- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
VOYAVirginia A. Walter, Chair of the Department of Information Studies at UCLA and author of Output Measures and More (ALA, 1995/VOYA February 1996), and Elaine Meyers, Manager of Children's and Teen Services at the Phoenix Public Library and former project director of the Public Libraries as Partners in Youth Development Initiative (PLPYD), collaborate on a book that asks readers "to reflect on our past, learn from the best research and practice available today, and work within our communities to create a new future for youth." The book's four sections use titles from young adult classics. "That Was Then, This is Now" briefly attempts to cover YA services history. "Rumble Fish" addresses what the authors consider to be new perspectives that "rumble and sometimes clash" with the old, insights from the youth development field, teen fascination with technology, new teen places in public libraries, the power of listening to young adults, and evaluation as a means of accountability. "The Outsiders" retells the YA services story in response to a Library Teen Bill of Rights. The last part is a toolkit and list of further resources. Particularly rich is the argument that public library YA programs should be formulated with teens themselves around youth development principles. Examples of how to do so include an evaluation checklist for libraries (reminiscent of checklists developed by the Center for Early Adolescence two decades ago) and the evolution of the Library Teen Bill of Rights, worth replicating with teens in other libraries. Also noteworthy is advice on creating library places for teens using teen input into their design, and a description of World Café, a dialogue process. On thedownside, the historical sections of the book are sketchy at best and selectively biased at worst. There is no mention of Margaret Scoggin's work in the New York Public Library. Patrick Jones is referenced only as the author of New Directions for Library Service to Young Adults (ALA Editions, 2002/VOYA October 2002), as if his other extensive contributions do not exist. VOYA appears only as the source of the YA Spaces of Your Dreams column, and if Anthony Bernier (now YA Coordinator at Oakland Public Library) had anything to do with Teen'Scape in the Los Angeles Public Library, you will never find it here. The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is missing from Further Resources, although those few listed are excellent. Early youth participation work by Evie Wilson, Christy Tyson, and Cathi Dunn MacRae is likewise ignored. This reviewer agrees with two central points here: that reading promotion often eclipses other meaningful library services to young adults and that genuine youth participation is rare in public libraries, despite several decades of work to achieve it. By claiming the high ground in contemporary young adult services, however, the authors run the risk of sounding as if only they have the answer, rather than carefully critiquing inadequate practice. Better approaches might be lessons learned from the PLPYD project or a theoretical companion for Youth Development and Public Libraries: Tools for Success (Urban Libraries Council, 2002), rather than such a skewed and superficially researched book. 2003, ALA Editions, 168p.; Index. Biblio. Further Reading., pb. Ages 17 to Adult.
—Mary K. Chelton