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Library Services for Children and Young People

Nov 2012 | 272pp

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9781856047128
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Library Services for Children and Young People
Challenges and opportunities in the digital age

Edited by Carolynn Rankin and Avril Brock

A vision for children’s library services in the next decade.

This book provides a sound background to all aspects of library provision for 6–18 year olds. It is designed to support the strategic planning and delivery of library services and programmes at a local community level or in schools.

The book outlines a vision for children’s library services in the next decade and carves out a strategy for engaging with the challenges and opportunities for children’s librarians and policy makers in the Google environment.

This book is accessible, informative and inspiring and offers practitioners the knowledge, ideas and confidence to work in partnership with other key professionals in delivering services and programmes. It provides an evidence base, which promotes and encourages the development of effective library services for children and young people.

The case studies, scenarios and vignettes, drawn from UK and international sources, show that the key issues have an international dimension, and the similarities and differences in service provision will be of interest to many. 

In addition to the two editors, chapters are contributed by a range of internationally known practitioners and academics, offering a wide perspective. Case studies at the end of each section complement themes and practices from previous chapters while rooting the discussion in a specific context.

The book is organized into four parts:

  1. Children’s library services – policy, people and partnerships
  2. Connecting and engaging – reaching your audience and catching the latest wave (acknowledging the role of technology)
  3. Buildings, design and spaces – libraries for children and young people
  4. Issues for professional practice.  

Readership: This book is essential reading for all senior library practitioners, children’s librarians and school librarians, subject co-ordinators, and managers in schools. It will also be of value for all postgraduate students on CILIP accredited library and information management courses. 

Foreword - Annie Everall OBE

Introduction and vision for the book - Carolynn Rankin and Avril Brock

PART 1: CHILDREN’S LIBRARY SERVICES – POLICY, PEOPLE AND PARTNERSHIPS

1. Library services for children and young people – an overview of current provision, future trends and challenges - Carolynn Rankin and Avril Brock
2. 21st-century school libraries – visionary spaces for learning - Tricia Adams
3. The changing shape of reading – the 21st-century challenge - Briony Birdi
4. Case study. Engaging and influencing policy and the curriculum – the Scottish Information Literacy Project experience - Christine Irving

PART 2: CONNECTING AND ENGAGING – REACHING YOUR AUDIENCE AND CATCHING THE LATEST WAVE

5. Libraries, literacy and popular culture – let’s get reading! - Avril Brock and Carolynn Rankin
6. Libraries, literacy and popular culture – what’s cool to read? - Avril Brock and Alix Coughlin
7. Creative integration of information technology in the school library - Carol Webb
8. Comics, manga and graphic novels – developing, selecting and promoting a core collection for teenagers and young people - Mel Gibson
9. Connecting and engaging with children and young people – the Australian public library perspective on outreach and marketing - Carolyn Bourke
10. Case study. Partnerships and library outreach in the National Year of Reading 2008 - Carolynn Rankin

PART 3: BUILDINGS, DESIGN AND SPACES – LIBRARIES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

11. Library space and place transformation – designing for the digital natives - Carolynn Rankin
12. Making space for reading – designing library spaces for children in public and school libraries - Rachel Van Riel
13. Case study. Imagine, explore, discover – welcome to The Trove at White Plains Public Library, New York - Sandra Miranda

PART 4: ISSUES FOR PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

14. The importance of service evaluation in libraries for children and schools - Lucy Gildersleeves
15. The rights of the child and youth advocacy – issues for professional practice in the library setting - Edward Halpin, Philippa Trevorrow, Laura Topping and Carolynn Rankin

"Accessible, informative and inspiring are the words used to describe the aims of this title and are words that should rightly be associated with library services for children and young people. Thankfully, this is a book that does indeed match its inspirations with insightful contributions from librarians, lecturers and researcher’s all with many years of experience in the field. Personal experiences are of particular importance in the field of children’s library services and give this book an accessible and approachable style whilst retaining an appropriate level of academia."
- Library and Information Research

"...eminently accessible, and its essays are each supplemented by a host of valuable references and websites. Highly recommended!"
- Midwest Book Review

Carolynn Rankin worked for 20 years in special and academic library and information services before moving into professional education in 2000, most recently as a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences at Leeds Metropolitan University. She is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and External Examiner for the CILIP Qualifications Board. 

 

Dr Avril Brock is a Principal Lecturer in the Carnegie Faculty at Leeds Metropolitan University. She teaches in the School of Education and Childhood on a range of Postgraduate and Undergraduate Early Childhood Education courses.

