MBLC and MLS part of a national effort to transform teen library services


February 11, 2020
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is joining state library agencies from across the nation to participate in Transforming Teen Services: A Train the Trainer Approach, developed by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) to transform teen library services throughout the country.

As part of the project, the MBLC is partnering with the Massachusetts Library System (MLS). MBLC Project Manager Lyndsay Forbes and MLS Consultant Christi Farrar participated in a three-day training in Chicago during the fall 2019. Based on this training, Forbes and Farrar worked together to develop a train the trainer workshop that is now being offered at locations across the state.

“We're excited to be part of this national initiative,” said Forbes. “It's important for library staff to gain skills in articulating the value of the work that they do with teens and to better understand the needs of teens in their local communities.” As part of the multi-year project, Forbes and Farrar are planning future workshops that will cover youth development and connected learning.

Registration is open for the workshops which begin on March 6, 2020. More information about the sessions is available on the MLS website. Forbes and Farrar will also present It's more than Coding: How computational thinking as a Practice Can Build Equity in Learning at the Massachusetts School Library Association Conference in March and take part in a virtual community of practice over the next two years.

In November 2020, Forbes and Farrar will participate in a face-to-face summit in Reno, NV where project participants from across the nation will discuss project successes and challenges and share resources that will be used to develop a resource database focused on connected learning and computational thinking activities. This free tool will be shared with library community. Learn more about the Transforming Teen Services: A Train the Trainer project on YALSA's website. The project is generously funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).


The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail:


COSLA is an independent organization of the chief officers of state and territorial agencies designated as the state library administrative agency and responsible for statewide library development. Its purpose is to provide leadership on issues of common concern and national interest; to further state library agency relationships with federal government and national organizations; and to initiate cooperative action for the improvement of library services to the people of the United States.

About IMLS

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services.

About MBLC

The Board of Library Commissioners ( is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.