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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors
  • Reviews

As high school enrollment continues to rise, the need for effective librarianship serving young adults is greater than ever before. "Young Adults Deserve the Best: Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth," developed by Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), is a document outlining areas of focus for providing quality library service in collaboration with teenagers. In this book, Sarah Flowers identifies and expands on these competency areas. This useful work includes

  • Anecdotes and success stories from the field
  • Guidelines which can be used to create evaluation instruments, determine staffing needs, and develop job descriptions
  • Additional professional resources following each chapter that will help librarians turn theory into practice

The first book to thoroughly expand on this important document, Young Adults Deserve the Best is a key foundational tool not only for librarians but also for young adult specialists, youth advocacy professionals, and school administrators.


Chapter 1 Competency Area I: Leadership and Professionalism
Chapter 2 Competency Area II: Knowledge of Client Group
Chapter 3 Competency Area III: Communication
Chapter 4 Competency Area IV: Administration
Chapter 5 Competency Area V: Knowledge of Materials
Chapter 6 Competency Area VI: Access to Information
Chapter 7 Competency Area VII: Services
Chapter 8 Starting from Scratch


A Library Bill of Rights
B Free Access to Libraries for Minors
C Access for Children and Young Adults to Nonprint Materials
D Access to Resources and Services in the School Library Media Program
E Minors and Internet Interactivity
F Labeling and Rating Systems
G Questions and Answers on Labels and Rating Systems
H Code of Ethics of the American Library Association
I Guidelines for Library Services to Teens, Ages 12–18


Sarah Flowers

Sarah Flowers recently retired as Deputy County Librarian for the Santa Clara County Library in California. She has written articles and reviews for Voice of Youth Advocates and School Library Journal, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of Young Adult Library Services, YALSA's quarterly journal. She was elected 2011-12 president of YALSA. She was a member of the first class of Library Journal's "Movers and Shakers," and was named one of the top 40 distinguished alumni of the San Jose State School of Library and Information Science. She has worked as a young adult librarian, a supervisor of adult and young adult services, and a community librarian as a branch manager.

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is a national association of librarians, library workers and advocates whose mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens, aged 12-18. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives, YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and library staff to engage, serve and empower teens.


"I am fighting the overuse of the word ‘practical' when talking about this book, but that's what it is, really and truly ... Some of the tips are so simply brilliant you'll wonder why it hadn't occurred to you already (like keeping a log of your young adult programs so you know what worked and what didn't). And some of Flowers' advice is just invaluable, such as taking the time each year to make a continuing education plan for yourself. If you're determined to be the best YA librarian you can be (who isn't?), move it to the top of your ‘to be read' pile."--Spine Label

"As the author herself states in the introduction: ‘What I do hope to do is to give the librarian a place to start thinking about where his or her job fits into the bigger picture of both the parent institution and young adult library services in general'. Her work, combined with the official competencies document, shines through as a key tool for librarians, young adult specialists, youth advocacy professionals and those involved with youth within schools."
--Australian Library Journal

"Philosophies, strategic plans, goals, and mission statements from programs around the country demonstrate effective service practices. The information is presented in a clear, concise, and conversational manner, making this resource both easy to navigate and a pleasure to read."
--School Library Journal