The Sacramento Public Library is getting some attention for a great idea that makes it easier for teens to help themselves with problems like depression, abuse and eating disorders.
Justin Azevedo, a librarian at the Arcade branch put together a list with issues teenagers sometimes deal with but are difficult to talk about. Next to each topic is the code that leads you to a self-help book.
"Whether it's something as seemingly mild as acne or whether it's something more serious like being in an abusive relationship," Sacramento Public Library teen librarian Molly Milazzo said. "These are the kinds of topics, especially when you are young, that you want to be able to handle quietly."
Azevedo heard about the idea from another librarian in a different part of the country. When a teenager approached Azevedo asking about books on eating disorders, he decided it was time to print some handouts in Sacramento.
"I realized that for that one teen that came up to me and asked me about eating disorders, there were 10 that wouldn't ask me because they're too embarrassed to ask," Azevedo said. "And some of these things, if they're with their parents or their friends, they can't ask."
Azevedo hasn't heard feedback on whether the list is working, but that's the point. And he's happy to see that a picture of the original version is making rounds on Tumblr, a blogging platform used by teens.
"I want to put this out there so that if someone is struggling with one of these things, a young person who's vulnerable, at risk, and they need help with this stuff, they can do it without anybody looking over their shoulder," he explained.
For additional privacy, some branches of the Sacramento Public Library have a designated areas just for teens.