Rethinking What We Do: Public Library Teen Web Pages

young person staring into space with balloon in the air by nic519A few years ago a colleague emailed me and asked about what his public library should do on their re-designed/re-developed website for its teen presence. I said, “don’t have one.” Well, what I really said is “if you have teen pages on your site then focus them on the adults in teen lives and not on the teens.” Anytime I get asked this question, which I do quite a bit, my answer is the same.

I know, some people are thinking that by not having teen focused web pages on a library site it’s like saying no to a teen space in a library. But I disagree. For public libraries, I think it is different for school libraries, I think spending time, effort, dollars and more on teen web pages as a part of a library site is a waste of time and money. Have you looked at your teen page statistics lately? How well are they doing? And, if you tell me they get lots of hits, are you sure those are teens visiting those pages, or are they the adults in teen lives – teachers, parents, youth serving staff, etc.? Or, if you tell me that your teen advisory board is using the pages then that’s great, but why no one else?
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Update to Changes on Website

In February, I posted about changes that were made to YALSA’s website that required a login to reach the selected lists and awards. I explained the rationale and indicated that there would be refinements in the process.

There have been refinements, but we haven’t done a very good job of sharing that information with you, so I want to apologize for that lack of timely communication and try to remedy it now.

First of all, I do apologize for the early glitches and for the unfriendliness of ALA’s web interface. It can be very discouraging to click on a link that says “login” and immediately get an “access denied” message. However, if you just click on the ALA login link in the upper right corner of the screen, all will be well. Continue reading