by Amber Keck, Children’s Librarian
Teenagers in Manhattan and surrounding areas have many opportunities to be a part of Manhattan Public Library. Not only can teens have access to materials and activities, but they also have the chance to log community service hours and connect with other teens and adults in the community. With their parents’ permission, teens may own their own library card and have access to any unrestricted materials, including comic books, video games, fiction and nonfiction books. Programming for teens include Yu-Gi-Oh dueling, After Hours parties, crafting afternoons, and much more. Any activity or program for teenagers is free, but they do sometimes require pre-registration because of high attendance.
Teens can be a part of the brainstorming and implementation of programming in the library, as well. Keri Mills, MPL’s Young Adult Librarian, hosts a meeting of the Teen Library Advisory Board (TLAB) every month. During this time, TLAB plans activities and programs, discusses the library’s young adult book collection, and keeps Keri up-to-date on topics of interest to teenagers in the community. These meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of the month from 3:30-4:30 pm. The next TLAB meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 23rd in the Friends’ Room. Anyone is welcome to attend these meetings.
Rebecca Price, a summer teen volunteer and consistent contributor to TLAB, likes that she gets to meet a lot of new people through the volunteer program and TLAB. As a lover of the library, being an active member of TLAB is important to her. Over the years, she has had the chance to plan a number of different programs and activities, but the Catching Fire After Hours was by far her favorite.
During the summer months, teenagers can also be a part of the teen volunteer program, in which they assist library staff in presenting programs and giving out prizes to summer reading participants. During the summer of 2014, teen volunteers logged in 520 hours! The children’s staff simply could not pull off the extensive programming and awesome summer reading incentives without the help of the teen volunteers. Spots for this program go fast, so be sure to start inquiring about it in the wintertime.
At Manhattan Public Library, teenagers have a space to share their ideas, connect with the resources they need, and make a positive impact on their community.