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Carly Spatar Literature Review The literature review will include two areas: (a) studies related to Young

Adult library use and (b) Young Adult library services. The present review is limited to investigations of teenage patrons within the 12- to 17-year old age range. Studies examining topics outside teens library usage or library services available to Young Adults are excluded. Prior studies on Young Adult library use have continuously focused on extremely narrow research topics, which only encompassed certain youth demographics and information seeking behaviors. Studies by Agosto and Hughes-Hassell (2005) and Agosto, Paone, and Ipock (2007) have only examined library usage amongst females and minority youth, respectively. In the first article, Agosto and Hughes-Hassell (2005) assessed gender differences in use and perception of public libraries. Although the topic was a novel and unique addition to the body of literature, the findings were inconsequential, as the researchers concluded that there was no significant gender difference in the respondents reasons for using libraries or in their frequency of information needs (Agosto & Hughes-Hassell, 2005, p.387). Conversely, the study by Agosto, Paone, and Ipock (2007) made several imperative conclusions; however, the findings were based from a diminutive and diverse segment of the population. The researchers, who analyzed natural information-seeking behaviors of urban young adults, concluded that people were overwhelmingly preferred as a primary information source and that the teens held generally unfavorable views of libraries and librarians. While the results were equally conclusive and troubling, it only reflected the opinion of twenty-five African American teenagers in urban Philadelphia, which was hardly representative of the overall population. Studies by Walter and Mediavilla (2005) and Agosto (2002) examined teens use of online library and reference resources as an information seeking behavior. Walter and Mediavillas (2005) article investigated the differences in online communication styles between teen students and virtual reference librarians. With the internet rapidly evolving into a crucial aspect of nearly all library

Carly Spatar transactions, the need for research about the topic is essential for providing exceptional service to patrons. The researchers analyzed transactions between students and librarians on a website that offered homework help, which had become, and continues to be, an increasingly popular tutoring method for young adults. The authors concluded that the librarians were severely lacking in the qualities required for effective reference service and that students often found interactions to be impersonal, robotic, and not helpful (Walter & Mediavilla, 2005, p.222). While this study revealed vital issues with online communication between the two groups and outlined key recommendations to improve future transactions, further research on broader technology topics is necessary to bridge the gap between the generations. Similiarly, the article by Agosto (2002) examined teenagers web-based decision-making behaviors and the effect they have on library use. The researcher analyzed the website preferences of young adults in the context of several complex behavioral decision-making theories. The article, which was overflowing with technological jargon, clearly was written more for web developers than YA librarians. Despite the utilization of a multifarious research methodology and data analysis process, Agosto (2002) merely found that teens initial website evaluation and subsequent use are based from personal preferences. Therefore, the study added little to the body of literature, due to its seemingly obvious conclusion and extremely narrow research focus on young adults use of a particular library resource. Research pertaining to young adults has also focused on libraries role in providing pertinent services that fulfill the unique needs of the user group. Studies have investigated librarians opinions about Young Adult services and have examined the effectiveness of teen programming; however, only one research project had inquired about teens perspectives on these topics. The following section will review articles exploring this topic and examine their significance amongst the body of research. Prior studies on Young Adult library services have normally evaluated the success of teen services through the perceptions of the librarians and department chairs that were responsible for the

Carly Spatar programming. However, research by Howard (2011) was the sole exception, as the author analyzed the behaviors, attitudes, demographics, and services utilized by Young Adult library patrons. The study examined the satisfaction ratings, frequency of use, and overall attitudes of teens about the local public library, in an effort to improve YA services. While the article is the most similar out of all the consulted literature to the present research problem, it unfortunately only concentrated on teens in one Canadian city. Therefore, the authors conclusion, which found that young adults had an overall positive opinion of the library but were not frequent users, lost significance due to the small sample size. Despite this oversight, Howards (2011) research identified key barriers to teen library use, which is relevant to every library that offers YA services. A similar study by Bishop and Bauer (2002) also utilized public opinion to investigate library programming for teenagers. Unlike Howard (2011), however, the researchers surveyed public librarians about the strategies and effectiveness of their Young Adult services, particularly focusing on how they attracted teens to the library. Although the research would have benefitted from incorporating teenagers outlooks, the authors were still able to affirm some imperative conclusions. Bishop and Bauer (2002) noted that the majority of librarians surveyed were knowledgeable about teens library preferences and implemented innovative techniques, such as offering food at programs and advertising events on Facebook, to attract them to the youth services. Any Young Adult or public librarian would benefit from utilizing the participants methods outlined in the conclusion, which ultimately solidified the importance of this study within the body of research. Lastly, the remaining two articles by Winston and Lione-Paone (2001) and Alessio and Buron (2006) evaluated Young Adult services, correspondingly to the aforementioned studies. The research by Winston and Lione-Paone (2001) gathered feedback from librarians and department heads at all public New Jersey libraries, pertaining to the success of their YA programs. Similarly, Alessio and Burons (2006) article surveyed librarians from across the United States about the effectiveness of their services. Both studies made parallel conclusions, which argued that Young Adult services were generally less

