Seamless Youth Services for Every Age and Stage

ALA Member
Item Number
ALA Editions
AP Categories

Primary tabs

You don't need to be an ALA Member to purchase from the ALA Store, but you'll be asked to create an online account/profile during the checkout to proceed. This Web Account is for both Members and non-Members. 

If you are Tax-Exempt, please verify that your account is currently set up as exempt before placing your order, as our new fulfillment center will need current documentation. Learn how to verify here.

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

The tweens aren’t the only “in-between” years in a child’s life—the storytime-to-school age and teen-to-adult transitions are just as momentous, and as tricky to address when it comes to programming. That’s certainly one factor behind the phenomenon of declining attendance and library use as the age of the youth patrons increases. Transitional programming is the answer. This book shows that by offering transitional programming, which helps children move to the next stage in their library experience, libraries can bolster program attendance, circulation rates, and general library use as children grow. Guiding libraries to assist children as they move from one youth service stage to the next, this book

  • outlines both major and minor transitional periods in a child’s life, ranging from birth to adulthood, helping libraries identify areas in which the services they offer need improvement;
  • focuses on how libraries can nurture the three main skills required for children as they grow: how to self-select books, how to participate in programs, and how to use the library’s resources;
  • demonstrates ways transitional programming can be incorporated into a library’s initiatives despite budgetary or scheduling limitations;
  • shares easily adaptable ideas for programming, attendance and participation, library spaces, teaching children how to navigate library resources, and displays and signage; and
  • encourages readers to reflect on their personal library experiences from childhood, identifying memorable programs and impactful experiences for inspiration.

Youth services is a continuum, not a series of distinct stages; this book will help libraries meet the needs of every child, no matter their age.

Introduction: Inching up the Ramp

Chapter 1: From Birth through Preschool: The Storytime Spectrum
Chapter 2: From Storytime to School Age: The Vanishing Time
Chapter 3: From Early Readers through Middle Grade: The School-Age Spectrum
Chapter 4: From Middle Grade to Young Adult: The Terrifying Leap
Chapter 5: From Individuality through Engagement: The Teen Spectrum
Chapter 6: From Teen to Adult: The Final Transition

Conclusion: A Seamless Stretch

Karis Loop

Karis Loop taught competitive horseback riding for more than twenty years before temporarily relocating to Texas. While there, a chance part-time job in a library ignited a passion that led to her return to school for her MLIS degree. She has since returned home to Washington, where she works as a writer and librarian.

"Loop has provided a rich collection of strategies and activities ... It contains many helpful ideas that will help children’s and young adult libraries develop programs that will keep children engaged with the library as they age from infants to adults.”
— Catholic Library World