Vol. 11 N. 2 Issue of Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults

Volume 11, Issue 2 of YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults (JRLYA) is now available online at http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/. This issue features research papers that focus on issues of censorship in public libraries and the perceptions of teachers and librarians about the use of teen literature that features school shootings.

Shannon M. Oltmann and Stephanie D. Reynolds explore the absence of challenges in their article, “When Libraries Aren’t Challenged: Librarians Discuss a Lack of Patron Challenges to Their Collections.” In order to better understand these librarians’ perspectives, the authors interviewed youth services librarians who have never dealt with a challenge from their community.  Oltmann’s and Reynold’s research explores an aspect of intellectual freedom not often addressed in literature regarding youth services.

The question of whether or not to use teen literature that features school shootings as a central plot line was the focus of research conducted by Kjersti VanSlyke-Briggs, Sarah Rhodes, and Jenna Turner.  In their article, “The Darkest Themes: Perceptions of Teen-on-Teen Gun Violence in Schools as Portrayed by Teen Literature,” the authors explored this question with librarians and teachers to understand how these two groups of professionals approached engaging with teens about violence in schools.  Their research uncovers willingness but also hesitancy on the part of teachers and librarians to use this literature with teens.  This paper puts into perspective the importance of providing teachers and librarians the tools with which to engage teens about challenging contemporary issues.

JRLYA is YALSA’s open-access, peer-reviewed research journal, located at: http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya. Its purpose is to enhance the development of theory, research, and practice to support young adult library services. JRLYA presents original research concerning: 1) the informational and developmental needs of teens; 2) the management, implementation, and evaluation of young adult library services; and 3) other critical issues relevant to librarians who work with teens. Writer’s guidelines are located at http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/author-guidelines/.

Robin A. Moeller, editor, JRLYA

MARCH 2015 ISSUE OF JOURNAL OF RESEARCH ON LIBRARIES & YOUNG ADULTS

The March 2015 issue of Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults features two papers relating to YALSA’s The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action report.

In “The Impact of Assigned Reading on Reading Pleasure in Young Adults,” Stacy Creel, Assistant Professor in the School of Library & Information Science at the University of Southern Mississippi, discusses a survey of the reading habits and preferences of 833 U.S. teens aged 12 to 18. Her research showed that students who self-selected reading materials for school-assigned reading projects enjoyed the reading more than those who read assigned titles, and that girls tended to enjoy reading for school more than boys. This research adds to a growing body of research supporting the importance of allowing students to choose their reading materials to develop a life-long love of reading.

In “Connected Learning, Librarians, and Connecting Youth Interest,” Crystle Martin, a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Digital Media and Learning Hub of the University of California at Irvine, presents an in-depth look at the educational benefits of connected learning. Connected learning harnesses the connective power of social media and teens’ excitement about their personal interests and hobbies to facilitate deep, teen-driven exploration and experimentation. It also combines peer learning and creative production, such as blog or digital artwork creation. Dr. Martin describes the connected learning framework in detail and explains how YA librarians can take advantage of its potential learning benefits.

Together these two papers show the importance of making teens’ interests core to library services. This means turning the traditional view of librarians-as-experts on its head to make teens the experts of their own interests and information needs. It means encouraging teens to make collection development and programming decisions, and viewing social media and other youth-driven information environments as prime places for providing library services. Above all, these papers argue for youth-centered, youth-driven library services as the future of YA librarianship.

Denise Agosto, Editor