Tag archives: young people

Friday, 25 May 2012

Upcoming training

I’ve just been discussing a seminar that I’m co-running for PhD and Masters students from the University of Missouri at the end of July. I’m very excited about it. The theme is public libraries and social justice, and my session will be exploring how libraries can engage with young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. This great group of teenagers gave a wonderful case study about their involvement with Barnet Library Service at a similar session last year.

While this seminar is only for designated students, I do have a few open training courses coming up. The links will take you to information and booking details.

Making the most of your library
National Centre for Language and Literacy – Reading – 13 June 2012

Using picture books to support learning at key stage 2
Heath Educational Books – Sutton – 4 July 2012

Supporting children with special educational needs
Creating Capacity – London – 6 July 2012

Monday, 30 April 2012

Teenagers, reading and libraries

It’s a while since I’ve blogged about this, so I thought I would do a quick update on useful wesbsites, blogs etc.

UKYA is a great new site celebrating teen fiction set in Britain. It’s packed with helpful information. The Teen Librarian blog is extremely useful for all sorts of ideas for good library provision for teenagers. It’s well worth signing up to Teen Librarian Monthly to keep up to date. YA Library UK is always very pertinent and thought-provoking. The latest blog post is on teen volunteers in the library. Have a look through the archives too. There’s also an interesting article about teenagers and reading on the Scottish Book Trust blog. For those of you who have not seen it, this is an article on teenagers, reading and libraries I wrote for IBBYlink.

The photo was taken at South Woodford Library in Redbridge, where the teen area was designed by young people.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Effective provision for teenagers in museums, libraries and other arts and cultural organisations

There was a great Twitter discussion launched by Cultural Themes this week about good teenage provision. Look for the tweets dating from 24 January, or check out the complete archive. The discussion focused on museums, but lots of the strategies that were shared are equally relevant and useful in libraries and other arts, cultural and heritage organisations. I give training courses on working effectively with teenagers in these sectors, and thoroughly endorse the ideas.

Incidentally, for anyone who does not know it, Kids in Museums is well worth keeping an eye on for tips on good practice with teenagers as well as children and families. Public and school library staff can find loads of information and case studies of good practice on Teen Librarian and YA Library UK.

I took the photo at a great Warhammer workshop run by Redbridge Library Service. It’s a regular event which attracts lots of young people. One of the reasons for its success is of course everyone’s active engagment, a vital key for good teenage provision. If you are interested, you can find all my blog posts about this and other issues concerning work with teenagers here.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Prince’s Trust Youth Index 2012

Every year the Prince’s Trust produces an invaluable survey into the well-being of 16-25 year-olds. This year’s has just been published, and there are some disturbing findings.

The impact of lower educational attainment on mental health is deeply worrying. 47% of young people with fewer than five A*-C GCSEs often or always feel down or depressed, compared with 30% of those who are more qualified. They are three times more likely to lack confidence, and significantly more likely to believe they won’t be able to achieve what they want in life. The survey also highlights a previously unidentified link between lower educational attainment and lack of routine during childhood (set bedtimes, regular mealtimes, consistency of housing). Those who lacked structure when growing up are markedly less happy than their peers.

There is a large discrepancy in how satisfied young people feel with their lives, depending on employment status. NEETs are less content with all areas of their lives than those in work, education or training. They are far more likely to feel down or depressed, and are more pessimistic about their family relationships and their friendships. Many are apprehensive about their future employment prospects, especially those who have been out of work for over a year. Youth unemployment is having an increasing impact on well-being.

The survey explores the aftermath of the riots. Young people in riot-affected areas are considerably less hopeful than their peers. Two-thirds feel the riots have had a negative effect on young people’s prospects in their areas.

Not everything in the report is gloomy. Overall confidence levels and happiness among young people have increased slightly in the last year. There are several inspiring case studies of young people who have turned their lives around as a result of Prince’s Trust initiatives.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Teenagers, reading and libraries

Some of you may be interested in a new article of mine on how libraries can inspire reading among teenagers, particularly teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds. It has just been published in IBBYLink, the journal of the UK branch of IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People. The spur for the article was a session I ran on the subject as part of a seminar for the University of Missouri on public libraries for social justice.

Teenage reading, and libraries’ role in encouraging it, are big passions of mine. I took the photo at a great Warhammer session at South Woodford Library in Redbridge. Crowds of young people regularly beat a path to the library on Friday nights. I was fascinated by the amount of reading I saw, as they checked up on intricate gaming rules, battle formations and characters. Several boys told me how Warhammer had made them into much keener readers as it has introduced them to fantasy and science fiction. Just one example of the impact libraries can have.