Linworth Libraries Unlimited

Teen-Centered Library Service

Putting Youth Participation into Practice

by Diane P. Tuccillo


What's the secret to a successful teen department? Teen involvement, of course. But teen participation is often easier wished for than achieved. Making it a reality goes way beyond advisory groups and surveys. It calls for enlisting teens in virtually all aspects of library service.

Print Flyer
Cover image for Teen-Centered Library Service

December 2009

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 259
Volumes 1
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics Children's and Young Adult Services/General
  Children's and Young Adult Programs/General

Combining information, inspiration, and relevant examples, this guidebook encourages and enables both school and public librarians to advocate for and incorporate active youth involvement that will develop teen self-esteem and positively connect teenagers with books, reading, and libraries, now and into adulthood.

Teen-Centered Library Service: Putting Youth Participation into Practice is a practical guide that can help you get teens involved in your library—in everything from book discussions, working with children, and author visits to collection development, community outreach, and even fundraising. Drawing on research and best practices, as well as anecdotes and success stories from around the country, Diane P. Tuccillo makes the case for youth participation and shows you how to achieve it.

Carefully organized chapters focus on reasons to make library teen participation a priority, promote understanding of historical perspectives pertaining to library youth participation, and examine successful and exciting ideas that today's school and public libraries can emulate. School and public libraries that are ready to embark on youth participation endeavors for the first time, as well as those that want to improve or enhance programs already in place, will benefit equally from the information shared here.


  • Focus boxes and quotes highlight viewpoints and information from a variety of experts and diagrams illustrate pertinent points and solidify the chapters
  • Includes forms, flyers, applications, and other promotional materials that can be readily reproduced or adapted to various library goals and needs
  • Photos of real teens in action as they perform their youth participation duties serve to inspire readers and provide examples to emulate
  • A bibliography enhances the informational aspects of the book by offering further reading and references to supplement study and application, while further reading suggestions are also provided under various topics in each chapter


  • Furthers the cause of soliciting teen opinions, getting teens directly involved, listening to what teens advise about their libraries, and putting what they say into action
  • Provides information that can support proposals and justifications to start, continue, or develop youth participation activities in school and public libraries
  • Includes a series of pertinent examples from a wide variety of school and public libraries where active and diverse youth participation is already taking place
  • Suggests ways that librarians can design, plan for, and evaluate library youth participation endeavors, plus useful resources for further help and information, are also included
Author Info

Diane P. Tuccillo holds an MLS from Rutgers University, has worked with teenagers in libraries for 37 years, and is currently teen service librarian at the Poudre River Public Library District, Fort Collins, CO. She is active in the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and other professional organizations, has written numerous articles and book reviews for the professional literature, was the recipient of the 1998 Outstanding Youth Services Librarian Award from the Arizona Library Association and the 2004 Sagebrush Award from YALSA, and is the author of Library Teen Advisory Groups (VOYA Guides).



"This well-organized title is aimed at public librarians and might also be useful to show administrators how important YA services are to the library as a whole."School Library Journal

"This well-organized manual offers an excellent overview of how to provide meaningful, engaging library experiences for teens. . . . This accessible guide should offer insights and inspiration to any library professional who interacts with teens--whether in a school or public library. Recommended."Library Media Connection

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