You are here

The teen population is growing, but overall teen library use is not. Many teens report that libraries are boring, unfriendly, and not relevant to their needs. Why are some libraries scrambling to find room for all their teens, while others see lifeless rooms and empty tables? How can libraries change this image and entice teens to enter their doors, either physically or virtually? Programming and outreach are keys to making your library a lively, oft-used space where teens gather, socialize, and learn.

In this course you will learn simple strategies for making your library a top choice destination for users aged 13-17. You will learn how to plan, implement, and market services in ways that are attractive and welcoming to teens. In addition, this course will show you ways to create exciting spaces for teens, including easy-to-do-now tips that can transform even the smallest of teen areas.

Workshop Description: This all-day workshop will provide an overview of teen culture and an opportunity to create a plan for service to teens for your library. Through individual and group exercises as well as hands-on computer use, participants will explore new ideas for programming and outreach, learn book talking techniques, play with cool technologies that teens love, evaluate teen spaces, and identify other teen-focused agencies for future collaboration. The instructor will provide tip sheets, bibliographies, cheat sheets and checklists, as well as practical, useful suggestions that can be applied immediately.

Preliminary Course Outline:

  • The Basics
    • Being a teen in today's world
    • Developmental needs of adolescents
    • Core competencies for library staff working with teens
    • Have a plan: where are you going?
    • Professional resources
  • Serving Teens
    • Empowering youth: from the lone teen to teen councils
    • YA collections
    • Marketing and promotions
    • Collaborations/partnerships
  • Teens and Technology
    • Intellectual freedom and the internet
    • Cool technologies
    • How teens want and use technology
    • What can the library do?
    • Easy things to do now
  • Programming and Outreach
    • Definitions
    • Finding out about "hot" hobbies and interests
    • Planning a teen program
    • Outreach - booktalking, teen parents, youth detention facilities, community events
    • Online resources/teen web pages
    • Easy things to do now
  • YA Spaces - Library or Lounge?
    • Evaluation of current spatial assets
    • What do teens want?
    • Furniture and décor
    • Easy things to do now

Workshop Instructor: Kelley Worman