Carly Spatar formalized than those for other service populations, such as children and adults. Furthermore, Alessio and Buron (2006) stated that libraries with established YA programs had high rates of user activity and satisfaction. The researchers findings addressed crucial issues surrounding the lack of commitment to teen library programs and highlighted the success of libraries with dedicated teen services, in an effort to bring attention to the often forgotten patrons.

Problem Statement By and large, the mission of public libraries is to meet the diverse needs of their patrons in a rapidly evolving world. Young adults, who are often in the forefront of latest trends and technologies, are in many instances left unsatisfied by out-of-date and out-of-touch library programming. Prior research pertaining to YA library services and usage have primarily focused on the perspectives of librarians, instead of engaging teenagers about their actual library activities, preferences, and services utilized. In this study, I will analyze the reasons why Young Adults use the public library, as well as identify what library resources and programs they truly utilize. Additionally, the teenagers will be able rate their experiences, in an effort to distinguish the flourishing, tolerable, and failing areas of YA library services across the United States. By recognizing the prevailing motives for library use and the resources employed by a diverse and expansive population of teenagers, librarians can make informed and accurate decisions about YA services that are pertinent to the majority of teen users.

Methodology This study will use a quantitative research approach for gathering the Young Adults opinions. Questionnaires, which will concern teenagers use of public library services, will be the method utilized for data collection. The questionnaire will begin with a basic demographic inquiry, then questions about

Carly Spatar the participants frequency of visitation, reasons for use, resources that were engaged, and any other involvement in library activities will follow in a checklist format. Lastly, participants will be asked to rate their library experiences, which include questions pertaining to the helpfulness of librarians and overall satisfaction of their last visit, using a Likert scale. Participants will also be able to write in responses, if the supplied answers are insufficient. The cluster sampling will be comprised of Young Adults aged 12 to 17, who will be randomly asked to complete the questionnaire in exchange for a $5 gift card of their choice. Participants will be gleaned from ten randomly selected public libraries across the United States, regardless of the community size, geographic location, or demographics. If a chosen library declines to be involved in the study, another one will be chosen at random. Participating libraries will be instructed to administer the questionnaires to consenting teenagers until fifty have been completed at each location. The data will then be submitted to the researchers for analysis.

Carly Spatar References Agosto, D.E. (2002). Bounded rationality and satisficing in young peoples web-based decision making. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 53(1), 16-28. Agosto, D.E., & Hughes-Hassell, S. (2005). People, places, and questions: An investigation of the everyday life information-seeking behaviors of urban young adults. Library & Information Science Research, 27, 141-163. Agosto, D. E., Paone, K. L., & Ipock, G. S. (2007). The female-friendly public library: Gender differences in adolescents' uses and perceptions of U.S. public libraries. Library Trends, 56(2), 387-401. Alessio, A., & Buron, N. (2006). Measuring the impact of dedicated teen service in the public library: Frances Henne/YALSA/VOYA award research grant results. Young Adult Library Services, 4(3), 4751. Bishop, K., & Bauer, P. (2002). Attracting young adults to public libraries. Journal of Youth Services in Libraries, 15(2), 36-44. Howard, V. (2011). What do young teens think about the public library? The Library Quarterly, 81(3), 321-344. Walter, V. A., & Mediavilla, C. (2005). Teens are from Neptune, librarians are from Pluto: An analysis of online reference transactions. Library Trends, 54(2), 209-227. Winston, M. & Lione-Paone, K. (2001). Reference and information services for young adults. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 41(1), 45-50.