Label This! (tween, teen, YA and whathaveyou…)

“I tried to join a ping-pong club, sign on the door said all full up!’  I got nicked, fighting in the road an’ the judge didn’t even know…what’s my name…?!” – The Clash

Back in July, there was a rather sprited discussion on YAAC about the idea of reordering some of our most hallowed boxes of stickers.’  Much of the converstaion, it seemed, centered on the idea of service being provided to the 18 – 30-ish age bracket; whether or not we have a responsibility to help transition people to adult services, and how to collaborate in that area with the adult services department.’  I do agree there is a definite need for such collaboration, as little seems to be exist in libraries these days for this crowd.’ ‘ My esteemed colleague Alissa blogged about this very point just a few days past (most eloquently, I might add!).’  But the discussions began on a point of’ ‘ such seeming importance, one I feel like we get overly wrapped up in at times: what’s their label!?

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Where Do They Go? What Do They Want? How Can We Help?

working during the dayAt The New York Public Library when a teen reaches 18 they are no longer allowed to take part in programs, and spend time in teen spaces, designed specifically for adolescents. These teen spaces are meant to be just for teens as a way for the library to demonstrate support to the age group, and as a way to give teens a place where they can hang-out as comfortably as young children who frequent library children’s rooms.

However, when teens reach 18 at NYPL they sometimes feel at a loss about where to go next, within the library context that is. As a matter of fact, a few years ago I remember a conversation I had with one of these teens. It was the end of the school year and he was headed to college, in New York City, in the fall. He said to me that he was considering telling the librarians at NYPL that while he was going to college he wasn’t yet 18. That way he could continue to hang-out in NYPL’s Teen Central that he’d been going to for several years. Continue reading