April Pavis-Shroeder is a librarian and volunteer coordinator at a public library in Northern Virginia. She began working in St. Mary’s County (MD) Public Library in 2006 as a circulation associate and was soon volun-told into the position of Teen Advisory Board leader. She quickly realized how magnificent and passionate that age group was, and decided to pursue a career in teen librarianship. April and received her Masters in Library Science from the University of Maryland in December, 2010.
What began as the blog A Librarian’s Take in 2007 grew to A Teen Advocate in 2015 when April gave her first presentation at the Virginia Library Association conference titled Understanding Teen Emotional and Neurological Development. The presentation, the culminating project from April’s experience at the Virginia Library Leadership Academy (VALLA), has since been presented at state and local library conferences and staff development sessions. After ruminating on interactions with other teen-serving library staff as well as her own insight from time spent working in public libraries, April expanded her offerings from the one topic to coaching, training, and speaking.
April’s work has been published in such publications as YALS, Voice of Youth Advocates, and Virginia Libraries. A bibliography is below.
Why I Do This Work
Teenagers are unique individuals who belong to the most misunderstood age group in the world. Those ages 12-18 (by definition teenagers) or 13-24 (by definition young adults) are growing up in a world no one has grown up in before. But, not surprisingly, this can be said of every single generation going back hundreds of years. Why do this trope continue repeating itself? Because adults lose their ability to empathize with teenagers.
I speak on the topic of teen brain development and appropriate reciprocal behavior from adults because many adults have forgotten the teen experience. Desperate to leave their own tumultuous years in the dust, they forget the characteristics that they loved, that encouraged growth, and that made them into adults. I speak to adults because it’s not the teenagers who need to adapt.
I believe I exist to amplify the voices of youth who are doing incredible work. Malala is one of the first young people I ever saw in the public eye being treated like a credible source, not some kid who wanted the spotlight of celebrity. In recent years I’ve seen similar spotlights on the students of Parkland and the youth who marched in the Climate Strike. I do not speak for them, but I do use my platform to boost their message and good work.
Consider this your jumping-off point for accessing all of my writing accessible online. If you’d like me to be a guest blogger on your page, please shoot me an email. ateenadvocate [at] gmail dot com
- Teen tXperts: an evaluation, YALS, Winter 2013
- The YA Book as Art, Virginia Libraries, Oct/Nov/Dec 2012
- Elements of Hope in Young Adult Fiction, VOYA: Voice of Youth Advocates, June 2012
- Serving Homeless Teens in Libraries part 3, YALS, February 2013
- What They Didn’t Teach You in Library School: when to call for help, Lunashee’s Legacy, Feb. 27, 2013
- Fresh Paint: We Have Arrived, SLJ Teen online, Feb. 19, 2013
- Fresh Paint: A New Building, a New Team, a New Me, SLJ Teen online, Jan. 15, 2013
- Fresh Paint: Teen Volunteers – Priceless, SLJ Teen online, Dec. 18, 2012
- Fresh Paint: Planning Programs in the Dark, SLJ Teen online, Nov. 19, 2012
- Fresh Paint: The Trouble with Being the New Kid in Town, SLJ Teen online, Oct. 15, 2012
- Fresh Paint: Works Well with Others, SLJ Teen online, Sept. 19, 2012
- Virginia Library Association, member since Sept. 2012
- ALA: American Library Association, member since Mar. 2009
- YALSA: Young Adult Library Services Association, member since Mar. 2009
- 2015 Morris Award, winning title Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda