2014 iYouth Conference – Sat. Feb. 8th

We are excited to announce that this year’s iYouth Conference will be held on Saturday, February 8th from 9AM – 5PM at the University of Washington’s Mary Gates Hall.

Please watch our video and pass this email on to other professionals to get the word out!

The annual iYouth conference is a one day professional development conference at the University of Washington, open for all students and professionals interested in library services for youth from birth to 18.

This year, we have chosen “[R]Evolution” as a theme that reflects the ways in which the face of librarianship is adapting to meet the evolving needs of our young patrons. We seek to discuss ways in which to help them develop tool kits to advocate for themselves.

UW Information School Dean Emeritus, Dr. Michael Eisenberg, will give a keynote speech to cap a day filled with lectures and workshops that address the increasingly important impact of technological change and community outreach programming.

The cost of the conference is $50.00 with lunch or $40.00 without for professionals. For students, the cost is $25.00 with lunch or $20.00 without. As always, continuing education credit will be offered to professionals seeking it.

To register for the event, follow this link: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/53842

Please stay tuned for further details! If you have any questions please contact us at iyouth.info@gmail.com. Thank you!

If you wish to know more about iYouth you can also find us here at:

Blog – http://iyouthuw.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/iYouthUW

Twitter – https://twitter.com/iYouthUW

Tumblr – http://iyouthuw.tumblr.com/

In the Field: Meet Laura Perenic

Welcome to “In the Field”, a new blog series here on the iYouth Blog. I’m Rebecca Z Dunn, a MLIS student here at the University of Washington iSchool, and I will be interviewing successful, innovative youth services professionals from all across the country. So hold onto your hats, and get ready to be inspired by amazing individuals doing amazing things for children and teens in the library-sphere.

Today, our special guest Laura Perenic, Youth Services Librarian from MidPointe Library System!


Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, where you work, and what you do there?

I work at the Middletown Branch of the MidPointe Library System.  We serve the eastern part of Butler County Ohio.  I am a Youth Services Librarian so I work with anyone from birth through high school.   I run in house young adult programs and outreach to young adults at the local schools.  I also do collection development for all teen materials in our system.

What project or program have you recently completed/are currently working on at work that you’re proud of?

Working with our IT Department we have started offering Minecraft as a monthly program.  Ideally the program will travel to the other branches and provide a variety of gaming experience to all our young adult patrons.


When did you realize you wanted to work in libraries? And specifically with youth?

A lot of things led me to be choose librarian as a profession.  I was a library aide in junior high school and my mother worked at the local public library.  For a long time I had a job at the mall working at a book store. But it wasn’t until after finishing undergrad I got a job driving the bookmobile for the Greene County Public Library that things really clicked for me. I applied and was accepted to Indiana University a year later.

Looking back, what do you wish you’d learned in library school that you could utilize in your work today?

I wish I had made a stronger effort to learn about different technologies.  Even things like playing video games can lead to programs for teens and allow me to relate better to my patrons.  It would have been great to learn some hands on skills like laminating and using an ellison press.  It sounds so minor but libraries want to you to jump right in to your job; often the position has been open a while.

What advice do you have for library school students looking to… Well… Do what you do?!

I would encourage students to think about how they dress for work, looking back I know some of my outfits were questionable at best.  Students should start networking now.  Follow other librarians and authors online.  Learn about current issues and events affecting the job now and down the road.

What one skill do you think is necessary to be a successful working in youth services?

Knowing when to speak is as important as knowing what to say.  You can never take back an impolite action like interrupting someone.  And you may never earn patron’s or staff member’s trust once you’ve offended them.  Being your best as often as possible is necessary because you cannot ask your teens to be quiet and respectful of the library and each other when you are cruel.  Trust me I am still learning this myself.

Favorite part of being a youth services librarian?

I love that people don’t realize there is a librarian for teens and young adults.  It’s great to help people update their preconceived notion that I do storytimes and read all day.


How can we keep up with what you’re up to?

You can follow me on Twitter @Lperenic.  I also do a monthly post with YALSA’s The Hub.

**Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed here are my own and do not represent my employer or anyone else that I’m affiliated with.

Rebecca Zarazan Dunn is a first-year MLIS student at the University of Washington and a Youth Services Library Assistant at the Lawrence Public Library. She blogs regularly about children’s books and adventures in the library, among other things, at Sturdy for Common Things. You can follow her on twitter at @rebeccazdunn.

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Boredom Busters in the library

I find it wonderfully fulfilling to have a conversation with a bored young person who wants to hang out for a little while. Not everyone feels the same way, and some even feel at a loss for words when met with one who claims boredom when surrounded by all the awesome things typically found in a library.

This had already been on my mind for a while when I found a cute little wooden box, hardly bigger than a pencil-case, cast aside in a give and take area at a library conference. Shortly before visiting the give and take space, I had attended a talk on youth programming. With bored kids on my mind and a little wooden box in my hand I had an epiphany.

Handing over a box of something is often just the thing to piqué curiosity in bored people (and cats). What’s more, the things inside of the box would encourage staff at the desk to interact with these patrons on a personal level.  I took that little box slapped a picture on it and filled it with stuff that my own kids were no longer using. Thus the Boredom Buster was born!


The next time I met a very bored young person who was seemingly disgusted with the concept of being trapped in the library while his dad used the computer, I was able to respond to it with some self paced pop-up programming! I told him I was trying something new and handed him a menu.


He chose Punxutawney Jedi off of the menu

Jedi interior

Punxutawney Jedi includes: Tiny UNO, finger skateboard, tiny boggle, a little truck, a purple dragon, tic-tac-toe and a golf tee game called insanity.

He opened it up and I told him how the golf tee game worked. He took it to a table in the back and was seemingly less bored. SUCCESS!

After the original Boredom Buster I added two others.

ebtap ebtap interior



Feeling Scrappy?

Not only does each include stuff to do alone or with a friend, but they include suggestions for other things that can be done with library resources.

boredcats list

In addition to the kits, Boredom Busters has expanded to contain some randomly donated word searches, a box of crayons, drawing paper, Sudoku books, trivia cards, brainteasers and tangrams. All this no-cost self paced programming option required was a few found boxes, random trinkets and a drawer at the Info desk to keep it in!

tater people

What can you do to bust some boredom today?

 For more ideas and library fun follow Bobbi deMontigny on twitter @BdeMontigny

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Jei Lee – iYouth Co-President

In the days of my own youth, yea those many moons ago, I studied English (20th- & 21st-century literature + creative writing) and anthropology at the University of Iowa, taught English to elementary and high school students in South Korea, and underwent “writing boot camp” at the Clarion West Workshop in Seattle, during which time I fell in love with the Suzzallo Reading Room and vowed to return. (So I did.) Having thoroughly enjoyed my first year in the MLIS program as a residential student, I have since metamorphosed into a second-year online student, hoping to graduate in accordance with my original timeline in 2014.

Currently, I lurk in the Mighty Midwest with my fiancé and our obnoxious dwarf hamster, interning at the Iowa City Public Library’s teen services department, where I get to program events, frolic amongst the YA collection, and maintain the shiny new teen Tumblr @ http://icpl-teens.tumblr.com In my spare time, I enjoy writing, reading, watching, and discussing speculative fiction; stomping gracelessly through nature; and producing various grotesqueries and affronts to good taste while pretending to be craftsy.