Teens, when you think about the Library—which I’m guessing you do multiple times a day—you probably think about books. Who could blame you? Books are our thing. I want you to continue to think about books as one of the Library’s main dishes. But I also want to introduce you to some of our side dishes. What would your life be like without French fries? Without chips? Without tater tots? It would be lackluster and dreary. Thus, it is imperative for me to immediately tell you about some of the Library’s (non-potato-based) (figurative) side dishes for teens.
Side dish number one: stuff to do. Sometimes people call “stuff to do” activities, but “activities” lacks the mystique of the more dignified “stuff.” Some of the stuff we offer is geared toward teen makers and crafty people. Some is geared toward teen movie-lovers, costume-wearers, and trivia pros. Some is for teen Virtual Reality gamers. Some (well, one in particular) is aimed at teen murder-mystery-solving-sleuths (more on that later). We advertise all of this “stuff” and more on our webpage (www.akspl.org/teens) and Instagram account (akspl_teens), so if it’s okay with your parents/guardians, follow us for up-to-the-minute info on…well…stuff.
Another side dish the Library currently has in the works is our first Dia de Los Muertos themed Teen Art Contest. Artists ages 13-19 are invited to create an original work inspired by Dia de los Muertos, a thousands-year-old sacred holiday, rooted in Mexican culture, that celebrates the loving connection between the living and the dead. Submission applications and contest guidelines will be available on the Teens’ page of the Library’s website beginning October 4th. Not only will entries be on display at the Library’s Dia de los Muertos community celebration, but prizes are on the line, to the tune of $500 for the grand prize, $250 for second, and $100 for third. If you have a creative bone in your body, put it to work this Dia de los Muertos! Submissions are due October 25th. Visit www.akspl.org/teens for more info.
Side dish number three: community service opportunities. I’ve mentioned this before, but it deserves repeating, the Library offers seasonal prospects for in-person community service for teens ages 16 or older, and virtual community service in the form of Young Adult book reviews for teens younger than 16. If you’re interested, reach out to us by email at email@example.com and we’ll send you the details about any current opportunities. This is a great way to build friendships, boost your resume, and impact your community in one fell swoop…a side dish to end all side dishes!
Now, if you were reading with close attention, you noticed I mentioned an upcoming side dish that will appeal to teen murder-mystery-solving-sleuths (of course you were reading with close attention…you’re a sleuth, no doubt!). We know you are out there, teen detectives, looking for (fictional) crimes to solve. Join us for our first ever teen Murder Mystery Party, where you will be assigned a character to role play and help your fellow party-goers get to the bottom of a (fictional) murder. It’s free! It’s macabre! It’s happening Sunday, October 29th! Registration will be required, so once again, check our webpage for the details.
All this talk about side dishes has my stomach growling, so now I must go eat mashed potatoes. If you feel the same, come feed your literary hunger, along with your appetite for “stuff to do” here at A.K. Smiley Public Library, where we always want our menu to reflect and excite you. Thank you for letting me be your server.
Kristina Naftzger is a Youth Services Librarian/aspiring waitress at A.K. Smiley Public Library.