Month: October 2016

Visit to Lincoln Library

Recently I visited the Lincoln Public Library, I had never been there before even though it is not that far away from where I live. First, I noticed that the library is located adjacent to the local high school, which made me excited for the possibilities of the library’s YA collection. When first walking into the building patrons are greeted with a number of community flyers and upcoming events at the library. I was happy to see that a number of the upcoming programs are for teens. They have craft days after school once a month, drop in coloring, and even a stop-motion animation workshop. One of the most interesting things they were advertising was a Book Buddies program, where teen/preteen readers are partnered with younger readers (ages 3-8). I think this is a great program for all members in the community and I would really be interested in seeing this being incorporated at my own library.

After going through the welcoming area patrons walk into the circulation department. I noticed that this library is much smaller than my own library in Pawtucket, but they make great use of the space without it becoming cluttered and overwhelming. To the right of the building in the children’s department, the middle of the building contains the adult collection, and the left side of the building is where the teen department is located. The staff was very friendly, welcoming me as I walked through each department.

I made my way towards the young adult collection and noticed that they follow a similar layout to my own library. There were several shelves of graphic novels, followed by a number of manga series. The library has a fairly significant fiction collection and I was surprised to see a number of magazines available to peruse. One of my favorite things about their collection is the vast number of YA audiobooks they have acquired. I spent some time in this section because I was curious if the collection had newer materials as well, and I’m happy to report that they did! I honestly have never seen a YA audiobook collection of that size before, I do wonder if they have a large population of patrons with visual impairments or if there is just a high request rate for audiobooks.

The library also has several table setup and computers available for patron use in the teen department. I always appreciate this because it allows teens to have their own area away from the adults and children. While I did really enjoy my visit and am definitely planning on going back again to further investigate their YA collection, I do have a couple of recommendations. First, their shelves are filled to the max, and I think some of this stems from the fact that space is so limited. But it does make it a bit difficult and overwhelming to actually look through the collection to find something to read. At times I was having some difficulties putting materials back on the shelves because they were so tight. I also noticed that while there are computers in the teen area, they are available for all ages to use. I think it might be smart to make it so that only those patrons with a young adult record can use the computers in that area. This way teens really do have their own section and it allows them easier access to the computers over adults or children who might make their way to the area.


Book Trailer

I chose to do a book trailer for teens ages 14+ and I focused on The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. First I wanted to look up some examples of book trailers because I wasn’t really sure what was needed. I found some great information from the Conroe Independent School District (n.d.) and from (n.d.). From these sites I was able to start planning out my own book trailer. I knew that this would work best if it was in video form, so I decided to use PowToon to make it a little easier on myself.

At first, I really struggled with this application. Everything was taking SO LONG! It was extremely frustrating. But then I realized that it most likely was the browser I was using and presto changeo I was in business and moving along nicely. Even with the faster moving browser this was a lengthy assignment but ultimately rewarding. I think with more experience I’ll be able to venture into using more graphics and techniques. But for my first time using the software and making a trailer, I’m pretty satisfied with the result.



Alexie, S. (2007). The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian. New York, NY: Little, Brown & Company.

Anankkml. (2010). School zone sign [Digital image]. Retrieved from

Conroe Independent School District. (n.d.). Creating book trailers. Retrieved from

Forney, E. (2007). The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian [Art work]. New York, NY: Little, Brown & Company.

Goodreads. (2016). The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian [Cover photo]. Retrieved from

Hachette Book Group. (2016). The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian. Retrieved from

Harclerode, M. (n.d.). Book trailers for readers. Retrieved from


In the future I picture myself working in a public library. I think MakerSpaces in these settings can be really exciting. I envision a space that is primarily for teens, but will be open to all ages during certain times. In this MakerSpace teens will be able to explore new technology and gain digital experience. There will also be low-tech options including crafting supplies and reclaimed materials for teens to use and explore creatively. I also like the idea of offering writing workshops and even bike repair workshops, similar to that from Detroit Public Library. Mostly I want to create a space where teens can explore their creativity with hands on experience in platforms they might not be able to experience elsewhere.

Please view this Prezi for more details on my MakerSpace.

