When people think of libraries they tend to think of kids and adults.
“Rarely when you think of libraries do you think ‘teen,’” Janine Cline, head of teen services for the Hall County Library Service, wrote in an email to The Times.
But a group of Hall County teens are changing that.
The Hall County Library budget was cut this year and money for teen programming “all but disappeared,” Cline said.
So a group of about 20 teens have created a formal Teen Advisory Board with the goal of promoting teen library services.
“The members of TAB have had a great concern over the lack of funds for programs, materials and young adult books for teens,” Adrianne Junius, Director of Youth Services, wrote in an email.
To help raise funds for their age-specific programs TAB has launched “A Million Pennies” campaign.
The groups hopes to raise $10,000 for teen services and materials that will last the next few years.
TAB President Clint Walker, a 17-year-old senior at Lakeview Academy, wrote in an email that he and other TAB members would like to have events and programs that are engaging but will also let them stretch their fundraising dollars.
The board is planning several events in the near future for teen and tween programming including movies, a zombie Halloween party and a farewell to “Twilight” gathering.
Cline said the more active the group gets the more programs they can have. She said they hope to add an art, gaming and, of course, reading program to the calendar in the coming year.
“Most of these we can do with a limited budget and from some donations from local businesses. The rest is up to us on feeding and funding teen programming,” Cline said.
As more people grow up in a time where information is quickly and easily accessed they may not appreciate the library and the resources it has to offer.
“The Internet has taken over as the primary source of information but the library has so many resources that aren’t available anywhere else. TAB is a group of teens that have a real passion for supporting the library and community,” Walker said.
Walker also serves as a nonvoting member of the Hall County Library Board. He said he enjoys being so involved with the library and learning about how it works.
“Most teens are at an age where they are deciding which direction their life is going and are starting to voice their opinions on issues. Hopefully, the library will provide a safe platform for this. We want to encourage them to be active in the community and the library,” Cline said.