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Building Relationships with Teen Readers

Post by Kathy Stewart
Posted August 22, 2013 in Kids & Book News, NoveList K-8 Plus

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How do we make teens more aware of libraries? Despite our best intentions, it can be hard to get libraries onto teens' radar. It goes without saying that most teens have many things competing for their attention, and libraries don't always make the top of the list. Using passive methods (pizza, anyone?) in our programming and making sure we market in ways that capitalize on how teens find out about events and share information (hint: probably not email) may only garner lukewarm results. 

This ideas laid out in the September issue of Kids & Books highlight the effectiveness of increasing library use through relationship building. Providing creative programming based on their interests brings teens in; creating an inviting space or finding innovative ways to lead programs outside of the library both work really well. Friendly staff, through their interest and ready knowledge of books, can build on that foundation by listening and talking with teens, identifying then offering the right book or resource at the time. Result: teens come back to the library. Then they bring friends. Then they'll tell you about the books and programs they like...

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