The first thing we did was change the name to Teen. Next, we have been ordering new fiction like crazy. Now the nonfiction has been separated out so that the Reference team took the factual books and we are keeping the leisure reading nonfiction.
Things are shaping up well for our first big test-- the end of the school year. Very soon-- 10 days or so-- school will be out and the teens will be in the library signing up for summer reading and asking us for reading suggestions.
I will have more about all of our summer reading programs the first week of June, but it is the second part I am worried about.
I have been preparing myself personally by reading teen books, following popular blogs, reading reviews, and just trying to cram for the onslaught of actual 13-18 year old readers that we always get after school lets out. On some days I feel ready, and on others, I am terrified.
Then I realized if I am terrified, what about the rest of the staff? Well, it turns out we are all a bit nervous. We all have comfort zones but they are still small.
So I came up with a solution to get us through with the least pain. I offered to make a list of the best sites to use with teen patrons as they are at the desk asking us questions. I will be posting the list below at the desk early next week, but before it is finalized, I wanted to give everyone else out there a chance to add to it. So leave a comment with your favorite teen reading resource if you want. Please note though, I am looking for sites that I my staff can use with patrons at the desk during the RA conversation; I am not looking for resources to help educate them in teen library issues right now.
Becky's Go-To Teen Resources To Use At The Service Desk: [Rough Draft]
- Teen Reads which I have already highlighted in detail here. I check this site at least once a day while working at the teen desk. Between the suggested reading lists and the reviews and articles, I always find ideas and talking points if not suggestions to use with my teen patrons.
- School Library Journal: I love Library Journal's RA content but I have to move to SLJ for the same content for teen readers. But like LJ, SLJ is THE place to go for information on where libraries and teens intersect. Expect essays, reviews, readalike information for popular titles, research and study reports, bestseller lists, and discussions.
- YALSA-- The Young Adult Library Services Organization is the ALA's teen arm. When I am desperate for a suggestion, I turn to one of their multiple lists. They are the experts. When I have more time, I use the site to bolster my knowledge base.
- NoveList (subscription database): I love how I can search for all reading levels from child to adult all in one place with this resource.
- Stacked a blog which I discussed previously in detail here. While this is a blog, a format more useful to learning and staying current than it is for helping a patron in front of you right at this moment, Kelly from Stacked has compiled this great spreadsheet of Contemporary YA Lit. She notes the themes and settings as well as links to any reviews on Stacked. Again, this is a great list if you get brain freeze while helping a patron.
Again, please share your thoughts or sites with me before I get this list out at the desk.