The agenda focuses on four priority areas for research: impact of library services, reading and resources, information seeking behaviors and needs, and informal and formal learning environments and young adults. In addition, certain aspects of young adult services apply across all four priority areas: issues related to cognitive, emotional, and physical development; issues related to intellectual freedom; issues related to technology; and issues related to traditional and digital literacies, including information literacy.
YALSA's Research Agenda was developed by members of the association's Research Committee. This group of library science educators, working in graduate schools of library science across the United States, surveyed the field to determine gaps in research and determine the questions that needed to be answered in order to fill those gaps. The research called for in this agenda will help guarantee that librarians serving young adults are able to provide the best service possible as well as advocate for funding and support in order to ensure that teens are served effectively by their libraries.