Thursday, March 24, 2011

Teen Behavior

Recently, the library where I work has been overrun with teens... they have literally taken over. The library sits close to a high school and a middle school... the community center is further away and requires teens to sign in... so they come to what is close - the library. While I am all for them coming in to hang out... they haven't shown respect for the building or the people... and very little homework is actually done.

Human Resources has come in and worked with the staff members to brainstorm and implement several methods of monitoring the library... unfortunately, it is still difficult to do when those teens refuse to show respect. Granted, there are many that are nice... it is those few that create a tense situation. It would be interesting to see how the community plays a factor into these types of situations and what other libraries in a similar situation have done. Learning about the community would give a better sense of just who the patrons are and what can be done better to meet their needs. I've been able to do similar research about a library in my community in my Issues in Public Libraries class and in addition to that type of study, it would be nice to get help from someone who actually studies behavior.

I know these teens are great people... it is just difficult to see that when they respond so abruptly to any form of discipline by library staff, even as light as a comment about the noise level.
I'd love to be able to create a survey to see what they'd like... or to see what they think the library is supposed to be. I know that most now know the rules of conduct after being reminded during times that the teen area gets loud, but it would be better if they chose to follow the rules...
I wonder if taking some additional psychology classes or something would help with dealing with those types of behaviors.

...I seem to be brimming with research ideas these days...

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