Reflection #1

It has been almost ten years since I would have been considered a young adult. Since that time, I have rarely had the chance to work with young adults in particular. I was looking forward to taking this course because of the disconnect that I felt I had between my own experiences and what teens might be going through today. During the first few weeks of this course I have learned that while time may have passed, a lot of the same problems I had a teenager still ring true today.


(graur razvan ionut, 2011)

I have always loved reading and during my teenage years particularly, I would go to the library at least once a week to get books to read. While I enjoyed reading in my personal time, similar to that of the students interviewed in Kittle’s video, I almost never read the assigned readings in school (2010). I found it difficult to connect to the stories and it almost got to a point that if it was an assigned novel I would not even give the book a chance. This is the same problem that many students still continue to face, when they “do not have opportunities to hear their voices, concerns, and dreams in literature they are reading, they become disengaged” (Bull, 2012, p.62). Similar to my own experience, when pushed to read books teens have no attachments to, the library may be one of the few places they can turn to for encouragement to read purely for enjoyment.

I have learned that one of the most important components for a library, or the librarians who work with young adults, to encourage this population to read for enjoyment is to have a collection of materials that they will want to interact with. Collection development has been one of the main focuses in many of my courses in this program, it has been interesting to see how concepts I have previously learned are targeted towards young adult literature. Kittle has the philosophy that if teens were allowed to pick what they wanted to read, they would read more (2010). While I agree that reading for pleasure is important, librarians have to find a balance between materials that teens would choose to read and also provide access to the classics that students may eventually need. One way of encouraging this population to read those classics may be through offering these books as audiobooks, this allows access for all readers, no matter their reading level (Pattee, 2014). There has also been various adaptations of what is considered cannon young adult literature, these adaptations can introduce teens to the themes and plots of the stories and can lead to further interest in the originals.

Through our readings and discussions I have begun to see the possibilities of the all encompassing role that a library could play in the lives of young adults in the community.  Libraries are moving past the perception that I had of them as a teenager, of only being a safe space to go to do homework or get books to read. While it can still be difficult to get teenagers to attend various programming because of this mentality, libraries are striving to provide teens with educational opportunities as well as social engagement (Kolderup, 2013). These opportunities are vastly necessary when “nearly 7,000 teens [are] dropping out of high school per day, and approximately 40% of high school graduates [are] not proficient in traditional literacy skills” (YALSA, 2014, p.30). Public libraries in particular have the opportunity to support teens in their communities by providing additional learning opportunities outside of school.

One idea that I am really excited about concerning possible learning opportunities in public libraries is connected learning (YALSA, 2014). This concept allows learners to use their personal interests to gain further educational and social knowledge. Connected learning can be done at libraries through makerspaces or arranging access to “skilled people around the world, either physically or digitally, to support teen needs by providing coaching, mentoring, and hands-on opportunities for learning” (p.10). One of the keys to connected learning is that the librarian will take a step back, instead of instructing or providing the information, they become co-learners along with their young adult users. Connected learning reminds me a lot of spiral teaching, it involves multiple disciplines and areas of education, allowing for a more cohesive learning experience.

Corey Wittig, the Digital Learning Developer and Teen Mentor at the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh discusses how his library implements connected learning.
(Ateneus de Fabricació, 2015)

Just a little over a month into this course and I feel that I have already gained a lot of information about young adult patrons. The readings and class discussions have not only expanded my view of the possibilities for teen patron engagement at the library, but has inspired me about the potential my own library has moving into the future. There is a part of me that is slightly jealous of all the technological opportunities teens get to experience, but I always have the possibility of becoming a co-learner implementing connected learning at my own library.



Ateneus de Fabricació. (2015, April 29). Inspiring kids with connected learning – Corey Wittig [Video file]. Retrieved from

Bull, K. (2012). Identifying obstacles and garnering support. In Hayn, J. & Kaplan, J. (2012). Teaching young adult literature today (pp. 61 – 77). Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

graur razvan ionut. (2011, July 5). Woman reading a book [Stock photo]. Retrieved from

Kittle, P. (2010, March 15). Why students don’t read what’s assigned in class [Video file]. Retrieved from

Kolderup, G. (2013, May 22). What I wish I knew about building teen services from scratch [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Pattee, A. (2014). Developing library collections for today’s young adults. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

YALSA. (2014).  The future of library services for and with teens: A call to action. Chicago: American Library Association.