Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Center for the Future of Libraries Fellowship-- a YS Opportunity!

I'm excited to share that the Center for the Future of Libraries has opened a call for proposals for the Center for the Future of Libraries Fellowship. And, OF COURSE I think this a great opportunity for Youth Services library staff!

A lined background with a red stamp that says, "Due
5/15/18." In black text: "Center for the Future of
Libraries Fellowship: A YS Opportunity!"

What does the future of Youth Services look like to you? What innovation in youth services are you itching to research, try, or develop? What pie-in-the-sky ideas are swimming around in that wonderful, youth-focused head of yours?

From the press release (emphasis mine for skimming purposes):
"The Future of Libraries Fellowship will provide an individual or group with a stipend of $10,000 to advance new ideas and perspectives for the future of libraries through the creation of a public product – report, white paper, video, resource, tool – that will help library professionals envision the future of library collections, services, spaces, technologies, or partnerships. Projects may build on existing work, research, or initiatives of the Association, its Offices, Divisions, and Round Tables, or explore new directions and interests.

The deadline for proposals for the 2018 fellowship is May 15, 2018."

I'd love to see a ton of Youth Services submissions. I really feel like there are so many great conversations happening about even the nature of youth services itself, but implementation can be tough when you're running 15 programs a week/managing tours for your whole district/on the desk several hours a week/yelling "walk please" every 20 minutes/getting Child Germ Flu/constantly planning either Summer Reading or Battle of the Books/ etc etc etc. Or maybe you're facing a rough time and buzzing along and could use a new project to sink your teeth into.

Youth Services IS the future of libraries; we're literally shaping family library legacies and creating lifelong library users and supporters, everyday. But we hardly get the time or support to really consider what that even means. We see it in the courses that are offered, the conference proposals that get accepted, the Storytime Underground questions that get asked again and again: we're looking for quick tips for right now, and that's what we're getting.

And that's great, and it can work.

We ALSO deserve the space, the time, and the support to really consider what youth services actually means, and what our future could look like.

So here's a chance: $10,000  to create something that could inform the future of our work.
What would you do with it?

Learn how to apply here and email completed applications to mfigueroa at ala dot org.

(You might be thinking that this looks like something someone in academia would be more suited for. And you're right that library staff from other fields may have had more past experience with proposals like this. But you're already doing the tough work of creating their future patron bases; I know you can do this, too.)


  1. What a cool opportunity. This is the kind of project I would love to work on! If only I had a good idea. Or qualifications that matter to people outside of YS!

    1. UM YOUR QUALIFICATIONS MATTER! There are a few of us on the advisory committee this year who are more familiar with children/family stuff, who can clarify what things mean if others aren't aware. I'm sure you have a good idea just waiting to surface :)