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Bishop, K., & Bauer, P. (2002). Attracting young adults to public libraries: Frances

Henne/YALSA/VOYA research grant results. Journal of Youth Services. 15(2), 36-44.

This article presents a summary of the information gathered by a multi-layered research study

done on young adult services in public libraries in Florida. The study queried library systems, young

adult librarians, and young adult library patrons through online surveys, interviews, and focus groups,

gathering information about how much attention is given to young adult services and how both

librarians and young adult patrons view services offered. Underlining the study results is the discovery

that young adults and librarians seem to agree on what makes good programming about half the time,

and the most effective programming stems from involving young adults themselves in its creation. Teen

advisory boards can give librarians useful direction and focus, and utilizing teen volunteers in library

operations and in spreading the word about YA services to their communities can help boost attendance.

However, the leaders of the study were surprised to find out that teens do use the library for more than

entertaining programming; having a comfortable, quiet place to research, study, and prepare for exams

ranked higher on teens' lists than expected. YA services' value ranges from those found in a traditional,

quiet library to those extensive outreach programming, and teens seemed to feel that the attitudes of the

librarians themselves were what made or broke outreach services.

Brehm-Heeger, P., Conway, A., & Vale, C. (2007). Cosplay, gaming, and conventions: The amazing

and unexpected places an anime club can lead unsuspecting librarians. Young Adult Library

Services. 5(2), 14-16.

Three librarians at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County describe how their

anime club helped them reach a demographic of teens who were not coming to the library before. The

wild success of the anime club (bringing in twenty-five to forty teens for each anime night) led the
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librarians to listen to the attendees' suggestions about other events to hold. Two particular offshoot

programs from the anime club were a cosplay (“costume play”) event, held convention-style, with skits

and costume judging, and the addition of gaming nights to the library's schedule. The librarians also

attended a large anime convention to gain a broader understanding of the culture their patrons were

interested in and to learn about new resources for their group. The authors emphasize that their

willingness to listen to teens' suggestions and try new things helped them build programming that brings

teens into the library and gets them engaged with each other and with a larger community.

Chow, A. (2008). The ultimate gamers alliance: Teen run for lots of fun. Voice of Youth Advocates.

31(3), 220-221.

Chow describes the gaming program of the Jefferson Market Branch of the New York Public

Library, from its planning stages to evaluation. She stresses the power of teens throughout the whole

process: teens built the popularity of the program through word-of-mouth, make decisions together to

decide which games should be played each session, come early and stay late to help set up and take

down equipment (so they can get more time for playing during the session), and help evaluate the

collection and the way the program is run. Teens themselves describe the value of the program in

helping them see the library as their own, exposing them to its other resources, and giving them new

ways to appreciate it as an institution.

Conlon, S. (2007). Putting your teens in focus with films: How to organize a student film festival.

Voice of Youth Advocates. 30(3), 212-215.

Getting teens into libraries and engaged in thinking about film and story can be about more than

just viewing films: Conlon has developed an annual young adult filmmaking contest and screening at the

Princeton Public Library. Getting teens involved in the creation of media and giving them the chance to
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show and speak about their work can provide many opportunities to increase their media literacy skills,

whether they write and direct the films or act in the films of their friends. Conlon notes that such a

program requires lots of advanced planning. She also solicits for short film submissions from outside

her library community: the program aims to broaden teens' horizons, and she believe that it is valuable to

not only show teens' own films but also show films that may help them understand unfamiliar issues and


Couri, S., & Helms, C. (2008). Haiku cut!: Reading and writing haiku poetry workshop and kukai.

Voice of Youth Advocates. 31(4), 308-309.

Though this program was done in a school library, it serves as an example of a unique outreach

offering that could be done by public libraries. School librarian Cynthia Helms organized a haiku and

haiga (haiku paired with artwork) writing competition for 9th-12th graders in her high school. Couri and

Helms describe the process of designing the program, including writing grants to help pay for the prizes

and gifts given to the participants, including program t-shirts, headbands, and copies of a haiku

magazine. Grant money also went toward hiring the guest speaker, the editor of a haiku magazine

published at Millikin University. The program encouraged the participants to value and explore writing

poetry and to learn more about the culture of Japan.

