Friday, October 10, 2014

Teens, Teens, They're Good for Your Heart!

2013-2014 MCPL Teen Advisory Group
Pardon the paraphrase of the classic rhyme about beans, but I couldn't resist!  I have written before about being blessed to work in a profession I love and to work with some really great people (both colleagues AND customers). Here’s another aspect of my job that I love:  working with teens. Yes, those very same teens that drive you crazy at home and make you think that there might be some methods of punishment from Colonial times that should be revived. Parents of Montgomery County, fear not! You are doing a great job of raising savvy and interesting young adults who love libraries and reading (among other things).  Serving teens at MCPL has been a focus of my work for the last few years as part of a committee that tries to find new and improved ways to reach this age group. This year, I am also helping to lead the MCPL Teen Advisory Group (usually referred to as TAG). The TAG this year has 36 teen members representing 19 high schools from all over Montgomery County (public and private) and 17 (out of 20) of our library branch communities. We have some great plans for developing more interaction between the library and the teen community and for hosting programs and events around the county. These teens also contribute content to the MCPL Teensite in the form of book, movie, music and theater reviews and original writing, drawings and photographs. Any teens who want to contribute content can do so by following the instructions on Teensite—they don’t have to be members of TAG!
TAG members with author Carl Hiaasen
TAG members got to interview author Carl Hiaasen
at Bethesda Library on October 7, 2014. 
While checking out Teensite, notice that there is a tab for Homework that provides access to our premium research databases and other resources that are useful for school assignments. Many reference materials are no longer available in print format so it can be very helpful to know, for example, that you can get to biographical information from Biography in Context any time of the day or night. (No more frustrating trips to the library 15 minutes before closing time on the night before the report is due!!) MCPL also offers many ways for teens to use or to get involved at the library. Teen programs are always happening in all branches throughout the county. (Check our online calendar of events for current listings. You can narrow down your searching by using the tools on the left side of the screen to limit by age group or library branch.) There are group study rooms in some branches that can be reserved by teens (or adults) to do group work. Teens can volunteer at the library for SSL hours or apply for a job as a Library Page.

Teens bring so much energy and enthusiasm to the library—for books, reading, learning, sharing, creating, changing the world, and lots of other things. Working with them keeps me feeling young at heart and it really is a pleasure to see them grow as citizens and as leaders of the future.

Tina R.

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