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Use this research to: Help sort out fact from fiction about adolescent brain development and sexuality, Equip staff to understand and sensitively interact with teens, Foster understanding about teens, technology, and multitasking, Incorporate teen-friendly services and activities into the library.
With further reading suggestions rounding out each chapter, this provocative guide offers school, public, and academic librarians further ways of thinking about young adults and the services provided for them.
Much has been written about the recent developments in brain research as it relates to library service to babies and young children. Pierce (Univ. of Iowa SLIS) focuses on the implications of this research on service to adolescents and young adults. She explores myths regarding teens' use of technology and other media, the role of hormones in influencing behavior, and relationships with parents. She also reexamines some of the tenets of YA library service in light of scientific truths about adolescent brain development. Throughout, she advocates for a diverse view of young adults, rejecting the reliance on marketing research that identifies specific key interests and behaviors of teens and tweens. Instead, Pierce points to empirical research that reveals a range of levels of maturity and development in the adolescent brain over time. She suggests that science offers more compelling information that can help shape librarians' understanding of the YA population and its use of library materials. Presenting ideas with the potential to reinvigorate the discussion of how libraries can best serve young adults, this small book should be required reading for all YA librarians.
—Rachel Q. Davis
Well researched and documented, this guide provides new and reevaluated ideas and insights about the sociological, neurological, emotional, and sexual perspectives of adolescence. The author's purpose is to assist librarians as they try to engage teens through relevant and attractive responses to their recreational, informational, and technological needs and interests. The premise is that by understanding teens better, librarians are better able to provide appropriate and effective programs and materials. Improved interactions with teens and more library usage are other anticipated results, though the topic of youth participation in libraries and its effects are not specifically addressed. While it is filled with a great deal of pertinent and thought-provoking advice and information, the scholarly writing style does require focused concentration. This book could supplement Patrick Jones, Michele Gorman, and Tricia Suellentrop's more accessible and comprehensive Connecting Young Adults and Libraries (Neal-Schuman, 2004).-Diane P. Tuccillo, Fort Collins Regional Library District, CO