Teens in the Library

October 4, 2006 at 8:25 am 6 comments

“Why don’t we just turn the library into an arcade!?”

I tend to get this response from the more, umm, veteran professionals when I bring up gaming programs in the library. Truth is, I’ve gotten similar cynicism for other non-traditional teen programs as well (and I know I am not alone). I’m not completely sure what the issue is but it seems an odd reaction. Why hate programs that bring people into the library?

Or is the issue that these programs bring teens in the library?

Teens are not always seen as an asset in the library community and, sometimes, they are viewed as an outright nuisance among our co-workers. At my previous job, also as a YA Librarian, I had several co-workers flat out state “they do not work with teens.” In fact, a great crux in my job is battling for our teens’ rights to be wherever they please in a library.
I hear many of my cohorts express the same difficulties.

But why teens? Why teen programs? Why the feeling that teens have no place in the library?

When I asked my coworkers why they had issues with teens, I heard a lot of the same answers. When I asked them what their greatest frustrations were with patrons in general, I heard pretty much the same answers as before.

The following is a list of general complaints I have heard. As you read them, ask how many of these are exclusively teen issues and how many actually apply to the general patron population:

They are loud

They are rude

They use bad language

They only come here to use computers

They only come here to rent videos

They look at inappropriate sites

They steal books

They only read magazines

They sleep in the library

They disrupt other patrons

They smell

Feel free to add your own list, but ask yourself… are any of these really just teen issues?


Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: .

“The Future of the Internet II” New Pew Internet Survey Released MMORPGs/Online Gaming as Social Networks


  • 1. Edwin Mijnsbergen  |  October 4, 2006 at 6:02 pm

    it is fear of the new, fear of technology, fear of fun…fear of change.

    The list is too long.

    Sounds like it’s the same all over the world :-/

  • 2. Anonymous  |  October 5, 2006 at 9:32 am

    This post is gold!! It’s totally true. Most teens are still immature and the way they behave shows that they don’t care about other people in the library.

    Totally no respect for others ^_^;

  • 3. Liz B  |  October 7, 2006 at 6:32 pm

    One of my pet peeves is when what’s OK for others isn’t OK for teens. On the flip side, teens shouldn’t be excused just because they are teens. On the third flip side, we can do things that assist in teens not being the “other”. I did a presentation on gaming; and because of a computer glitch, instead of everyone playing runescape on their own they had to be on teams. Which turned out to be great, because after fifteen minutes of the teams getting loud and comparing notes and shouting to each other, I was able to say this is EXACTLY why the teens in your library are this way on the computers! Several people began talking about how they could adjust for this; is it possible to have both the teens being loud as they play games and the people who need silence? Could it be with scheduling, where computers are, etc.

  • 4. Anonymous  |  October 9, 2006 at 10:32 am

    At our library some of the staff have a very prejudiced view against all teenagers. We have firm rules about how long someone can use a computer, but for some reason the staff believes the work of adults is so much more important, rules be darned. Of course, adults are often seen betting on OTB sites, emailing, chatting, reviewing email or even nefarious things. It is a constant battle to remind people that teenagers aren’t inherently evil!

  • 5. Anonymous  |  October 30, 2006 at 7:47 pm

    Wtf edwib what the fuck are you talking about fear of technology and being loud in library has nothing to do with it?? what the fuck man maybe u fear of change and fun and technology but not everyone else. fuck some people are smoking too much weed

  • 6. jislsnhd  |  February 11, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    It is the 2moons dil which make me very happy these days, my brother says 2moons gold is his favorite games gold he likes

    , he usually buy some 2moon dil to start his game and most of the time he will win the buy 2moons dil back and give me some cheap 2moons gold to play the game.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Disclaimer: The thoughts expressed on this blog are those of the authors and are not intended to reflect the views of our employers.

A Note on the history of posts

Please note that all Library Garden posts dated earlier than September 13,2009 originally appeared on our Blogger site. These posts have been imported to this site as a convenience when searching the entire site for content.

If you are interested in seeing the original post, with formatting and comments in tact, please bring up the original post at our old Blogger site.

Thanks for reading Library Garden!


%d bloggers like this: