“Our Silent Book Club has been a surprising success—surprising because if someone had told me a year ago that relaxing on comfortable beanbags and reading whatever books we want to read qualifies as an actual program, I would have yeeted that person straight out of the library,” says Wolfskehl, using the popular slang term for … Continue reading The Sound of Silence
As Luke Kirkland, teen department head at the Waltham (Mass.) Public Library, describes teen-driven services, they are initiated by youth: “Adults are invited to support teens in executing their ideas. Teens retain power of decision making and agency throughout execution.” It’s important that our libraries progress from a teen-centered to a teen-driven model. The latter … Continue reading Give Teens the Lead
Sustainability initiatives often focus primarily on environmentalism, that is, the importance of reducing the footprint we leave on our physical spaces and habitats in order to preserve them over time. Social and financial measures are just as important to the longevity of our work, and by incorporating these principles into our programming, we can help … Continue reading What Does Green Mean?
“I knew I wanted to do something about civics, but I didn’t know where to begin. I bribed [teens] with Pizza and Politics,” Remy, branch supervisor at Springfield City Library, told attendees at “Young Changemakers in 21st Century Libraries,” a January 25 program at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Remy soon learned … Continue reading Being the Change
“That can often mean supporting other types of literacy,” such as digital literacy or numeracy, Irwin said at “From A(ddiction) to Z(its): Health Information and Programs for Teens,” a session he presented at the Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YALSA) Symposium in Memphis, Tennessee, on November 3. “You don’t want to provide health advice because … Continue reading YALSA Symposium: Wellness and Community
Know your audience Who do you want to know about summer learning? Parents and caregivers? Teachers? The teens themselves? Other organizations serving youth in the community? While the answer is undoubtedly all four, think about your library and community. How does word get around about your events? Maybe it’s from parents reading your quarterly newsletter … Continue reading Get the Word Out
Why meet with professionals? Often the best information about a specific career comes from people working in that field. Career counselors recommend that teens interview professionals informally in areas that interest them. Such interviews can: Provide an insider’s view of the profession or a specific company or organization. Reveal information on what education, certifications, or … Continue reading Career Workshops for Teens
“We had tens of thousands of Facebook hits, of calls, of emails. It was crazy,” says Lucas, who is assistant director of library services at North Bend (Oreg.) Public Library (NBPL). “Other libraries were saying: ‘Oh, tell me more, tell me more!’ At one point, I could barely keep up.” The frenzy reached its zenith … Continue reading Adulting 101
Teens sometimes talk loudly, run around the building, or harass peers and those younger or older than themselves. They may get into fights or act carelessly with library materials. One way schools and libraries are working to help teens effectively manage these behaviors—and lessen behavior problems overall—is through restorative justice. In a May webinar on … Continue reading Undoing Harm
On an instinctive level, teen services librarians know that it is important to provide teens with dedicated space in the library. As their advocates, teen services librarians must be able to: articulate why a dedicated teen space is important make a case for teen space to managers, coworkers, and community members express how space is … Continue reading A Place of Their Own
“Anytime I experience something cool in my real life, I think, ‘How could I bring this to the library?’” says Karissa Alcox, escape room aficionado and youth librarian at Fort Erie (Ont.) Public Library. “It takes place indoors, and you don’t need much aside from some locks and props—a library can afford to do it.” … Continue reading Libraries on Lockdown
Successful geek programming for teens can be a costly endeavor. But there are shortcuts.