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Risky Business: Taking and Managing Risks in Library Services for Teens
Linda W. Braun, Hillias J. Martin, and Connie Urquhart for YALSA
Item Number: 978-0-8389-3596-5
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $57.00
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168 pages
6" x 9"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-3596-5
Year Published: 2010
AP Categories: A, C, E

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Do we add that edgy urban novel to our teen collection? Should we initiate social networking? What about abandoning Dewey for a bookstore arrangement? Change is risky business, but librarians must be prepared to initiate change to best serve teens. YA service innovators Linda W. Braun, Hillias J. Martin, and Connie Urquhart explain how to be smart about taking risks without shying away from them. They offer concrete advice for
  • Laying the groundwork for change in key areas such as collection building and programming
  • Including technology components as part of traditional services, such as booktalks, information literacy instruction, and book discussion groups
  • Effectively gaining support from administrators and colleagues
A resource list highlights articles and websites about risk in libraries, risk management, and teens and risk taking. In addition, appendixes offer YALSA’s competencies for serving youth and YALSA’s white papers, which discuss the importance of teen literature, the need to include young adult services in library school curricula, and the need for dedicated space and teen services staff in public libraries. Real-world examples of risky change in action from librarians and authors of YA lit enrich this exploration of a topic rarely discussed in depth, but central to YA services in school and public libraries today.
Table of Contents

Introduction: A Risky Theme
Chapter 1    The What and Why of Risk Taking in Teen Services
Chapter 2    Risk-Worthy Collections
Chapter 3    Risk-Worthy Collections: What Authors Have to Say
Chapter 4    Risks in Programming: A Necessity
Chapter 5    Technology: A Risk Worth Taking
Chapter 6    Selling Risk to Administration and Colleagues
Chapter 7    Risky Career Moves
Chapter 8    Teens as Risky Role Models
A    Meet the Risk Takers
B    Risky Decision Making: Assessing Risk Readiness
C    Risky Decision Making: Is This a Risk Worth Taking?
D    Forty Developmental Assets for Adolescents Ages Twelve to Eighteen
E    Resources That Support Smart Risk Taking
F    YALSA White Papers
G    Young Adults Deserve the Best: YALSA’s Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth

About the Authors

The 2009–2010 president of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), Linda W. Braun is an education technology consultant with LEO: Librarians & Educators Online. She provides training and consulting to schools, libraries, and other educational institutions on how to integrate technology successfully. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science, where she teaches courses on Web development and teen services. Linda has written books for ALA Editions, Neal-Schuman, Libraries Unlimited, and Information Today. She is also a TAG Team Tech columnist for Voices of Youth Advocates, and was blog manager for YALSA from 2006 through 2009.

Hillias “Jack” Martin began working in libraries at the age of 13 when his mom volunteered him to work for his local public library in Cornelia, Georgia. Since then he has worked in Athens, Georgia, and in Providence, Rhode Island, leading him to his current position as assistant director for public programs and lifelong learning for children, teens, and families at the New York Public Library. He’s an adjunct professor at Queens College and Pratt Institute, and is the coauthor of Serving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Teens: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Libraries. He lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with his husband and two bad cats.

Connie Urquhart is teen services coordinator for the Fresno County Public Library System, where she provides services to teens in all communities within Fresno County, California. She received her MLIS from the University of Washington’s Information School and has presented workshops on booktalking, school and public library partnerships, and technology. An active YALSA member, Connie has served on several committees and task forces and is also a YALSA blogger. This is her first book.

The mission of Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is to advocate, promote and strengthen library service to teens, ages 12-18, as part of the continuum of total library services, and to support those who provide library service to this population.

”These chapters are written in a forthright, comfortable style and unlike so many professional books where you feel you might be give a pop quiz later because they are so academic and dense, I whipped through this volume in a couple of hours and enjoyed every minute … I would recommend this book to any teen librarian and definitely for inclusion in the library science curricula - let's get the conversation about risk started BEFORE librarians have to face it!!”
--The Sassy Librarian

"Risky Business comes with many useful appendixes, and will prove an invaluable resource for any library that wants to be on the cutting edge."
--The Midwest Book Review

"This thought-provoking title will pique awareness and present some 'ah ha!' moments ... Of particular interest are chapters devoted to developing a mature, appealing, high-interest YA collection. This section alone makes the book a worthwhile addition."
--School Library Journal

"Bottom line: if you work with teens, you should read this book. It’s a quick read, and well worth it for the perspective, sound advice and inspiration provided."
--Spine Label

"Thesis-style in appearance, this interesting book contains constructive information for teachers, parents, and, certainly, professional librarians. However, it also underscores the role that the general population has in being an advocate for teen library services ... This book will be a great resource for librarians and others who provide teen services."

"Although this may sound like a professional title that only appeals to youth services librarians, it's perfect for any librarian interested in learning how to take successful risks. In just fewer than 150 pages, authors Braun, Martin, and Urquhart offer a treasure trove of practical tips, checklists, and real-life examples for librarians who are ready to appraoch customer services in new and adventuresome ways."
--Public Libraries

"Librarians working with young adults will find many informative views on ways other YA librarians have taken the risk in teen programming and succeeded."
--Catholic Library World

"An excellent practical resource that is essential reading for public librarians serving young adults, high school librarians, library educators focusing on young adult services, students in library and education undergraduate and postgraduate programmes interested in working with young adults, and library and school administrators/managers."
--The Australian Library Journal

  Also of interest:  
Young Adults Deserve the Best: YALSA's Competencies in Action
Item Number:  978-0-8389-3587-3
Developed by Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), this book outlines eight areas of focus for providing quality library service in collaboration with teenagers.
Price: $49.00
Quick and Popular Reads for Teens
Item Number:  978-0-8389-3577-4
Make choosing titles for teens fun, quick, and easy with this one-of-a-kind-resource!
Price: $47.00
Multicultural Programs for Tweens and Teens
Item Number:  978-0-8389-3582-8
Multicultural Programs for Tweens and Teens is a one-stop resource that encourages children and young adults to explore different cultures.
Price: $52.00