Friday, August 13, 2010

Why do Young Adults Matter?

I must admit that every week I check the inbox on my desk to see if the latest issue of Public Libraries has arrived. In particular, I look forward to reading the column 'Passing Notes' by Michael Garrett Farrelly. And the May/June issue did not disappoint! When I read it, I felt somewhat enlightened. Why do Young Adults matter? "The answer is simple: it's the age when we lose them" (Farrelly, 2010, p.26). Genius, right?! And yet surprisingly obvious. Farrelly (2010) goes onto say that teenagers are somewhat liminal in that they "exist between childhood's end and the dawn of adulthood" (p.26). At such a transitional time in their life, it's not surprising that many teens choose to leave the library behind. One statement Farrelly (2010) made, really struck me: "Teenagers today are presented with so many options for their time that it's staggering they're able to make a choice at all" (p.27). And with "all the shiny wonders of the world" (Farrelly, 2010, p.27) today, it's no wonder many teens choose to turn their back on an institution that they view as dull and outdated. We, of course, know that the library is far from dull and outdated. We know that libraries today are community centres. Libraries are internet cafes, job banks, bookstores, and so much more. That is why we need to focus our attention on teenagers now! If we loose them now, we may not get them back when they become adults. So let's give teens "an affection for a place that can be a window to a wider world, a center of culture, and a safe place" (Farrelly, 2010, p.27).

Farrelly, M. G. (2010, May/June). Why Young Adults Matter. Public Libraries, 49 (3), 26-27.

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