Selecting and Sharing Materials with Teens


I’m in the midst of teaching an online course, called Teen Services Fundamentals, for California’s InfoPeople project. The learners are a mix of librarians (mostly new to teen services) and library support staff (library assistants, mainly).

This week we’re going to be talking about teen materials selection and readers’ advisory. So I thought maybe you could share (so I can share with them) some of your own selection and readers’ advisory tips.

I know you work in an economically and ethnically diverse city. You mentioned using the standard review sources to decide “is this for my library?”, but tell me a little more about what you’re thinking when you do that. What makes a book (or video or audiobook or whatever) “for” or “not for” your library?

And how about readers’ advisory? What are some of the ways you find most effective (or least effective) for reaching the teens in your library?

Do you think being a male librarian makes a difference in either how you select or how you relate to teen boy and girl readers in your library?

This question is a little off the wall, but I’ve been wondering lately about book size and format. Do you see a preference in your library for paperbacks vs hardbacks, trade paper vs mass-market paper, large-format nonfiction vs more traditional-sized nonfiction, etc.? Just as an aside, this last one came up in the comments on Someday, and I know that the size of the trim was really my only quibble with Bomb; I kept thinking, why couldn’t this have looked like a regular adult nonfiction book, they way Benedict Arnold did? Or Hopkinson’s Titantic, for that matter.

Anyway, there are some questions for you to ponder this Thanksgiving week. Anything you can share with my class will be appreciated!

– Mom



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Filed under Books, Library administration, Teens

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