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Focus on Children and Young Adults Institute

About the Focus Institute

The Focus on Children and Young Adults Institute is a three-day, intensive training on the principles of children’s and teen public library services. Training sessions are presented by members of the Oregon Library Association's Children's Services Division and Oregon Young Adult Network. It takes place in September of even-numbered years.
All public library staff are welcome to apply to attend the Focus Institute. However, preference is given to people who do not have a Masters Degree in Library Science, work with children and teens, and work at small/rural libraries. Attendance is limited to 25 people to ensure a high-quality experience so admission may be competitive.
Participants are required to attend all the training sessions, eat meals with the group, and sleep on site in order to achieve the following two goals of the Focus Institute. Exceptions can be made for people with special needs.
  • Library staff will develop a foundation of professional knowledge to improve children and teen services at their public library.
  • Library staff will meet colleagues from similar libraries and support each other professionally through continued communication long after the Focus Institute.  

2016 Focus Institute

Apply: The State Library is not accepting applications at this time. Check back in July 2018 to apply for the next Focus Institute. 
Dates: The next Focus Institute will be in September 2018. The last Focus Institute was September 25-28, 2016.
2016 Location: Menucha Retreat and Conference Center in the Columbia River Gorge
2016 Cost: $85 (this includes 9 meals and 3 nights lodging)
The State Library is able to keep costs low for participants because the Focus Institute is primarily funded by Library Services and Technology Act funds from the national Institute of Museum and Library Services.
2016 Training sessions:
  • Early language, literacy, and brain development
  • Early literacy storytimes and easy outreach
  • Rethinking shelving to help kids and their parents find the right book
  • Collection development to increase circulation of children's and teen materials
  • Children's and teen summer reading best practices and easy outreach
  • Everyone serves teens: Teen development
  • Selling it the Stacks: Help teens find the right book
  • Teens can help! Advisory councils and volunteers
 Contact Katie Anderson for more information (Katie.Anderson@state.or.us, 503-378-2528)