A friend of mine shared this, and it’s such a great idea. A librarian at Sacramento Public Library came up with a way to help teens wanting information about personal issues who don’t want to share those issues with a stranger, or even a librarian they know. If you haven’t clicked the link above, he came up with a poster listing some common topics that teens might want information on, with the Dewey Decimal numbers beside them so that the teen doesn’t have to ask for help finding them. The nice thing about DDC is that the numbers are all in order, and every library marks their shelving units with the numbers that the specific shelves hold to make things very easy to find. Even if you don’t know how to find something, you can easily ask a librarian for a lesson in finding things in general without needing to be shown exactly the subject you’re interested in, and most public libraries in Canada and the US use DDC so it is the same numbers for the same subjects in most libraries.
This is a really good way to protect privacy while still helping people find the information they need. Not everyone has internet access to find things out online, plus there’s the question of the quality of information available there, and one of the tumblr commenters in the image makes the excellent point that parents or siblings might be able to check your browser history on a home computer. The sign even recommends using the self-checkout machines for added privacy, so there’s no one handling your books and looking at the titles.
I think I might add bullying and cyber-bullying onto the list, though, since they’re very important issues right now that teens (or people of other ages, for that matter) might be dealing with. Can you think of anything else? Leave a comment with any other important topic suggestions.