Sunday, December 03, 2006


Teen Read Week. Those three daunting words. If you’ve ever lived with a teen, worked with a teen, or even just walked past a teen, you know that there can be a tendency toward introversion and surliness. Am I exaggerating? Yes. And no.
So when you ask a group of bookish librarians to plan a Teen Read Week event, is there a risk that their introversion and tendency toward surliness will clash with that of their intended audience and result in a less-than-explosive program? Maybe.

But not this year.

This year, we assembled the A-Team of Teen Read Week committees: Hannibal (Barb S.), B.A. (Andrea), Face (Kim F.) and Murdock (me). Together we managed to produce a knock-your-socks-off event using only a bucket, a few pieces of wire and an allen wrench. Okay, not really, but we did have a limited budget and only a short period of time in which to plan our program.
So how did we get 45 teens to come to the Central library on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, you might ask. Well, I’ll tell you. Anime. Yes, that’s right. And pocky.

It turns out pocky is a huge draw. Who knew?

For those of you who are not in the know (that category included me a few weeks ago), pocky is a Japanese treat. It’s like sticks of cookie dipped in frosting. Chocolate, strawberry, green tea (yes, green tea—it tastes a little like banana)…they were all a big hit. Pocky turned out to be the perfect accompaniment to Andrea’s DJ-style mix of Japanese pop and anime music, Carl’s anime caricatures (dare we say—AniME), and the judging of our poster contest.
Teens throughout the city were invited to submit entries to our READ poster contest. We received eight incredible drawings of anime and/or manga characters reading books. The winning drawings (we had two winners!) are being made into READ posters which will be on display here at Central, and the design of our runner-up will be made into bookmarks.
Shortly after the pizza arrived (that’s right, more food), we showed Fullmetal Alchemist: The Movie and generally made a huge mess of the carpet with ground-in popcorn and candy. Carl continued to draw throughout the movie, even though it was dark, and Andrea and I tallied the votes for the poster contest.

After a small ceremony announcing our contest winners and handing out fabulous prizes, our visiting teens headed home, bellies full and caricatures in hand, but not before asking, “When will you do this again?”

The Teen Read Week Committee would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped us in this endeavor, especially Carl, Karen S., Phyllis, Debbie, Joanna, Keiko, John L., Therese, Hans, Paul, Kathy C. and Marcus. We couldn’t have done it without you!


No comments: