Real-world teen services
For Immediate Release
American Library Association
CHICAGO — The basics of day-to-day service to teens in the library setting, a discipline requiring specific skills, is all too often glossed over in professional literature. As a result, many LIS grads begin serving teens armed with an incomplete understanding of why their job is both important and unique and what they need to know from day one. In “Real-World Teen Services,” published by ALA Editions, former Library Journal Mover & Shaker Jennifer Velásquez explores real-world challenges and obstacles to teen service that often present themselves, offering down-to-earth solutions and guidance for both new YA librarians and those wanting to freshen up their approach. Presenting fresh ways of thinking about the role of the teen services librarian and how it fits into the organizational structure, Velásquez:
- combines field-tested approaches with current research to tackle common teen library service issues such as truancy, curfews, programming philosophy and mission, privacy and organizational resistance, whether subtle or overt;
- addresses each topic from the perspective of working with teens, family members, fellow colleagues and community stakeholders;
- presents realistic strategies to help shift a library’s culture towards one that embraces teens and teen services;
- shows how to get the most out of a library’s teen space, discussing factors like location, age restrictions, time of day restrictions, and staffing, plus suggestions for using the shelf-space of the YA collection as a starting point.
Velásquez is Teen Services Coordinator for the San Antonio Public Library System in Texas and also a lecturer in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University, Cali. In 2005, she was awarded the New York Times Librarian Award in recognition of her work in teen library services. She also received the La Promesa Award for Outstanding Programming to Latino Youth from The National Latino Children's Institute in 1996.
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