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Teen Services Fundamentals
An Infopeople Online Learning Course (LSSC approved)
Instructor: Sarah Flowers
Libraries can be a tremendous resource for teens, helping them to learn about themselves and the world they live in. Does your work in the library include service to teens? Do you want to increase your confidence and competence in providing fundamental teen services?
Librarian and author Sarah Flowers will share resources, experiences, and ideas for working with this energetic and enthusiastic age group (commonly defined as ages 12 to 18). As a result of the course, you'll be able to:
- Create a welcoming environment for teens in your library
- Find out what teens read, listen to, and watch, and guide them to "something good to read"
- Help teens meet their homework or other information needs
- Navigate issues connected with access, privacy, challenges to materials, and Internet use
You'll come away from the course with an understanding of the developmental needs of teens in our diverse society and tools to identify and enhance the library's role in meeting those needs. This course will enable you to advocate for teens and for library services geared specifically to them.
Course Description: This four-week online course will provide weekly readings, practical assignments, and discussion forums for sharing ideas and experiences. The instructor will provide essential resources, best practices, and useful tips and techniques that can be applied immediately in your library. There will be two optional online meetings during the course. The first online meeting, on Wednesday, June 1, at 1p.m. Pacific time, will focus on graphic novels. The second online meeting, on Thursday, June 16, at 1p.m. Pacific time, will explore and encourage sharing of ideas for teen programming.
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 1: Adolescent Development and the Library
- How teens are different from children and adults
- Tips for positive interactions with teens
- Developmental Assets and their implications for libraries
- Serving teens from diverse backgrounds and with special needs
- Week 2: Materials Selection and Readers' Advisory
- What teens read, watch, and listen to
- Selection sources and collection development
- Readers' advisory resources
- Booktalking with teens
- Week 3: Reference and Online Resources
- Information-seeking behavior and reference interviews with teens
- Information literacy skills
- Homework help and online resources
- The library's online visibility to teens
- Week 4: Legal Issues and Advocacy
- Access, privacy, and copyright
- Computers, Internet access, and filtering
- Handling challenges to materials
- Advocating for teens
Time Required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 2½ hours per week, for a total of 10 course hours. Each week's module contains readings and various options for assignments and discussions. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week's work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.
Who Should Take This Course: Any library staff members who provide services to teens, especially new teen librarians or other staff who are relatively new to serving adolescents. This course is particularly valuable for support staff whose work includes teen services responsibilities.
Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at: infopeople.org/training/online_learning_details.
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.
Keywords: Teen services