Friday, April 7, 2017

Yours, Mine, and Ours

This is an interesting issue, and one which, although it's not a problem for my library now, will be next year.  Right now the Teen Area at both our branches is open to the rest of the library.  The items are shelved separately from the Adult sections, but nearby.  Anyone can come and go easily.  But...

We're in the process of adding on to our Main Branch and the plans call for a new Teen Room (yay!).  Until now, I hadn't thought about the impact this will have on adults who like to read YA books.  This new room will be on a completely different floor than the adult area and will be closed with a glass wall and doors - great for teens hanging out and for doing loud programs, but not so great for adults who want to browse the YA shelves.  I'm not comfortable with adults hanging out in the teen room, but they should be able to come in and get books if they want.  Ergh, now I'm feeling a little concerned...

An article on WebJunction reflects most YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) advice:
Teen Space is For the Teens.
You need to establish this basic rule early on, and have support at all levels. No policy exists in a vacuum, and your administration must back you up. No teen will feel welcome in the space if the area is filled with adults, nor will a shy 13- year-old ask an adult to please leave the teen area. While teens seem invincible in groups, they are in fact quite vulnerable. Just like a patron of any other age, library policy must reflect a teen’s right to use the library free of impediments, including aggressive adults. (Mary McCarthy, Boulder Public Library, 2004)
I think this is good advice, but I think we can brainstorm some ways that materials can still feel accessible to adults.  Perhaps we can have "open door" times, or start an "Adults Who Love YA" book club?  Maybe we could place a shelf outside the door for popular titles?  Or find some kind of fun, funky signs to invite adults to choose their items quickly and GET OUT BEFORE THE TEEN ZOMBIES GET YOU!...  Or some other idea...   I have 1 year to come up with a plan.  Yikes.

1 comment:

  1. It is an interesting dilemma and provides some food for thought. There is no foolproof plan but let us know what you find works best for you! Full points!