Research in Young Adult Literature and Teen Services

YALSA's Research Agenda

Access the complete document and see the priority areas that YALSA developed for its National Research Agenda (for 2012-2016).

Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults

Read and submit research papers to YALSA's open-access, peer-reviewed research journal, launched in November 2010.

National Forum on Libraries and Teens

The Forum is a year-long grant funded effort that will bring together key stakeholders from the areas of libraries, education, technology, adolescent development and the for-profit and nonprofit sectors to explore the world of young adults and library services to this population, and ultimately produce a white paper which will provide direction on how libraries need to adapt and potentially change to better meet the needs of 21st century teens.  Grant funding is generously provided by the Intstitute of Museum and Library Services.

YALSA Research Bibliographies

YALSA's Research committee regularly develops bibliographies of current research on topics relating to libraries and teens.

2010 - 2012 Research Bibliography (PDF)
2006-2009 Research Bibliography
2000-2005 Research Bibliography
1995-1999 Research Bibliography

YALSA White Papers

YALSA now offers white papers on important topics relating to young adult library services. See the current list of white papers.

Statistics on Teen Services

In 2007, Harris Interactive, in conjunction with the American Library Association, polled youth on library services at public libraries and school libraries. The full results are available online (PDF). Key findings include:

  • 31 percent visit the public library more than ten times a year
  • Nearly 70 percent use their school library more than once a month.
  • Of those who regularly use their libraries, more than three-quarters (78 percent) indicated they borrowed books and other materials for personal use from public libraries, while 60 percent sought out materials for personal use from the school library.

In addition, the 2007 Public Library Data Service Report included questions on young adult services in public libraries. Key findings include:

  • Young adults comprise an average of 11.28% of a public library’s service area;
  • About half of all libraries surveyed have at least one full-time equivalent (FTE) librarian dedicated to young adult services;
  • Nearly 90 percent of surveyed libraries offer some kind of programming for young adults
  • As a portion of total material expenditures, libraries in service areas with higher density of young adults tend to direct less funding to young adult services, when compared with service areas of lower young adult density.


  • The YALSA/VOYA Frances Henne Research Grant funds small-scale research projects that support YALSA's Research Agenda. This $1,000 grant is open to YALSA members. Applications are due on Dec. 1 of each year. Learn more from the Henne Research Grant webpage.
  • Trends in YA Paper Presentation.  Held at each ALA Midwinter Meeting, one applicant will receive up to $1,500 to present a paper on a topic relating to YALSA's Research Agenda.  Details about the application process are on YALSA's Awards & Grants for Members part of the web site.

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