The Importance of a Whole Library Approach to Public Library Young Adult Services: A YALSA Issue Paper

As Stephanie Kuenn mentioned in her YALSA Update post last Friday, at their Midwinter 2011 meetings the YALSA Board approved a new YALSA White Paper. The focus is the whole library approach to teen services.

What’s the whole library approach? Good question.

The whole library approach centers on the need for public libraries to employ staff dedicated to serving teens AND the need to have all other library staff (those not specifically tasked to work with teens) understand the value of serving adolescents. Through this understanding all staff are better equipped to provide high-quality service to young adults.

The document looks at how staff across public library departments (young adult, adult, reference, children’s, IT, circulation, etc.) can work together in order to provide a variety of services including those related to collection development, programming, and technology. It also considers the type of support administrators of public libraries must provide in order to guarantee that library service to young adults is excellent throughout the library, not just within the teen department.

This new resource discusses methods for creating whole library teen services and complements other YALSA White Papers available on the association’s website.

Take a look at the new White Paper and use it as a tool to advocate for excellent public library services to teens in your community.

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President, the YALSA CE Consultant, and a learning consultant/project management coordinator at LEO: Librarians & Educators Online.
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