Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Dear Ms. Manners

Dear Ms. Manners,

I need your advice : my local branch public library is overrun with teens! During my last visit all library computers were being hogged by teens using www.myspace.com; as I waited for my turn on a computer, I decided to read but was unable to because of ... TEENS!

The TEENS were: sitting on tables; talking loudly; leaving assorted litter and debris about; and congregating in a menacing fashion.

What does one do here?

Troubled by TEENS

In the past few days I have been bombarded with complaints about TEENS in the library. In the past such complaints elicit my standard response, "The public library is a place for all people regardless of age, race, religion etc..." Except this past Tuesday as I glanced around the library my eyes beheld a sight that I shudder to think about even as I type this post. Everywhere about the library TEENS were perched on tables, ON TABLES, litter was strewn about the TEEN Section as if a 6.5 temblor struck San Francisco. Teens voices echoed across the hallowed hall of the library. And then I lost it. I kindly explained to the patron that I would take care of the situation and then as if the heavens opened up with a rain of thunder I descended upon the TEENS. Immediately after removing the offending TEENS from the library I was struck down with GUILT.

As a TEEN Librarian, I hate having to scold TEENS or kick them out of the library. My job, my civic duty is to get TEENS to come into the library. I want TEENS in the library reading books, using the computers, doing homework, attending programs and just hanging out. But these last few days I have witnessed a complete meltdown of manners. I for the first time understood why patrons so often complain about TEENS.

The time has come for a more than gentle reminder of etiquette.

1. Sitting on Tables:
Do I need to explain? We have plenty of chairs, in fact at some branches such as the Excelsior Branch we have "comfy" chairs in the TEEN Section. Please Please do not sit on tables. It really disrupts my IMing when I have to get up from my desk and remind TEENS not to sit on the tables.

2. Clumping:
"Please keep this walkway clear in case of emergency". We have all heard this phrase before and it does apply in the library. Walkways do need to be kept clear so people can move freely about the library. And if an emergency suddenly demands the evacuation of the building? There will be a whole lot of trampling going on.

3. I Don't Feel Like Walking Over to the Garbage Can Syndrome:
We at the library ensure that waste receptacles are placed throughout the library. So use them!

4. My Friend Is All the Way Across the Library So I Must Yell to Get Her Attention:
In days past folks were discouraged from talking in the library. The library of today encourages people to talk, we decided that "hey it's okay to talk BUT NOT YELL". In fact we think it is great when TEENS socialize in the library. Just remember that others use the library and don't want to hear your business!

5. I Just Love the Latest Cell Phone Ring I Downloaded, So I Have My Ringer Set On High:
It's called vibrate people. Set your phone to vibrate and if you must answer the phone, please go outside to do so.

There, I said my peace and I feel so much better. Try to incorporate these etiquette tips in your next visit to the library. The library is for everyone and in order for it to be for everyone we must all do our part to make it work.

what's your etiquette tip for the library?

Want to read more about etiquette and manners?
Check out these books from your local library.

Emily Post's Teen Etiquette

Dear Ms. Demeanor: The Young Person's Etiquette Guide to Handling Any Social Situation With Confidence and Grace

How Rude! The Teenagers' Guide to Good Manners, Proper Behavior and Not Grossing People Out.

A Pocketbook of Manners for Young People

Social Savvy: A Teenager's Guide to Feeling Confident in any Situation.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

June Events Preview

June is almost here. That means the end of another school year or the beginning of a summer school term. Either way be sure to schedule in a library Teen Program.

Today's modern teen has an active and busy schedule, but with some early planning one can be sure to fit in a variety of library sponsored teen programs. And guess what? Library Teen Programs are for TEENS.

Ever have a super fantastic idea for a library teen program? TELL US! Lets us know. Post an idea on this bloc or just tell your local library staff member. Better yet...Join the TEEN ADVISORY COUNCIL and let your voice be heard.

