Young Adult Library Services

Vol 14 No 3_Spring 2016

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Y ALS: How did you come up with the idea for the IMLS grant? Shannon Peterson: KRL started a related initiative in 2013 with Biblio- TEC, a Paul G. Allen Family Founda- tion grant funded project. With that grant funding we hired a Teen Tech- nology Librarian to focus on pre-iden- tifi ed topics (Robotics, Game Design, Electronics, 3D Design) with a small group of teens and young adults. We connected with these teens through a partner organization's internship pro- gram for homeless and at-risk youth. In many ways, we were completely unprepared for what would happen in the course of the two years of that Allen Family Foundation grant. In the planning, we were a lot more focused on the technology and how best to teach core concepts of that technol- ogy than we were on the challenges of working with the target population and the reality of what they really wanted and needed from us. What we learned is that the rela- tionships and the learning process were key components—not only in creating interest and engaging kids, but to achieving sustainability as well. During the period of the Allen grant funding, we had a few key staff that were incredibly hard working and invested in the ideas of the project, but they tended to work in isolation. Because the rest of the staff didn't have ownership in the BiblioTEC project, we ended up with a performer kind of scenario where our Teen Technology Librarian would swoop in to do pro- gramming and create local relation- ships... and leave. The ability to extend learning, build on relationships, and connect to interest driven branch pro- grams just wasn't built into the process in the way that it could have been. All that said, I do think we made huge strides in those two years. We were we able to hire key staff and were defi nitely in a trial by fi re kind of scenario where we just had to jump in and try new things. It was an incred- ibly important stepping stone in our organizational learning. So, to actually get to the question! We had this program, BiblioTEC, that was great, but we knew we had to do more to create a framework that would help it extend beyond one or two people working in isolation. We knew that there was community need and partner interest and that that would take it to the next level- to embed BiblioTEC into every one of our branch locations and to reach families on a more intentional level. We also knew that our process as I n 2015 the Kitsap (WA) Regional Library (KRL) received an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant for a project titled "Make, Do, Share: Sustainable STEM Leadership in a Box." YALS talked with Shannon Peterson, Youth Services Manager at KRL and the lead on this project. Make, Do, Share: Sustainable STEM Leadership in a Box an Interview with Shannon Peterson Bringing STEM initiatives to library sta and the community INTERVIEW 13 S P R I N G 2 0 1 6 » Y O U N G A D U L T L I B R A R Y S E R V I C E S » Y A L S

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