November 17, 2014

Boston Globe: “New Breed of Teen-Services Librarians Emerges”

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Solid article. Happy to read and share.

From The Boston Globe:

[Maya] Escobar [Cambridge, MA Public Library] is one of a mushrooming corps of librarians in Greater Boston working to put books in the hands of young readers. She is part of an increasingly visible group that has almost doubled in size in the past 13 years. At 5,200 members, the Young Adult Library Services Association is the fastest-growing professional organization in the field.

[Clip]

But the push for young adult — or YA — librarians also comes at the confluence of two other trends: the reinvention of public libraries as community centers of learning, information, and enrichment and the surge of literature aimed specifically at a teen audience.

This new breed shares some distinguishing traits. A goodly percentage, Peterson says, are new to the field and “on the young side” themselves. Perhaps because of their relative youth, they also display a distinct sense of mission. In fact, a team from the Boston Public Library works to ensure incarcerated teens have access to YA literature.

Read the Complete Article

Note: One small comment (nitpick?) about the article. 

While the text of the article points to a number of ways teen-services librarians are organizing and providing services that are not related to books the article includes a sentence (in the introduction) that reinforces a popular but incorrect belief, libraries are about books. Period. 

In the third paragraph we read:

Escobar is one of a mushrooming corps of librarians in Greater Boston working to put books in the hands of young readers.

Again, the article does point out a number of non-book activities (places to meet, culture activities, etc.) if you read the full text.

Nevertheless, it’s crucial that mainstream media articles like this one do all that they can to clearly and correctly tell readers that 21st Century librarians are (or should be) about being about books but also so much more.  The more of this the better. Other than for the sentence noted this article does a impressive job of letting readers know some of what librarians are up to.

share save 171 16 Boston Globe: New Breed of Teen Services Librarians Emerges
Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.