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What a Super Bowl, huh?

February 1, 2009
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No reviews from me in the near future, even though the reading slump is over. I went booktalking on Friday (5 periods, 10 classes, 250 kids), so the slump ended because I knew I had to read to prepare for it. But now I’ve got a K-drama and a bunch of adult books to finish before I can go back to the YA books, so here are some random links to keep you entertained.

Over at the YALSA blog, the post “Dear Teens, It’s Okay to Ask for Things” struck a chord with me.

I’ve noticed a particular phenomenon among teens that I don’t see as much in children or adults. Actually, it’s two things.

1. Often, when I see a teen searching for a book on the shelves, and I approach her and ask if I can help her find what she’s looking for, she says no–even though it’s pretty obvious that she’s having trouble locating the title she wants.

2. When a teen asks if I have a particular book and we don’t own it, I always offer to buy it for him. Many times, he will decline. The same goes for offering to put an item on hold–he will say “no, it’s no big deal, don’t worry about it” very politely, but very definitively.

I notice this, too. Of course, there are teens who have no problem asking for help or saying yes when you offer to request something for them. But it does seem like whenever a person declines, the person is often a teen. There’s a nice discussion in the comments, so if this is a problem for you, too, read the full post.

HRH Mia Thermopolis tells the story of her first sale, for Ransom My Heart, at Dear Author.

Liviania asks, “What words in a blurb will increase your chances of buying and/or reading a book?” This changes depending on the genre of the book, but for me, when it comes to YA books, it’s probably the phrase teen spy or something that implies teen spy. What about you?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2009 5:23 am

    Now that I know the librarians more at my library, I’m more likely to ask for help. But in the early days, ooh, leave me alone :)

  2. February 2, 2009 5:36 am

    I have started asking for help more, but I used to feel bad about asking because I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time, or put anyone out of their way…..

  3. February 2, 2009 6:21 am

    I feel free to put things on hold at the library, but I would feel awkward asking them to buy it. It feels like I’m imposing on the library and what if no one else wants the book?

    Now, my high school librarian did ask me and one of my friends suggestions for titles to buy and I was cool with that. The two of us were total bookworms and in tune with the books getting buzz among people who actually read. But asking for something that was just for me? I would feel totally weird doing that.

    I’m going to check out that article and comments. Definitely a cool topic.

  4. February 3, 2009 9:11 pm

    Yeah, I also was one of those teens who would refuse help. I don’t know if it’s because I thought I was being polite or because I thought I could do it on my own (in what must have been an early sign that I would become a librarian, I actually enjoyed getting on the library catalog and searching for books about my research topic), but I never approached a librarian for help. And I think this affects how I interact with these teens now as a librarian. Maybe some librarians would be a little more immediately persistent, but aside from a “Well, let me know if you would like some help later,” I drop it. Because I know how much I would have hated it as a teen if the librarian had tried to pursue helping me.

    But this still makes me wonder, is it just a teen thing? In my library, it seems once kids get past 4th grade or so, they start getting reluctant to ask for/accept help from librarians. Is it a societal thing, where we’ve made teens feel like they just don’t expect, or deserve, the same treatment as kids and adults? A developmental thing, where this is a way for them to feel/become more independent?

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