Youth Services Update: December 2021

Upcoming Opportunities



Letters About Literature is a reading and writing contest for 4th-12th graders under the direction of the Texas Center for the Book at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Participants select a book, book series, essay, play, poem, short story, or speech that has made a lasting impact on their on their lives. They, then, write a personal letter to the author that reflects how they have been changed, inspired, or motivated by the work State winners receive $100 and will be honored at the 2022 Texas Library Association Conference. All submissions must be submitted using the new online submission platform, and a permission form is required for all students who are younger than 13 as of Nov. 4, 2021. For more information visit :

Ongoing Tools


Logo for the Erikson Institute

Erikson Institute’s TEC Center is now offering a new IMLS-funded professional development program, Media Literacy in Early Childhood for Youth Library Staff. Recruitment is open for this four-month professional development series, in which participants will spend approximately 10 to 12 hours total in entirely online synchronous and asynchronous learning. Cohorts will be made up of 20-25 youth library staff from across the U.S. All participants will receive a certificate and a $400 honorarium for their library once they complete the program to compensate for their time. For more information, visit .


Logo for the National Museum of the American Indian

The National Museum of the American Indian offers live and interactive programs led by a museum educator focusing on specific topics in Indigenous histories, cultures, and contemporary lives. A variety of programs are available for Pre-K–12 students. For more information, visit


IMPACT Libraries Logo

The University of Maryland iSchool’s IMProving Assessment of Computational Thinking in Libraries (IMPACT Libraries) research team is looking for public library staff to help evaluate a series of assessment tools developed to measure the success of Computational Thinking (CT) programs for youth ages 11-18.  Each participating library will be provided $1000 to cover costs associated with using the assessment tools and meeting with the research team. For more information, visit



In celebration and recognition of the movement toward social equity, The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation (EJK Foundation), in collaboration with The Office Performing Arts + Film, has produced a new 30-minute documentary with free streaming access for all audiences. Directed by Damani Baker (The House on Coco Road), edited by Jon Henry Fine, and with original music by Meshell Ndegeocello, the film is an enlightening and informative portrait of the ways in which multiculturalism is critical to the health of our society. Tell Me Another Story describes the dedication of intellectual and artistic giants, who have, for over one hundred years, attempted to bring authentic imagery into the books all children read. The film highlights the creators, past and present, whose focus has uplifted children’s literature from W.E.B. Du Bois, Augusta Baker, Pura Belpré and Ezra Jack Keats, to Pat Cummings, Marley Dias, Grace Lin, Christopher Myers, and Andrea Davis Pinkney. Also identified are the contributions made by the many children’s book awards that make multiculturalism central to their mission, including the Coretta Scott King, Pura Belpré and Ezra Jack Keats Awards. For more information, visit


Storytime is a magical event, and each program is a big deal in the life of a young child. During this tutorial, you will learn how to make your storytimes meaningful and impactful for your audience. This tutorial is meant to support those who are new to storytime. It covers basic skills, like preparing for storytime, reading books out loud, using props and music, and engaging adults and children. Each section has an interactive module filled with useful information, examples, and videos. There are also links to documents and online resources that will support your storytime practice. For more information, visit t.


For more information, visit our youth services page, contact Christina Taylor at, or call 512-463-5465.

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