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Edited by André and Ann Gagnon.
Ottawa, ON: Canadian Library Association, 1985.
158pp., paper, $15.00.
ISBN 0-88802-193-3. CIP.

Subject Heading:
Young adults' libraries-Canada.


Reviewed by P.J. Hammel.

Volume 13 Number 6
1985 November

Prepared by the Young Adult Services Interest Group (YASIG) of the Canadian Library Association, this work consists of fifteen articles "intended for public and school librarians, library administrators, library educators, and others who are interested in helping libraries meet the needs of young adults." It is hoped "that this book will clarify the need for library service to young adults and encourage Canadian libraries to meet the challenge" and, further, it attempts to alleviate the "reluctance (in many cases, fear) to serve this elusive group."

It should be made clear immediately that this work will not appeal to the high school librarian, here considered the counterpart of the young adult specialist in the public library. The high school librarian, with a background in teaching methodologies and adolescent psychology, should, if he/she is worth his/her salt, be well beyond this rather elementary approach to the subject. Of four articles that relate specifically to the school library, only Jenkinson's survey of the Canadian young adult novel and Amey's report of research regarding the adolescent as information searcher will provide relevant and useful information. Haycock's overview of school library service in Canada is too general and of more interest to the non-school librarian, while Fleming's plea for the classics is only one rather narrow point of view on the subject.

Another weakness is that this work will not alleviate the "reluctance (in some cases, fear)" among public librarians who have not specialized in young adult services. Primarily, librarians are admonished "you should, you know," and are offered some rather specialized "how to" types of information. What such a person needs is a much more comprehensive work that, against a background of information about adolescent characteristics, needs and development, provides a systematic process for the development of collections and implementation of a program of services to young adults.

Success, however, is achieved in the area of the stated hope "that his book will clarify the need for library service to young adults and encourage Canadian libraries to meet the challenge." Those who need to be convinced that public libraries should be offering services to young adults will find these articles readable, interesting, and persuasive.

P.J. Hammel, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK.
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