Professional Resources

February 13, 2009

I read “How Can We Help? Councelling Connections for Teens Through the Library” for my professional resource (link is: http://pdfs.voya.com/VO/YA2/VOYA200510HowHelp.pdf).  Normally resources like this, I find, have a tendency to repeat themselves and don’t necesarilly offer new insight.  However, this article touched on many issues that teens go through, which a librarian may have to deal with when working with teens.

I liked that the article discussed different aspects of what a librarian may encounter when working with teens from anger issues, thoughts of suicide, to abuse and sexual identity questions.  They didn’t try to tiptoe around the issuess, but told it like it is with comments such as what to do about eating disorders that are quite prevalent in teen girls even today including maybe finding a clinician in the area who deals with eating disorders.  What I also appreciated was that the questions were just as blunt such as, “One of my teens confided in me that she’s bisexual and felt that the school was trying to “fix” her with councelling.  How can library staff make gay and bisexual teens feel included?”  I think that is an important issue, especially when one takes into account that being anything other than straight can be looked on as a bad thing, instead of what it is… a different biological make up.

I think the resources recommended as well as a list of signs attributed to teens who may be considereing suicide to be a smart addition to the article.   Librarians can actually work with this information and help teens that may need the advice or literature (or in some cases the professional help offered through clinics and other people of that sort).

Librarians who work with teens need articles like this if they want to be effective in helping teens out with the different types of problems teens can encounter.

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Reliving ten years ago (Seventeen Prom…)

February 12, 2009

When I was thirteen I started reading Seventeen.  I had a subscription for about three years.  Maybe it was that I was in Canada, but I never found prom issues all that stimulating.  Which is strange, given that I LOVE Vanity Fair partly for it’s beautiful ads.

So I decided today to relive my past, and buy a copy of Seventeen.  However, they only had the prom issue at the store.  I realize why I love Vanity Fair, with its numerous ads, but can’t stomach Seventeen Prom.  Because Vanity Fair still has articles of substance amidst all the Prada and Mexx ads.  So flipping through this magazine it took me all of about five minutes before I wanted to throw it out the window and scream “make the images go away!”.  Maybe a normal issue wouldn’t bother me quite so much, as I remember articles about college and friends that I did enjoy reading.  But there is something about the first article in this issue being about how to whiten teeth.  Do I really need to buy a magazine to be told this?  Can’t I ask a dentist or buy Crest (or some other brand) Whitening Strips?  And right above is an article on how to take care of one’s brows.  I realize that over plucking can be an issue with girls (I’m guilty of it sometimes if I go to a new person who hates body hair), but can’t most people figure out that going to a salon for a wax a couple days before prom is a good plan?  And I’m sorry, but my grad dress was way nicer than most of the ones picutred in this magazine!

Okay I will admit that an article on bronzing isn’t a bad idea, given how bad some girls can look after a self tan.  But that begs the question as to why a tan is needed on prom when it is darkish inside.  And let’s be honest, do you need a specific pre-prom work out?  Can’t a girl just do her normal workout?  I know I did and I’ll be honest I thought the workouts in the issue before my graduation were quite dumb (yes I did try and get tips before grad.  Obviously I did not take them seriously).  I just reopened the magazine, went to a random “How to pick out a good dress” question section and threw the magazine back on the floor.  I think I’ll stick to Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, thanks.

YA novel review

February 12, 2009

Ok so I read The Luxe by Anna Godbersen.  I can honestly say it is recommended but with reservations.

The book centres around sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland, in New York City at the turn of the Twentieth Century (or rather 1899).  Basically it’s about Elizabeth being forced into a marriage to a young man she cares nothing about, because her father died and has left the family broke.  Being a high society family means the girls, and their mother, need to save face.  However, the girls, along with a family “friend” (I resist the urge to use frenemy, but really the word does fit) have issues all because of Elizabeth’s fiance.  Actually the “frenemy” describes her relationship with Elizabeth as “Elizabeth Holland, whom she [Penelope Coddington] had long ago singled out as her principal rival and thus her only possible best friend” (pg 33).  This is the best way to describe the entire novel.

For what this book is I do recommend it.  This book is about a society that doesn’t want to admit all its dirty little secrets.  It references The Age of Innocence in the beginning with ‘[i]t was the old New York way…the way of people who dreaded scandal more than disease, who placed decency above courage, and who considered that nothing was more ill-bread than “scenes,” except the behaviour of those who gave rise to them’. I enjoyed reading this novel for its portrayal of the specific society.

The reservations, though, come from a few reasons.  Firstly I don’t think this book would have broad gender appeal.  I’m not even sure if many girls over the age of seventeen or eighteen would enjoy the novel.  I feel that this book would be better for early high school, when cliques are still prevalent from middle school, but before they dissolve a little bit in later junior year and senior year.  I also hold reservations because I found I got caught up in the action, but by the end there were no characters I cared about.  It wasn’t that they made me mad or upset, it’s that with each action I cared less and less about all the characters, even Elizabeth.  There is a sequel and with the ending of The Luxe, I could not bring myself to even attempt its sequel.luxe

Godbersen, Anna.  The Luxe.  New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2007.  Price: $9.99 (USA) $10.99 (Canada).  Rating 5q, 2p.  I did think the book was well written, gramatically and intellectually.

bookstore visit

January 17, 2009

I decided to visit a bookstore for this blogging assignment.  I figured, how hard can it be to find Young Adult materials?  Well apparently not as easy as one might expect.  For example,  I realized I didnt’ know where to start looking.  My first guess proved to be my best guess.  Teen fiction was located not far fromt he children’s area, but still wasn’t part of the children’s area.  Actually it was right after some non-fiction shelves for “adults”.  I think what I found nice is that it was still relatively close to the children’s area.  What I really disliked is that Teen Fiction sat off by itself, and with shelves back to back so browsing wasn’t as easy as one might  expect.  Actually I think the books were alphabetical by author’s last name, but I just found that I couldn’t browse the same way I do in “adult” fiction.   I’ll be honest, it could be that it was a bit late and I was tired.   I also felt slightly disconcerted because I was asked (by a teen girl), “Aren’t you a little old to be looking at these books?” (I don’t know if there was disdain in her voice or not).  I felt…really weird.  Like I needed to explain or defend myself to a girl I don’t know and will most likely not see again.  But it also isn’t her business that I was searching for a novel for class and investigating how the section is treated.  I sort of took that as my cue to allow her full access.

I was also slightly put off by all the Twilight advertising.  I enjoyed Twilight and the sequels, but all that marketing kind of made me sick, especially since there isn’t any advertising like that in the “adult” fiction.

But I did appreciate that they had a one shelving unit of more popular teen fiction, such as His Dark Materials, and Alice, I Think.

Hello world!

January 16, 2009

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