Teen board serves library, community

JENA GRAY

outreach and youth coordinator,

public library

The last few blustery weeks were busy for the Library’s Teen Advisory Board. The teens met Huntsville News anchor Megan Hayes, who spoke at their January meeting about her degree in media communications, college life and starting a new career. Ms. Hayes was even kind enough to invite the board down to the Huntsville news station for a tour, which will be planned for later this spring.

The rest of the Teen Board meetings will feature guest speakers from different industries that will talk to the teens about their personal college and career experiences. This way the teens gain insight into various fields such as engineering, communications, law, even digital game design, and allows them to ask advice from known professionals. A guest speaker from Nashville will be joining the teens in April to talk with them about building their professional image and what it takes for young people to enter the competitive job field.

In addition to volunteering for the annual Friends of the Library Winter Gala, the Teen Advisory Board has teamed up with local organization, Clothe Our Kids, which collects and donates clothing to children in need, for a “hang and sort.” Between this and volunteering to read to and play board games twice a month with the resident of Bailey Manor, the teens are serving their community in very tangible ways.

The library staff has also been reaching out to the local schools and home school families, not only to personally invite students to youth activities held at the library, but also to inform students and teachers of the ways the library is accessible to patrons who do not live in town. Specifically, I went to speak with the eighth graders at Flintville Elementary School and parents at South Lincoln, and Jill spoke to the fourth through the eighth grades at Blanche about the free digital book programs R.E.A.D.S. and Tumblebooks, and the importance of digital literacy.

Dates are already being planned to visit Highland Rim and Ninth Grade Academy, and hopefully all the local schools will have had a visit from the library by the end of the year. Local home school families meet each month at the library to network and learn about library services.

Through developing these relationships with educators, the library hopes to encourage literacy and a life-long love of the library. Of course the library hopes to utilize these partnerships with the schools as a way to invite students, elementary through high school, to participate in the “Fizz, Boom, Read!” Summer Reading Programs.

Fayetteville-Lincoln County Public Library had one of the largest growth rates in the state for Summer Reading in 2013. With the addition of teen and adult summer programs this year, we know we will have more growth this year!

The library has started our 2014 line-up of computer classes. The class topics were chosen after studying questionnaires filled out by patrons near the end of last year and include subjects like basic computer skills, blogging and website design, resume help, using the Microsoft Suite, genealogy research, and basic internet skills. The classes are free to attend, and we offer two every month (basic skills and a special topic). Patrons must sign up to reserve their spot. Patrons can call 433-3286 for more information or to sign up over the phone. You can also check out our website at www.bit.ly/flclibrary for a full calendar of events and links to great resources, and our Facebook page is updated regularly with our activities.

Lastly, the library has a free homework tutor on Mondays at 3:15 p.m., and an exciting array of children’s activities and story hours planned for the coming months.

Coming up is a free folk music concert on Feb. 25 and Dr. Seuss’s Birthday Party on March 1. Stay tuned for more great upcoming events, including our new Geek the Library campaign that highlights the fact that local libraries have something for everyone!

Posted on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 3:54 pm