Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Brag on TAG - Teens at MCPL

Teen Advisory Group logoOne of my favorite parts of being a librarian is the work I get to do with teens. They amaze me, inspire me, frustrate me, and challenge my expectations. They cheer me up on days when I'm convinced there isn't anything that could. They make me think about libraries and library services from a completely different perspective.

I am in my second year leading the MCPL Teen Advisory Group (TAG), which gives feedback and offers suggestions on library services, programs, and policies as they relate to teens. These teens LOVE libraries and reading. They also want more teens to see that the library goes beyond being a "bookish" place, that it offers resources for learning and for fun.

MCPL's Teen Advisory Group
MCPL's Teen Advisory Group
I asked them for help to write this post because I wondered what they would say about TAG and about libraries. Their answers were touching, impressive, and a bit unexpected.


What would you tell other teens or adults about TAG? 

"I ... love how TAG has really opened me up to how many programs there actually are in the library. There are so many different activities and events for teens throughout the year and I didn't even know about them."  ~Connor, 1st year

"I think TAG is a very important part of MCPL because in order for libraries to continue being effective, people need to visit them and make use of them and TAG helps to get more teens and kids involved with their local library." ~Onjoli, 1st year

"What  I love is of information. it allows me  to hear about other people's opinions and ideas. TAG represent teens. And only teens can easily attract other teens." ~Sena, 1st year

Why are libraries important for teens? Why are libraries important at all? Don't teens just do everything on their phones these days? 

"Libraries are important for teens because technology makes up such a huge component of our lives and the library allows us to connect with the community and have hard copies of books and articles, especially older editions. Also, librarians provide personal help that the internet can't, such as reading suggestions and knowledge." ~Onjoli, 1st year

"Libraries...provide so much more than just books and magazines that can be accessed via cell phone now. There are clubs and events where you can meet new people. Also, the library has programs that you can join and get volunteer hours for school." ~Imani, 1st year

"Libraries are becoming one of the best places to go to hang out or study. They have a comforting atmosphere and are quiet in some places and talkative in other places. You can ask a librarian anything or get help from any of the resources the library provides. Teens are starting to warm up to libraries as they transition from cold, silent, places where kids are scrutinized, to bright, friendly, we-have-whiteboard-walls places!" ~Peregrine, 3rd year

2016 Teen Poetry Competition
Some of the activities and events for teens Connor mentioned above include writing clubs for sharing work and getting feedback, chess clubs for beginners and experts, and maker programs that include everything from graphic design to knitting.

Are you looking for the personal help that Onjoli said only librarians can provide? Try What Do I Check Out Next? to find your next great read. Our librarians will offer book suggestions tailored to your specific reading interests.

What else does MCPL do for teens? Find out on Teensite, our page just for teens.

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