I always love giving training on working with teenagers in libraries, and I was delighted to give a course at CILIP yesterday on this topic. There was loads of excellent debate about teenagers’ needs and expectations, and ways to engage with them effectively and make libraries relevant and attractive to them. With delegates from public libraries, maintained and independent school libraries, FE college libraries, plus the University of Malta, there were masses of useful ideas shared for promoting libraries and reading that could readily be transferred from one type of setting to another. We talked a lot about the value of involving teenagers in day-to-day activities and decision-making, and there were plenty of ideas about how to get this to happen. Good face-to-face communication is of course crucial, and everyone’s thoughts on getting this right were illuminating and valuable. The discussions about the impact of social networking on young people’s lives and the implications for libraries were fascinating. It was also very interesting to hear a range of experiences of using e-books for leisure reading and academic purposes. Many thanks to everyone who came.
I am giving a repeat course for Creating Capacity on working with teenagers in London on June 27, full details here. This one is not only for library staff but also practitioners from museums, galleries, archives and other culture and heritage organisations, so it will provide a great opportunity to gain ideas from a wide variety of settings.