Managing the Swarm: Teen Behavior in the Library and Strategies for Success

When teens flood into the library, anything can happen. People often think of the library as a “safe space” but sometimes chaos reigns, rather than order! By setting the right tone with regulars, establishing appropriate boundaries, and equitably addressing problem behaviors, you can create a teen space that is consistently welcoming. Learn how to create a dialogue with patrons who engage in distracting or dangerous behavior in the library, address concerns of adult patrons, and create rewards for teens who improve or maintain a positive presence in your space.

Learning Outcomes

Following this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Learn tactics for creating a positive atmosphere in the teen space
  • Articulate importance of consistency & context in dealing with behavior problems
  • Learn strategies to distinguish between dangerous and annoying behavior, and address it effectively
  • Identify and assist teens with special cultural, emotional, or social needs behind their behavior issues

This webinar will address YALSA Competencies Areas: Knowledge of Client Group, Knowledge of Materials, and Administration.

Who Should Attend

  • Teen services librarians
  • Public library workers
  • School library workers
  • Teachers
  • Administrators
  • Other literacy-focused professionals who work directly with teens and tweens



Erin Downey HowertonErin Downey Howerton, MA, MSLIS is a librarian and a youth advocate who has worked with young people for over a decade in library and school settings both large and small.  She is an active member of YALSA, and has published various articles and book chapters about libraries and teens.



YALSA members: Free

Non-Members: $19 for individual webinar purchase

                         $49 for a set of any three on-demand webinars

                         $99 for a group registration (ten logins) for this one webinar

Check, money order, purchase order or credit card must accompany registration to reserve space in this course. Fax registrations are accepted for credit card and purchase orders only

How to Register

YALSA members: Log into the YALSA e-Learning Library (YeLL) and access it for free!

Non-Members:  Order your on-demand recording now using our registration form

Tech Requirements


  • Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 2; Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise; or Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate (32-bit edition, or 64-bit edition with 32-bit browser)
  • 1.4GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Microsoft® Windows® XP or Windows 7; 2GHz Intel Pentium 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Windows Vista®
  • Mozilla Firefox 2.x or 3.x (first choice); Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, 7, or 8; or Google Chrome (last choice, as it occasionally interferes with speaker microphones)
  • Adobe Flash Player 10.1 or later


  • 500MHz PowerPC® G3 or faster or 1.83GHz Intel Core™ Duo or faster processor
  • Mac OS X v10.4–10.6 (Intel); Mac OS X v10.4 (PowerPC)
  • 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
  • Mozilla Firefox 2.x or 3x; Safari 2.x; or Google Chrome
  • Adobe Flash Player 10.1


  • Apple devices: iOS 3 or 4, created for Apple iPhone; compatible with Apple iPad and iPod Touch (3G or 4G connection recommended)
  • Android™ devices: Android 2.2; Adobe AIR® for Android; compatible with HTC Nexus One and Motorola Droid (3G or 4G connection recommended)


Adobe Connect runs off a Flash platform.  Meeting participants need to set their computer settings to allow plug-ins.


Audio for Connect meetings is provided using VOIP. Meeting participants need to have a computer headset with microphone.  Microphones and speakers that are built into computers are usable, but if they are used then other webinar participants in Connect will actually be able to hear people speaking through the computer's speakers as well as through the microphone of the person speaking, which creates an echo or makes the sound quality fuzzy. Here are some better options to explore:

  • YALSA staff use this for webinars:
  • If you have a head set you use with your phone, this may work, but you’ll want to test it out prior to any official webinar to be sure.

Test Your Connection

Conduct a test to ensure your computer is set up with the appropriate tools to participate in YALSA’s webinar. To do this, click on the Test Meeting Connection URL located here:
If you have never participated in a webinar before, you can watch an overview of a webinar.


Contact Nicole Gibby-Munguia, YALSA's Program Officer, Continuing Education, at or 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5293.