Monday, August 31, 2009

"This Ain't Your Mama's Library"

This program was sponsored by WMRL and presented by the funny and knowledgable teen guru Michele Gorman

Some important tidbits from the program:

Adolescent Brain Research:
Adolescent brains are not as developed as we might believe. Emotion often overtakes rationality. When teens misbeahve in the library- a banning for life policy may not be appropriate. Michelle's library uses a progressive dicispline policy where the punishment is determined by the offense.

The 7 Developmental Needs of Teens (As documented by Michelle Gorman, 2009)
1. Physical Activity
2. Competence and Achievement
3. Self-Definition
4. Creative Expression
5. Positive Social Interaction with Peers and Adults
6. Structure and Clear Limits
7. meaningful Participation

Many application systems require statistical support for assertions, but it is also just as important to maintain ancedotal records to support them with actual real life stories if they are so warranted.

Keep in Mind the 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents. It is so important that we recognize these needs and try to structure our programming efforts to meet them. To look at 40 Developmental Assets go here

According to Michelle there are a couple ways you can go about creating positive relationships with teens:
1. Make the first impression a positive one
2. Keep your cool
3. Remember that this is not personal
4. Lighten up
5. Remember what it was like to be a teen

Get to know what graphic novels and manga are and why you should have them in your library. Many teens are really into these literary works and would love to see more of them in our librarues, and more programming with them in general.

Also, get to know what the different Annual Awards for Young Adult Books and Authors are. You can access them via the American Libraries Association Website and for teens especially, the YALSA division

Don't be afraid to get into the 6R (Reduce, reuse, reclaim, redesign, recycle, renew) Movement. It is amazing what you can make out of soda can tabs or duct tape.

Overall, take a moment to realize why you love being a YA Librarian or serving YA's and keep in mind that you were a teen once, too. Most of the opinions people have about teens, teens have about them.

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