During the YALSA Literature Symposium held in Nashville, public and school librarians chatted about many things. One of the things we discussed was how we deal with teen conversations. What would you do if you overheard these:
Teens talking about having never checked out a book all year
Teens talking about creating their own book blogging club
Teens talking about wanting to go to college but needing scholarships
A group of teens discussing their plans to party that night with alcohol
A group of teens planning how to "get back" at another teen
A teen talking about how depressing life is
A teen talking about being pressured sexually
The issues of safety and privacy are dealt with differently in school libraries than public libraries. Would you run away and pretend you heard nothing to respect the teens privacy? Would you have your counselor on speed-dial? Would you offer unsolicited advice? Would you contact an authority figure?
If you did any of those things, how would the teens respond? Does your state have the Jason Flatt Act? The online web-based training can be located at www.jasonfoundation.com under staff development. Do you have any responsibility to respond?