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Libraries aim programs to entice teens
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If a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, then an afternoon of fun is sure to make learning enjoyable for everyone.

Instead of sitting home all day with nothing to do, the staff at several local libraries are hoping that their roster of activities will entice students of all ages to come out and spend a little time reading, playing and just having fun.

“We have always offered a full plate of children’s activities during the summer and this year we have expanded our teen programming and hope to do even more despite the tough economy,” said Adrian Mixson, director of the Hall County Library System.

“We may be one of the few places an entire family can spend several hours and not be charged for anything.”

In addition to the usual storytellers and magicians, the Hall County system is offering classes geared toward the teen audience, like comic drawing, sculpting and rocket building.

“We are trying to create areas in our facilities that are more comfortable to use for a livelier set. We are also supplementing our collections with manga (Japanese comics) and graphic novels,” Mixson said. “Those of us that frequent bookstores see the space now allocated to this literary format and it continues to grow in popularity. Would you rather have your kid hanging out in the library this summer and lolling about the house reading or somewhere not so desirable? The library is also a good place to pick up any summer reading required by school for the fall.”

The folks at the Jefferson Public Library also have lined up a diverse roster of summer performances.

At the library this summer, Jefferson residents will be able to take in everything from a performance by Rialto Jazz to story time with master puppeteer Lee Bryan.

“We strive every year to hire awesome performers, but I think this is our best line up yet. Two performers (Bryan and juggler Ron Anglin) have been here multiple times in the past, but we’ve also added several new performers like Rialto Jazz, (storyteller) Chetter Galloway and the Vega String Quartet,” said Amy Carlan, Jefferson librarian.

“The programs are open to all ages from babies to young adults and I think all ages will find the programs entertaining.”