Libraries provide teens with leadership opportunities through activities such as service on Teen Advisory Boards and employment as library pages or tutors for children who struggle with reading or seniors who need assistance using the latest computer technologies. Through these opportunities, teens also enhance their professional competencies; improve their research and communication skills; gain a stronger work ethic; learn the importance of self-motivation; learn about project management and working with others; and come to understand and value the importance of independent time management.
13-18 (high school)
The US Census reports that 68.7% of households have Internet access. This means millions of teens, mostly from low socioeconomic households, must rely on school and public libraries for computers and access to the Internet. From library computers teens do more than just complete homework assignments. They investigate college and career opportunities. They connect with potential employers, apply for jobs, find internships, create and post resumes, connect with mentors and gain hands-on computer skills training.
The public library provides much needed college- and career-focused research tools, programs and events: they enroll in programs that provide SAT, PSAT and ACT testing strategies and career advice; interact one-on-one with recruiters at library-sponsored college and career days; and take advantage of the public library-sponsored job and career readiness workshops, outreach opportunities, and entrepreneurship trainings.
Teens depend on the public library as an access point to critical technology, networking and connectivity. The public library offers teens the space to utilize the interactive capabilities of the Internet; they use library computers to build writing and literacy skills through online journals, web pages and story parlors, and learn how to communicate with family and friends via social networking tools available through the public library’s free Internet access computers, such as blogs, online chat and other Web 2.0 applications.
The library provides a place for teens that encourages and values open communication and the sharing of ideas. The public library is a place where they can be and express themselves among peers, foster supportive relationships with peers and adults through library-sponsored programs, and interact with library staff, thus gaining confidence as they seek the help of adults with their projects.
Teens rely on the library because it’s a place to explore and expand their interests, and benefit from having resources and staff targeted to their needs. Thanks to public library staff, they learn how to use the tools and resources they need to pursue school-related studies and research projects, and expand their reading interests through the availability of targeted materials, such as graphic novels, periodicals, interactive learning tools and more.
A school library program that is adequately staffed, resourced, and funded can lead to higher student achievement regardless of the socioeconomic or educational levels of the community.
Library media specialists play an essential role in the learning community by ensuring that students and staff are efficient and effective users of ideas and information.
Effective school libraries are much more than books. They are learning hubs, each with a full range of print and electronic resources that support student achievement.
When library media specialists work with teachers to support learning opportunities with books, computer resources, and more, students learn more, get better grades, and score higher on standardized test scores than their peers in schools without good libraries