate their teen programs and their library's capacity for connected learning; identify community resources that could enhance teens’ learning experiences; and put what they learn into practice by creating an outline for their own connected learning program. This toolkit can also be used by LIS educators who teach youth services courses at their institutions to train the next generation of librarians in connected learning.
The ConnectedLib Toolkit is available for free here: https://connectedlib.github.io/. For those interested in working through the modules more formally to design a connected learning program at their library, you can also take an upcoming YALSA e-course. More information about the YALSA e-course is available at: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/onlinelearning/onlinecourses/connectedlib