Teens and Librarians - Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

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					Teens and Librarians:
  Everybody Wins
      Karen Brooks-Reese
   Teen Services Coordinator
   Teen Services by the Numbers
• 78% of 8-18 year olds nationwide have a
  library card.
• 57% have used a public library in the last
  month.
• ¾ of Americans think it is a high priority for
  libraries to provide a place for teens to study
  and congregate.
• 26% of teens say they would use the library
  more often if it had a space just for teens.
“Teens are increasingly becoming
  library immigrants in a land of
          library natives.”

            - Mary Madden
   Pew Internet & Digital Life Project
                        The Library:
An adult perspective:               A teen perspective:

•   Quiet                           • Can’t think – too quiet!
•   Good books                      • Books are outdated – I’d
•   Helpful librarians                rather use the internet
•   Cute little kids at storytime   • Nosy adults
•   Reasonable loan rules           • Obnoxious little kids sticking
•   Comfortable                       their noses into my business
                                    • Impossible-to-follow rules
                                    • Uncomfortable – nowhere
                                      to sprawl, put my feet up…
2,422 Teens participated in Teen
Summer Reading at 38 libraries.

They read 11,522 books, 98,127
  minutes, and 41,976 pages.
Teen District Services provided each
  library with posters, bookmarks,
electronic documents to reproduce
             and PRIZES.
241 entries to the Ralph Munn Creative Writing
Contest were received from high school students all
over Allegheny County.

101 pieces will be published in the Ralph Munn
Chapbook, and each library will receive a copy to
add to their collections.
A Eulogy for American English
By Dani Zionts Lyon

Inside my head, I called myself the “savior,”
a messianic angel, fantasized
about the day I would myself proclaim
the English language mine, romanticized
that trivial profession I endured:
lexicographer. I thought myself—
the God of Grammar—with my pen ensured
the English language. An exquisite life.

 The day I went too far, I killed a child,
Hyphen, the misbegotten son of ampersand.
My ego-trip unbreathed him, my pen, wild,
tore him from homes in fig-leaves, log-jams.
The written word has turned to mush—soon gone,
I’ve mangled it, yet English marches on.
• 128 Gift Books sent to teen
  librarians to add to their
  collections in past week

• Advance Reader Copies (ARCs)
  available to borrow

• Weeding and collection analysis
  assistance available!
• Teen Services Meetings          • Training and Workshops
   – Bimonthly, rotating             – Teen Summer Reading
     locations
   – Opportunity to:                 – Audioconferences
      • Share ideas                     • Gaming in Libraries
      • Discuss teen literature         • Serving Teens in Busy
      • Network with other teen           Branches
        librarians
   – Training component at           – Adolescent Brain
     each meeting                      Development Workshop
      • Booktalking                     • October 28th
      • Podcasting                      • Session 1 for all staff
      • Graphic Novels                  • Session 2 primarily for teen
   – New for 2009: Themed                 services staff
     meetings
• Where do tweens (ages 8-11 or 9-12, usually) fit into
  library services?

• Tween Task Force, made up of children’s and teen
  librarians from throughout the county, will:
   – Explore best practices for tween services
   – Develop resources for use by libraries throughout the
     county
   – Offer tween services training workshop
   What Else Can We Do?
       The Library: a Teen Perspective


    Can’t think – it’s too quiet!

Does it need to be that quiet all the time? Could
the library allow a bit more noise after school, or
create a teen space where noise is permitted?
Some studies show that teens (especially boys)
actually work better with auditory stimulation.
         What Else Can We Do?
              The Library: a Teen Perspective


Books are outdated – I’d rather use the internet

        Today’s teens have never known a world
        without the internet. Is it any wonder they’re
        more comfortable online? Be familiar with
        useful databases, and be able to pair those with
        books. Don’t forget to explain why the internet
        isn’t always the best resource!
   What Else Can We Do?
        The Library: a Teen Perspective


The library’s full of mean, nosy adults.

 Encourage your staff to think of teens as people
 first and teens second. They should be friendly,
 but step back if a teen doesn’t need or want
 help. They should ask questions and engage in
 conversation and not assume that just because
 somebody is under 18 that they’re up to no
 good!
        What Else Can We Do?
            The Library: a Teen Perspective


The obnoxious little kids are always sticking
their noses into my business.
     If you’re going to the effort to offer teen
     programs, make them teen programs. Younger
     kids might want to join in, but teens aren’t going
     to want to participate if the program is full of
     little kids. Consider making certain chairs or
     computers “teen only” at certain times of day.
   What Else Can We Do?
       The Library: a Teen Perspective

  I can’t follow all those rules.
Most libraries are full of unnecessary rules that
are designed to stop specific behavior, not the
actual activity. Why can’t teens share
computers? Why can’t they play games?
Usually it’s a noise issue – so wouldn’t a better
rule be “keep noise at a minimum”?

Strict loan rules with fees attached can be very
difficult, especially for teens who don’t have
their own income. Consider exploring a “fine
alternative” program or something similar.
          What Else Can We Do?
              The Library: a Teen Perspective

The library’s uncomfortable. There’s nowhere to
sprawl and I can’t put my feet up or my head down.

       When was the last time you saw a teenager
       sitting upright in a chair and enjoying it? Look
       into furniture like “poofs,” ottomans, diner-style
       tables – if you really want teens to use it, ask for
       their help in picking it out!
•   Develop lifelong library users.
•   Active, willing volunteers.
•   Build community support
•   Teens’ parents are voters – and so are they.
 What Teens (and teen librarians) Need from YOU
• Understanding that offering excellent services
  to teens is as important as offering services to
  children or adults.

• Support (monetary and moral) for teen
  librarians who want to try new things.

• Release time for teen librarians to attend
  meetings and training workshops.
• Additional training needed?

• Program ideas?

• ????
Contact Information
    Karen Brooks Reese
 Teen Services Coordinator
       412-578-2599
brooks1@carnegielibrary.org

				
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posted:7/4/2011
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