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Evaluating Teen Services and Programs
Sarah Flowers
Item Number: 978-1-55570-793-4
Publisher: ALA Neal-Schuman
Price: $51.00
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This title is also available for purchase as an e-book or as a print/e-book bundle.

136 pages
6" x 9"
ISBN-13: 978-1-55570-793-4
Year Published: 2012
Flowers offers guidance for librarians in examining all aspects of teen programming and services to determine where improvement is needed. Readers will learn how to
  • Develop goals and objectives for evaluation
  • Collect the data for a realistic picture of a library’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Use many different types of data with the help of practical examples included in the text
  • Evaluate YA collections, summer reading programs, special events, and library staff
This guide comes with an explanation of the YALSA competencies, the YALSA teen services evaluation tool, and models for what excellent teen services programs should look like. Ready-to-use evaluation forms and checklists save time and resources by improving assessment methods in minutes.
Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword by Michele Gorman 

Chapter 1. Background and Theory

Adolescent Development
Serving Diverse Teens
Information-Seeking Behavior 
Developmental Assets 
Youth Participation
The Whole Library Experience 

Chapter 2. Planning 

Developing Effective Goals and Objectives 
Outcome Measures 
Collecting Data: Types and Sources 
  • User Data 
  • Usage Data 
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Program Data
  • Budget Data 
  • Facilities Data 
  • Function Data 
  • Staffing Data 
Finding Data 

Chapter 3. Implementation 

Raw Data: What Does It Mean? 
  • Statistical Data 
  • Evaluating Policies and Procedures 
  • Competencies 
Using Data to Make Changes 
  • Changing Policies
Using Data to Support Your Case 
Using Data to Plan for the Future 

Chapter 4. Evaluation 

Evaluation as a Decision-Making and Communication Tool
Outcome-Based Evaluation 
Evaluating YA Collections
Evaluating Teen Summer Reading Programs
Evaluating Teen Programs and Special Events 
  • Informal Evaluations 
  • Formal Evaluations
  • Focus Groups 
Evaluating Staff 

Chapter 5. Best Practices 

What an Excellent Teen Services Program Looks Like 
Using the YALSA Competencies
Using the YALSA Teen Services Evaluation Tool
  • How Library Administrators Can Use the Evaluation Tool 
  • How Trustees and Governing Bodies Can Use the Evaluation Tool 
  • How Library Patrons and Community Members
  • Can Use the Evaluation Tool
  • How Library and Information Science Faculty
  • Can Use the Evaluation Tool 
  • How Teen Services Librarians Can Use the Evaluation Tool 

Chapter 6. References and Resource Guide 

Links and Books 
Sample Forms 
  • Needs Assessments 
  • Summer Reading Programs 
  • Program Evaluation 
  • Staff Evaluation 
YALSA’s Competencies and Evaluation Tool
  • YALSA’s Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth: Young Adults Deserve the Best 
  • YALSA Teen Services Evaluation Tool

About the Author and YALSA 

About the Author

Sarah Flowers has worked as a young adult librarian, a supervisor of adult and young adult services, the manager of a community library, and as the deputy county librarian for the Santa Clara County Library in California, where she learned the practical details of analyzing and evaluating library data. She was a member of the top 40 distinguished alumni of the San Jose State School of Library and Information Science, and was a member of the first class of Library Journal’s “Movers & Shakers.” She is the author of four nonfiction books for young people and numerous articles and reviews for library journals, as well as the author of Young Adults Deserve the Best: YALSA’s Competencies in Action. She has been active in ALA and YALSA for many years, and was the 2011–2012 President of YALSA.

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is the fourth-largest division of the American Library Association, with more than 5,400 members. YALSA’s mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens and young adults. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives, YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve, and empower teens and young adults. YALSA’s major initiatives include Teen Read Week™ and Teen Tech Week™. Known as the world leader in recommending books and media to those ages 12–18, YALSA each year gives out six literary awards, including the Printz Award, and chooses titles for seven book and media lists.

Free Report: The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action

Last year, experts and practitioners from across the U.S. discussed the future of teens and libraries. The result? Some straightforward and achievable recommendations for engaging and empowering teens. 

YALSA’s “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: a Call to Action” report captures findings from the 2013 meeting about how youth-serving groups, community organizations and libraries can team up to help the nation’s teens succeed in school and prepare for careers. 

The report is available for free at


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