Urban Teens in the Library: Research and Practice

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Urban Teens in the Library is the perfect solution for the concerns and uncertainty many librarians face when supporting this group of patrons and students. From a team of experts who have researched the information habits and preferences of urban teens to build better and more effective school and public library programs, this book will show readers

  • The importance of moving beyond stereotypes and revamping library services
  • The value of street lit and social networking
  • How a library website can meet the information needs of teens

This groundbreaking book is relevant to all librarians working with urban teens and looking for ways to reach out to them.

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction ix

Part I Setting the Stage: Who Is the Urban Teen?

Chapter 1 Who Are Urban Teens, and What Does Urban Mean, Anyway? 3
Denise E. Agosto and Sandra Hughes-Hassell
Chapter 2 Moving beyond the Stereotypes: Seeing Urban Teenagers as Individuals 9
Sandra Hughes-Hassell, Lewis Hassell, and Denise E. Agosto

Part II Focus on Research: Research Relating to Urban Teens and Libraries

Chapter 3 Revamping Library Services to Meet Urban Teens' Everyday Life Information Needs and Preferences 23
Denise E. Agosto and Sandra Hughes-Hassell
Chapter 4 Developing a Leisure Reading Program That Is Relevant and Responsive to the Lives of Urban Teenagers: Insights from Research 41
Sandra Hughes-Hassell
Chapter 5 Street Lit: Before You Can Recommend It, You Have to Understand It 53
Vanessa J. Irvin Morris, with Denise E. Agosto and Sandra Hughes-Hassell
Chapter 6 Urban Teens, Online Social Networking, and Library Services 67
June Abbas and Denise E. Agosto
Chapter 7 Urban Teens and Their Use of Public Libraries 83
Denise E. Agosto
Chapter 8 Public Library Websites and Urban Teenagers' Health Information Needs 101
Sandra Hughes-Hassell and Dana Hanson-Baldauf
Chapter 9 Spacing Out with Young Adults: Translating YA Space Concepts into Practice 113
Anthony Bernier

Part III Focus on Best Practice: Model Programs from U.S. Public Libraries

Chapter 10 Youth Development and Evaluation: Lessons from "Public Libraries as Partners in Youth Development" 129
Elaine Meyers
Chapter 11 The Loft at ImaginOn: A New-Generation Library for Urban Teens 143
Michele Gorman, Amy Wyckoff, and Rebecca L. Buck
Chapter 12 Before It's Reading, It's Writing: Urban Teens as Authors in the Public Library 153
Autumn Winters and Elizabeth J. Gregg
Chapter 13 Following and Leading Teens Online: Using Digital Library Services to Reach Urban Teens 169
Kara Reuter, Sarah Cofer, Ann Pechacek, and Mandy R. Simon

Works Cited 187
List of Contributors 201
Index 203

Denise E. Agosto, Ph.D.

Denise E. Agosto, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the College of Information Science & Technology at Drexel University. Her research interests include public libraries, diversity issues in youth library services, youth information behavior, and gender and information behavior. Dr. Agosto has published more than 60 articles and book chapters in these areas, and she frequently speaks about her research at state and national conferences. She has received numerous awards for her research and teaching, including the 2007 Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award, the Drexel University 2007 Outstanding Contribution to Online Learning Award, and a number of funded research grants and fellowships. She is the Chair of the American Library Association's Library Research Round Table (LRRT), a member of the Lubuto Library Project's Lubuto Collections and Programs Advisory Council, and serves on the editorial boards of Library & Information Science Research, Children's Literature in Education, and The Journal of Information Technology Education (JITE). She was awarded the 2014 OCLC/ALISE Library and Information Science Research Grant award for her project titled "A New Role for Libraries: Promoting Teens' Safety and Security in the Digital Age.

Sandra Hughes-Hassell, Ph.D.

Sandra Hughes-Hassell, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and Director of the School Library Media Program in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her 25-year career she has been an elementary school teacher, a school library media specialist, and director of the Philadelphia Library Power Project. In her current research she focuses on social justice issues in youth library services and the role of school library media specialists in education reform. Dr. Hughes-Hassell has experience as both an editor and author. Her most recent edited volume, School Reform and the School Library Media Specialist: Principles and Practices (with Violet H. Harada, Libraries Unlimited, 2007) was named the most important school library book of 2007 by Teacher Librarian. Recent journal publications include articles in Library & Information Science Research, School Library Media Research, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and Knowledge Quest. She teaches courses related to materials and services to children and youth, and school library media programs.

"This work does much to explain who urban teens are and what they need from their libraries. The authors examine the existing research–some of which they have performed–that provides a wealth of data for public and school libraries."
--School Library Journal

"This guide offers a plethora of ideas for incorporating digital learning into schools in an accessible and reader-friendly manner. This is an excellent tool for any educator interested in enriching students' education through digital literacy."

"Reading Urban Teens in the Library creates a timely reminder of the exposure our young people have to life issues and circumstances across a perhaps previously unimaginable spectrum. While there are other texts on servicing young people, and also a growing research base focussed on the information behaviour of youth, this book forms a unique bridge between research and practice ... For anyone working with teens, this book is essential reading."
--Australian Library Journal