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.
Well-trained library staff help students learn how to perform age-appropriate Internet searches using the public library’s free public access workstations, and other library learning tools and services, such as live online tutoring and Web-based resources for homework help.
Students can get a head start on early reading success, if they are given opportunities to use public libraries. Students who are exposed to print-rich environments are more successful in school. And, they can go on to be successful lifelong learners, if that early boost is built upon by school library programs.
Students and their families take advantage of the free learning supports offered by their local public libraries.
Students participate in reading activities year-round, thanks to the public library’s innovative after-school and summer reading programs. Programs like these help combat the achievement gap that has been shown to significantly widen over the summer.
Students who read for pleasure improve their academic performance.
Staff in public libraries assist students in finding and enjoying learning resources geared to their interests and needs, which are also available at times when school resources are not, such as after-school hours, weekends, and during the summer.
Students begin to connect reading and are motivated to read, thanks to entertaining group activities planned by well-trained library staff.