In addition to feeling that what I do is important & enjoying teen lit, I honest-to-god love teens. I find them fascinating & wonderful in all their annoying ways – they’re just discovering so much for the first time & are finally old enough to emotionally handle most of the things life throws at them. I love talking with them, spending time with them, & doing as much as I can to make their lives all the more amazing, whether that means ordering extra copies of their favorite books, wiping out a few bucks worth of fines, or offering programs that make their days. I know that teen services falls below just about everything else libraries offer, & I know I’ll never get much recognition for my efforts, but it really & truly is my bliss.
So whenever I see teens with a big pile of books, or sitting about Teen Central reading, I always bound up to them & ask what they’ve got. Sometimes I’m met with a face that’s terrified to say anything (I am a bundle of energy when dealing with them, & since nearly every other adult who would speak to them in our library would do so simply to yell them, it’s understandable), but those who know me cheerfully let me know.
Today, as I was sitting at the desk, a guy around 13 or 14 sat down on the chairs near our desk, a teen book in hand. When I asked, “Whacha readin’?” I recieved this answer in response:
The second Triskellion book! You gave me the first one, & it was the best thing I ever read!
And then he buried his face in said book. Today, the Universe feels just perfect. No award could ever replace the feeling I have right now.
I’m working on our “End of Summer Celebration” today, which we hold in leiu of a summer reading finale (I invite all teens to come, rather than exclude those who usually forgot [or were too lazy to fill out] their entry forms), & I finally remembered to check out a resource I’d heard about at a lovely crafting *workshop: ReadyMech.com.
Mecha are a bit like the Japanese version of Transformers, only brighter & wackier. Teens love them, & this site offers .pdfs of many varities. Although I would have prefered to use cardstock, I gave in to our color copier’s personality & used plain paper instead. It took a little finagling, but using a glue stick, I was able to get one together! You can see him on the right hand side of the picture below. It’s a little thing, but actually quite cute!
I’ll put the big stack in the middle of a table, & let them have at. We’re also going to be doing Guitar Hero & DDR, & decorating guitar pick necklaces. Mostly, they come to this for the pizza & prizes, but we always have a good time!
*presented by Mandy Simon, teen librarian @ Worthington Park Branch!
A lot is said about teens & the Millenial generation. Not all of it is true. Here are five truths, at least about the teens around here.
1.) They don’t use Twitter. They’d rather spend their precious minutes texting their friends, not a website.
2.) They’re really not as computer savvy as you think they are. Sure, they know how to do the stuff they like to do – downloading music, maybe futzing with their MySpace layout – but when it comes to knowing how to search Google & find the latest …whatever… not so much.
3.) Most of them are still on MySpace. They like the customization capabilities, & everyone they know is still there. Even though most of the college age & older considers MySpace the “Detroit of the Internet,” their younger counterparts haven’t made the switch.
4.) They’re unbelievably fickle. If it was Naruto last month, don’t think that’s still true this month – they’ve probably moved on to Deathnote, & now think the knuckleheaded ninja is lame. Everything changes at the same breakneck pace these days – even if Twilight shows no signs of relenting.
5.) The best way to figure out what’s going on is to ask them. I know a lot of teens are into Second Life, but the ones around here have never even heard of it. What’s hot in some places hasn’t made it big where you are yet – & maybe never will. I adore the Luxe series, but I can’t get any of them to pick it up.
I’ll do more of these in the future – just thought I’d start with some of the broader ones.
& therefore, I’d like to welcome you to my new teen library services blog! We’re still under construction, but stay tuned & remember – keep reading! :)