Week 2 – Research Interests Overview

Like the blogs on my personal WordPress entitled YA Awesomesauce, I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

From the name of my blog, I’m pretty sure my interests are quite evident. YOUNG ADULT! In fact, I’m rather “YA crazy.” Teens tend to be overlooked as their own separate group within the library, meaning there are plenty of research opportunities and questions. This research will help the field become more widely acknowledged on the professional level and will of course help public librarians and school library media specialists better serve their teens.

Specifically, my research interests broadly involve YA programming and YA outreach. I’ve actually already decided that I’m going to try a cultural ethnography of YA fan fiction culture. While it is not directly related to library functions, knowing about this culture and those attached to it will certainly assist in bringing fan fiction into the library. After all, fan fiction itself is rather perfect. It combines social media, fiction, and many library patrons (especially teens). A great deal of programming and outreach can be built on this research foundation as well, including fan fiction workshops, writing workshops, fan fiction contests, and help maneuvering through the online fan fiction community. Secondary school English teachers especially could become involved with such projects, which will create a better bond between these teachers and the library who will hopefully come back for future projects and more library help.

Any thoughts?


-Brooke Windsor



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4 responses to “Week 2 – Research Interests Overview

  1. Hey Brooke,

    That’s really interesting! I like how you discuss teen outreach. Before beginning your research, do you think there one best way to approach this? I like how you mention a relationship between the school and libraries (teacher and libraries). I think some sort of initiative could be developed that would link library promotion and involvement through public schools. Generally speaking (besides Ontario and New Brunswick), the mandatory age to stay in school is 16 (don’t hold me to this though, it’s just something I read awhile back), so having public schools promote library programs, and having libraries create programs that are particularly pertinent to teens, could really help facilitate this relationship, and expand YA involvement in public libraries!

    What do you think?


    • Having a little brother who is 10 years younger than me let me know very early in my career that teens need MANY different approaches. My first master’s is in Instruction and Curriculum with a focus in school library media. I am licensed to teach on the secondary in Tennessee, New York, and Ontario. Therefore, I have a great deal of experience in interfacing with teens and teachers who work with teens. I think this combo makes me ideal for fostering work between secondary schools and libraries. I am also a big believer in looking for education in “weird” places–like fan fiction. I suppose that paragraph could be my proposal introduction :-p

      PS- It is 16 for Ontario.

  2. tracymatos

    I completely agree with you that teenagers and young adults are being overlooked and are not seen as a separate group within the library! I realize that there are children’s departments that take up an entire floor or even the library itself, yet the books and materials are often aimed at a certain age group, such a school-age children. While it may be argued that teenagers and young adults are considered as children, as I have learned in my undergraduate studies, they are often not as actively attended to as school-age children are. I also agree with Victoria and think that the outreach idea is great and I definitely think you can incorporate this idea into the realm of librarianship!

    Tracy Matos

    • One of my biggest pet peeves is when libraries group teens as children. Teens are on completely different levels with widely different needs than children. Also, putting teens with children can be a big problem in gaining trust and respect from the YA patrons. The most successful YA library spaces are ones that completely separate the physical section for teens from the children’s section. While they are legally “children,” teens HATE being grouped with them. I distinctly remember wanting to bang my head into the wall when I was a teen coupled with kids–even the whole being put at the kid table for a family holiday. One of my personal goals upon graduating is to hopefully change this whole putting teens in children’s services arrangement.

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