In December, 2005, our 180 square foot alcove morphed into a lovely 1,200 square foot oasis for teenagers from grades six through twelve. Complete with computers reserved just for teens, we have one of a very few teen service desks in the entire state of Michigan.
We have a regular staff of four who love working with teenagers: Sian, Alissa, Jessie and Julie.
We order all the materials for the Teen Area, including books, graphic novels, magazines, and movies. Ordering is a multi-step process: get suggestions from teens on what materials they want, read many, many reviews in professional journals, determine if an item is appropriate and needed in our collection, decide if there’s enough money in the budget for one or multiple copies, order the item(s), assign a call number, send the item(s) to Support Services for processing, and finally, place the item(s) on the shelf to be checked out. Whew!
Creating events for Teens to attend at the library is one of the most enjoyable aspects of our work. We take into account what the latest interests are, what other things teens have going on, like friends, school, homework, chores, band, clubs, and jobs; we read teen magazines, blogs by other librarians and talk to teens to find out what they want us to do for them.
We visit Oxford Middle and High schools to promote the Teen Area. We collaborate on programs with other community organizations like Parks & Recreation, and solicit donations from local businesses for our Teen Summer Reading Program. Then, we collect statistics to see what works and what doesn’t.
This brief overview is only scratching the surface of what we do. We do our best to create a welcoming, teen-friendly space with materials and programs that are not only what teens need for school, but what they want just for fun.Let us know how we can help you!