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There is a generation gap between experienced librarians and the teens we serve. Most of us know this, and thus shape our services based on what the teens request.
But what happens when the only teens requesting services are the ones who already see the library as a out dated warehouse for books? The things they request are based on what they think is appropriate for the library, and in reaction to how supportive their community is of their interests.

Here are some things you can do reach teens who don’t normally use your system:

  • If you do school visits, don’t just talk to the teens but ask them questions and listen to what they have to say.
  • Partner with other organizations in your community that teens love to hang out at.
  • Or just look at what places in your community teens often hang out at, and try to make your library more like those environments
  • Advertise what you are doing at the library in the places where your teens are
  • Have a website where teens can add content from comments on blogs to regular polls.
  • Give teens examples of what other libraries are doing when you talk to them so they have ideas for what’s possible

I hope these tips help libraries who are developing teen services. For those with successful teen services I encourage you to post comment with any other great ideas you have 😀

About Jami Schwarzwalder

Currently a teen librarian with the Pierce County Library System in Tacoma, WA.She is passionate about technology, making, and learning. See what I'm up to at https://about.me/jamischwarzwalder

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