Serving Teen Parents

From Literacy to Life Skills

by Ellin Klor and Sarah Lapin
Foreword by Maryann Mori


Research has shown that children born to teen parents are more likely to begin kindergarten with lower levels of school readiness, evidenced by lower math and reading scores as well as poorer language, communication, and physical and social skills. The good news is that library staff can help teen parents learn how to give their children the early learning experiences necessary for healthy growth and development.

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Cover image for Serving Teen Parents

September 2011

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 200
Volumes 1
Size 8 1/2x11
Grade 6-12
Topics Children's and Young Adult Services/General
  Children's and Young Adult Programs/Reading Promotion and Literacy

A comprehensive guide to working with teen parents and their children that provides practical program ideas for successful school and public library program development, implementation, and evaluation.

Teen parents and their children represent an underserved, high-need population in many communities. Libraries have the potential to significantly influence the quality of life for teen parent families by providing free access to information and resources, developing specific programs, and serving as a safe, public learning environment. Serving Teen Parents: From Literacy to Life Skills helps library staff support teen parents as their children's first teachers, positively affecting two generations at once.

The authors explain how to successfully communicate with this group and build upon their competencies and strengths. They offer best practices, professional anecdotes, and step-by-step direction on connecting with teen parents, collaborating with community partners, locating funding options, and implementing successful programs. This invaluable guide is the most comprehensive resource currently available that directly addresses the needs of librarians serving the teen-parent demographic.


  • Storytime outlines, craft ideas, surveys, and questionnaires for use with teen parents
  • Ready-to-use flannel board story patterns
  • A contribution from Maryann Mori, a nationally recognized expert on presenting "Every Child Ready to Read" workshops to teen parents
  • Extensive bibliographies and lists, including recommended books to read aloud, recorded music, fingerplays, and resources—both books and websites—for teen parent program development


  • Provides background information and practical communication methods to help library staff understand and connect with teen parents
  • Offers ideas and techniques for effectively finding your teen parent audience, establishing collaborative partnerships with community agencies, and providing staff training
  • Recommends program activities and step-by-step implementation guides for teen parents and their children
  • Presents guidelines for developing and adapting early literacy programs to meet the specific needs of teen parents and their children, including parent and child interactive activities and storytimes
Series Description

Libraries Unlimited Professional Guides for Young Adult Librarians Series

This series meets the needs of Young Adult librarians, whether they are new to YA librarianship or experienced. Authored by professional librarians, each book looks at cutting-edge issues, explains its core philosophy clearly, and offers practical advice and hands-on activities for any size library where time and money are short.
Author Info

Ellin Klor received her MLS from Simmons College, Boston, MA, and is youth services and family literacy librarian at the Santa Clara City Library, Santa Clara, CA.

Sarah Lapin received her MS in social work from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, and is senior community program specialist at the San Mateo County Library, San Mateo, CA.



"This is a very thorough overview of creating library services and programs for teen parents. . . .This would be a valuable book for librarians who want to start outreach to teen parents because it is so detailed. The authors are obviously very enthusiastic and committed to providing these services. "—Library Journal

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