It’s time to Get Active! @ your library… (like you haven’t been running around anyway!) All this week, libraries and teens will be celebrating Reading for the Fun of It with programs, parties, poetry slams, volunteer activities, book displays and more!
How are you celebrating Teen Read Week? I’ve got my posters up, we’re having a scavenger hunt in the library tomorrow, and the Teen Advisory Council is hosting a Fall Carnival for Kids this weekend. This afternoon, I’ll display as many of the Teens Top Ten nominees as I have on the shelves, and I’ll be encouraging teens to vote online for their favorites.
During Teen Read Week, teens can also vote for next year’s theme, take the reading survey at smartgirl.org, and submit a theme and logo for the 2007 National Library Legislative Day. Publicize all of these great activities with this flyer from YALSA.
Please let us know in the comments how you are celebrating Teen Read Week!
In New York State, the Department of Education just reported that reading scores drop across the state as students enter middle school.
The New York Times articles quotes the New York education commisioner, Richard P. Mills:
“The overall pattern is disturbing,” Mr. Mills said at a news conference in Albany. “Literacy is the problem. This pattern is not inevitable. This pattern has to change. All youngsters have to emerge from middle school ready for high school. We still have a lot of work to do.” He added: “We have to do something different. We have to change our tactics, our curriculum, our approach.”
Something different? How about encouraging children and teens to Read for the Fun of It® – not just for tests and scores, but to learn about subjects that they’re interested in and to explore new worlds and adventures. As librarians, we know that literacy improves when teens read for pleasure on a regular basis – heck, it’s one of the 40 developmental assets for adolescents. While teachers and administrators are bound by the No Child Left Behind Act and the increased emphasis on tests, librarians have an opportunity to reach out to kids that are overwhelmed by middle school and the pressures that come along with it.
While getting ready for Teen Read Week™, look up what’s happening with your state or school district’s reading scores. Discussing how the school or public library can help develop teens’ lifelong literacy skills with teachers and administrators can be a valuable promotion.
Think like a marketer – take a look at this Teen Market Profile, which “delivers a complete picture of the demographics, media usage, product consumption and lifestyle choices of America’s teenagers (ages 12 to 19).”
The report resides on the Magazine Publishers of America’s website, and offers a focused look at teens and their interests (and how those interests are viewed by the market forces trying to sell to teens). For example:
Many Teens feel that “most grownups are really stressed out,” and they don’t want to follow this example. “Being really good at your job” and having “control in your life” are important components of Teens’ definition of success. But, they also value relationships — family is very important to them, and a good marriage is a sign of success.
Teens today understand the need to be able to turn on a dime because they live with short-term change and volatility on a day-to-day basis. Unlike previous eras, Teens also live with paradox, realizing that their choices are filled with a mix of good and bad. Even so, they have a strong sense of empowerment and believe that they can conquer any challenge, actively seeking out causes to support. They are self assured, with three-quarters or more of them agreeing with the statements “I trust my own judgment a lot” and “I have a very clear idea of my objectives and goals in life.”
All of this will be of interest to librarians – take a look at the lists of top magazines read by teens, the survey of teen attitudes to technology, and the section on “Teens and Education.”
As you plan for Teen Read Week®, consider the information here — TRW is a great opportunity to market to teens in your community about the wonderful services and products that the library has to offer!