New York State Library

Transforming Teen Services

Transforming Teen Services: a Train the Trainer Approach (T3) is an initiative run by Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) and is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The project focuses on supporting library staff working with and for teens in understanding of how connected learning and computational thinking can work together to build equity based services for and with teens.

Program Updates

The T3 initiative ran through December 31, 2021. Plans are being considered for additional course offerings.

YALSA staff and the teams of trainers in each state have been hard at work since the pandemic to shift the format and content of T3 trainings to an online model, instead of the originally planned in-person delivery. Trainers and staff from State Library agencies have been meeting regularly for the past few months, and the T3 trainers have attended additional sessions to become familiar with the online modules and new format.

We are fortunate to have an experienced team of trainers in New York state! We've had tremendous support from Linda Braun of YALSA throughout the revamping of this project to an online model, as well as excellent project assistance from Elaine Czarnecki, who helps coordinate a variety of State Library projects and initiatives.

The first two e-courses on Connected Learning took place in the summer of 2020 and the winter of 2021. These courses were facilitated by T3 Trainers Renee McGrath and Kaye Spurrell. The T3 course format now integrates asynchronous online activities on the Canvas platform, and participants receive an email with instructions on how to login and access Canvas prior to the first class meeting. Group discussions take place via live 60-minute Zoom sessions each week for the duration of each online course.

Weekly Zoom sessions are recorded and available for viewing on the Canvas site, but participants are expected to attend the sessions at the scheduled date and time. Library staff who register for T3 courses should plan to actively participate in both the asynchronous and synchronous activities and commit to attending at least three of the four online sessions. The expected time commitment for each T3 course is eight hours for working on course content and attending the Zoom sessions. A Continuing Education (CE) Certificate for eight credit hours will be issued to all participants who complete the requirements.

Attendance for online T3 course sessions is limited to no more than 20 participants. The New York State Library team of T3 trainers hopes to offer training sessions to as many front-line library staff from as many different public library systems as possible. These courses fill up quickly and we realize there is increased interest in working with teens and in enhancing programs and services to young adult library users. More trainings on Connected Learning and on additional T3 modules such as Computational Thinking are being planned as we try to meet the challenge of providing T3 training to all interested library staff who work directly with young adults.

Meet the Trainers

Shauntee Burns-Simpson

Shauntee Burns-Simpson is currently the Associate Director of the Center for Educators & Schools at the New York Public Library (NYPL) where she has held several positions. She is the immediate Past-President of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) and was proud to hold the position during the organization's 50th anniversary. An ambassador for libraries and youth librarianship, Mrs. Burns-Simpson enjoys connecting people to the public and its resources. She works closely with at-risk teens and fosters a love of reading and learning with her innovative programs. In addition to her work at NYPL and with BCALA, she Chaired the American Library Association Office of Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services (ODLOS) Committee on Diversity.

Mrs. Burns-Simpson holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Long Island University and a Masters of Information & Library Science from Queens College.

Renee McGrath

Renee McGrath is the Manager of Youth Services for the Nassau Library System. In her position for 15 years, she is responsible for consulting, advising, and supporting the youth services librarians and staff that work in the 54 member libraries of Nassau Library System. She has served on local, state, and national library boards, is a member of ALA, YALSA, ALSC, NYLA, and NCLA. She has presented numerous times at local, state, and national library conferences on many topics related to serving children, teens, and their families in a public library. She is currently a training cohort for the IMLS/YALSA’s Transforming Teen Services through CE, a multi-year project that focuses on the continuing education of library staff related to teen services.

Last Updated: February 27, 2023