Doyle, J. (2008). Reaching out to teens: Eight ways to draw teens to your library. Voice of Youth

Advocates. 31(4), 312-313.

Planning and offering YA programming can take a lot of time and effort: Doyle gives advice on

how to market your outreach events to help get teens to show up. Many of her tips are focused on

networking: get out into the schools, get to know parents and teachers in your area, recruit the teens who

already come to the library to spread the word about events. Partnering with already established groups
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at schools can allow librarians to tap into already established audiences. Work through teens' interests,

using language, technology, and events that are familiar and appealing to them. Most importantly, Doyle

reminds librarians that programming is naturally hit-and-miss; some will be successes and others may

flop, but the most important step is to keep on trying.

Goodstein, A. (2008). What would Madison Avenue do?: To attract today's teens, think like a

marketing pro. School Library Journal. May 2008, 41-43.

Goodstein provides an overview of various types of online social media that teens use and

discusses how librarians can use these media points to market their library services to teens. She

emphasizes the strategies that advertisers have used to attract teens' attentions to their products such as

providing small snippets of information that can be read and understood quickly (or easily browsed in

multitasking), providing content on demand, and giving teens ways to participate in and create through

what is offered. These advertising techniques which have been successful for commercial websites can

be incorporated into libraries' online services to young adults. Goodstein also stresses that the best way

to understand teens is to go to the source – to ask them and to recruit them as volunteers to help create

young adult services web content.

Gorman, M. (2008). The 6R movement: Reduce reuse, reclaim, redesign, recycle, renew. Voice of

Youth Advocates. 31(4), 304-307.

The librarians of the teen loft at Charlotte's ImagineOn wanted to design a program that would

encourage teens to look at discarded materials in different ways. Their 6R Movement program began

with a stack of phone books that teens turned into furniture (which is still being used in the loft), and the

monthly craft projects have had high participation ever since. Gorman describes the different projects

the program has tried and emphasizes that their mission encompasses more than just fun crafts.
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Furthering this mission, they work closely with FreeCycle and other environmental awareness programs

to collect craft materials and even garnered financial support from AT&T through the recycled phone

book project. Gorman stresses that getting word out about the program and preparing thoroughly and

well in advance have been keys to its success.

Harris, C. (2008). Masters of the universe. School Library Journal. May 2008, 50-52.

A new online game, PMOG (the Passively Multiplayer Online Game), can be used for creating

online pathfinders that lead teen internet-surfers beyond their initial search results through strings of

sites chosen by librarians for their valuable, related content. Like other types of multiplayer online

games, there are different types of characters users may play; librarians may choose to play Pathmakers,

who link sites together with “light posts,” leading searchers from one site to other related sites. Seers

can create “portals” to other sites, highlighting the relationship between them. Pathmaking can be used

to create online pathfinders that are appealing to teens, and using Seers' portal-making powers can

promote active learning through sites' topical relationships. Harris describes PMOG's potential for

libraries as well as providing a short background on Resource Description Framework (RDF), a new

semantics-based content description language, on which PMOG is based.

Hastings, S. (2008). Stress-free programming for teens: Stop the stress and do more by doing less.

Young Adult Library Services. 7(1), 28-29.

Hastings provides ideas for “independent programs” for teens that do not require them to be able

to come to the library at a specific time and do not require librarians' time and effort for low

participation returns. These independent activities include offering forms and surveys on paper and

online that offer teens a chance to respond with their own thoughts on books, such as their predictions

for the endings of book series and book reviews. Other activities revolve around giving teens an outlet
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for creative expression by providing small craft kits that teens can take home or publishing their creative

writing and poems for others to view. Many teens shy away from direct, interactive programming, and

such activities can reach this population.

Helmrich, E. (2004). What teens want: What librarians can learn from MTV. Young Adult Library

Services. 2(2), 11-13.

Helmrich reports from the “What Teens Want: Marketing to Teens” conference with information

from the marketing world that can be useful to librarians seeking to reach out to the young adult

population of users. From her experience of attending the conference, she affirms that being

comfortable and using current technologies, paying attention to the media that teens consume, and being

aware of how technology has shaped the lives and identities of today's youth can help librarians better

serve and understand this community. Particularly, Helmrich emphasizes that librarians need to market

and brand their services; teens ask to be sold on where they should spend their time and attention, and if

libraries want to remain current and useful to this group, they need to embrace new ways of being

relevant in teens' lives.

