This ILMS-sponsored study focuses on understanding informal learning.
"Young people respond to appropriate structure, positive relationships,
and a sense of accomplishment - and they need more than schools alone
can offer. Libraries and museums help fill the gaps through
complementary leadership, rich resources, and effective programs."
Museums and libraries bring unique assets to youth development,
according to the study. They include dedicated, knowledgeable staff;
authentic objects, artifacts, and information resources; opportunities
for personalized, hands-on learning; support for cognitive and social
development; and experiences to help parents, families, and caregivers
make learning fun and rewarding. According to the study, the most
effective youth programs:
*include long-term, trusting, supportive relationships between and among youth,
staff, and other adults;
*partner with community-based organizations and other cultural institutions;
*substantively involve youth in program design and decision making; and,
*regularly assess or evaluate, using what's learned to improve the program and
strengthen other youth development efforts
Institute of Museum and Library Services. (2007). Engaging America's Youth:
Final Report of a Study of IMLS Youth Programs, 1998-2003. Washington, DC: Author.