Local Librarian Accepted into 2019 Youth Services Development Institute
August 20, 2019

Beloit Public Library is excited to announce that librarian Sarah Hemm has been accepted to attend the prestigious Wisconsin Youth Services Development Institute later this month.

Hemm is one of only 25 individuals selected to participate out of a very competitive pool of applicants. Her commitment to youth services in Wisconsin public libraries and her desire for professional leadership set her apart from the crowd.

“Sarah has quickly become a leader in youth services at BPL,” said Beloit Public Library Director Nick Dimassis. “She exemplifies our approach to providing outstanding programming and customer service: A deep desire to engage with kids on an individual level, to create multiple opportunities and channels for learning, to continually develop her own skills and knowledge, and to share it all with her colleagues. She’s got it all. And her enthusiasm is amazing! She’ll contribute as much to the program as she receives. We’re very proud of her being selected!”

The 2019 Wisconsin Youth Services Development Institute will take place in Lake Geneva later this month. It provides professional development and networking for Wisconsin public library staff who serve babies, children, and teens in smaller public libraries.

“I’m very excited about being accepted into the Youth Services Development Institute because it’s very important to me to develop and grow professionally,” Hemm said, “and this gives me a unique opportunity to improve my knowledge and skills, and be part of a network of library peers and mentors. I’m looking forward to working with the cohort throughout the year and applying what I learn to youth services at BPL!”

Over the course of three days, participants will experience foundational training related to youth services, including programming, advocacy, and collection development. Emphasis will be placed on developing technology and leadership skills. Training is conducted by the state library agency’s Youth and Inclusive Services consultant and experienced professionals from around the state. The Institute is limited to 25 participants in order to facilitate an effective, intimate, and focused Institute experience. Face-to-face interaction in a small group setting is considered an important element of the Institute and the basis for future networking and professional participation, online and in-person.

Engagement in the Institute begins upon acceptance of a spot in the 25-person cohort and continues through the 12 months following the in-person training. The Institute experience requires a commitment of time and energy. In return, participants can expect professional transformation. Graduates of the 2013, 2015, and 2017 Institutes described their experiences as “life changing.”

Wisconsin Youth Services Development Institute participants return to their communities with more knowledge and skills for improving/implementing youth services at their public library. Participants will develop a new and immediate network of library peers as well as identify professionals and networks with whom to connect.

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