2021 Teen Take-and-Makes (Part 11)


View Salem Public Library’s Bendy Friend Gallery to see the friends their patrons made!

Bendy Friend craft kit contents:

  • 1 pipe cleaner
  • ½ pipe cleaner
  • 2 paper straws (one plain; one patterned)
  • 5 pony beads
  • 1 20mm wooden bead
  • About 20 feet of yarn

Supporting LGBTQIA2S+ Teens & Allies (Part 3)


Starting in February, Boley Law Library has been sponsoring student organizations/activities with virtual bookshelves and added information about the student organization. The virtual bookshelf is a simple libguide with a carousel of some of the books on our homepage (at the middle bottom).

This fairly simple project gives visibility to a student group, like OutLaw, and support for digging deeper into a subject. I’m happy to answer questions if there’s interest.

OutLaw: Lewis & Clark OutLaw provides a forum for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning law students and their allies to meet, exchange ideas, share experiences, build community, and bring pertinent legal and political issues of the LGBTQ+ community to the L&C law campus via panels, social events, lectures, trainings, and forums. (Organization’s description)


Large events in Central Oregon this year are still virtual. At Deschutes Public Library, I created a resource list of links to booklists (for kids, teens and adults), local organizations, small events during Pride month, and partner information for the LGBTQIA+ communities and allies. It’s small (hopefully next year we can do more) but it’s something!

If you have any suggestions for additions, I would love to hear them.


I’m the new teen librarian at Tillamook County Library, so I set up our first Pride display in years! I’m also working to increase the queer diversity of our collection, and, as an out nonbinary lesbian, I’m making them feel welcome just by being myself!

Supporting LGBTQIA2S+ Teens & Allies (Part 2)


I have been working hard at expanding LGBTQ representation in the West Albany High School Library collection. Our school Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) meets in the library (I am the advisor). This banner hangs behind the circulation desk, although I’m going to move it tomorrow to the PRIDE book display for the last couple weeks of school.

Nominate Manga and Graphic Novels for the 2021 Graphic Rave

Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels

The time has come for you to nominate the best recent graphic novels and manga.

Graphic Rave is an annual graphic novel and manga list produced by the members of the Oregon Young Adult Network and announced in late summer. Books nominated should be written and marketed for readers of middle and high school age (generally 6th-12th grade) and be published between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021 (we are extending the nomination period back to March as to include books we missed in the last two months of last year’s nomination process.)

Nominations form!

Nominations will be collected May-June. Members will then be invited to vote on the nominated books through midsummer, narrowing the list to approximately 20 OYAN Graphic Rave selections. The list is further discussed at the summer meeting of the Oregon Young Adult Network.

Please nominate early and often!!

Mark Richardson, Cedar Mill Community Library

OYAN Graphic Rave Coordinator

Supporting LGBTQIA2S+ Teens & Allies (Part 1)


  • Hand out free queer memorabilia for pride month; rainbow stickers, pins, flags, etc…
  • Hang a progressive rainbow flag in your library year round.
  • Genrify your library and display the queer books section prominently.
  • Be bold in choosing books to display. In my high school library, for example, we always display Two Boys Kiss by David Levithan


As a County employee, I’m on the County’s LGBTQ+ Celebrations Committee. The celebration activities are primarily for employees, although some are open to the public. One activity is compiling resources and sharing them on our Intranet for all County employees.

I’m working with my colleagues in other County departments to create a series of resource lists, one of which is for LGBTQ+ families with tweens and teens. Some of my fellow committee members were pleasantly surprised to learn there are now sexual health and education books for children and teens that include all genders and sexual orientations as well as a few specifically for LGBTQ+ teens.

2021 Summer is Coming! (Part 3)


Garden Home Community Library staff had a conversation about summer reading this week [May 5, 2021]. We haven’t finalized our plans yet, but we are looking to offer some eco-friendly craft kits. We’ll continue to offer our virtual teen book group, and I’m considering adding a graphic novel virtual book group. 

I’m hesitant to do it myself right now though as I’m pretty Zoom-ed out and there’s going to be a lot of pivot and pivot again this summer. It’s a small team here and given that it’s going to be a necessarily small team when/if the building opens, I don’t want to over commit. 

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels.

2021 Book Rave Now Available

The books on this list were published between November 1, 2019, and October 31, 2020. Titles were nominated by teens and library staff in Oregon. OYAN members voted to select the titles on the list and worked to create a balanced list that includes a variety of genres and diverse titles. Learn more about the annual Book Rave and access past lists on the OYAN website.

Congratulations to OYEA winner Violeta Garza!

