Adolescents and Libraries: From Understanding to Advocacy
Fee: $75 for those in the California library community & Infopeople partners and $150 for those out-of-state, no fee for qualifying California rural libraries.
(An Infopeople Online Learning Course)
May 5, 2009 - June 8, 2009
It's 3:30 in the afternoon and your library is filled with teenagers, some using computers, some doing homework at tables, some just socializing. How do you view this adolescent activity in your library?
If your library is close to a middle school or high school, you know that the after-school hours can be challenging. You may have older patrons who find groups of teens intimidating. Library staff may complain about teenagers who test the limits with their behavior. On the other hand, you may have teenage users who are avid and appreciative readers or loyal volunteers at the library. How can you balance these conflicting views of adolescents using your library?
This online course will help you to:
- Understand what today's teens are going through and the influences on their behavior.
- Identify ways to keep current with teen culture.
- Form positive and proactive relationships with teenage library users.
- Acquire skills to fairly and consistently correct behavior when appropriate.
With a better understanding of the challenges facing adolescents, you will be able to develop some strategies for library service that meets their needs. While building positive relationships with adolescents, you'll become an advocate for teens in your library and in your community.
Workshop Description: This four-week online course provides an overview of teenagers in American society and of the biological, psychological, sociological and other influences on adolescent behaviors. You will identify what makes local teens unique, share ideas on how to keep your fingers on the pulse of teen culture, and strategize how to improve library services to teens. Through reading, exercises, and group discussion, you will be able to discern which "annoying" teen behaviors can be overlooked, which should be corrected, and which can be prevented through improved service to this sometimes challenging user group.
The instructor will provide resources, best practices, and useful tips and techniques that can be applied immediately.
During the course, you will be completing an exercise or taking a quiz each week. Active participation in online discussion forums as part of the online learning process is required. During the third week there will be an online meeting, in which Beth Gallaway and Dr. Anthony Bernier will present different perspectives on adolescent needs and library services.
Preliminary Course Outline: Using your web browser and your Internet connection, you will log in to the Infopeople online learning site and complete the following learning modules:
- Week One: Defining the Millennial Generation
- Benchmarks in the history of the teenager in American culture
- Take a pop culture quiz
- YALSA's competencies for library staff serving teens
- Who are the teens in your community?
- Week Two: Influences on Adolescent Behavior
- Biological changes
- Psychological changes
- Sociological influences
- Week Three: Building Positive Relationships
- Developing proactive and positive relationships with teen users
- Delivering excellent outreach, customer service, reference and reader's advisory to teens
- Advocating for teens in your library and in your community
- Week Four: Responding to Disrespectful Behavior
- Establishing and enforcing rules of conduct
- Discipline tips
- Following up, de-briefing and de-stressing
Online Learning Details:
This four-week course is taught online using the Web. Because the Memorial Day holiday falls during the session, we will extend the class by one week, through June 8, 2009. When you register, you will receive a registration confirmation including the URL to get to the course, as well as a username and password. We recommend that you log in sometime during the first week to begin the course work.
To complete this course, you can expect to spend 2 to 2½ hours per week. You can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night. However, it is recommended that you complete each week's assignments within that week to stay in synch with other students.
After the official end date for the course, the instructor will be available for limited consultation and support for two more weeks, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that. These extra weeks give those who have fallen behind time to work independently to complete the course. To earn a certificate of completion, students must complete assignments, take quizzes and participate in discussions.
Who Should Take This Course: This course is for anyone from the library community with an interest in better understanding American teenagers. It is ideal for front line staff who interact with teens on a daily basis, and useful for policy creators and managers who may interact indirectly with teens. Teens are not simply the domain of the young adult librarian. Whether you work in administration, collection services, circulation or reference, teens are everyone's challenge and everyone's opportunity. The methods for preventing and responding to potentially disruptive behavior can be applied to patrons of all ages.
Certification: Infopeople is an approved provider for the Western Council Library Practitioner Certification Program.
This course is taught over the web. You must:
- Be able to save Microsoft Word .doc or Adobe .pdf files to your computer and print them out. (For .doc files, a free Word Viewer is available at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/search.aspx?displaylang=en. Search for "Word Viewer." For .pdf files, a free Adobe Acrobat Reader is available at http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/main.html).
- Be comfortable navigating on the web and navigating back and forward on a website that uses frames.
- To be most successful in this course you should be willing to share information with your colleagues and be willing to spend time reading and participating in the weekly discussion boards.
System Requirements: The online learning product that Infopeople uses is called Moodle. If you have taken an Infopeople online course in the past, please note that this is a change from Angel, the previous online learning product. The following are minimum system requirements for using Moodle. You will need access to a computer that has at least these specifications to participate in an online course:
- Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Windows Vista
- Internet Explorer 7.0 and above, Mozilla Firefox 2.0 and above
- Phishing Filter disabled (IE 7)
- OS X and above (OS 9 will NOT work with our online learning product)
- Mozilla Firefox 2.0 and above, Safari 2.0 and above
- High speed Internet connection (dial up not recommended)
- Pop-up blockers disabled
If you are not comfortable with any of the above, please consider taking this course with a colleague who does meet these requirements.
Course Start: This online learning course starts on May 5, 2009.
If you would like to subscribe via RSS and be notified whenever new Infopeople training events are available, you can use these links:
**For new on-ground or online workshops: infopeople.org/workshop/rss
**For new podcasts: feeds.feedburner.com/InfopeoplePodcasts