These opportunities are available for free unless otherwise noted. Descriptions are provided by host organizations.
National Voter Registration Day
September 19, 2023
Whether you’re new to the world of registering voters or you’re a National Voter Registration Day veteran, everyone can use a little help getting their friends, family, and broader community registered to vote. Check out our library of Resources and Materials for tips on everything from talking face-to-face with potential voters to knowing the laws about voter registration in your state. For more information, visit the National Voter Registration Day website.
Color Our World Program Contest
September 29, 2023
The Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) is running a contest for the most creatively unique program ideas that center their 2025 theme, Color Our World: Colorea Nuestro Mundo. One program will be chosen from each category—children, teens, and adults—as well as one contributor of early literacy books and songs that best captures the theme. Although there is no limit on the number of ideas a library can submit, CSLP is prioritizing high-quality, creative, colorful program concepts over quantity. Furthermore, program ideas submitted with photos have the highest chances of winning.
Winners will receive a coupon for $50 worth of CSLP store merchandise where libraries can purchase some great Adventure Begins at Your Library merchandise for 2024! So, help the CSLP Color Our World in 2025 by submitting your library’s brilliant, fun, and educational programs for next year’s program manual! For more information, visit the contest website.
DEADLINE: September 29, 2023
Library Card Sign-up Month
Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, libraries unite in a national effort to ensure every child signs-up for their own library card.
Throughout the school year, public librarians, and library staff will assist parents and caregivers with saving hundreds of dollars on educational resources and services for students. From free access to STEAM programs/activities, educational apps, in-person, and virtual homework help, technology workshops to the expertise of librarians, a library card is one of the most cost-effective back-to-school supplies available.
Read Anything Book Club
October 10, 2023
A new Talking Book Program youth book club format begins October 10th! The Read Anything Book Club will take place on Zoom, and participants can truly read anything! At the meeting, they’ll spend the hour talking about what they have read and recommending books to each other. They can also just come to listen! Closer to October, the Talking Book Program will have some reading suggestions if you need help picking a book. Make sure you’re signed up for our youth newsletters to get all the details: www.tsl.texas.gov/tbp/youthservices
Americans and the Holocaust Traveling Exhibition
October 14, 2023
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) presents Americans and the Holocaust, a traveling exhibition that examines the motives, pressures and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war and genocide in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s. Following a highly successful tour, the exhibition will now be available to 50 additional public and academic (i.e., college and university) libraries from 2024 to 2026. For more information, visit the exhibit’s webpage. Deadline to apply is October 14, 2023.
Eclipse Soundscapes Project
October 14, 2023
The Eclipse Soundscapes (ES) Project is focused on the following science question: How does life on Earth, specifically wildlife, respond to solar eclipses? ES has put a special focus on developing a project that is accessible and inclusive with a special focus on Blind and Low Vision accessible (BLV) so that members of the BLV community have the opportunity to participate equally and alongside their sighted peers. Participants will document changes in animal behavior and sounds during the upcoming October 14, 2023, and April 8, 2024 solar eclipses. There are multiple ways to participate and earn certificates: learn about eclipses, observe during an eclipse, collect audio data during eclipse week, and analyze collected data after eclipses. For more information, visit the project website.
The Eclipse Soundscapes Project is a NASA Science Activation Project (Award #80NSSC21M0008).
Teentober is a nationwide celebration hosted by libraries every October and aims to celebrate teens, promote year-round teen services and the innovative ways teen services help teens learn new skills, and fuel their passions in and outside the library. Teentober replaces the previous Teen Read Week™ and Teen Tech Week™ celebrations, allowing libraries the flexibility to celebrate all types of literacies according to their library’s schedule. Library staff are encouraged to utilize this new celebration to advocate for and raise awareness of the importance of year-round teen services in libraries.
