Unleash Your Story Workshops with Dover Public Library

Every Tuesday, the Dover Public Library hosts a fun and engaging program just for Teens. From cooking competitions to art studios to spa days, our Teen Tuesdays strive to provide something for everyone. We’re very excited to continue this tradition with the Unleash Your Story series.

Whether we tell a true story or something from our imagination, the stories we tell are powerful. They represent important parts of our cultures, interests, and lives. There are many different ways to tell a story. Some tell stories through art, some through writing, some through video… The possibilities are endless.

This fall, supported by the 2017 YALSA/Dollar General Teen Read Week™ Program Grant, the Dover Public Library is exploring ways teens can share their own stories with a series of workshops based on the Teen Read Week™ theme: Unleash Your Story. We’re starting with an Art Studio where teen participants will get to use drawings, paintings, and comics to tell their stories.  Next in our series is a Creative Writing event which will allow participants to practice writing with prompts and games, connect with other writers, and leave with resources that will help them continue to practice and share their work. The third workshop will focus on video creation. Teens will work on a storyboard, shoot video, and edit their videos in the library’s Technology Room. Our final workshop is a Stop Motion Animation Studio. Using new software, special camera equipment, and various art supplies, teens will learn how to make their own animated videos.

Our Teen Read Week™ festivities conclude on October 10 with a special screening event for all participants to share their work. Teen favorite activities from the workshops will also be available for anyone who wants to try a new project, and refreshments will be served.

In planning our series of Teen Read Week™ events, I wanted to use the strengths of our Teen Program:

1 Teen Tuesdays – a program every Tuesday at 3:00 PM

2 Local teens’ interest in Art

3 Relationship with the Schools

All of the events in the series are part of our Teen Tuesdays. We have been doing programs this day and time for years and have a good foundation of regular participants, anywhere from 10 to 22 teens.

At our library, art programs always draw a crowd. Our creative local teens love messy Art Studio events, like our splatter painting program. I used this interest to our advantage by scheduling the Art Studio for the first Teen Tuesday of the fall to get the teens’ attention and start the series with a bang.

Finally, in planning this series, I wanted to make sure we were able to work with our local schools. Initially, I only planned on having extra handouts and materials available at the Middle School and High School Libraries as a passive program. This would allow teens who were too busy to come to the Teen Tuesday events to also benefit from the programs, although in a very abridged way. Now, having been recruited by the Middle School for their after-school program, I will be able to offer workshops on art, writing, and video making at the school itself. This is a very exciting opportunity for students who usually miss out on Teen Tuesday events to participate in the Unleash Your Story series in a more complete way.

We hope the Unleash Your Story series engages and inspires teen creators to use the techniques they learned to explore all the different ways they can share their stories, now and in the future.

No matter how we may choose to tell it, everyone has a unique story to share. This is just one of the lessons we hope teens learn at the Dover Public Library this fall.

Liz Strauss is the Teen Librarian at the Dover Public Library in Dover, Ohio.

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