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Serving Urban Teens


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Valuable nuts-and-bolts advice for creating and enhancing service to urban teens.

Table of Contents

Series Foreword Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter 1: Highlights in the History of Serving Urban Teens Chapter 2: Staff and Volunteers Chapter 3: Teen Services Training Chapter 4: Making Space for Teens Chapter 5: Collection Development Chapter 6: Programming Chapter 7: Partnerships and Outreach Conclusion Index

About the Author

Paula Brehm-Heeger has worked in public libraries of all sizes in a variety of cities and states for more than fifteen years. A frequent presenter and speaker at library conferences and a Past-President of the Young Adult Library Services Association, Paula never misses a chance to advocate on behalf of young adults and to speak out about the need to provide outstanding library service to all teens.


"This book is an excellent guide to setting up a teen program. The author provides plenty of program suggestions, who to contact, how to accomplish staffing with a smile, and making a setting attractive and inviting to teens. . . . Although the book is written for the young adult, teenage population, elementary and other professional librarians can get a ton of ideas. . . . Recommended." - Library Media Connection
"This guide discusses numerous staffing and training issues, as well as how to handle the constraints of physical space, collection development, programming, and outreach, all from an urban perspective." - American Libraries
"This helpful guide encourages librarians to establish and promote service to teens in densely populated areas where the public library is often their only place to hang out. The book focuses on training staff to provide excellent service, the physical space and collection, and offering programming and volunteer opportunities. Suggestions for planning, budgeting, and promoting programs are given, along with step-by-step guides to eight different programs, including an author visit, anime club, and college- and career-planning seminars. . . . The bibliographies and lists for further reading at the end of each chapter are great references. Equally helpful are the book lists in the chapter on collection development. . . . Combining conventional wisdom and current hot topics in the field, this volume will appeal to librarians new to serving teens and/or those unfamiliar with working in an urban area." - School Library Journal
"Brehm-Heeger brings her expertise to this topic as a fifteen year provider of library youth services and YALSA president for 2007-2008. She provides a historical context for library youth services, and then launches into a reasonably comprehensive overview of all aspects of teen services, addressing the need for specialized youth services, staff training, collection development, programs, and facilities. . . . While other books provide information geared towards youth specialists, Brehm-Heeger emphasizes that all staff in a public library will likely intereact with teen users and should be given training in teen development and positive approaches to interactions. She also places a significant emphasis on teen involvment and in planning and running teen programs and spaces. Although specifically geared toward urban settings, this book has applications for any public or school libraries serving teens." - Oklahoma Librarian
"This book is a must-have for any librarian who works with youth. Written by an experienced practitioner and past-president of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), this thirteenth title in the Libraries Unlimited Professional Guides for Young Adult Librarians series begins with definitions and a brief history of library services to urban teens, followed by a description of issues concerning this special group. . . . Youth librarians can take this book and run with it. Despite their sometimes erratic behavior, teens are important to the survival of libraries. It is not only the mission of libraries but also in the self-interest to capture the minds and hearts of youth while they can. This book provides the tools to accomplish the job." - VOYA
"This book is definitely a helpful guide for the young librarian or library volunteer seeking answers for how to better deal with running a library in an urban setting. It provides endless helpful tips and ideas that will make your library a great place for the community to relax and learn." - Feminist Review
"Serving Urban Teens identifies areas of public librarianship that can be specifically improved upon to more effectively serve our growing urban teen population. Brehm-Heeger examines physical space models, collection development trends, programming ideas, and incorporating teens as volunteers and staff members. Most importantly, she stresses that we must all work together to meet the unique needs of urban teens, working with them to a build community." - Colorado Association of Libraries
"Not just for school libraries, nor just for public libraries, many of the ideas given here are well known but she adds a unique spin to how to best accomplish relevant and significant teen involvement in the library. Bottom line: Keep this around as you think about creative strategies to involve urban teens in your library. Recommended." - Teacher Librarian
"This title from Libraries Unlimited is yet another fine manual which offers support and inspiration for professionals handling teenage clientele in public libraries. . . I recommend that all generalist librarians who deal with teenage enquiries (or look with dismay at a teenage group entering the library) read this book. . . . For the uninitiated or the faint hearted this book is a good foundation. . . . This is highly recommended." - The Australian Library Journal

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