On Tuesdays, I get to spend time with my regular teens. As I walked over to the teen department, I stumbled into an interesting discussion. In the midst of homework and computer games, my teens discussed the library. One mentioned that she started to come to the library regularly when she was a tween. She appreciated that the library had a variety of materials for her to checkout. Another teen talked about how awesome the programming was and how much she appreciated the staff. One of our newest teens surprised me the most. She just moved to my library from out of state and shared her own experience. After she agreed with the previous comments, she shared that her previous library only offered duct tape crafts, book discussions, and anime nights for teens. She felt like the programs were okay, but the library wasn’t in tune with her and peer’s needs….
Have you ever had a moment where a patron recognizes you, but you can’t identify who they are? One day while I was walking between library departments, a young teen called out my name and stopped me in my tracks. She started asking me personal questions. I politely answered her, but I couldn’t figure out how this teen knew so much about me.
For months, my library’s regular tweens have been talking about Halloween costumes, sports games, and a countdown till holiday break. While we talked about these things, it always felt so far away. It wasn’t until I was walking my family’s dog that the fall season came alive for me. Even though it was nearly 80 degrees, I looked up and saw that the trees had changed colors. Fall is one of my favorite seasons, and it is a great reminder that we should appreciate change and transition. When it comes to tweens, this is especially true. Much like the season, they are in transition too. To help tweens deal with this transition, it can be helpful to celebrate what they are excited about with them. This helps them feel grounded and supported. Since my tweens were excited about fall, I needed to quickly come up with some fall programs.
While sipping on my coffee and taking in the cooler weather, I can’t help but reflect on how quickly summer has gone by. Last Saturday was my library’s last day of our annual summer reading program. Its end brought joy and chocolate to my fellow staff members and groans and less excitement from the kids and families. As the upcoming school year brings new beginnings, I must reflect on how I served my tweens this summer. One of my favorite programs that I was a part of was a program entitled “Live Action Roleplay (LARP) on Mars”
As I have been celebrating Harry Potter’s 20th anniversary, I could not help but reflect on how Harry Potter has impacted my life. About nineteen years ago, I remember looking for a new summer book to read. I would walk up and down the stacks of books for what felt like hours trying to find a book that I connected with. As I was roaming the stacks one day, my librarian noticed I was struggling and asked me to follow her up to the reference desk. Once there, she suggested a book that would forever change my life – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. For the next ten years, I wore out countless copies of Harry Potter. I wanted to live and relive my time at Hogwarts. I finally had a series and a world that I connected to and I anxiously awaited its return. Nearly twenty years…
Summer is finally here! For librarians, summer reading busy time that usually has us constantly reaching for chocolate. For tweens, summer is an exciting time that prepares them for changes in the new upcoming school year. As they take in these changes, they might wonder where their place is in the library. Some libraries are lucky to have a section of their collection specifically for tweens, but other libraries might have their collections divided into a children and a teen section. If your library is part of the latter group, your tweens might be going back and forth between sections to try to find books. This could lead to frustration for both kids and parents. So how can librarians help to bridge the gap between these sections? One resource librarians can use are state book lists. These lists are designed by educators for grades 4-8. Each state has their own unique list,…
One of the best ways to serve tweens is to build personal relationships with them.