Teens at Your Library 365: The 2014 Advocacy Project
Every once in a while, an article pops up: “Libraries are dying.”
Or you hear a comment, “Nobody uses the library anymore.”
But many of us that actually work in libraries know that’s not true, for many libraries usage is actually up.
Here’s one of the things that I think that are happening. Those people writing those articles and making those comments, they have access to technology in a way that many of our every day library users don’t because they can afford it. Just the other day someone said to me that we could get rid of our books in the library because everyone just uses their e-readers now.
But in all honesty, the 70something percent of students in my school district that qualify for free and reduced lunch aren’t reading books on their e-readers because they don’t have them; they are too busy trying to eat. When you have worked your way into a comfortable position where you have ready access to technology and can simply buy the books you want to read, it’s easy to forget that there are many other people in positions much different than yours. This is part of the reason why my library is full of people using our computers to apply for jobs, using our resources to complete homework assignments, and checking out our books to read the high number of books they want to read. Libraries provide access to all people, including the over 46 million people living in poverty who are trying to pull themselves up out of it.
|Save Big at Your Library
But libraries are not just about serving those living below the poverty line. Libraries are about serving everyone. We are about creating learning environments, social environments, and new experiences. We are about our local communities and the people that live in them. We are about learning together, growing together, and thriving together. We are about remembering our past, living in our present, and creating our future.
With all this in mind, I present to you the 2014 Advocacy Project: Teens at Your Library 365. In 2012, we led The 2012 Project, where we attempted to collect 2012 pictures of teens reading and using their libraries to make our message visual: teens use libraries. In 2013 we presented The Year in the Life of a Library where we highlighted days throughout the year in the library. This year, we want to show the diverse ways that libraries serve their communities by sharing our pictures, stories, reference questions and accolades.
You are invited to participate, here’s how it will work.
Our goal: Collect 365 pictures, stories, anecdotes, etc. about teens in the library that give a good representation of what libraries do and how teens use them. In theory, we would get one picture or story a day of the year, but 365 in total is a good goal.
You can participate: Tweet or Tumblr your picture, story, reference question, etc. with the hashtag #teensaturlib365
Remember, we care about patron privacy so don’t use names – or use fake names like Jane and John Doe.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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