by Darcy Acord, CCPL Youth Services Librarian
Leaves are changing, days are getting cooler, nights are getting longer. It must be...TeenTober! TeenTober is part of a national initiative by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) “to celebrate teens, promote year-round teen services and the innovative ways teen services helps teens learn new skills, and fuel their passions in and outside the library.” Campbell County Public Library (CCPL) and Wright Branch Library (WBL) define our TeenTober patrons as young adults (YA) in grades 7-12 and both libraries have designated collections, services, and space (referred to at CCPL as the Young Adult Department or Teen Room) dedicated to that age group. At CCPL, teens can experience:
• Space. The Teen Room welcomes YA patrons and offers a safe space for them to “hang out.” Guidelines for behavior are posted; teens are welcome to simply pass time in the Teen Room.
• Activities. The Teen Room offers many activities for teens: computers, board games, clubs, and a makerspace. Teens are welcome to experiment with learning a game, trying a craft, or designing a model for 3D printing. “Messing around” with the various activities often leads teens to new interests.
• Books. Of course, the Teen Room has books! The YA fiction collection provides popular selections in multiple genres, as well as a core collection. The YA nonfiction collection provides informational material about a variety of topics of interest to teens. Some items are available in nontraditional formats like graphic novels, e-books, and e-audiobooks.
• Resources. Teen Room staff provide guidance about library resources for homework, hobbies, and real-world information needs. Teens who struggle with academics might find a resource in our YA School Hacks neighborhood, or benefit from staff instruction about the library’s BrainFuse database. Teens seeking like-minded friends can participate in the new Teen Music club, or the long-standing Anime Club, and “geek out” about their favorite interests. Teens who seek volunteer experience can enroll in the CCPL Teen Volunteer program.
• Events. In addition to weekly clubs, the YA Department hosts a variety of events in the Teen Room throughout the year. This month, teens and parents can find out more information about resources to support academic needs during our Conference Connections program, held October 20 and 21 from 2-5pm.
• Authors. The YA Department is partnering with Campbell County School District and Campbell County Public Recreation District to bring YA author Steve Sheinkin to local junior high schools during the week of October 11-15. Sheinkin is speaking to teens at their schools; and the entire community is welcome to Sheinkin’s attend presentation in CCPL’s Wyoming Room on October 14 at 7pm.
• Respect. Finally, the Teen Room is a place where teens in our community find respect and acceptance. Whether they need a warm, safe space to spend a few hours, seek advice in finding a great new series, or want to be actively involved in any of our programs, they are accepted and appreciated. We love our teens, and we think every month should be TeenTober!