I am Bartholomew County Public Library’s first teen librarian. I received my master’s degree in library science from the Indiana University School of Library and Information Science in December and love my new job working with teens in our community.
In the first two months of this year, I visited seven local schools, 35 classes and saw nearly 900 teens. I conducted a survey to get teens’ opinions of the library and find out what they want from us. I am still evaluating the surveys, but several suggestions that were made are currently in the process of being implemented.
I am in the teen area every day after school to help teens find which book to read next. Not sure what to read next? No problem.
In addition to reading book reviews, keeping up with popular titles and creating book lists, I also use a database called NoveList Fiction Finder to assist readers. This database allows me to find titles you may like based on what you have read or a type of book you enjoy.
Teen Summer Reading Club: For the first time, teens will have their own Summer Reading Club, which will run along with the children and adult clubs, May 20 to July 26. To finish the reading club, teens can read whatever they want for a total of 500 minutes. Finishing wins them a prize and an entry into a drawing for a Kindle Fire. Additional entries for the grand prize drawing as well as chances to win other prizes can be earned after the initial 500 minutes of reading has been completed.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Club: Beginning in May, we will host two monthly Yu-Gi-Oh! clubs; Grades 4-7 (May 9, 4:30 to 6 p.m.) and Grades 8-12 (May 23, 4:30 to 6 p.m.). A tournament will be played at each club meeting, and the winner will receive a pack of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards.
Manga/Comics/Graphics/Anime Club: Several teens have asked me to start a manga program, and now they will have one. The program will meet once a month and will allow teens to share with each other titles they like or don’t like, make suggestions to each other, suggest titles to be purchased, suggest topics of discussion, and watch anime. The first club meeting will be from 2:30 to 4 p.m. June 29.
Relocation of teen area: Over the next few months, the library will make a few changes to the layout, including the relocation of the teen area. The new area will provide more comfortable seating for teens, a few computers and more shelf space for teen books. Teen audiobooks will rejoin the teen collection, and a separate teen graphics collection will be created.
Teen Advisory Board: The TAB will be forming soon. It will be made up of teens from all over Bartholomew County and will meet monthly with the teen services librarian. It will be an advisory council for teen services, programming, materials selection and event planning. Time spent in TAB meetings or helping to facilitate programs and events will count for volunteer/service learning hours as required by some area schools. Those who have already expressed interest will be contacted soon.
Any teen wanting to be a part of the TAB should contact me for more information. I can be reached via email at email@example.com; at 379-1260, or in the teen area.
Christina Kelley is teen services librarian at Bartholomew County Public Library.