When Teen Read Week Leads to Questions (Summer 2013)

image of group research by Flickr user NWAPRGiven the increasing demands placed on today’s teens, people often wonder how much time young adults really have for recreational reading. Courtney Lewis, Director of Libraries at Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School in Kingston, Pennsylvania, wondered what teens bought and read in their recreational time. In her article, “Seek the Unknown for Teen Read Week 2013: Using Action Research to Determine Recreational Habits of High School Students,” Courtney explains how she used Teen Read Week as an opportunity for finding out more about her library population.

Research is an important component of YALSA’s strategic plan and a key focus of the association’s year-long IMLS funded The Future of Libraries and Teens project. As YALSA’s work demonstrates (the association also developed a research agenda), learning about the reading interests and habits of teens is just one important area of the research library staff working with teens, and youth-oriented researchers, need to focus on. Action research and Courtney’s techniques, experience and suggestions can be adapted to any area that needs exploration. I asked a few YALSA members what they wanted to learn more about:

“When do teens like to read books in e-form and when do they like to read books in physical form?” Diane Fuller, Director of Libraries/Upper School Librarian at Gilman School, Baltimore, MD

“What mobile device do teens primarily use to read ebooks? Continue reading

What Teens Think Does Matter (Summer 2013)

In the Summer 2013 issue of YALS, K-Fai Steele, authored an article on the teen participatory design and action research she and her colleagues facilitated at the Free Library of Philadelphia. The project focused on creating spaces in the library that support teen needs and interests.

The print article didn’t include the photos that the Library made available to document the process the teens took part in. The images are important to the story K-Fai tells, so we wanted to publish them here.

voting on the ultimate teen space
Teens imagine and vote for what they think their ideal teen space should be all about.

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Using Action Research to Seek the Unknown (Summer 2013)

In the summer 2013 issue of YALS, school librarian Courtney Lewis explains how she used action research to determine the recreational reading habits of teens. In her article, Courtney notes that Jody K. Howard and Su A Eckhardt in their book Action Research: A Guide for Library Media Specialists describe action research this way:

“…rather than designing a complex survey, accounting for a million variables and using statistical software, a librarian instead relies on her expertise and that of her colleagues to design an instrument which collects quantitative and qualitative data that will help give a comprehensive snapshot of a specific environment and help determine a course of action, preferably with data that can be shared with co-workers.

Fortunately, Courtney is willing to let others learn from the work that she’s done. You can view her original survey results and find out what Courtney learned:
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