Monday, October 17, 2016

Library GrabBag: Library Services for Teens


I had the amazing opportunity to teach a workshop on Teen Services to a group of very kind, passionate librarians in Wisconsin last week.  I'll admit it...this was FAR outside my comfort zone.  While I've learned a thing or two about librarianship for teens, I'm not a born public speaker.  I was the young lady in her college Communications class who almost fainted every time she had to present.  The whole podium with shake, my white knuckles clutching the sides to keep myself standing.  I was in such a sad state that the class would volunteer me to go first so I didn't have to wait in agony.  "Please let her get it over without," they would say sympathetically.

It has been a hard fought journey getting comfortable enough to stand in front of people, but I do it because I love to talk about teens.  I love to talk about their passion for life, their curiosity in play, and their odd personalities and behaviors.  I love to talk about ways libraries and librarians can step up and be a positive influence in their lives, offering them opportunities to express themselves while carving out a spot just for them in their community.

While working with teens isn't always a great time, for every difficult afternoon full of nagging/begging/pleading for them to remember that they are in a library and not a living room, there are twice as many moments of laughter, genuine questions and conversations, and playful mischief.  And I am blessed to work with so many creative, inspiring librarians not only in my building but throughout Indiana who keep me planning and scheming for better ways to serve.

The organizer of the Wisconsin workshop asked me for resources, so I did my best to create a handout of reading suggestions, websites, templates, and programming ideas that we've used at our library.  And now I'm going to share it here...because it took me a long time to make so why not put it out to the world in case it can help someone else :)

If you have any questions or want additional info, let me know!

Library Services for Teens_handout_pdf

Included in the handout:

  • The Teen Room
    • Reading suggestions
    • Helpful websites
    • GPL's expectations for teens
  • Check This Out
    • Reading suggestions
    • Helpful websites
    • Book tasting sample
  • If You Build It, They Will Come
    • Reading suggestions
    • Helpful websites
    • Teen Services communities
    • Programming ideas
    • After hours permission slip sample
    • After hours Zombie Fest itinerary
    • After hours Minecraft itinerary

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