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? Cell phone, tablet, PC?” Jan Chapman, Teen Librarian, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Strongsville, OH

“Do teens even pay attention when we have thematic weeks like Banned Books Week or Teen Read Week, and if so, what kind of impact does it have on their reading choices?” Charli Osborne, Head of Teen Services, Oxford Public Library, Oxford, MI

“Is fantasy the new reality for teens? Or are they hoping for escape literature?” Pam Spencer Holley, YALSA Fiscal Officer, Eastern Shore, VA

Are there topics you would like to learn more about and use action research techniques to gather data on? Let us know by filling out the form below, we’ll publish results in a future YALS site post.

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