Last Sunday's Boston Globe ran an article by YA author Lauren Mechling, "Come For The Xbox, Stay For The Books," about the changing relationship between libraries and young adults. If you build it, apparently, they will come, and they just might read, too.
Melissa Jenvey, a young adult specialist at the Donnell Library in midtown Manhattan told me that after redoing the teen section four years ago, circulation of young adult titles rose 400 percent. "We just needed to have the merchandise that they wanted," she says. "It's like how they put the milk in the back of the supermarket to get you to buy all the other stuff."In my visits here and there, I've been impressed with several strikingly teen-friendly libraries, like the ones in Reading, Massachusetts, Pleasanton, California, and Springfield, Massachusetts. But before spending huge amounts of time, money, and energy on an arcade-like decor, those communities pursued different priorities, like hiring librarians who love to chill with teens.