April Pavis-Shroeder 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 the magnificence and passion of teenagers, and pursued a career in teen librarianship. April 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 years of meaningful interactions with other teen-serving library staff, as well as her own insight from time spent working in public libraries, April founded A Teen Advocate. She focuses exclusively on teaching others about teenagers.
Why I Do This Work
Teenagers are unique individuals who are in the most misunderstood age group in the world. Those ages 12-18 (teenagers) or 13-24 (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 behavior from adults because many adults have forgotten the difficulties and challenges of the teen experience. Desperate to leave their own tumultuous years in the dust, they forget the characteristics 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.
My business exists in order 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 just a kid who wanted the spotlight of celebrity. In recent years I’ve seen similar spotlights on the students of Parkland, Little Miss Flint, the youth who marched in the Climate Strike. I do not speak for them or on their behalf, but I do use my platform to boost their message and incredible 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