What do Teens use the library for and How can we understand this?

Question 4 for Week 7: “You know more about Teen Authors than Teens. You keep talking about reading and how great YA books are because you want to share the joy of reading–but these teens don’t care. 

I have decided that I do not like term, non-reader because it is defined as someone who cannot or does not read. Teen non-readers is a label. We know teens reads so a non-reader is not realistic when we try to engage teens who have a different interest than books. They simply have different interests and can benefit from coming to the library to explore their interests. Be open minded and don’t be afraid to ask what interests them. Not what book interests them and not what their favorite author is. Just what interests them. I believe we can change how teens view the library if we try to understand them. Reader’s advisory might be best for book recommendations, but we can help them find more information on whatever topic they want. By slowing down we get them to trust us. We can then slowly tell them about a book we thought would interest them. If they say no, that is okay.

While it is true teens have their own ideas of what they wish to spend their time on, we cannot assume to know what brings them to a library. The short passage on how to think outside the box in terms of doing more for our teens was the opposite of that. When it is stated, “Having resources within arm’s length is beneficial to help teens make connections with subjects, but books and reader’s advisory are not all the library has to offer,”(Velasquez, pg 105) i looked for examples or scenarios but there was none. The writer simply used book clubs as an example of poor planning. I understood that readers are already going to be in the library, but we are supposed to be more focused on who does not come to the library.They might have been in charge but they did lose interest.  Isn’t that what happens with trends? It can become the hype until it is no more. Teens trends change fast and not just their lingo.

As a future librarian, I would think of forming an online discussion group because it is a safe space where even shy teens can voice what kind of programs they want. A lot goes into how to make teens feel comfortable in the seats of public libraries, and the way to begin is to try to understand them instead of labeling them.

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