Libraries Contribute to Youth Development

Submitted by RWaxman-Lenz on Thu, 02/24/2005 - 21:44.

You might not think of a public library as the "in" place to be, but some teenagers do! The Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago reports on ideas being developed for new roles that public libraries can play in developing our youth. Here's what they say: "With growing numbers of teenagers visiting libraries to socialize, do homework, and use computers as well as the Internet, libraries have found themselves pressed to address the needs of this group. Although nearly a fourth of library patrons are teenagers, libraries traditionally have devoted less of their space, personnel, and financial resources to services for teens than to any other age group. An evaluation of the Public Libraries as Partners in Youth Development, a nine site demonstration project funded by the Wallace Foundation, suggests that communities should take a closer look at the role that public libraries can play in strengthening the skills of teenagers, building the capacity of libraries as institutions, and connecting libraries more closely to communities. The study suggests that library-based youth programs, especially in low- income communities, can teach teens specific job skills at the same time that they make libraries more visible assets in the community." Click to read New on the Shelf: Teens in the Library

Cleveland Heights/University Heights is paying attention

After many delays, the main library has closed to begin construction on its expansion, which emphasizes creating space for children and teens.