iYouth Revolution Wants YOU!
No Dumb Questions on Listserv for the YA & Small Fry
By Sarah Evans, MLIS Day

iYouth is currently a very, very sleepy listserv for anyone with even a vague interest in library services to children and young adults. We know there are several of you out there with a passion for youth services and more than a few who have an inkling of curiosity. Now is the time to wake up and join the discussion.

There are already some great listservs out in the wide world that focus on the same or similar topics. Monitoring these lists is a wonderful way to learn about the issues and personalities involved in youth services. The trick is that posting a question can be a little daunting for someone just coming into the field. It’s similar to walking into an in-person discussion 30 minutes late. While some lists allow for newbie questions, others might direct you to the archives when you ask about a frequently discussed topic.

This is where iYouth is different. It is specifically meant as a place for students to ask questions, ponder topics and make connections to others in the field. Gregory Taylor and I—current moderators—have asked certain friends, acquaintances and total strangers to join the list. We asked for folks who are interested in talking with those newer to youth services. There are no dumb questions on this list.

To get the conversational juices flowing, moderators will email a topic on the first day of each month starting in October. I have a background in public library youth services, and Gregory has a background school library services. Each moderator will give a few lines on their view of the topic coming from their unique perspective. Then everyone is free to jump in and ask questions and present ideas. These are the same subjects that arise on professional listservs. Topics may include:

  • Summer Reading: what should be required and should it be rewarded?
  • What’s the deal with Accelerated Reader?
  • Is there anything else new for kids besides fantasy?
  • Are award winning books actually of interest to kids?
  • Can a kid read too many series books?
  • Why do teachers make kids ask for books over 100 or sometimes 200 pages?
  • How cool should a librarian be?
  • Are books (and libraries) becoming too commercial?

In addition to email conversations, iYouth hosts a Catalyst EPost Board for Book Talks. This resource is only accessible to those with UW NetIDs, so it’s an extra safe place for you to try your hand at describing a book’s appeal. And (drum roll please) this year iYouth is adding a live component to the fun. Each quarter, we will host a brown bag discussion or afternoon roundtable on youth services. The distance students can participate by sending in questions for the event or listening to the recording afterwards. Look for the first one in mid-November with a special guest!

So subscribe to the iYouth listserv ASAP. Feel free to email the list about any aspect of youth services you’d like to talk about. We’re waiting with fingers poised over the keyboard!

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Page last updated: October 10, 2006