Urban Teens In The Library

Urban Teens In The Library

by Denise E. Agosto
     
 

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - KaaVonia Hinton
Urban literature has always been popular, from books by Donald Goines in the 1970s to more recent titles by authors like Omar Tyree and Sister Souljah. Not too long ago, adolescents had to hide such titles because adults did not want them to read about hard times on violent streets, drug deals, making fast money, and sex. Recently, librarians, teachers, and scholars have begun asking why these books should be excluded from collections, classrooms, and scrutiny. The editors and contributors of this book are well on their way to answering this question, and they have data to support their stance. More than that, this book explains that offering urban literature is only one small aspect of serving urban youth. Urban youth benefit from social networking, databases and other Web resources, space, programs, and much more. After part one, which defines who urban teens are, part two presents research about how (and if) teens use the library to locate information, use the computer, borrow books, do homework, and visit with friends. The last part takes readers right into urban libraries where they can see teens writing books, rocking the mike, surfing the net, and blogging. This book has everything libraries in urban areas need to get started helping more teens. Though it is targeted to librarians, teachers can use the strategies offered here, too. For example, tips on how to host book discussions on a blog, create photo galleries, organize writing anthologies, and use podcasting for booktalks might come in handy for language arts teachers. Reviewer: KaaVonia Hinton
School Library Journal
This work does much to explain who urban teens are and what they need from their libraries. The authors examine the existing research—some of which they have performed—that provides a wealth of data for public and school libraries. Given the challenges in serving these patrons, practical options and suggestions are invaluable, yet few of the chapters build off the research to make such recommendations. Two examples of the combination of theory and practice are found in the chapters on developing a leisure reading program and urban teens' search for health information. In addition, the four examples of best practices are also full of ideas. Other chapters, such as those on social networking and YA spaces, are more general and do not offer much guidance on applying the research to urban libraries. The chapter on street lit is a mixed bag: it provides a much-needed background to the genre, but does not explore the literature written for teenagers, such as the works of Coe Booth, Alan Sitomer, or Paul Volponi. All in all, this guide does live up to its title, combining research and practice in one volume. For a larger focus on the day-to-day aspects of serving urban teens, consult Paula Brehm-Heeger's Serving Urban Teens (Libraries Unlimited, 2008).—Melissa Rabey, Frederick County Public Libraries, Frederick, MD

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780838910153
Publisher:
ALA Editions
Publication date:
12/01/2009
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.50(d)

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