One of the biggest challenges in most libraries seems to be attracting certain demographics – in our library it is the teen group. The ones we do see tend to be regulars and those needing access to a public terminal or WiFi. In the last couple of years we have implemented a Teen Advisory Board (TAB for short). This group meets monthly and they discuss what they would like to see the library do for them and they have fun events, such as pizza night, make your own sushi night (using candy!). Funny how food always seems to be such a huge draw for bringing teens in! Overall, TAB has been a success. The hours that the teens put in may also be counted as “volunteer hours” and be included with their required grade 12 volunteer hours.
Our Summer Reading Program is always a huge hit with both children and adults. Usually we don’t even have anything for Young Adults. There was never a demand for it, and if they were readers they would usually jump into the adult program. Our Youth Coordinator (Emily) jumped out on a limb and tried something different:
The kids LOVED it! We were bombarded! Some of the challenges were very easy, such as telling a joke to someone who worked in the library. Some were more challenging, like making body armour out of things you found in your recycling bin. We weren’t too strict about things and that may have added to the program’s success. Kids could team up and work on challenges and when a challenge was completed it was never declined if it wasn’t quite what the challenge was. Fifty kids finished the challenge and a Samsung Galaxy was awarded.
During the summer, we also opened up the all purpose room one night per week to any young adults. During this time they were allowed to do whatever they wanted: work on their challenges, read, use WiFi. We also have “teen kits” that are not allowed to be signed out. Some have games in them, puzzles, art kits, etc. During these evenings, there was sometimes food served. Overall, these meetings were quite well attended.
Posted by Audrey at the TNRD library