I am super excited for the advances we are making as a library in our offerings geared toward teens. To me, getting teens to some to the library used to seem like pulling teeth. And, as librarians, we don’t like teeth; we like books, and we like to have fun! So how do you get teens to get interested in the events going on at the library? The answer isn’t as simple as we would like it to be, but by consistently trying, we are beginning to come up with ways to get them in.
In 2015, we had thirty-seven teens (grades 6-12), sign up for our Summer Reading Program. I used to try my hardest to get teens to come to the library. I tried movie nights, book clubs, and art groups. The harder I would try, the more I seemed to get discouraged. The club room would be all set up for a fun evening, and as the time for the program crept up on me, I continued to be the only person in the room.
However, persistence truly does pay off. I think we are finally starting to get through to the teens! Woo-hoo! As of right now, we are helf-way through this year’s program, and we already have seventy-five teens signed up for our reading program! To me, that is a huge success. Lately, we have been offering engaging events to capture their attention. Recently, we had an after-hours Harry Potter party, and had a whopping twenty-two excited teens attend. The week after, we showed Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (©Warner Bros.) , and had a dozen show up. Compared to having an empty room, the response to our recent programs has be feeling ecstatic and very motivated.
In the coming weeks, months, and even years, my goal is to see teen participation in our library, as well as libraries as a whole, continue to grow and advance. As technology continues to improve, libraries will continue to change and adapt to meet the needs of our community members, including the future of those communities: the teens.