This past spring, the Youth Section organized an event entitled “Libraries Making a Difference for Children and Teens at Risk” at McGill University's downtown campus. The first speaker, Nicholas Warren, gave his talk -- “More hats than libraries: Serving at-risk youth at multiple alternative schools”, wherein he shared his successes, challenges, and strategies for working with at-risk teenagers at EMSB alternative schools. Carole Boubalos provided the second talk: "Programming ideas to serve the special needs of autistic children in a library setting". She shared her experience of telling stories to autistic children as well as her creative use of puppets and props. Both of these talks sparked interesting discussions among the attendees and many attendees expressed their interests in effective library services to children and teenagers at risk. It is worth mentioning that this event successfully attracted a good number of students from the McGill and University of Montreal library schools, and this led to their signing up as ABQLA student members.
-- Jennifer Zhao & Nicholas Warren, April 2015