In September teens have busy schedules, and I want our public library to offer a relaxing break and meaningful creative outlets. However, I also strive to design programs where teens can grapple with the topics they are passionate about. Top on the list of pressing concerns is freedom of expression.
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Through its full-time youth health and program coordinator position, the City of Harker Heights (Texas) Stewart C. Meyer Public Library is working to infuse health and wellness into all of its programming.
Destinee Barton stepped into this new role in September 2018 after earning her bachelor’s degree in community health from Texas Woman’s University. I recently talked with Destinee, along with Library Director Lisa Youngblood and Children's Librarian Amanda Hairton, about how this new position emerged, what impacts it has had, and where they see it heading.
Magic for Muggles was created by my teen advisory board, which had several Harry Potter fans. They wanted to create a program series where they could do all kinds of Harry Potter activities, and they came up with the catchy name. The group met monthly from September 2016 to May 2017.
We found tons of ideas on Pinterest. We did indoor Quidditch with brooms and balls; potions and spells, where we did Hogwarts science projects; Harry Potter Clue; and a day at Hogsmeade, when we made butterbeer and other themed snacks.
Inspired by the idea that loving and caring for oneself is essential to well-being, the Brooklyn Heights Library Youth Council presented a self-love event called I’m Perfect. The event was held at the nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park in May 2017, and featured music, arts and crafts, food and guided meditation.
This year’s Teen Tech Week (TTW) theme is Libraries are for Creating, with events taking place March 4 to 10, 2018. Teen Tech Week was created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), and this year's theme is aimed at encouraging teens to take advantage of “digital tools offered through the library to become content creators, and to leverage library resources to share out their creations.”