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Mary Lou Johnson-Hardin County District Library’s Teen Advisory Board is a way for teens to help make the library more accessible for other teens.
According to library employee and TAB creator Sheena Striker, the group helps makes decisions about books the library gets and programs it puts on. They are currently developing a summer reading program for teens this summer and already have a “Poetry Slam” set for April 28 to encourage teens to bring in their own poetry or favorite poetry and share it with others.
“The poetry slam helps (teens) show their creativity to other people, a chance they might not have otherwise,” said board Vice President Taylor Weaver.
The group, which has been in operation for just under two months, also helps out with tasks around the library, like straightening out shelves, keeping up the bulletin board by displaying activities going on, and even helping to pick out books for the library to order.
Members of the group, who are between grades six through 12, must also earn 30 hours of work per year, which includes helping out with younger children’s programs and attending regular monthly meetings.
Striker said her reason for starting the Teen Advisory Board was to get more teens in the library by improving teen services.
“I wanted to start this to get kids in the library; even if they’re not reading, at least they’re in the library and around books,” Striker said. “It’s one thing for me to tell kids, ‘I don’t care what you read just read.’ It sounds a little different when they see if from their peers.”
Weaver added, “Not just to get (teens) to come here, but to come here for the right reasons.”
TAB President and library employee Lakean Holly said she regularly sees teens come to the library just to use the computers, which is one of her main reasons for joining TAB.
Since the group is just in its infancy, Striker said they are still trying to establish what they’re all about.
“We’re just starting out, so we’re really trying to get the foundation laid for the group,” she said.
Said Weaver, “I think we’ve accomplished a good bit so far.”
Other members of TAB are Erin Strubel, Bailey Bullock and Kolton Reed.
By TY THAXTON
Times staff writer