Throughout the month of October the Young Adult Library Association (YALSA) is introducing a new event called TeenTober, a nationwide celebration hosted by libraries in order to celebrate teens, bring awareness to year-round teen services offered in libraires, and encourage a dynamic relationship between teens and their local libraries.
Our very own Teen Advisory Board (TAB) is the perfect example of how libraries can foster relationships with teens while encouraging their personal growth and leadership skills.
The Teen Advisory Board was created in 2014 by Library Director Pam Williams. TAB is open to students from 7-12th grades and is supervised by Barb Barger. The TAB participates in a variety of activities such as organizing, planning, and hosting youth and teen programming at the library. TAB members also provide input on material selections for books and serve library goers while logging volunteer hours for the high school service requirement and strengthening leadership qualities.
TAB members meet formally as a group roughly four times per year but gather more frequently for volunteer events. This past summer, TAB volunteers helped at the library every Thursday and some Tuesdays. One of their tasks was decorating the children’s, tween, and teen rooms for the summer reading program theme, “Oceans of Possibilities.”
TAB members also participate in after-hour events. Most recently, 10 TAB members helped
organize and lead the Nerf Wars event for tweens that took place in the library on Saturday,
September 24. Around 45 tweens launched foam bullets from Nerf projectile units for two
hours, with a quick snack break in between. Don’t be surprised if you find an orange bullet
while you’re browsing the shelves; despite an extensive clean up, the library staff attests to
finding foam bullets in obscure places all year long.
The current Teen Advisory Board consists of 16 members: Seniors (Aidan Maki, Grant Conger, Christian Duclos, Samuel Barger, Caleb Grimshaw, Dylan Abke); Juniors (Ben Cleveland, Robert Brown, Shivan Manyam); Sophomores (Emma Maki, Landen Wise, Cougar Clark); Freshman (Gabby Cleveland, Clara Warnick, Morgan Kniebbe); and 8th grade (Ashlyn Duclos).
The next time you’ll see the TAB in action is for “Hogwarts Halloween” on October 22 from 6-
8pm. Tweens and teens will be able to try on the sorting hat, make potions with candy, and
create their very own wand. More info coming soon!
Beyond the special events put on by the TAB, Barb hosts a weekly hangout at the library that is just for teens (6-12 th grade) called “Try This Thursdays” every Thursday from 3:15-4:15pm. This is a space for teens to socialize with their friends, grab a snack, and try a new activity every week.
Lastly, keep your eyes open for a super fun Teen Read Week challenge from October 9-15.
Participate for a chance to win a local gift card! We’ll be posting more details to the library’s
Facebook page next week.
In the meantime, stop in and check out the Young Adult (YA) book display through October
20th. Even though young adult fiction is written for readers ages 12 to 18, much of the genre
appeals to adults as well. In fact, according to the American Library Association, while the
intended YA demographic is adolescents, approximately half of all YA readers are adults. I’m
one of them! Are you?