Crash Course in Young Adult Services
by Sarah Flowers
October 2017, 137pp, 8 1/2x11
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-5170-4
$50, £39, 44€, A69
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5171-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Teens have a lot going on in their heads—literally. This book uses the perspective of adolescent development to guide you toward providing the best teen and young adult services possible.

Learn how to improve teen services in public libraries by better understanding teen development and having positive interactions with teens to provide appropriate and interesting collections and services.

A library can be a tremendous resource for teens—one that helps them to learn about themselves and the world they live in. But teenagers are intrinsically different from children and from adults, and these critical developmental differences affect the ways they interact with others, both in the world at large and in the library. Serving teens effectively in the library requires a basic understanding of who teens are and the developmental tasks they face—factors that affect all aspects of library service, from the specific programs and services we offer to the ways that staff provide assistance to the teen who is seeking help at a library service desk.

This book enables library workers to better understand adolescent development, which allows them to provide a positive library experience for teens. Readers will learn how to supply excellent library services with and for teens, including in the areas of collection development, readers’ advisory, reference and homework help, programming, and advocacy. The book identifies the best ways to have positive interactions with teens in the library based on their mental development and details best practices for teen services. The concluding section discusses advocating for teens, with emphasis on their right to privacy and equal access to materials and services.


  • Enables librarians to create a welcoming environment for teens in the library
  • Explains how to better understand teen patrons by finding out what teens read, listen to, and watch, enabling you to guide them to "something good to read"
  • Provides guidance in how to help teens meet their homework or other information needs
  • Examines thorny issues regarding access, privacy, challenges to materials, and Internet use
Sarah Flowers is the retired deputy county librarian at the Santa Clara County Library. She currently teaches online courses on teen services and supervision for Infopeople. She was a member of the top 40 distinguished alumni of the San Jose State School of Library and Information Science, and one of the first Library Journal "Movers and Shakers." Flowers is the author of numerous articles and reviews for library journals, as well as the author of Young Adults Deserve the Best: YALSA's Competencies in Action and Evaluating Teen Services and Programs. She has been active in ALA and YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) for many years and was president of YALSA 2011–2012.


"This title will be useful for public library YA specialists, school library media specialists, and other library staff seeking to develop, expand, and enhance teen services in library environments as well as in the virtual world. Recommended."—ARBA, March 13, 2018

"For the librarian working with teens, this book provides valuable information on teens themselves and how to provide a variety of resources that they need and want. . . . This would be an ideal book for librarians new to teen services or who must work in teen services in addition to other duties. Those who are already dedicated teen service librarians could also utilize the information in this book for additional programming ideas, displays, and teen worker resources. Recommended."—School Library Connection, May 1, 2018
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