Every year, OYAN recognizes an individual, library, program, or initiative that has made a positive and significant contribution to teens in libraries in the state of Oregon. The 2021 winner is Violeta Garza, former Youth Librarian with Multnomah County Library. Violeta is a fierce champion for youth in East County, the most underserved area of Multnomah County. Through her enthusiasm and kindness she provided a safe space and leadership opportunities for her youth. In 2015, she supported her White Lotus Japanese Club in the wildly successful teen-led White Lotus Con. One family even drove 50 miles from Silverton to Gresham for the event! The strong and meaningful relationships she has created with youth have continued long after they’ve moved on. 

The OYEA! Award includes a $100 donation to the teen services program of the recipient’s choice. Violeta has chosen to give that money to Family of Friends Mentoring in Gresham, OR.

Read more about what her colleagues and the teens have to say:

When I first met Violeta Garza, she was enthusiastically encouraging people to purchase raffle tickets for an OYAN fundraiser at an OLA Conference. It was readily apparent that she had a huge heart for teens, and her passion was contagious. I knew then that this was a librarian I wanted to get to know. Since then, I have gotten to see the impact of her work as a teen librarian, as an advocate and ally for youth, as an inspiration to colleagues, and as a leader in OLA. It is with these things in mind that I recommend her for OYAN’s You’re Excellent Award.

By all accounts — staff and teen volunteers — Violeta has been a champion for youth in East Multnomah County. At the Troutdale library, Violeta encouraged her teens to bring structure to their Teen Council so they could build leadership skills, all the while respecting their need for autonomy. She championed teen-led programming, including her support of Troutdale Library’s White Lotus Japanese Club, who hosted a successful White Lotus Con–a family-friendly event that included craft stations, a Japanese dance lesson, and a cosplay workshop and contest. She also made opportunities for teens to shadow her in storytime and outreach at schools, where she worked tirelessly to make sure teens knew about the services and resources that the library offers. Violeta performs her work with passion and dedication, with the purpose of recognizing underserved teens and how they can contribute to their community with equity and inclusivity. At Troutdale Library she became a confident source when teens needed an ear, and was an outlet for help when one  young person was experiencing homelessness.  She has been an inspiration and a vital role model for myself and for other colleagues in her approach to working with teens. 

For the past year, Violeta has had to pause her work with youth due to health issues. However, this hasn’t stopped her from keeping up the relationships she’s already built — this summer she drove up to Washington to have lunch and visit an old Teen Council member who was in need of some TLC and guidance. Other Teen Council members have moved far away, as far as the Philippines, but they still make time to keep in touch with her. When Violeta and I meet up for coffee, it’s not uncommon for her to get a text from an old Teen Council member who’s reaching out just to say hi, or for some guidance in a difficult time. 

In librarianship, we often talk about how building relationships is one of our most vital roles in our communities. And in youth librarianship particularly, we know how important developmental relationships are and how pivotal they can be in a young person’s success. Violeta embodies these principles and puts them into practice by simply being who she is. She has an ability to develop strong, trusting relationships with teens that has made a tremendous impact in their lives. She’s served as a role model for me and other colleagues in her approach to working with teens. And she’s dedicated herself to serving and promoting teen services not only at her library system, but at the state level by co-chairing the Oregon Young Adult Network. Attached, you’ll find a letter from a past Teen Council member in support of Violeta’s nomination for this award. 

Thank you very much for your consideration, 

Amy Fellows, Youth Librarian, Multnomah County Library

Constance Cramer, Library Clerk, Multnomah County Library

Jane Corry, Youth Librarian, Multnomah County Library

Jeanine Diaz, Youth Librarian, Multnomah County Library

Barbara Head, Youth Librarian, Multnomah County Library

Bobbye Hernandez, Bilingual Spanish Youth Librarian, Multnomah County Library

Danielle Jones, Teen and Youth Librarian, Multnomah County Library

Suzanne Jones, Library Assistant, Multnomah County Library

Annie Lewis, Early Childhood Services Manager, Multnomah County Library

Alonso Meléndez, Interim Belmont Supervisor, Multnomah County Library

Brianne Williams, Youth Librarian, Multnomah County Library

2021 Summer is Coming! (Part 2)


In addition to reading logs for teens, my library is offering a Teen Duct Tape Challenge.

33 Awesome DIY Duct Tape Projects at DIY Projects for Teens

2021 Summer is Coming! (Part 1)

Photo by Ravi Kant from Pexels


Tualatin Library doing the same Bingo cards for all ages. They have boxes like “Read a book with a cat” or “Read a book written by an Oregon author,” so they can be used for any age. Everyone who finishes a bingo will receive two free books. No goals until next summer.

We have returning teen volunteers and 5 new ones (22 total). The 5 have been volunteering for us this school year and were invited to join the summer teens. We didn’t open up applications like usual since we aren’t sure how much we will have for them to do or if they will be allowed in the building.

I’m doing 6 weeks of virtual programs including needle felting, Kahoot trivia, and an Escape Room.