Teens and tweens--words usually spoken with a tone of exasperation and resignation. What do they want? Why do they act that way? Now what did I say?
As Bugs Bunny said to Yosemite Sam, "What?! Sore again?! What a rotten disposition!"
But they can also be delightful, funny, smart, forward-thinking, and energetic . . . very energetic.
A Teen with Something to Do
The Pacifica Libraries have many teen/tween volunteers who are dedicated, reliable, and capable of doing good work. One of our more successful endeavors is the Book Buddies program in which older kids are paired with younger kids to help the younger ones with reading.
Buddies Is a Rewarding Volunteer Opportunity
The younger kid basks in the attention provided by the older kid. The older kid feels a sense of accomplishment, responsibility, and achievement.
In short, it works for everybody.
In public libraries we call this age group young adults and we focus attention and resources on them. Historically libraries have "lost" that segment of the population for a time, usually getting them back when they marry and start having children of their own.
Libraries lately have been resourceful, creative, and welcoming to young adults by providing dedicated spaces, putting on programs, and designing collections (with graphic novels) that studies tell us young adults like and will actually read or enjoy.
Young Adult Night @ Pacifica Library
One of the successful programs we have put together at the Pacifica Libraries is our Young Adult Nights. We're gearing it for kids in grades 5-8 and want parents to see the library as a safe, fun place for their restless older kids to go for a couple of hours to hang with their peers (with supervision) and maybe get some quality adult time for themselves.
So don't let an opportunity go by without checking out Young Adult Nights at your local library--it's an excellent event for your kids to be as well as an opportunity for parents to go out to dinner by themselves!
A former musician and roustabout, Thom Ball now works in public libraries where his generalist bent is rewarded and effective in the provision of information and arcane trivia.