The Interactions with Teens content area of the Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff centers on this main idea:
Recognizes the importance of relationships and communication in the development and implementation of quality teen library services, and implements techniques and strategies to support teens individually and in group experiences to develop self-concept, identity, coping mechanisms, and positive interactions with peers and adults.
As I’ve talked with library staff over the past several months I’ve become more and more aware of how important it is to connect this Competency content area to what library staff often label as teen behavior management issues. The reason why these go hand-in-hand is that if library staff build relationships with teens, then the teens will trust that staff and feel respected by them. And, when trust and respect exist a majority of behavioral issues are likely to go out the door.
Consider these two scenarios.