1. Library services for children and young people – an overview of current provision, future trends and challenges - Carolynn Rankin and Avril Brock

This introductory chapter sets the scene, by exploring how library services for children and young people endeavour to meet the changing needs of their communities in the 21st century. It will consider the UK policies that have shaped current provisions and reflect upon the cultural and economic influences that inform the future direction for these services. Policy-makers are concerned about educational attainment and future employment prospects, therefore literacy levels and reading skills for the youth of the information age are receiving a high profile. The primary focus for the discussion is the UK, but as the public library is an international phenomenon, the discussion also extends to include librarians across the world, who are working to provide appropriate services for their communities. This chapter discusses the work of librarians who specialize in providing services and resources to support the needs of children and young people, from five to 18 years. These practitioners will usually be employed in the public library service or in school libraries. They may have a variety of different career titles, for example, children’s librarian, school librarian, community librarian, teen or youth librarian, outreach librarian or literacy development officer. In this introductory chapter, the term ‘librarian’ includes all practitioners who are active intermediaries in providing library services for children, young people and their families. Perspectives from library practitioners are included, as they are actively involved in planning and delivering services and resources. Viewpoints from children and young people are also included, as their needs and desires should be recognized by adults. In sum, this chapter provides authentic, rich evidence about the benefits of partnership. This chapter is divided into four sections. The first and second sections discuss the shared common-purpose services provided for children and young people, through public libraries and school libraries. The third section considers the role of partnerships in delivering that provision. Finally, the concluding section reflects on the future challenges for children’s libraries in the digital age.

2. 21st-century school libraries – visionary spaces for learning - Tricia Adams

In the 21st century, schools in the UK are going through a huge process of change. There are enormous challenges, in terms of the changes to the curriculum and the impact of the financial recession on resources. There are societal changes that the school – and the library, at its heart – must be able to respond to. The impact of Google, and all the online resources that we use daily, are particularly felt, when budgetary constraints mean savings are inevitable. The library, with its vital but often difficult to prove impact, can seem a luxury. This chapter discusses how in the 21st century the school library is not a luxury, but a necessity: the bedrock, the head and heart of all learning, offering a place of both relaxation and stimulation in the school setting and in the wider community as a whole.

3. The changing shape of reading – the 21st-century challenge - Briony Birdi

This chapter presents six themes through which to consider the challenges facing libraries and the book trade as a whole, making suggestions as to how both public and school libraries can meet them head on.

4. Case study. Engaging and influencing policy and the curriculum – the Scottish Information Literacy Project experience - Christine Irving

Library and information science (LIS) professionals support learning and teaching in a variety of ways, and this chapter will focus on information literacy (IL) and the key messages that it holds for engaging and influencing policy. Using the Scottish Information Literacy Project as a case study, this chapter discusses the experience of the project and project partners, in their engagement with IL and their endeavours to influence government policy and the curriculum, based upon the author’s direct involvement in the project, as project officer and researcher. The issues that were faced included the recognition of the term ‘information literacy’ in its own right, as a key life skill at policy level, in the school curriculum and in the role of the school librarian. Key to the success of the project was collaborative partnership and networking, advocacy, and using research and official reports to develop strategies.

5. Libraries, literacy and popular culture – let’s get reading! - Avril Brock and Carolynn Rankin

This chapter helps to provide the evidence as to why libraries are successful at reaching and engaging their communities in reading activities. It presents underpinning theory and research about effective provision and draws on the rich practice occurring in both school and public libraries in the UK and internationally. Perspectives and commentary from library practitioners are included, as they are actively involved in planning and delivering services and resources. Viewpoints from children and young people are also included, as their needs and desires need to be recognized by adults. This provides authentic, rich evidence about the benefits of partnership. The chapter discusses popular culture and examines issues surrounding age and gender, reflecting on the attitudes and specific needs of boys and girls, both at home and at school. The valuing of cultural and linguistic diversity also permeates the discussions, as libraries need to provide a welcoming ethos and specifically target groups, in order to connect and engage different audiences. As a result of reading this chapter, the reader should be aware of the rights of children to have access to information and resources to support their personal interests, educational attainment and enhanced family lives.

6. Libraries, literacy and popular culture – what’s cool to read? - Avril Brock and Alix Coughlin

This chapter explores how children can be encouraged to develop a varied diet of reading, through reference to strategies, research findings and the perspectives of children, themselves, on what they think is cool to read. The first half of the chapter looks at the value of diverse texts and discusses what benefits emerge from reading a range of genres. The second half of the chapter looks closely at strategies and factors that influence a child’s reading choices.

