TRW 2013: Dollar General Literacy Foundation Spotlight on Patricia VanArsdale

Today we wrap up our Teen Read Week posts with our final Dollar General Literacy Foundation Grant Recipient, Patricia VanArsdale. Patricia is Teen Services Librarian at Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library in Zionsville, Indiana. Isn’t it a beautiful library? Keep reading to see how Patricia involves the teens in her library and what she did for Teen Read Week.

Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library Zionsville, Indiana

1. Describe your TRW YALSA/Dollar General Literacy Foundation Grant.

Our library had one TRW program on the calendar, but the grant allowed us to offer three additional programs to our teens.  The first is a Hunger Games meal based on passages in the books.  Over the summer, teen volunteers poured through two cookbooks based on the book series.  It was a challenge since our library does not have a stove or an oven, but we found some great recipes.  The second program will bring in Barbara Shoup, a young adult novelist and Executive Director of the Indiana Writer’s Center.  Teens will learn what it takes to be a writer and how to navigate the realities of a writer’s life.  The third program is a reading marathon.  This will take place over fall break and get teens out of the house and into the library.  Each teen attending will get a free book and a free bookmark.  While many teens think they cannot read for three hours, they will learn how easy it is to accomplish something like this when you have stretching breaks, snacks and activities to break up a large chunk of time.  The fourth program gives us an opportunity to reach out to the schools by making “blinkybugs.”  These spider-like creatures have LED lights, a battery body and guitar string antennae.  Vibrations and movement cause the antennae to touch the LED lights, which light up the eyes of the bugs.  It is a great opportunity to do outreach and collaborate with schools and help reinforce the STEM initiative.

2. Tell us a little about your teen patrons.

Our town has just more than 3,200 students in grades 6-12.  We typically have 500-600 teens visit the library regularly and participate in summer reading and read more than 1.6 million pages over a nine week period.  Our library also has a very active Teen Council, which celebrated their 15 year anniversary this month.  Teen Council consists of around 25 students in grades 7-12 who meet once a month to plan programs, write grants and help select a teen author for a visit every other year.

3. Do you have any pictures you’d like to share of your teen space?

Thank you Patricia for your time and thanks for promoting Teen Read Week with  your teens.

Karin PerryAssistant Professor, Department of Library Science
Sam Houston State University
kperry@shsu.edu

@kperry

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