Libraries and Teens in the Digital Age

Another Library Pic

I was doing some research about teens and social media use when I came across a google book that intrigued me. Unfortunately, I did not look at the title, and did not save the page, so I do not know what it is called.

This book (at least the preview pages) discussed what libraries could do to increase teen involvement and readership in this digital age. I came away with two interesting takeaways.

First is the idea of inter-library networking. This idea stems from the premise that many small, independent libraries try to operate completely on their own and without any collaboration from other libraries. It suggested that this may not be the best practice in the digital age.

Libraries that work collaboratively and network will find themselves sharing ideas and getting teens in the doors of the library. They may also be able to share resources, important because today’s teens are accustomed to unlimited access to information courtesy of the internet.

The idea of library networking also transposes online. Libraries can learn and grow from each other in what is offered digitally to teens, from ebooks, to social media websites, and online resources. If libraries can work together toward common goals, then they may find more success in reaching those goals.

The other idea that the book suggested that I found particularly intriguing is the idea of inviting teens into the organizational system of the library. Teens know and are aware of what they and their peers like, dislike, think, love, fear, hate, desire, are interested in, and would show up for. Teens can be a good source for planning programs and implementing strategies for reaching peers?

Why?

Because they are walking the road that other teens are. Simply, teen readers know how other teens are using the internet and social media, and can help correlate that with reading lives. A teenager helping a librarian and the library can further the progress a library makes within a community.

A time-proven method for appealing to audiences is finding out what the audience wants and delivering. Two ways of effective delivery can include teen involvement and library collaboration. With these two idea, libraries can effectively provide the literacy goals that they desire. Even in a digital age.

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6 responses to “Libraries and Teens in the Digital Age

  1. Ohhh. Good reminder to utilize online library-esque options with teens. That angle didn’t even occur to me while researching teens and reading with media.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Smaller libraries will need to collaborate more to survive in this ever-increasing digital world. Our small library has added digital books and is still a major user of inter-library loan (which many people don’t know about). Many of the books I chose for Young Adult Literature were not in our library or our digital library, so I asked the librarian to get them from interlibrary loan. She simply enters in the information, a library that has the book checks it out to us and mails it to us, I read it, then the library ships it back to the original library. This old method has proven very effective for me, even in this digital age.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Inter-library loans won’t be enough to prevent them from falling into antiquity. The library needs to come to the teens in their own way, such as through their smartphone. Maybe the better question is: how do we get teens to think of the library as a “cool” place?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the idea of teen involvement. Teens know what other teens like and dislike and they all are usually on the same page when it comes to social networking so it would be so easy for them to spread the word of books they think others would like! Great post!

    Like

  5. “Teens can be a good source for planning programs and implementing strategies for reaching peers.” Yes! I love this line in your post. I worked in a library in high school, and I loved being able to be a part of the process. To me, it was a cool place. I would go tell other kids about the awesome new books that had came in, and I’d encourage them to go check some out. What a great idea to include teens!

    Liked by 1 person

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