LIS506A: FALL 2005

Youth Services Librarianship: Principles and Practices in School and Public Libraries


LENGTH: 4-6 pages, double-spaced (or single-spaced equivalent)

DUE: WEEK 4: September 13th

Spend a minimum of 1 hour observing a school or public library serving young people and report your observations and reflections.


A. factual information about what you observe: [3-4 PAGES]

1. anticipatory information:

What did you observe on entering the school or library building that indicated the location of the school library or youth services area? How old/literate/tall/etc. would someone have to be to find the school library or public library youth services area unaided? Is the signage adequate for young library users? for adults?

2. visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile observations of library facility itself:

Could a young person (what age?) navigate this space with minimal adult assistance? How easy/difficult is to find the following: online/card catalog? picture books? fiction? nonfiction? media (videos, sound recordings)? drinking fountain? bathroom? a helpful adult? Are any/all of these accessible to young people (and/or adults) with disabilities? Is there (filtered? unfiltered?) internet access? Is there adequate lighting? soundproofing? cooling/heating?

Is this a comfortable and/or welcoming place for young people? for adult patrons (parents/teachers/etc.)? for adults (professional/clerical/etc.) who work in/for the library? for adults such as yourself who are unfamiliar with this building and/or facility?

3. literacy/reading promotion:

What evidence (in addition to the materials [books, magazines, etc.] themselves) do you see to indicate that this is a place that promotes aesthetic reading/viewing/listening? that promotes efferent reading/viewing/listening?

4. throughout your observation note:

a. activities of young people and adults: who is there and what are they doing?

b. interactions between young people and their peers, and between young people and adults


B. reflections after your observation: [MINIMUM OF 1 PAGE]

1. what did you expect to observe? in what ways did your observations contradict and/or reinforce your expectations?

2. what did you think about what you observed?

3. what did you like? why?

4. what would you change? why?

5. what did you see/observe that you think could be used and/or highlighted to promote greater awareness of and interest in the library=s services to young people (if, say, it was featured in the local newspaper or television news program)?

6. what, if anything, do you want to remember from this observation that could help you in your future professional work?