Researchers at the University of Washington (Katie Davis, Ligaya Scaff, Milly Romeijn-Stout) and the University of Maryland (Mega Subramaniam, Kelly Hoffman) are delighted to announce the launch of the ConnectedLib Toolkit, a research-based professional development toolkit that supports library staff in their efforts to leverage new media technologies and promote youth’s connected learning experiences in libraries. The development of the toolkit was made possible by generous support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
The toolkit, which is hosted on GitHub, offers youth-serving library professionals and professionals-in-training a set of free, customizable, and self-paced modules that will help them plan, develop, and assess innovative and engaging programs for their teen patrons. In developing the toolkit, our primary objective was to create a set of resources that could be readily tailored to the wide variety of settings in which youth library programs are developed and offered.
Based on the principles of connected learning, the ConnectedLib Toolkit begins with a module introducing the connected learning framework and its relevance to youth library programming.
In addition to the Introduction and Community Mapping modules, the ConnectedLib Toolkit also contains the following topics as standalone modules: Connected Learning Programming, Community Partnerships, Capacity, Design Thinking, Mentoring, Youth Development, and Assessment & Evaluation.
Why these particular topics? Before embarking on the development of the toolkit, our team spent over a year interviewing 88 youth-serving library professionals in 41 states and the District of Columbia, asking them to reflect on their current youth programming, their use of digital media technologies, and notable successes and challenges that they have experienced.
We distilled the major themes from these rich conversations, and shared them with our three library partners in this work—Providence Public Library, Kitsap Regional Library, and Seattle Public Library—who helped us to identify the nine major topics that should be highlighted in the toolkit.
See Also: ConnectedLib Project Website