Helmrich, E., & Neiburger, E. (2007). Video games as a service: Three years later. Voice of Youth

Advocates. 30(2), 113-115.

Three years after beginning to offer video game tournament events in the Ann Arbor District

Library, two librarians reflect on how the program has grown. Though the tournaments drew primarily a

group of teenage boys at first, the library expanded their outreach to bring in younger teens, older adults,

and even whole families though multi-age-group weekend tournament events. The tournaments have

become a valuable way of getting families engaged in activities together, encouraging parents to

understand their teens' interests, and helping both teens and adults feel that the library is a service that
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desires to serve them where their interests are.

Honnold, R. (2008). Beyond book clubs. Voice of Youth Advocates. 31(1), 19-21.

Honnold has incorporated many different types of programs for teens into her library's young

adult services offerings. She describes the different ways that teens have participated in the Coshocton

Public Library's Animanga Club, booktalks, Teen Tech Club, and writing club, emphasizing that the

enthusiasm and ideas of the teens themselves were at the source of the most popular program activities.

Particularly of interest are the varieties of activities done by each club: for instance, the Animanga club

began with meetings on learning to draw manga-style artwork, but Honnold listened to the similar

interests of the teens in the club and included events such as a workshop on learning basic Japanese,

another on sushi-making, and a cosplay event. Honnold emphasizes the social aspect of teen

programming; for many teens, much of its value comes from giving them a chance to meet others who

share their interests.

Krygier, L. (2008). Snap and write: How a digital camera can help teens engage in the creative

writing process. Voice of Youth Advocates. 31(1), 16-18.

Krygier gives librarians examples of how photography can be used in conjunction with creative

writing for library programs. Many teens have camera phones and digital cameras and can take pictures

in many different places that they visit in their everyday lives: using these pictures as a springboard for

writing can help build writing skills and encourage creativity. Krygier gives examples of many different

types of “snap and write” exercises of photography prompts, writing prompts and how the two fit


Neiburger, E., & Gullett, M. (2007). Out of the basement: The social side of gaming. Young Adult

Library Services. 5(2), 34-38.

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Neiburger and Gullett refute the idea that gaming is a solitary activity that encourages players to

isolate themselves from others and the “real world.” Through describing their experiences of holding

gaming tournaments at their separate libraries, the authors explore the social and educational benefits of

using gaming for programming in libraries. Games help participants find common ground where they

can respect and interact with each other despite differences of race, age, or language. Teens at

tournaments communicate and learn from each other through talking strategy and revealing how they

perform different moves, and librarians can provide access to resources for creating their own games and

learning about the computer industry and different animation programs. Individuals who may have felt

socially isolated in their interests in gaming find a community. Librarians forge relationships with the

teens who attend, and teens feel empowered and know that they own a part of the library as a

community institution when they feel that their wants are being acknowledged and responded to.

Prichard, H. (2008). Write here, write now: Holding a creative writing workshop series at your

library. Young Adult Library Services. 6(4), 19-23.

Prichard describes the creative writing workshop series she developed for tweens ages 12-15 in

her library. The article details the process of preparing for the workshop series, the meetings

themselves, and the culminating event – a public reading of the teens' works, having their selected pieces

published as a chapbook, and having a local author as a guest speaker. Prichard also discusses the

greatest challenges she discovered the first summer she held the workshops. She advocates that this

type of programming is relatively inexpensive, yet it can provide young adults with encouragement to

pursue creative activities, a way to meet others their age with similar interests, and a place to develop

relationships with supportive adult mentors.

Shell, L. (2008). Flipping it: How Queens Library is turning "gangs" of teens into its biggest
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success story. Voice of Youth Advocates. 31(2), 116-117.

Shell describes the way the Queens Library system in New York City used to be: every

afternoon, groups of teenagers who had nowhere else to go after school clashed with other patrons for

use of the library space. However, the Queens Library decided to invest in hiring counselors and

developing new programming and teen spaces rather than spending money on more security, and by

providing positive services and outreach to teens, the library has become a place that helps them keep

their lives on track by learning, relaxing, and being themselves in a safe place. The counselors are an

important part of this outreach and are integral to programs such as “Guy Talk” and “Girl Talk” events.