7. Creative integration of information technology in the school library - Carol Webb

Teaching and learning are in an era of rapid change, driven by political policymakers and fuelled by the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs), both in the home and at school. The potential to empower learning and track student and school progress has never been greater. If the school library is to support effective learning and teaching, then exploring the communication abilities of new technologies is certainly part of the librarian’s raison d’être. This chapter emphasizes a strategic approach to integrating technologies, in order to give the school library a strong educational identity, and will look at what this means for student learning.

8. Comics, manga and graphic novels – developing, selecting and promoting a core collection for teenagers and young people - Mel Gibson

In this chapter, the seemingly complex world of manga, comics and graphic novels is clearly explained and described. Guidance is provided on how to go about developing, selecting and promoting a collection aimed at teenagers and young people. The chapter flags up issues concerning common stereotypes of the medium and suggests resources to draw on, to develop knowledge about the material. There is enormous potential for outreach and partnership, working around manga, comic and graphic novels.

9. Connecting and engaging with children and young people – the Australian public library perspective on outreach and marketing - Carolyn Bourke

This chapter provides suggestions for strategies and approaches to outreach and marketing for children and young people and looks at a number of successful Australian projects as case studies. 

10. Case study. Partnerships and library outreach in the National Year of Reading 2008 - Carolynn Rankin

This chapter discusses the Government-sponsored National Year of Reading (NYR), held in the UK in 2008. The NYR was designed as a social marketing campaign, and the chapter will provide a description of the planning, promotion and delivery of the NYR, so as to show the attempt to reach specific target groups. The discussion focuses on the role of public libraries as key partners in delivering the campaign. During the NYR, a number of reviews and evaluations were undertaken, and the chapter will comment on findings from a case study in Yorkshire, which used the generic social outcomes framework to look at the impact of NYR in two public library authorities. Views and observations from the library staff involved in the NYR, in the Yorkshire case study, are used to highlight the challenges and successes that were involved in the 2008 campaign. The practitioner voice is important – and this chapter reflects the librarians’ view of their experience in planning and delivering the NYR, as part of outreach work with children and young people.

11. Library space and place transformation – designing for the digital natives - Carolynn Rankin

This chapter considers the design approaches that libraries have used and discusses what makes for a good design in children’s libraries and library spaces designed for teenagers and young people. The challenges and opportunities relating to library space design for the five to 18 age range are discussed. The common factor relates to the use of the actual space, which brings the community under the same roof. The chapter is not attempting to be comprehensive, particularly in view of the differing needs and expectations of the wide age range, but rather is aiming to give examples of innovative practice and to suggest other sources of information. The focus is on provision in public libraries, but it is important to also mention school library provision. Librarians have responded to the challenges brought about by the information age, and this chapter will discuss examples of innovative and successful designs from the UK and other parts of the world.

12. Making space for reading – designing library spaces for children in public and school libraries - Rachel Van Riel

This chapter focuses on the design of libraries for children and young people.  The chapter argues that radical shifts in thinking and practice are needed, in order to keep UK children’s libraries relevant and valued in the 21st century, and that the library of the future should be able to integrate digital and print resources much more successfully than we do at present.

13. Case study. Imagine, explore, discover – welcome to The Trove at White Plains Public Library, New York - Sandra Miranda

This chapter describes The Trove Library in White Plains, New York, which is a successful, multisensory, multimedia space. Author Sandra Miranda, as the Director, wanted to recreate the library for a new generation that is used to being entertained, engaged and active, and she and her staff looked at museums, playgrounds and bookstores for ideas on how to achieve this. The result exemplifies an unusual trend in public library design for children – a theatrical space that is more like a bookstore or children’s museum than a library. The goal of offering a learning environment layered with opportunity seems to have been helped, by designing with technology.

14. The importance of service evaluation in libraries for children and schools - Lucy Gildersleeves

Today, libraries for children and young people and their connected adults are constantly challenged, by changing expectations, financial pressures and the need to forge new relationships, both within our parent organizations and with external partners. These library services operate within a context of accountability: to the tax-payer, to local authorities, to school governing bodies, to parents and to grant-funding bodies. Perhaps least emphasized, but most important, should be our accountability to children and young people themselves. This chapter discusses the situation in the UK for both public library services for children and young people (hereafter referred to as CYPS) and learning resource centres in schools (LRCs). This chapter outlines the evaluation process, identifies a range of resources to support practitioners and offers suggestions for the future.

15. The rights of the child and youth advocacy – issues for professional practice in the library setting - Edward Halpin, Philippa Trevorrow, Laura Topping and Carolynn Rankin

This chapter tackles the difficult issue of professional ethics and the rights of the child. It considers some of the key legal codes outlining children’s and human rights, offers a framework on youth citizenship and gives some examples of professional practice, relating to the library setting, when selecting stock and providing services. Censorship and issues of information access and intellectual freedom are discussed in detail.