Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Real-World Teen Services

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Real-World Teen Services

Article excerpt

Real-World Teen Services. By Jennifer Velasquez. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2015. 116 p. Paper $50.00 (ISBN 978-08389-1342-0).

Author Jennifer Velasquez is a twenty-year veteran of teen services, a frequent speaker and consultant in the discipline, and a lecturer at San Jose State University's School of Information. Her extensive experience working directly with teens and speaking on their behalf is clear throughout Real-World Teen Services. The book highlights barriers that teen advocates often encounter and offers clear direction on how to diplomatically yet emphatically insist on the rights of teens as library users.

In the foreword, San Jose State University's Anthony Bernier highlights the need for texts like this by acknowledging that teen services are frequently added as an afterthought to other departments, usually youth or adult services. This common occurrence is one reason the book is a necessity for libraries serving teens: It's a how-to manual for under-prepared staff obliged to interact with teens, as well as a guidebook for libraries struggling with staff attitudes toward teen behavior. Most importantly, though, it presents an opportunity for current teen librarians to reflect on their own practices with a critical eye.

The main messages: Be consistent, genuine, and kind. Involve teens wherever possible in program and space planning. …

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