The library also instituted a “Read Down Your Fees” program: teens could compensate their overdue

fees by $2.00 for every hour they read – books, manga, webpages, anything – in the library. The

initiative has been such a success that every library in the Queens system is adding on a teen room and

implementing more YA programming.

Shoup, B. (2001). Heart, mind, and hands: Creating a teen writing workshop. Voice of Youth

Advocates. 24(3), 174-177.

Shoup outlines how a productive teen writing workshop series can be implemented in libraries.

She describes some of the various personality traits of teenagers attracted to writing programs as well as

providing guidance for how librarians who lead such workshops should approach the participants and

the process of looking at their work and encouraging discussion. Teen writing, she emphasizes, is rarely

what adults would think of as good writing, but she advocates an attitude of encouraging teens to look at

what works and what does not work in the pieces they produce – an attitude that helps keep competition

and negative comments down while helping the whole group focus in on developing their writing as a

craft. She warns that teen writing is rarely publishable and advises librarians to be aware of vanity press
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scams; perhaps in-house publication is more suitable for providing a publishing outlet for teens' work.

Suellentrop, T. (2007). Step right up: A volunteer program can add value to a teen's life. School

Library Journal. December 2007, 24.

Teen outreach includes more than just programming: Suellentrop discusses the positive outcomes

for both teens and libraries that can come from developing volunteer programs. A short list of best

practices includes creating volunteer resources and preparing orientation materials, encouraging all staff

members and volunteers to meet one another and work together, and providing more volunteer

opportunities than the usual shelving. Though it can be difficult to get a volunteer program started and

to garner initial support from administrators and fellow librarians, libraries gain more human resources,

teens gain valuable skills, and librarianship gains possible future professionals.

Vaillancourt, R., & Gillispie, J. (2001). Read any good movies lately?: Conducting YA book and

movie discussions. Voice of Youth Advocates. 24(4), 250-253.

Vaillancourt presents the process that she uses for planning and implementing the “Read the

Movie” program at the Carmel Clay Public Library. Doing a book and movie discussion is more

complicated than just having copies of the book and turning on a dvd player: Vaillancourt gives valuable

information on how to obtain public performance rights, how to select book and film combinations that

are both appropriate and interesting for the intended audience, and how to prepare for the discussion

afterward. She advocates offering food during the movie and discussion and encourages librarians to

recruit teens to lead the discussion, which gets other teens more involved. Having skilled teen

facilitators, good pre-event advertising, and thoughtful selection can lead to exciting events.

Vavrek, B. (2004). Teens: Bullish on Public Libraries. Public Library Quarterly. 23(1), 3-11.

Two rounds of phone interviews gave researchers at Clarion University a better picture of how
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today's young adults view and use public libraries, and researchers hoped to be able to draw conclusions

from this data about how the current generation of young adults will support libraries in the future. The

researchers did not expect the traditional service of lending books to be the main draw for teenagers, but

the teens surveyed used the library primarily to borrow books and other materials. The researchers had

expected technology to be more of a draw; they found that while many teens used the internet at

libraries, they preferred to use it at home. Less than half of the respondents reported that their local

libraries had space devoted to teens, librarians to work directly with them, or programming for their age

group. The survey did not give researchers a clear picture of whether teens will be staunch advocates of

libraries when they become adults, but libraries were seen as valuable institutions in their communities

and important resources of information and entertainment for teens in the present day.

Vogel, V. (2008). Library outreach to teens with physical challenges. Young Adult Library Services.

7(1), 39-42.

Vogel interviews a public librarian, Wendy Morano, and a teacher, Avis Kinkead, who work

together to provide services for an orthopedic handicapped special education class of middle-schoolers.

Morano has been visiting Kinkead's class once a month for the past ten years, and the two educators

describe the services Morano provides in her visits – read-alouds, booktalks, activities, and delivering a

cart full of books each month. Along with describing the library outreach services provided and the

reasoning behind them, the two discuss how to address the needs of special needs young adults who visit

public libraries, focusing on treating them as young adults – not children – finding out their interests,

and getting to know them. Morano makes the point that serving special needs children and young

adults, as a librarian, can be done most effectively by working through the schools and visiting classes

because of the transportation difficulties that can keep handicapped individuals of any age from visiting
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