Teen Program

Too often, teens are slighted when it comes to library programs and materials. Many children stop using libraries when they enter adolescence, and enlisting teen volunteers to assist at summer library programs for younger children is one way of keeping teens involved with books and libraries. But designing a summer program to meet teens’ interests is an even better way keeping them involved in the library.

Fortunately, the library can help teens fulfill their needs at this unique stage of life. There are four traits that all stages of teen development have
in common.

Teens are working to gain independence. By offering library cards and guaranteeing the confidentiality of the teen’s library usage, giving instruction in how to use library resources independently, and offering the opportunity to volunteer on projects for which they are responsible, the library gives teens chances to assert their independence.

Teens are seeking excitement. While in the past, libraries may not have been synonymous with excitement, new ideas in programming and young adult spaces can offer teens a great deal of stimulation.

Teens are trying to figure out their identities. Librarians know that one of the many values of reading is that it can help readers to discover possible futures for themselves. Therefore, a strong teen reader’s advisory program, complete with both fiction and nonfiction, can help teens fully explore their potential. Additionally, programs that help teens to share their interests with others can strengthen their self-esteem and give them opportunities to explore other possibilities.

Teens are seeking acceptance. When the library provides a space for teens, a positive experience, and a welcoming environment, it is acknowledging
their worth.