As teen services people we are passionate about advocating for teens in our libraries. We strive for equality of service and resources and understand on an instinctive level how even the most non-traditional program/activity is library appropriate for teens. We are the people that smile when twenty-five teens walk through the door. Sometimes our colleagues don’t “get us” and we certainly don’t get them when they see teens as problems just by virtue of them being teens.

Our teen service passion coupled with the less-than-teen friendly attitudes of our colleagues can lead to conflict. In addition to being advocates for teens, we also have to be good team players and diplomats at work – and help our colleagues understand the importance of teen services. Teen services people can employ soft skills to better communicate the teen services message to colleagues in a way that is productive, effective – and makes the library environment better for everyone.

YALSA members are invited to a free webinar Soft Serve: using soft skills to enhance communication with colleagues & improve service to teens.

The webinar will include information about:

  • Tips for speaking with colleagues and administrators about teen services
  • Strategies for breaking down barriers to effective customer service to teens
  • Building a positive in-house attitude towards teens/ teen services

The 60 minute webinar is Thursday, November 20th at 2 p.m. Eastern. It’s free for all YALSA members. For more information and to register visit:

Do you have an experience to share about teen-resistant colleagues? I’d appreciate hearing about it in comments to this post.


About Jennifer Velasquez

Jennifer Velasquez is a Lecturer at the San Jose State University School of Information (CA) and Teen Services Coordinator at San Antonio Public Library (TX) She is a Library Journal Mover & Shaker (2011) and recipient of the New York Times Librarian Award (2005). Her book, Real-World Teen Services, is available from ALA Editions.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation