Accidental Teen
Librarian
Presented by Sarah Sogigian,
Massachusetts Library System
A DAY IN THE LIFE…
• Up at 6:30 AM
• Get to school for 7:30
• Lunch at 10:45
• Get out of school at 2:15
• After school ac...
THE LIBRARY BUSINESS
• “…we are in the people business, unlike our
competitors who are in the information and
book busines...
WHO ARE THEY?
• Millenials, YAs, teens, Gamer Generation
• Ages 11-17
• Will be 41% of the population in 20 years
• Will c...
Factors that affect library behavior:
Younger Teens 11-14
•  Just starting to recognize
consequences of their actions
•  B...
Factors that affect library behavior:
Older Teens 15-17
•  Can understand long-term
effects of decisions &
solve problems ...
HERE COMES TROUBLE
• School Library Journal 7/1/2004
• Some come for homework, most to hang out
• Talk on cell, eat, make ...
Preventing disciplinary problems
•  Unclench your teeth, take
a deep breath and stop
pulling your hair out
•  Get to know ...
So what do they want
from us?
A PLACE TO WIN!
• “The tone needs setting for all patrons, but
especially for YAs, that the library is a place
where they ...
Solutions to their problems
•  What teens want when
they visit our libraries, is
“solutions to problems and
good feelings....
So what do we
do with them?
Programs
•  Teen advisory
board: it all starts
here
•  Offer programs
they want
•  Be flexible about
time
•  Always have f...
Teen-friendly staff
•  71% of 556 teens in Arizona
indicated the most important
factor for creating a
comfortable atmosphe...
Collections
•  Don’t be afraid to try
new formats
•  Ask what they want,
then BUY IT!
•  Take them with you
•  Anime, grap...
Web presence
•  Develop teen website and/
or blog with links geared to
homework help and areas
of teen interest
•  Offer o...
Their own space
•  Create a teen-friendly
space that allows
them to socialize
•  Separate space allows
them to “be
themsel...
ONE LAST THOUGHT …
Today’s teenagers are
tomorrow’s taxpayers.
LibGuide: guides.masslibsystem.org/accidentalteen
MLS Professional collection:
http://masslibsystem.masscat.org/cgi-bin/ko...
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Accidental teenlibrarian2

  1. 1. Accidental Teen Librarian Presented by Sarah Sogigian, Massachusetts Library System
  2. 2. A DAY IN THE LIFE… • Up at 6:30 AM • Get to school for 7:30 • Lunch at 10:45 • Get out of school at 2:15 • After school activities-track- 2:30-4:30 • Robotics/job- 5:30-8:30 • Dinner when they can grab it • Homework until 12:00 AM
  3. 3. THE LIBRARY BUSINESS • “…we are in the people business, unlike our competitors who are in the information and book business. The library can and should be the center of its community; its reputation built on rapport and positive interactions with our patrons - that is our strongest selling point as an institution.” •  - Patrick Jones
  4. 4. WHO ARE THEY? • Millenials, YAs, teens, Gamer Generation • Ages 11-17 • Will be 41% of the population in 20 years • Will control the economy in 20 years • If we serve this population effectively as teens, they will return to us as adults.
  5. 5. Factors that affect library behavior: Younger Teens 11-14 •  Just starting to recognize consequences of their actions •  Believe they are always the center of attention (a pimple is a major crisis) •  Start to test the limits put on them by adults •  Troubled kids may act out (fist fights etc) to express emotional pain (American Medical Association)
  6. 6. Factors that affect library behavior: Older Teens 15-17 •  Can understand long-term effects of decisions & solve problems but use those skills inconsistently •  Do things without thinking first •  Question and challenge school/home rules •  Less time with family, more time with friends •  Want control over more of their lives
  7. 7. HERE COMES TROUBLE • School Library Journal 7/1/2004 • Some come for homework, most to hang out • Talk on cell, eat, make out, flirt, run around • Requiring ID or parental permission • Communicate policies one-on-one • Respect yourself, respect others, respect property
  8. 8. Preventing disciplinary problems •  Unclench your teeth, take a deep breath and stop pulling your hair out •  Get to know the kids – mutual respect •  Behavior is the problem, not the teen •  More than one warning but don’t let things get out of hand •  Use peers to control behavior
  9. 9. So what do they want from us?
  10. 10. A PLACE TO WIN! • “The tone needs setting for all patrons, but especially for YAs, that the library is a place where they can “win.” The library should be an inviting space with helpful people. YAs are so self-conscious that they take any sort of rudeness very personally.” - Patrick Jones
  11. 11. Solutions to their problems •  What teens want when they visit our libraries, is “solutions to problems and good feelings.” - Patrick Jones •  A place to socialize without being “shushed” •  Safe, welcoming place to be with friends •  Food or a way to eat without being in trouble
  12. 12. So what do we do with them?
  13. 13. Programs •  Teen advisory board: it all starts here •  Offer programs they want •  Be flexible about time •  Always have food!
  14. 14. Teen-friendly staff •  71% of 556 teens in Arizona indicated the most important factor for creating a comfortable atmosphere libraries was “friendly staff”. •  Train staff to be more knowledgeable about adolescent development and more responsive to teens’ needs and interests •  Staff teen areas with librarians who enjoy being with young adults •  Listen to teen suggestions concerning teen services
  15. 15. Collections •  Don’t be afraid to try new formats •  Ask what they want, then BUY IT! •  Take them with you •  Anime, graphic novels, manga •  Downloadable content
  16. 16. Web presence •  Develop teen website and/ or blog with links geared to homework help and areas of teen interest •  Offer online programming – virtual book club, author chats •  Your virtual presence should be as welcoming as your physical presence
  17. 17. Their own space •  Create a teen-friendly space that allows them to socialize •  Separate space allows them to “be themselves” •  “Plan for them to be there”
  18. 18. ONE LAST THOUGHT … Today’s teenagers are tomorrow’s taxpayers.
  19. 19. LibGuide: guides.masslibsystem.org/accidentalteen MLS Professional collection: http://masslibsystem.masscat.org/cgi-bin/koha/opac-main.pl Thank You! Sarah Sogigian | Advisor for Youth Services | MLS | sarah@masslibsystem.org | 508-357-2121
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