What is Klamath County Library doing for teens? By Stephanie Goodwin

In recent years, the Klamath County Library has struggled with getting teens involved.  It’s not unusual for us to get 20 or more teens in the library after school, but they are not interested in taking part in any activity we plan even when it’s something they suggest we do.  About 2 years ago I read about the Breakout EDU escape the room kit and thought this would be a fun addition to our library so ordered one.  It didn’t take long for my staff to begin writing their own mysteries and doing special after hours dinner for our teens.  The teens have to pre-register and we limit our participation to 10-15 teens.  They are encouraged to dress up either as a specific character, in a certain time period, or just in their fanciest.  For those who don’t come dressed up we have a box of random items they can use.  Our mysteries have been everything from vampires, to Dr. Diabolical infecting the world, and everything in between.

We have had a great response to this program from our teens.  Often they request we do it every Friday night instead of the monthly/bimonthly schedule we are currently following.  Some of our teens are very creative and come dressed up and others just come for the pizza.  In the end, they are learning how to work in a team (often unsuccessfully), use the library, and tune their critical thinking skills.

A few things we have learned from doing these programs is

  1. A smaller group is better
  2. Have 1 library staff member who is a lifeline to help teens solve the puzzles. Typically teens can ask 3 questions.
  3. Teens do not always catch on as fast as we think they should. The first few we did were way too hard.  We have had to make the puzzles easier.

Written by Stephanie Goodwin

 

Klamath County Library’s 2016-2017 statistics from the State Library of Oregon:

  • County: Klamath
  • Population: 67,410
  • Registered borrowers: 38,617
  • Total library visits: 315,231
  • Total library hours in a typical week: 52
  • Total paid staff: 33.36

Learn more about Klamath County Library via their website and facebook page.

Want to share what your library is doing for teens? Contact Katie Anderson.

 

 

What is Creswell Library doing for teens? By Nick Caum

CreswellLibrary

Two Fridays a month teens gather in our little library to play Dungeons and Dragons. We call our program Teen Tabletop. While this may seem like a complete waste of time to many, the program is actually wonderful at developing four key skills identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning. Those skills are collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking, also referred to as the 4CS. Perhaps the biggest gain for me is the face to face interaction that the game requires.

Teens have responded by spending a ton of time in the library. Seriously, they are here using our books and chatting about their D&D grams. We’ve also had a lot of new teens join the library community using the D&D program as their gateway which is reflected across the board in teen programming attendance. The program has also facilitated the development of lasting relationships between library staff running the program and the teens participating. The popularity of the program has increased dramatically, when we first started we had six teens attending, we now consistently have 20+ teens at each event.

5 tips and lessons learned:

  1. Know what you are doing. Don’t try to fake it, play the game first or find someone in your community who will help facilitate the program. There may even be a teen or two who can help out!
  2. Make the teens stick to the rule book. At least while they learn to play, then let them do whatever they want.
  3. Play with the teens. This is a wonderful way to develop lasting relationships.
  4. Pencils. Get those things on Subscribe and Save because they are going to disappear like ice on a hot day. It isn’t anyone’s fault, it just happens.
  5. Let them be silly. This is a great chance for teens to be silly and creative and themselves. This is the chance they have to do all the things that race through their minds through the school week that they know they shouldn’t do.

Written by Nick Caum

 

Creswell Library’s (Lane Library District) 2016-2017 statistics from the State Library of Oregon:

  • County: Lane
  • Population: 8,434
  • Registered borrowers: 2,781
  • Total library visits: 84,601
  • Total library hours in a typical week: 45
  • Total paid staff: 3.70

Learn more about Creswell Library via their website and facebook page.

Want to share what your library is doing for teens? Contact Katie Anderson.

 

What is Newport Public Library doing for teens? By Stacy Johns

NewportPublicLibraryTeenRoom1

Newport Public Library created a new Teen Room in 2016 when our director and supervisor kindly surrendered their office space. It compressed the staff, but made a huge improvement for teens, who had previously had only a corner of the main fiction area with limited shelving and no “hang out” area. The Teen Room is relatively small, probably 30′ X 15′, but it has a door that closes, a Playstation, a whiteboard, a Teen Art Display, and a genrified collection with a large area for graphics.

We went from  having no regulars, to having a dozen to sixteen or so kids, probably 75% boys, coming to hang out after school each day, with new kids popping in regularly as well. Our circulation numbers jumped at first, but have leveled out. It’s a safe and parent-friendly place for kids to plan to go meet their friends after school, and it’s popularity highlights that there’s more of a need for this in our community than we can provide for! The kids are required to interact with library staff and security guards, and some of our long-timers have definitely showed improvement over time in understanding how to share a public space and how to communicate with adults.

NewportPublicLibraryTeenRoom2

We’re learned a lot from our experience, and consider it a success, but noise and rambunctiousness have been an issue with the staff overall, as the room is poorly insulated and right next to the staff work area. We tried to find attractive, teen friendly furniture, but have found that kids are rougher on it than we expected–they want to sit on the edges of tables, and move the cafe stools up and down so that the metal supports bend and fiberglass pieces snap. We’re starting to consider switching to indestructible vinyl couches and a low, solid coffee table. The paw and hand chairs and the vinyl hassock pieces have help well, though. The cameras are indispensable–sadly, we’ve had a couple serious behavioral issues where reconstruction of events was key.

Written by Stacy Johns

 

Newport Public Library’s 2016-2017 statistics from the State Library of Oregon:

  • County: Lincoln
  • Population: 17,254
  • Registered borrowers: 12,173
  • Total library visits: 160,390
  • Total library hours in a typical week: 62
  • Total paid staff: 11.9

Learn more about Newport Public Library via their website and facebook page.

Want to share what your library is doing for teens? Contact Katie Anderson.

 

What is Milton-Freewater Public Library doing for teens? By Rhina Barahona

Milton-FreewaterLibrary

Milton-Freewater Public Library has just started a new monthly teen craft night. The craft night consists of doing activities such as painting, jewelry making and many other fun projects. The teens are able to let loose and use their creativity to make something of their own while having a good time with other teens and making new friends.

The teens responded very positively. They were excited that finally there was something for teens to do and they really liked the projects that I had suggested. The parents were very excited as well to see their teens wanting to come to the library for this event.

Before starting a teen program you should:

  • Build relationships with the older kids that come to the library.
  • As for their opinions about what they would like to see done.
  • Ask them questions to make them feel like they are contributing to the program.
  • When you start the program advertise it throughout the library and online. Remind older kids that are checking out books about the new program and let them know what it’s about.

Written by Rhina Barahona

 

Milton-Freewater Public Library’s 2016-2017 statistics from the State Library of Oregon:

  • County: Umatilla
  • Population: 9,872
  • Registered borrowers: 4,033
  • Total library visits: 30,000
  • Total library hours in a typical week: 48
  • Total paid staff: 3.96

Learn more about Milton-Freewater Public Library via their website and facebook page.

Want to share what your library is doing for teens? Contact Katie Anderson.