In the South Shore of Massachusetts, a team of young adult librarians meet monthly to discuss ideas, experiences, and future professional plans. Collaboration has become increasingly important in the world of public library services as our role in the community begins to change through incorporation of our expert technology skills, through community partnerships and outreach, and an emphasis on the library as a community space. Although we all serve towns in the South Shore of Massachusetts, the range of demographics, such as ethnicities, affluence, and local cultures within these towns, contributes to a dynamic team of librarians. These other Teen Librarians have guided me towards innovative programming and the creation and relevant use of Teen Spaces.
The South Shore Young Adult Roundtable found a common thread among diverse teens that could not be ignored. The teens shared a love for graphic novels, anime, science fiction, fantasy, as well as mutual upset when they realized they could not afford to go to a Comic Con. This led to the birth of Teen Con South. Not only can the teens enjoy a Con for free, but with the alliance of the 12 libraries, the teens can meet other teens with the same interests from other areas. Teens were invited from towns all over the South Shore, including Pembroke, Scituate, Weymouth, Holbrook, Randolph, Duxbury, Stoughton, Kingston, Abington, Norwell, Braintree and Milton.
The Teen Con was held March 30th at the Duxbury Public Library. The teens and librarians came dressed as their favorite Comic Book or Manga character. Teens dressed like Princess Leigh, Amy Pond from Dr. Who, characters from Hetalia: Axis Powers, Konan from Naruto, and characters from HomeStuck gathered to participate in crafts, blind book “dating,” photo-shoots (with TARDIS) ,and a costume contest. Each teen librarian contributed a theme based activity, or craft project for the teens.
During the Con, presentations were given in a separate lecture hall. The teens enjoyed a Star Wars Symposium, a Superhero Debate, and a special gaming presentation from two teens from Duxbury.
At the end of the Con, the teens used shields that they had decorated and a tube, both made of cardboard, and headed outdoors to the library’s green……. for a DUAL, aka Tube War.
We are overwhelmed by the wonderful turnout and the friendship the teens formed through their common interests. Members of the South Shore Young Adult Roundtable have already begun to plan for next year’s Con.
The Teen Con South could not have happened without the hard work from these Young Adult Librarians and Friends: Ellen Snoeyenbos, Jessica Lamarre, Peter Struzzerio, Lauren Budd, Janet Gallaghar, Elissa Derby, Meaghan Thompson, Emily Calkins, Jenn Malaguti, Hannele Minsk, Dipti Mehta, Ellen Seeburger, Jason Bloom, Jed Phillips