Visit us at:

Mission Statement:

The Young Adult department is dedicated to providing access to materials, resources, and professional guidance to meet the intellectual, educational, and recreational needs of teens, grades 8 and up.

Introduction:

Quality library service to teens must be provided by staff who understand and respect their unique informational, educational and recreational needs. In accordance with the principles expressed in the Library Bill of Rights and Free Access to Libraries for Minors (Intellectual Freedom Manual, 7th edition, ALA, 2006), teenagers must have access on an equal basis with adults to all the services and materials the library provides. Cooperation among public, school and other libraries in the community is essential to serving teens.

Services to teens in the library are based on a written policy outlining the philosophy, goals and objectives and are consistent with the library’s long-range plan.

The policy is based on the following principles:

  • Teens need and are entitled to free and equal access to all library services and resources, including programs, information services, technology, reserves and interlibrary loan, virtual and remote services.
  • Young Adult department service hours will be no less than those of adult services and staff will be available to serve teens whenever the library is open.
  • Teens have the right to privacy and confidentiality in accordance with the principles expressed in the American Library Association’s Statement of Professional Ethics and Massachusetts State Laws regarding confidentiality.
  • Public library services for young teens complement but do not take the place of school libraries in the community.
  • Each public library has the responsibility to make access to electronic resources, such as online databases and unfiltered Internet access, equally available to people of all ages.
  • Youth participation programs give teens opportunities to become involved in library decision-making and address a genuine need of both adolescents and the library. If the library discusses the creation of responsible roles and tasks for teens and solicits their opinions, then the administration will be sincere in its efforts to implement reasonable recommendations. Examples of youth participation programs include young adult advisory councils, teen Trustees, teen Friends groups, young adult book review groups and literary magazines.

Purpose:

  • The West Springfield Public Library strives to create a warm, safe, and inviting environment for its teen patrons.
  • In keeping with the above Mission Statement, adults may be asked by library staff to use the adult section of the library.
  • The library offers many programs and services that encourage teens to develop a love of the library, books, reading, and learning.
  • The Young Adult Library Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association, recognizes teens as patrons 12 to 18 years old.

Details:

  • This policy is in place to provide a safe and welcoming environment for teens.
  • The Young Adult Room at the West Springfield Public Library is for students in the 8th - 12th grades. The Young Adult Room will only be used for scheduled teen program events and gaming activities.
  • The library recognizes that some families homeschool their children. Homeschool students 8th - 12th grades are encouraged to take advantage of the Young Adult Room for studying, accessing computers and utilizing the collection.
  • While patrons of all ages are welcome to browse and check out materials from the Young Adult Room collection, the use of computers, television, other electronic equipment and other stand alone activities within this room is exclusively for the use of students in the 8th-12th grades
  • Parents or caregivers may be in the Young Adult room with their teens.
  • The Young Adult Room is reserved for teens and those who accompany them as well as those adults interested in young adult literature. Adults over the age of 18 not accompanying a teen may be asked to leave the teen area at any time.

Patron Computer and Internet Usage:

A library card is required for use of materials and computers. Temporary guest passes are available. Please see the librarian for details.

Location of Teen Collection:

Teen Fiction, periodicals and multi-media are located within the Young Adult room. Teen Non-fiction and graphic novels are in the adjoining Adult Services area.

Behavior:

  • Although we are not a "shushing" library, the design of our library dictates common sense with regard to noise. Teens are expected to adhere to the all the rules stated in our Library Patron Code of Conduct Policy.
  • The Young Adult librarian is the individual responsible for how a teen’s behavior is handled in relation to the Library Patron Code of Conduct Policy.

Food:

Covered or capped beverages are allowed in the Young Adult room. Patrons must keep the area free of trash and wrappers. Food is allowed in the Teen Room but may not be near the computers at any time. Only capped or covered beverages are allowed near the computers.

This is a courtesy and a privilege and users are expected to follow these rules.

Cell Phone Use:

The Young Adult room is not a common area for cell phone use.

  • The areas of café tables on each floor are available for cell phone use.
  • A lower tone of voice must be used.

Appendices:

Link to Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors www.ala.org
Link to American Library Association Statement of Professional Ethics www.ala.org

Adopted March 28, 2017 by Board of Library Trustees