Question 5: You have to Plan Teen Programs Six Months in Advance and Wonder how you can use the “Teen Participation” model of Program Planning.
There are Adults who do not wish for teens to come to the library more or library staff who are afraid of how the teen groups will affect the rest of the library. There are managers or directors who try to create guides for teen service librarians to follow. There are also PR departments who consider themselves a part of the planning. But as it is stated, ” The PR department is there to bring awareness to library services, not to direct, dictate or involve itself in the development of library services and programming,”(Velasquez,106) this is not helpful for teens and the planning process.
Collaborate with teens in any form of communication. Use social media to make the events appear on their newsfeeds faster. Create an email group chat to discuss the most important need right now in their community. Have a skype chat and again discuss what is needed. With word of mouth and social media, there is a fast way to inform the teens in the community and this helps them make sure they don’t need to play six months in advance. Will planning for six months in advance really help? I understand it is important, but things change. No one can foresee what the summer or fall will hold. No one can tell what exciting trend will be an inspiration in the next 6 months. Holidays like Halloween or Christmas fall on the same days so it is easy to include events centered on that theme on the calendar, but this is not the case for this always changing society.
Question 6: All Teen Programming is Centralized, You and the Teens at your branch don’t get a choice of what programs are available for Teens.
I did not fully understand what centralized programming is, but I disagree with the statement of “you and your teens do not get a choice of the programs.” Librarians are here to serve not make all the choices for people. What does the teen programming have to do with being centralized? Teen programming is a series of planning, implementing and following through steps. Teen services librarians do research on successful programs, but they can create new ideas. In truth, I do not understand this statement.
Of course the Teens and Teen service Librarians should get a choice on what programs are available. Even better, they should get heard on what programs will help the community. Communities can come together for one goal and this is what programming can do. Go to the nearest high schools and create a notebook full of program ideas. What the teens want to see at the library is the starting point. Together you can narrow it down to programs that are close to the budget. Listen to the voices around you because soon they will find it even harder to talk to librarians.