Your chance to keep your library relevant


Every business needs to bring in new customers or else become obsolete. For instance, in recent years, the knitting industry, once considered cool only if you were a grandmother, has actually managed to make "knitting circles" hip again, just by showing people how to do it. Bowling alleys have been re-invigorated as well, since they started installing automated bumpers in the gutter lanes, leveling the playing field, so to speak, for little kids, who come in droves with their families these days.

So small wonder that libraries are looking at teenagers for guidance on how they can remain relevant in the 21st century.

Thus, I'm doing my daily good deed by calling attention to a survey that the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), part of the American Library Association, is trying to encourage teenagers to participate in. It's a less than five minute survey with 15 questions that asks teenagers about their use of technology, so libraries can continue to adapt their resources to meet the next generation's needs.

So if you love libraries and know a teen, consider asking them to log onto

And I'll leave it there. See, most people writing a public service announcement would probably guilt you into telling a teen about this survey by pointing out that the educational system of the future hangs in the balance, or bringing up all of the thousands of librarians you may someday put out of work, but not me. I'm way above that.

Geoff Williams is a business journalist and the author of C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America (Rodale).