The Learning 2.0 School

Shifting Perceptions of Teaching and Learning in and out of the School Library

Annual ALA Conference – Teens on Libraries and Librarians

Posted by Michelle Torrise on July 10, 2009

Today’s YALSA program featured a teen panel, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  I was especially intrigued by their response to what they thought about book clubs, what they liked and disliked and how they envisioned the perfect book club.  I also took note of the many recommendations they made about how we (librarians) can make libraries better places to for young adults.

Following is my list of Do’s and Don’ts that I devised from this panel.

Don’t set ridged book club reading deadlines, as this makes teens feel like their being assigned homework.
Do make book clubs flexible and allow teens to read at their own pace.

Don’t require teens to read every book club selection–again, it feels too much like homework if they have to read a book in order to participate.
Do allow teens to reserve the right to not read a book (if they chose) or to not finish a book if they also chose.

Don’t run the book club–teens don’t really want adults to even attend book club meetings and certainly don’t want us “telling” them what to do.
Do emphasize that the book club is youth run, but that you are there if they need you.

Don’t ask teens for recommendations and then neglect to buy the books.
Do add teen recommendations to your collection as quickly as possible.

Don’t buy the first book in a series and then make an excited teen wait months to read the next book because you have to order it.
Do buy all the books in a series at one time or as they are published.

Don’t promote books and then neglect to replace them as they are lost or stolen.
Do replace popular books that have been lost or stolen as soon as possible.


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