I love libraries newsletter...
Here is an article excerpt from the current "I Love Libraries" Newsletter:
It starts off by quoting bored teenagers who told their local librarians that they "wanted music, poetry, acting, and art"... :-)
It'd good to know that we all are in the right Group at Edutopia :-D
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Originally appeared in the Spring 2010 Issue of Wyoming Library Roundup
Teens complaining of boredom have not gone unnoticed, especially by libraries in Wyoming.
“They were always saying ‘We’re bored. There’s nothing to do,’” says Ellie Eaton, Assistant Youth Services Librarian at the Sweetwater County Library.
“So, I said OK well what do you want to do? What are you interested in? They said music, poetry, acting and art. And that’s where this all started.”
That’s when the library started to offer a variety of activities, especially in music. “The teens wanted to listen to music and have concerts. Because all events at the library are free, this was a great opportunity to do something for the teens and also give back to the community,” Eaton says.
Donations from these events go to local food banks, help pay for people’s bills who have been involved in an accident, and however else the library and teens can help.
“The library now holds several events focusing on music in some locations other than the library. We use venues throughout the community such as parks,” Eaton says.
“This is so neat because by doing these concerts, Poetry Jams and other events we’re able to get people into the library who would not ordinarily walk through our doors. It’s almost a sneaky way to grab the attention of people who may not realize the variety of materials available,” Eaton says.
“There are many teens whom as I get to know them and their interests, I am able to slyly suggest books to them that I feel will interest them. In some cases I encounter closet readers who are better versed in classics than I, and yet previously didn’t feel it was ‘cool’ to advertise this fact.”
Eaton says everyone who works with the libraries to help put on these concerts and attend are very respectful. Some of these bands are just looking for a way to showcase their music and can’t afford a big venue, and also with a limited number of venues in the area it’s a great opportunity for the library and the bands.
Through these programs, Eaton says she and others have also been able to see musicians’ skills grow, especially from the Poetry Jams.
“Poetry Jams offer a really comfortable environment for individuals to perform and often musicians will end up being featured in one of our concerts later.”
“To see the growth in these people is just amazing,” Eaton says.
The Poetry Jams are geared toward people of high school age and up because the material is completely uncensored. With an open mic setting, there is a variety of poetic and music genres that make the jams unique.
"Art is to society as dreams are to a person."