Teens online and grownups in the library

Just a quick note to say that I’m currently reading It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens and I’m not even done and I can already recommend it to everyone! Yes, everyone! If you work with teens, have a teens, see teens, hear tales of teens, think you might have once been a teen, you should probably read it. It’s a fascinating look into the ways teens use social media and social networking technology. The teens at my library are constantly using technology, together and alone, to communicate with friends, do homework, and play games together. (Ok, I’ve seen a few do homework…not that many.) Check it out; I’m finding it so helpful for my job.

Also, I read about a group of librarians in Pennsylvania doing a mental health sensitivity training so they could better serve their patrons. I love this idea! I think all librarians should do this and should make an effort to be aware of the services and resources in their community for people with mental health issues. This is something that I think every library deals with – yes, even wealthy towns like Andover – and it can be very hard. Sometimes (ok, a lot of times with me) the inclination is that it’s all a big joke and we all have our stories of strange patrons. They can be funny, but I think we do need to remember the humanity and vulnerability of some of our patrons and try our best to help. I know I should remind myself of this when I’m telling friends “patron stories.” Maybe I should stick to the ones where people are just weird and not potentially sick: that time someone brought a cat – unleashed and uncaged – into the library; the time someone cut a computer monitor off the wall in Andover and left with it without anyone noticing until an hour later; and of course, my current favorite, “The Fart Heard ‘Round the Library.”

That one you may have to hear in person.

Until next time friends, let’s be kind to those in mental difficulties and to teens. Teens are your future adult patrons, so be nice to them now!


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