[OYAN] Blog Post: The Damaging Myth of "Teen Behavior"

April Witteveen aprilw at dpls.lib.or.us
Fri Feb 9 14:19:00 PST 2018

Oh man, this gives me a lot of feelings that I'm not able to adequately get in writing right now-except to say I think YALSA's competencies for staff serving teens are all geared to support teens at libraries through staff training and encouraging  positive interactions and a safe environment versus a punitive, behavioral-based approach.
>From what I know Anthony has never worked in front-line teen services...? I also know he likes to poke the bear.

April Witteveen / 541-617-7079 / www.deschuteslibrary.org<http://www.deschuteslibrary.org/> / Deschutes Public Library, Downtown Bend

From: OYAN [mailto:oyan-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of Jennifer Maurer
Sent: Friday, February 9, 2018 1:52 PM
To: oyan at listsmart.osl.state.or.us
Subject: [OYAN] Blog Post: The Damaging Myth of "Teen Behavior"

Happy Friday to you. I just read a VOYA blog post and thought some of you might be interested in it. Anthony Bernier, a professor at SJSU's School of Information, wrote "The Damaging Myth of 'Teen Behavior'," and he is fired up about the topic. I don't like his use of the term "fake news" in this context, but that aside, some of his points made me say "hmmm" -
Arsenio Hall, anyone? ;-)

Why do we never refer to positive behavior? Why, in other words, is "behavior" always code for anti-social?

How can such sweeping generalizations be made of an entire social group? Substitute such a sweeping claim for another social category: "women's behavior?" Try substituting in an entire racial group's "behavior." Now try a religious group. How are these claims so clearly examples of bigotry except when hurled against young people?

For all of YALSA's guidelines, top tips, and "best practice" claims, the association offers precious little evidence that these training recommendations do anything at all-except endorse and reproduce age-based bigotry.

When was the last time your library security staff were trained, and evaluated, for demonstrating understanding and respect for young library users? Increasingly, we farm-out those responsibilities to "let Security handle it."

If you want to read Bernier's impassioned post for yourself, here you go: http://voyamagazine.com/2018/02/05/ya-strike-zone-february-2018/.


Jen Maurer, MLS
School Library Consultant
jennifer.maurer at state.or.us<mailto:jennifer.maurer at state.or.us> | 503-378-5011 | www.oregon.gov/osl/ld<http://www.oregon.gov/osl/ld>
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