Treat teens as individuals.

Upon reading the title for statement 3 in Real-World Teen Services, “You try to relate to teens in a “cool way”often using teen lingo. You sense it is tragic. You might be right,” I could not help but cringe. My reaction got worse as in shock I read Takahashi write, “Although we will have plenty of opportunities to show them we are down with their lingo and ways, its best we do that sparingly,otherwise teens will be turned off.  ” (Velazquez, p103) Teens aren’t aliens from an another dimension. Takahashi is portraying them as people who are different from the rest of the library patrons. I understand some teens are difficult and cross boundaries, but they come to the library hoping for no judgement. By saying we will conform to their ways to get them interested is putting every teen out there in one box. Instead of a scripted reaction to teens, how about just getting to know each person individually. I do not agree with preparing for “all types of scenarios that will require strength, courage, patience and research,”(104) as I believe no teen is the same even if they might have the same interests. Life experience can prepare you, not preconceived notions of the teens in your community.

Connecting with teens is nothing like connecting with adults or children, it is better. We have the opportunity to show them what libraries really  can do for them. I want to reach teens with promising programs and books too, but not with  “teen lingo.”

Reference

 

Velazquez, J. (2015) Real-world Teen services. pp 103-105.

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