Teens Talk About Life, Reading and Blogging
I am a teen services librarian. I serve teens. But in order to serve teens, to do it well, that means that I have to talk to them. To listen. They all have their own stories, their own needs, and one of those needs is to have adults in their world who value them and are willing to give them the time and space to have a voice. That can happen in the stacks while you’re trying to help them find a book. That can happen in a program, and it’s even better when you have a recurring program where you can actually build a mentoring relationship with them. But we can’t serve teens in a vacuum or based on a text book theory, we actually have to know and listen to the teens in our communities if we want to serve them well. Plus, they are amazing. Sometimes they have the greatest stories, we should all take a moment to listen to them.
Today we’re sharing the stories of teens in their own words.
Val was never a big book reader. But one day she came in and asked me for a book recommendation and I put a copy of If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson in her hand. This is what happened.
Cuyler, what does it mean to be typical
Cuyler is the big brother to a little brother who has both Down’s Syndrome and falls somewhere on the Autism Spectrum. As part of our ongoing series on Autism and Libraries, Cuyler shared this post about what it’s like to try and protect his little brother and asks us all to consider what it means to be normal.
Paige, on the air and at your library
I used to do a weekly radio show with our local public radio station. And there were two teens who joined me every week, Paige was one of them. Paige has graduated and is now in college getting her degree in broadcast media.
Marissa and Jasmine, teen readers and bloggers
Marissa and Jasmine are teen bloggers that I first met at ALA. That’s right, they paid to go to ALA on their own because they are avid readers. I see them all the time at author events and conferences. They are dedicated and passionate.
Aneeqah, tornadoes in Texas
Aneeqah is another teen blogger that I have met. The first year I moved here to Texas, we had a day where there was something like 15 tornadoes. Here Aneeqah shares what that experience was like for her.
Aneeqah, my journey as a blogger
And here Aneeqah talks about her journey as a blogger.
Anthony and The Slave Across the Street
Antony is a teen I met under the most unfortunate of circumstances – he was caught vandalizing the library. For whatever reason, the library director decided to show kindness that day instead of calling the police and a relationship was born. The next day, Anthony came back to the library and I sat outside and talked with him while he scrubbed the library wall. After that day, he became one of the most prominent participants in my library programming. Today, he is an adult taking college classes. He recently contacted me and asked me to share this book review.
Filed under: Uncategorized
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
SLJ Blog Network