CHICAGO — The tweens aren’t the only “in-between” years in a child’s life—the storytime-to-school age and teen-to-adult transitions are just as momentous, and as tricky to address when it comes to programming. That’s certainly one factor behind the phenomenon of declining attendance and library use as the age of the youth patrons increases. Transitional programming is the answer. “Seamless Youth Services for Every Age and Stage,” published by ALA Editions, shows that by offering transitional programming, which helps children move to the next stage in their library experience, libraries can bolster program attendance, circulation rates, and general library use as children grow. Guiding libraries to assist children as they move from one youth service stage to the next, Karis Loop’s book:
- outlines both major and minor transitional periods in a child’s life, ranging from birth to adulthood, helping libraries identify areas in which the services they offer need improvement;
- focuses on how libraries can nurture the three main skills required for children as they grow: how to self-select books, how to participate in programs, and how to use the library’s resources;
- demonstrates ways transitional programming can be incorporated into a library’s initiatives despite budgetary or scheduling limitations;
- shares easily adaptable ideas for programming, attendance and participation, library spaces, teaching children how to navigate library resources, and displays and signage; and
- encourages readers to reflect on their personal library experiences from childhood, identifying memorable programs and impactful experiences for inspiration.
Loop taught competitive horseback riding for more than 20 years before temporarily relocating to Texas. While there, a chance part-time job in a library ignited a passion that led to her return to school for her MLIS degree. She has since returned home to Washington, where she works as a writer and librarian.
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Originally published at https://www.ala.org/news/member-news/2019/08/seamless-youth-services-every-age-and-stage