May 19, 2022

Literature Review: “Using Technology to Connect Public Libraries and Teens”

The following article appears in the latest issue of  SLIS Student Research Journal from San Jose St. University.


Using Technology to Connect Public Libraries and Teens


Susan M W Aplin *
San Jose State University


SLIS Student Research Journal
Vol. 2, No. 2 (2013)


Today’s teens use technology in most aspects of their lives: 95% of teens go online; 80% of online teens use social media (Lenhart et al., 2011); and 87% of older teens have a mobile phone (Lenhart, 2012). This article explores how public libraries can use technology to effectively connect with and serve their young adult patrons. A review of current literature suggests that librarians begin by involving teens in the planning of young adult services and teen library spaces. These services should include librarians trained in working with teens as well as access to technology and gaming. Libraries must understand how and why teens use technology and the Internet. They should then use this knowledge to plan and develop an online presence. Today’s librarians should use library websites and social networking sites to connect with teens. In addition, libraries must address other technologies that interest teens such as mobile devices and e-reading. Technology changes rapidly, and librarians must stay current on best practices for reaching out to and serving today’s teens.

Direct to Full Text (24 pages; PDF)

* Susan Aplin has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Pomona College and a Master of Arts in Teaching English from the University of South Carolina. She is a National Board Certified English teacher at Dutch Fork High School in Irmo, SC, where she also serves as a Teacher Technology Leader. Susan completed the original research for this literature review as a part of an Information and Society course at San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.