The June List

Make Books with Jewelry!
Combine fabulous jewelry and books. You will make a small book and decorate it with assorted beads, charms and other pretty things. Bring your own old bracelets and earrings or use the stuff provided.
Saturday June 3
Children's Center Main Library, 2nd floor
blevine@sfpl.org for more details

Annual WritersCorps Book Party and Celebration
Youth Poets will read their poetry at the Main
Wed. June 7th
Koret Auditorium

Customize a Trucker Hat
Print your own original design on a trucker style hat (one of those blank baseball type looking caps) HATS PROVIDED. You will leave with a hat that bears the image or words that you decide.
Tuesday June 13
Excelsior Branch
dscappaticci@sfpl.org for more info

Knit Happens!
You know that knitting is one of the hottest things going right now, so learn how! Already know how to knit? Then come gather with teen knitters and have some fun talking, knitting and just hanging out. The library will provide practice yarn and needles.
Saturday June 17
Children's Center Main Library, 2nd Floor
email blevine@sfpl.org for more details

Chinatown Teen Zine...
I know you've read it! Know help create it! The bilingual online zine is the thing to read.
Fridays June 2,9,16,23,30
Saturdays June 3,10,17,24
Chinatown Library
355-2888 for more info

Last but not Least....

TEEN SUMMER READ begins June 16th.....
Read books and Get Prizes!
Teen Summer Read deserves its own post, so guess what? I am going to write a Teen Summer Read Post.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Did you know.....

Did you know that folks UNDER 18 do not pay overdue fines on items checked out on their card?
Often, teens have stacks of books at home that are years overdue (not you! some other teen). Then the library sends them "the letter". "The Letter" in a very stern tone informs the teen that they owe hundreds of dollars in overdue fines. What results is the teen stays away from the library because they owe all this cash. Don't stay away. BRING THE ITEM BACK and OWE NOTHING.

The library just wants the books back. So please bring them back. Once they are checked-in, your outrageous overdue fine disappears and you can once again check-out library materials.

Did you know that a replacement library card is 50cents (insert 5ocent joke here) for those under 18? Your first library card is of course FREE.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Sad but makes you happy to be alive: Reviews

I read the book A Certain Slant of Light. And I think that book is really good because it is about spirts that stay in this world and I think it is good because it kind of makes you think to be happy that you still live and to enjoy your life. If you lost someone special to you or you are into ghost stories. I think you should read this.

Recommended by marilyn

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Happy Sad

Whats your favorite "happy" book?

Whats your favorite "sad" book?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

booklists: Something Sad, Something Funny

I spent the morning doing what I love best - BOOKTALKING. Imagine a class of 25 or so high school students hanging on to my every word as I "push books". Booktalks are mini-advertisements that star my favorite actor, ME. Here at SFPL we Teen Librarians strike out into the world of high school with a collection of books that we believe teens should read, want to read and will read, if only the teens know the titles exist. Well, standing there in front of 25 or so high school students, "pushing books" with booktalks it occured to me that one of the titles is just plain sad and another title just plain happy. Personally, I love a sad and depressing book that leaves you trembling with tears. I also enjoy a book that is nothing but nonsense and laughter.

Something Sad:

America by E.R. Frank
The story of a teenage runaway being treated in a mental hospital

Something Funny:

Wearing of This Garment Does Not Enable You to Fly: 101 Real Dumb Warning Labels
The title says it all.

Of course these titles are available at your local San Francisco Public Library.

have a favorite "sad" book? A favorite "funny" book?
Post the title and let others know

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Addiction: Events & Booklists

Some people are addicited to coffee (me) some folks are addicted to illegaly downloading music (I will not rat you out) and some people are addicted to Anime. If you find yourself addicted to anime be sure to check out Anime @ the Library every Friday afternoon at the Parkside Branch.

Anime not your thing? Need to keep those idle hands busy?
Knit Happens.
Yes it really does
One Saturday a month at the Main, 2pm in the Main Children's Center.Check out the Teen Program listing on www.sfpl.org. If you know how to knit, then show up and knit! If you dont know how to knit, then show up and learn! Knit happens and it happens at the Main!

Because I am a librarian I must mention books. Interested in knitting? What about knitting books?

Teen Knitting Club

Knitgrrl: learn to knit with 15 fun and funky projects

Second Time Cool: The Art of Chopping Up a Sweater

Okay, so this last book is not about knitting, but hey we all have that ugly sweater from grandma or good friend that lives in the back of your closet. Why not turn it into something useful?

Not Too Late

Do you love to write? Do you wish you were assigned MORE essays and term papers as homework? Would you love to win something for writing an essay? OF COURSE!
The Asian Pacific Heritage Month Essay Contest ends May 27th. That means there is still plenty of time of write an essay for the contest. Go ahead wait till the last minute. , which is 4pm May 27th. Just be sure the essay is about "Freedom For All" (details on the sfpl website).

Friday, May 12, 2006


Welcome to SFPL's new teen blog! Soon to come: advice columns, events, listings for new books, cds, and dvds, suggestions for what we should buy, pics, and much more!

Don't forget to sign up for Teen Summer Read!