Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I have to start by saying that I'm delighted by how the Teen Read Week programming went this year. The attendance surpassed last year's and it appeared that the retention for the inter-related Friday programs was high as well. The majority of attendees were teens though there were a number of supervising adults this year as well. As with last year, Andrea and I created book lists and displays to accompany the programming.

Friday (Comixstravaganza):
11-12 panel: We had 8 panelists from our thriving local comics community, who generously donated their time to the causes of teens and libraries. There were 26 attendees for the panel, roughly 22 of whom were kids/teens.

12:30-1:30 Manga class: We had 29 attendees for the class of who 24 were teens/kids. The majority of those who had attended the panel stayed for the class and we picked up some additions. They kids were very into the class and approached with the kind of focus you might see at an SAT prep class. We should revisit this as an activity for Summer Reading.

2:00-4:00 Anime movie with pizza, pocky, and pop. We had 30 attendees for this, approximately 24-5 were kids/teens. The anime movie was the newest Bleach release: Bleach--Memories of Nobody. We had a few cans of pop leftover, but the pizza and pocky were suitably annihilated.

We didn't have a formal assessment to hand out to find out where the attendees had heard about the events but an informal poll gave us the following results: 3 had seen the flier at Highland, 1 had seen events in E&C, and 4 came from the YWCA. (The YWCA had called earlier in the week about a class visit and I told them about the Thursday Wii and Friday/Saturday TRW activities. Apparently it took.)

Saturday (Twilight party):
The party had 45 attendees, 35 of whom were teens. We had a craft (making a Bella bracelet), a costume contest, a trivia contest (with smaller prizes of fangs and read bracelets), and a debate between Team Jacob and Team Edward. Much to my surprise about 15 teens turned up 20 minutes before the party was set to begin, raring to go, and tapping their toes until the festivities got underway. I closed the Edward vs. Jacob debate with a question about what they were going to read next and got some new ideas myself as well as directing them to a display of read-alikes and some booklists. The music and decorations received a thumbs up from several attendees and the trivia contest (which was somewhat impromptu) was embraced enthusiastically. There were some crossed wires about the costume contest so we didn't have as many contestants as we'd hoped for. (We did have several teens tell us that they would've dressed up if they'd known though, so it is a feasible activity.)

Of the teens we talked to, it appeared that word of mouth was the predominant factor in finding out about the Twilight Party. Several times I heard, "My mom/dad saw it in the newspaper and told me about it. Then I told my friends." Newspapers and library fliers were the triggers for the word of mouth.

Thanks go to Phyllis and Karen for helping out with the funding. It was much appreciated and couldn't have come at a better time.
Thanks also go to Susan H. for ordering a couple of new anime releases for us and getting them to us post-haste and in time for the Comixstravaganza. Cindy generously let us co-opt a couple of willing volunteers to work to help with TRW and work during the events. Mavis and Carl did a great job.

Here are more photos of the events which may help give you a feel for how they went as well.

I'm already excited for next year's Teen Read Week. I think Central is getting to a place where it can become a destination for teens. With the proximity of a couple of high schools, publicity, and regular activities (Teen Advisory Council, programs, a manga/anime club perhaps), we can make Central a welcoming and regular destination for teens.

I'm planning on writing a more detailed report with suggestions for follow when I get back from my family reunion, but I hope that this covers the basic ground. Please feel free to email me with questions.

--Jennifer B.

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