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WANTED: Teens@theLibrary

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Just about a year ago the first group of teens formed Camp Verde Community Library’s Teen Advisory Board (TAB). We started with seven teens, lost a few, gained a few until we had 4 committed kids heading into 2014. We started slow. We started small. But once we got our feet under us, our small group of TAB teens began to shine in Camp Verde. Seventeen kids attended the latest Teen event held at the Library after hours. Something is clearly happening here.

CVCL TAB got up and running thanks to LSTA Grant funding supported by the Arizona Library, Archives and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Grant funding requires that we track and report TAB’s progress. Read the Camp Verde Bugle’s Q&A series on TAB members by Staff Reporter, Bill Helm starting September 25, 2014 to get an idea of the personal impact of the library on TAB Teens*. The 2014 report submitted to the Library Director by TAB Leader, Sebra Choe highlights TAB activity over the past year.

  • TAB defined itself through written bylaws, elections and standards of behavior
  • TAB helped at Library Story Time and supported Summer Reading Programs
  • TAB visited other libraries throughout the state in order to inform their vision of what a Teen Library can be then made recommendations to Library staff
  • TAB volunteered to facilitate weekly Game Nights at the Library every Thursday from 4:30-6:30
  • TAB Teens perform volunteer duties in Youth and Adult areas of the Library
  • TAB mentored younger kids during Teen Tech Week
  • TAB held an Open House for current and prospective Teens and their parents
  • TAB participated in Town Events like National Night Out, Trick or Treat on Main, Cornfest Summer Festival & Fort Verde Days Parade
  • TAB supported Camp Verde Parks & Recreation monthly Free movie nights, summer camp out and summer movie matinees
  • TAB attended Town Council meetings and spoke publicly of their experiences as Teens in Camp Verde & made a presentation to CVUSD board members
  • TAB worked hard on fundraisers, a holiday food drive and
  • TAB began its own Blog, Facebook page and Youtube site

Truly, CVCL TAB Teens are just getting started. CVCL has many hopes and dreams for teens in Camp Verde and Youth Librarian, Dianna Manasse & crew have the energy and expertise to move those dreams forward. We hope to someday hire teens to run the Teen Library. In the meantime, TAB Teens are learning how to use the library’s research tools, are taking tours of college and university campuses, picking up job skills through volunteer work and constantly being encouraged toward higher achievement. It sounds like a lot of work, but the growth in participation (and the broken chair) tells another story. Work also includes fun.

It was a comment by then TAB President, Billy Cook, on the CVCL TAB Blog that sparked the idea of opening the Library on Saturdays for teens only. He asked the question: “So why not open the library a little more often? Why not close at 7pm, or even later, on Fridays?” CVCL teens are interested in programs that advance their skills and opportunities. They enjoy socializing and special programing designed to meet their unique needs. TAB Teens give a lot of their time toward mentoring younger children, toward helping the Youth Services Librarian and toward participation in Town events. We don’t yet have space to offer teens at the library in Camp Verde, but we can set aside time and allow them to freely use the whole place.

Much has been written, discussed and attempted on behalf of teens in Camp Verde. Many other organizations in our schools, churches and community offer support and activities for teens. The variety of opportunity is good as no one organization or effort can reach them all. Camp Verde Community Library is in a position to throw its hat in the ring as a safe place for teens to hang out on a Saturday night. Library staff will be on site to supervise, assist with homework and create special programs suited to teens.

The Town Council approved the measure at the September 17, 2014 Regular Session. Camp Verde Community Library is opening for Teen Services – ages 12 -18 – every Saturday Night from 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm. All computers, rooms, tables and chairs inside the library will be reserved for use by teens and for teen programs. There will be no checkout, Internet access or other services for children under 12 or adults 19 and up during the 4.5 hours that CVCL is reserved for teen use. People who are not ages 12-18 are encouraged to use the library any time during the other 58.5 hours that it is open: Monday 8a-4:30p, Tuesday – Thursday 8a – 7p, or Friday & Saturday 8a – 4:30p.

*Q&A Bugle Articles by Bill Helm:

**Local Teens Need a Safe Space to Grow, Avoid Drug Abuse

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One thought on “WANTED: Teens@theLibrary

  1. Thank you, Kathy for submitting the TAB grant and Teen collections grant, and showing in so many ways that you are a committed advocate for Teens in Camp Verde.

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