Youth Services

Touchpoints in Libraries

MBLC and MLS offer Touchpoints in Libraries training to current staff in Massachusetts public libraries. The goal of this training is to support more effective family and caregiver engagement in libraries. Brazelton Touchpoints Center (BTC) partnered with libraries to adapt their Touchpoints trainings to support libraries' unique relationships with families and communities. BTC is part of Boston Children’s Hospital.

Touchpoints in Libraries introduces participants to the Touchpoints approach and explores how it can enhance and expand the important work they already do with families and caregivers. The Touchpoints in Libraries professional development training supports library staff to:

  • view children’s development as a process characterized by ups and downs
  • identify opportunities to connect with and support families through routine library interactions, programs, and services
  • use intentional strategies to connect with and support families and other caregivers
  • create a shared language and understanding of child development, a strengths-based approach to engaging families, and a community of practice and professional support for library staff

Learn more about Touchpoints in Libraries from this informational webinar.

Training Details

Participants will be part of a small group of librarians that engage with one another in live and interactive learning guided by trained facilitators. Each training consists of:

  • Eight 90-minute virtual sessions, independent practice assignments, and an online discussion board.
  • Six 1-hour monthly virtual reflective practice sessions after training completion that reinforce the strategies and tools learned during the live modules.

Participants should expect to spend approximately 28 hours participating in sessions, discussion boards, and completing assignments over the course of this training.

Upcoming Training Offerings

We are currently selecting participants for two cohorts this fall. These cohorts will also include public library staff from New Hampshire and Maine.

Participants will be assigned to a particular cohort and must attend those sessions. The Tuesday cohort will meet virtually at 1:30-3:00pm each week from September 26th - November 14th. The Thursday cohort will meet virtually at 1:00-2:30pm each week from September 14th - November 2nd.

When feasible, it is strongly recommended that libraries have a two-person team to participate in Touchpoints. Participants find it much easier to apply the principles of Touchpoints in their library when there is additional staff involved. Small libraries may submit a single team member, as we recognize that may be the only way they can participate. Libraries may also submit a three-person team if there is the staff capacity to support the time commitment Touchpoints requires.

This training is beneficial for all staff that interact with families in the library. While that would include youth services staff, other departments such as circulation or outreach find the training helpful in fostering positive interactions and relationships.

Libraries who would like to participate should complete the letter of interest by August 21.

Please contact Lyndsay Forbes at MBLC or Christi Farrar at MLS with any questions.

Grant Opportunities

The MBLC uses federal LSTA funding to provide grants for libraries to create innovative, educational services for children and teens.

Support & Resources from the Massachusetts Library System (MLS)

MLS has a series of resource guides designed to help youth services and school librarians work together and share tools, tips, and information.

MLS Youth Services Resource Guides

Christi Farrar
Massachusetts Library System
866-627-7228, x323