Sacramento Public Library Makes Self-Help Books More Accessible to Teens

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Teenagers face multiple issues throughout their adolescence, and sometimes asking for advice can be uncomfortable. Some may not even have adults to confide in.

The Sacramento Public Library is making efforts to provide more resources for teens while avoiding awkward encounters.

Arcade branch supervisor Justin Azevedo came up with the idea back in 2011.

He started compiling a list of book subjects covering all sensitive issues teens may be curious about from things as minor as acne to as devastating as suicide.

Alongside each issue on the list, is a call number of where the book can be found in the library.

Azevedo said this way teens do not have to ask a librarian for help to get a book.

"It's a library, but these problems are loud and this is crucial," he said.

Azevedo had his own difficult experiences growing and being bullied and not having resources available to deal with his problems, which is why he said it's so important to have something like this available for teens.

Holly Medeiros, 14, is one teen who is on board with this system.

"It's cool for people to be able to get help without making it awkward," she said.

With the books at the Arcade branch comes a private space just for teens and the option of self-checkout to be more discrete.

However, if teenagers are worried someone will see the book they check out when they take it home, Azevedo suggests taking pictures of the pages instead.

The lists will be in every Sacramento Public Library branch, and the Dewey Decimal call number system on the lists is used in nearly every public library across the country.