Young Adult Reading Incentive
Now that the yellow buses are running and the sun sets a bit sooner, it’s time to take a bow and accept congratulations on finishing one hot summer library program! If you resonated with your community and creatively motivated young adults to read over those long Summer days, you’ve got a program that Texas Library Association’s (TLA) Young Adult Round Table (YART) would love to share with your colleagues across Texas. So, please consider applying for the 2024 Young Adult Reading Incentive Award (YARI) to show them all how it’s done!
The purpose of the YARI Award is to honor a library worker who has shown exceptional ability in motivating young adults to read via the development and implementation of a creative and effective reading program for young adults in grades 6-12. The award consists of an engraved plaque, a stipend of $500, and a session at the TLA Annual Conference where you’ll share your award winning program with your fellow Young Adult Librarians. For more information, visit the award website.
These tools are available for free unless otherwise noted. Descriptions are provided by host organizations.
Parenting with a Disability or Chronic Illness
The Newton Gresham Library at Sam Houston State University is pleased to announce the open online publication of Parenting with a Disability or Chronic Illness: An Essential Bibliography. The purpose of this annotated bibliography is to curate excellent books to support families with minor children and at least one parent or caretaker living with a disability or chronic illness that affects the parenting experience. They hope this bibliography will help families quickly and easily identify beneficial resources and also efficiently borrow them from their local libraries at no cost to them, via links to WorldCat.org. A feedback tool is included for visitors to recommend improvements so that the resource can continue to evolve with time.
Peace Corps Global Connections
Libraries can invite a returned Peace Corps Volunteer in their community to come participate in library programs for both youth and adults. During and after their service abroad, Volunteers also give back to communities in the U.S. by connecting with schools, clubs, youth groups, libraries, etc. to share about their international service experience. Via the Global Connections program, Volunteers can introduce your library patrons to a new world culture, provide global perspectives on the importance of volunteering, lead language lessons, and help inspire youth and adults to service. For more information, visit the program website.
My Two Border Towns
Join award-winning author David Bowles in this author read-along of My Two Border Towns—his picture book about a boy’s life on the U.S.-Mexico border, visiting his favorite places on The Other Side with his father, spending time with family and friends, and sharing in the responsibility of community care. For more information, visit the Brightly Storytime YouTube video.
Story Pirates is a multi-award-winning family podcast which takes stories submitted by kids and turns them into sketch comedy and songs. In addition, the parent company has released critically acclaimed middle grade books with Random House Children’s Books and several award-winning albums, all based on ideas from kids around the world. These songs and sketches are often performed on the podcast or their albums by artists and celebrities like Kristen Bell, John Oliver, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sara Bareilles, Seth Myers, and many more. Furthermore, in partnership with their non-profit arm, Story Pirates Changemakers, they produce Story Pirates Presents: SPTV which is currently in its second season airing on public television in various cities. Story Pirates produced the first Looney Tunes podcast for Warner Brothers Animation, Bugs and Daffy’s Thanksgiving Road Trip. For more information and to access content, visit the Story Pirates website.
Wonderopolis was created by the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) in 2010, and it has become one of the most popular education sites today. With multi-disciplinary content that purposefully aligns to Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the STEM Educational Quality Framework, and Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy, it’s earned a place in K-12 curriculum and in classrooms worldwide. The daily Wonder can be used to jumpstart students’ critical thinking, or you can dip into their ever-growing collection of Wonders for content that relates to specific themes and student interests.To access the online suite of offerings, visit the program website.
Jarret J. Krosoczka’s YouTube Channel
New York Times-bestselling author/illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka gives readers a look at his creative process and offers writing and drawing tutorials via YouTube. To access the online suite of offerings, visit Krosoczka’s YouTube channel.
Need more support?
Wish you had access to a repository of all the tools that have been featured in the monthly Youth Services Updates? Check out our Resource Archive for more information.
In addition, be sure to peruse our Training Catalog for webinars that focus on Youth Services. Our holdings are constantly updated, so check back often.