In the reading “Tribialism versus Citizenship: Are Youth Increasingly Unwelcome in Libraries?” author Mike Males examines the different implications of separating teens from adults in the library, and the reasons why we do it in the first place. Males feels that youth spaces can be looked at as age segregation born out of ephebiphobia, or an irrational fear of adolescents (Males, 2013, p.159).
The entire idea that a Young Adult section can actually be confining to teens never occurred to me personally, but is not a concept that is exclusive to Males. In the YALSA’s 2014 report “The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action,” it states that YA spaces “sometimes lead to the narrow expectation that the area is the only part of the library where they are allowed.” (Braun, Hartment, et. al, 2014, p 15).
I think that YA spaces are important and shouldn’t be abolished. However, the library should design/encourage fluid movement throughout the Adult and Young Adult sections so teens can feel welcome throughout the library. The Children’s section should also be accepting of teens who may have lower reading capabilities and therefore more insecurities about using the library. Teens should feel that they can use the entire library based on their individual needs and desires, and not be pigeon-holed into a small section that may or may not have what they’re looking for.
Braun, L., Hartman, M., Hughes-Hassell, S., and Kumasi, K., with Yoke, B. (2014). The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action. Available at http://www.ala.org/yaforum/sites/ala.org.yaforum/files/content/YALSA_nationalforum_ExecutiveSummary_
Males, M. (2013). Tribalism versus citizenship: Are youth increasingly unwelcome in libraries?. In Bernier, A. (Ed.). Transforming young adult services. Chicago: ALA editions.