Call Number Podcast: Let Them Lead

November 13, 2020

In Episode 56, Call Number looks at library efforts to support and engage teen activism. First, American Libraries Associate Editor Sallyann Price speaks with Donnell Washington, senior library assistant at Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library, about the Better Hope for Tomorrow virtual summit for teens that he helped organize. Next, American Libraries Managing Editor Terra Dankowski … Continue reading Call Number Podcast: Let Them Lead


Teen Librarians Talk Empowerment

November 11, 2020

This year’s symposium focused on partnerships, empowerment, and using YA literature to promote equity. At the Saturday, November 7 session “Our Teens Have a Voice: Methods in Planning and Executing a Youth Conference on Social Justice,” the two presenters—Erin Hoopes, branch manager of Philadelphia City Institute of the Free Library of Philadelphia, and Gabrielle Miller, … Continue reading Teen Librarians Talk Empowerment


Teen leader Iris Alvarenga poses in front of yard signs at Waltham (Mass.) Public Library that depict issues youth patrons care about. The installation was a partnership between the library, civic organization For Freedoms, and local art group Blueprint Projects. Photo: Erwin Cardona/Waltham (Mass.) Public Library

Let Them Lead

November 2, 2020

This isn’t the first time in recent years that teens have taken a visible role in public protests. Many of them marched in support of the DREAM Act and spoke out about immigration policy; advocated for gun control after the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida; and followed environmental … Continue reading Let Them Lead



Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Give Teens the Lead

May 1, 2020

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



Former school librarian Helen Adams recalled the rise in surveillance technology in schools after the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School.

No Minor Concern

June 25, 2019

“Ensuring library users’ confidentiality frees them from fear of retaliation or intimidation as a result of reading a book, visiting a website, or consulting other library resources,” said Candice Mack, senior YA services librarian with the Los Angeles Public Library system. “This is regardless of age.” Deborah Caldwell-Stone, interim director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual … Continue reading No Minor Concern


Kara Shelton Watson

Shaping Digital Citizens

September 4, 2018

I tell them that I believe that digital citizenship falls naturally under the domain of librarians, as we place high value on using and creating information ethically. In schools, we have a curriculum that teaches students the concepts of citizenship, community, and social justice through varied disciplines. And in the school library, these ideals come together. … Continue reading Shaping Digital Citizens


Abby Johnson

Helping Hands

May 1, 2018

At the New Albany–Floyd County (Ind.) Public Library, where I work, we have a teen volunteer program that starts at age 11. We get a high volume of requests for volunteer hours because of a service requirement at a nearby middle school. We’re one of the only games in town for these kids, many of … Continue reading Helping Hands


At Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Civic Data Zine Camp, young adults learned data literacy concepts by presenting statistical narratives and visualizations in a handmade zine format. Photo: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Engaging Civic-Minded Teens

March 1, 2018

But what about data literacy? Did librarians tackle charts and graphs as much as headlines? And what about teens, who are often overlooked in the context of civic and voter preparedness? Increasingly, librarians are addressing these questions by bringing statistical education and opportunities to young adults—and they’re using massive collections of open civic datasets to … Continue reading Engaging Civic-Minded Teens


Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Undoing Harm

November 1, 2017

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