Help! The Teen Librarian Has Left the Building

YA Librarians Abby Reidy from the Morse Institute Library in Natick, MA and Christi Showman Farrar from Woburn Mass. Public Library. All handouts will be available online.

YA Reader Advisory by Christi Showman Farrar: Talk to the teen-not their parent. Direct questions and eye contact. Be honest. If you have not read a book-say so. If it is a popular bookand you have heard positive things about it-say so. Do not talk down and don’t try to talk like. Remember, you are not teen and that is okay. The teen has to make an investment in the selection. Use bookblurbs when showing a teen a book-let them read it themselves and decide.

Basic Reader Advisory questions: Fun or School? How Long? Any requirements? Genre? Topic?  What do you like and dislike? Sometimes it is easier to avoid a few things they dislike then trying to find the perfect book they will like. What was the last book you read that you enjoyed?

Not a YA librarian-visit the YA section and see what is available. Available tools are

Booklists available at and     A lowtech version-use binders for lists-make available for youth. Make pamphlets available.

Teens are our best resource in finding out what is popular.  Use simple book review forms, shelf-talkers, bookmarks and Teen Top Ten. Make it okto not finish a book. Feeling like you are “married” to a book can frighten youth and adults from being advid readers.

I agree 100% with the advice “Read YA Books! – You Might Like Them”  Challege yourself to read atleastone ya a book a month. I personally have found some of my favorite books in the YA section.

Bribery & Behavior Modification-A rewards program that can work for any librarian by Abby Reidy. What do you do with those teens in the library just hanging out-the non-readers? Avert negative behavior?

An interactive reward system was the suggestion of a teen.                     What is your carrot to get them involved? Candy is a suggestion. The began with trivia on a whiteboard. Correct answer-candy. To combat sharing of info-have them prove their resource for the answer.  Engage the youth while at the library. They will learn what is available for resources and services at the library.

Morse Institute Library in Natick, MA started a Morse Moo La library currency program. Waysto earn it was library trivia, bookreview, purchase request, wild book hunt, show library card. Ways to spend: Candy, pay off fines, mini prizes, gift cards. video game play time.  How did this program work at Morse?  The pros were staff involvement means staff ownership, positive reinforcement, teens familiar with library services and staff. The cons were alot of paperwork, cheating, busy reference desk,  How do we keep this program fresh and children coming back?  Budget for program: look for donations from community for prizes. Paperwork, staff time. Visit for more information on ya programs at this library.

One Response

  1. check this out…

    this is mine…

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