One of the first things you should do when working with teenagers is think back to your years as a teen.
Remember what you went through, the unfairness of being young and perfect and not being understood by grown ups who were never young like you. Think about the challenges you faced, what you needed to get through those years
While the problems that young people may have changed and multiplied over the years their needs remain pretty much what they were when we were that age:
- Someone to listen or give advice
- A reliable adult figure
- Be a friend but remember that you are also a figure of authority
- Be encouraging and supportive but always be honest
- Sometimes just being there when you say you are going to be there is all that is needed, you may not be needed for a deep heart to heart – just your presence may be enough
- Be consistant – you are working with teens through choice or by nomination, do not blow hot and cold with them or you will alienate them and once that happens they are lost to you!
This list is not exhaustive, they are just some things that I have used over the years, if you have others please do not hesitate to share via the comments!
I find it hard to believe that Teen Librarian Monthly turns six this month – yes on the 15th May 2006 the very first edition was sent out to about 12 subscribers, you can still read it here Newsletter 1.1.
The website is older by a few months – but I do not recall when exactly it first went live. So if anyone is interested my official blog birthday is the 15th May – there will not be cake but there should be a new edition of TLm.
The original site is still floating around the web, I get a couple of referrals to the current site from it every month so I will not take it down (I have also lost the log in details). The original site looked like this:
If you have a need to visit the original site you can do so here: http://teenlibraryserviceuk.bravehost.com/
After a year of fiddling around with html, I thought that there had to be a better way and as I had a gmail account I moved on to Blogger:
This one is also still “alive” but only in the sense that it is a zombie site moving blindly through cyberspace, anyway take a look here: http://teenlibrarianuk.blogspot.co.uk/
At some point I migrated onto paid hosting with a dedicated URL and everything and apart from a few cosmetic changes it has remained the same.
Teen Librarian Monthly has come out on a roughly monthly schedule (with a few exceptions usually relating to work, life and the other things that get in the way of a labour of love).
If any librarians or users of the site and newsletter would like to submit an article for publication, please leave a comment on this post and I will get back to you. Articles can be about the work you are doing or have done in libraries with young people, ideas for future events or just what working with young people means to you and why you do it. Article submissions close on the 14th May (latest)