Cultivating Strong Girls
Library Programming That Builds Self-Esteem and Challenges Inequality
by Nancy Evans
April 2018, 236pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-5668-6
$50, £39, 44€, A69
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5669-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Our society needs to foster and support the development of girls to become skilled and confident women. This book empowers librarians to help girls develop self-esteem and gain relevant life skills.

An essential “how-to” book for youth services librarians who are interested in effecting social change and offering a dynamic, relevant program for girls.

Cultivating Strong Girls: Library Programming That Builds Self-Esteem and Challenges Inequality gives youth services librarians practical guidance on how to offer programming that will support the engagement, growth, and achievement of girls. The program plans are simple enough to be applied by everyone who works with girls. Presenting this type of programming allows librarians to build meaningful relationships, have a positive impact on patrons and in the community, and follow programming guidelines outlined in the Young Adult Library Services Association’s report, “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action.” With gender bias, inequality, and low self-esteem issues still at the forefront for women and girls, public library programming that addresses these topics fills a genuine need.

This step-by-step guide to running a “Strong Girls School” program supplies material broken down into six sessions. Detailed yet easy-to-follow instructions and tips ensure that the program can be implemented in libraries or classrooms. Written by an experienced young adult librarian who has tested and refined these strategies in the real world, the book offers direction for related crafts, recommended resources, and extension activities, including peer mentoring or community service opportunities.


  • Presents complete, low-cost program instructions and recommended resources for librarians who want to offer relevant and dynamic programming for girls
  • Suggests extension activities, including peer mentoring and community service opportunities for girls who complete the program
  • Addresses programming concerns and potential pain points
  • Encourages librarians to develop meaningful and lasting relationships with patrons
Nancy Evans is a young adult librarian at the Levittown Public Library in Levittown, NY. She has written several articles for VOYA magazine and serves as a content expert for YALSA's Teen Programming HQ. She has presented her library program "Strong Girls School: Create a Program Addressing Gender Bias, Inequality and Self-Esteem Building for Girls" at the PLA and ALA annual conferences. In 2017, she was named a “Mover & Shaker” by Library Journal magazine.


"Use this book to inform gender-oriented programming or as a framework for interacting meaningfully with younger female patrons."—Booklist, Starred Review, May 30, 2018

"Remarkably persuasive. . . . An exceptionally executed, culturally responsive, and timely work that demonstrates great sensitivity to the needs, interests, and experiences of teenage girls."—School Library Journal, Starred Review, August 1, 2018
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