Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Transforming Young Adult Services

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Transforming Young Adult Services

Article excerpt

Transforming Young Adult Services. Edited by Anthony Bernier. Chicago: ALA, 2013. 254 p. Paper $65 (ISBN: 978- 1-55570-907-5).

This collection of scholarly essays attempts to answer the question, "How should LIS imagine today's young adults?" (xvi). Bernier posits that those who work in and study libraries have been remiss in letting others define our audience for us. This leads to a distinct disconnect between libraries and teens.

Some of our fundamental ideas about who teens are and what services they need can be traced to the past century with dismayingly little change to date. If obsolete theories and concepts are used, teens are defined solely as students (in educational theory), patients (in psychological theories), "less than" adults, at-risk, "other"--in short, they are marginalized. This volume argues successfully that these definitions must be overhauled.

Of course, many definitions of young adults are possible, and this collection offers several ideas for instituting change. In nine chapters, respected scholars examine many concerns and propose jumping-off points for debate. Section one explores age-based definitions of teens and suggests turning these traditional, adult-centered perspectives into teen-centered approaches to services and programs. …

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