JennyJennifer Schureman, head of Youth Services/YA Librarian from the Gloucester County Library System in New Jersey is one of the Teen Read Week 2013 Dollar General Literacy Foundation recipients. Her programming caught the eye the Teen Read Week Committee for its innovation, and incorporation of the Teen Read Week theme on such a large scale.

Here’s more about her Teen Read Week 2013 program:


Your Teen Read Week 2013 program is “Seeking the Secrets of NJ” can you briefly explain this and tell us what was your inspiration, and who was involved in planning this amazing adventure?
The inspiration for our program “Seeking the Secrets of NJ” came about because 2014 is the 350th Birthday of the State of New Jersey.’  It was the first time that I could incorporate such a commemorative event into the theme of Teen Read Week “Seek the Unknown @ your library”.’  The entire Youth Services Department of the Gloucester County Library System got together to share their amazing ideas about how to make this program fun and exciting for our teens.’  The program that emerged from this meeting will be both fun and informative for the teens.’  A “statewide scavenger hunt” is the basis of the program.’  Teens will perform activities including geocaching, internet searches, and code breaking along with traditional scavenger hunt clues, to uncover little known facts about the State of New Jersey.

A lot of work goes into planning Teen Read Week programming, yet sometimes programming hinges on obtaining the Dollar General Literacy Foundation grant – what was your reaction when you heard your programming won a grant? Your teens?
I was ecstatic when I found out we had won the grant, without it we wouldn’t have been able to afford the materials needed to put on a system-wide program.’  My Teen Advisory Board was equally excited when I told them the news, since many of them are planning on participating in the program.

Please share advice/tips or tricks in planning Teen Read Week programming and writing a winning Dollar General Literacy Foundation application.
I think the best advice I can give when it comes to writing a Teen Read Week programming grant is to talk to your teens.’  They have such great ideas, that I often find myself saying “Why didn’t I think of that?”.’  Like many other Teen Librarians, I like to feel like I know what the teens want, but find more often than not, that I miss the mark.’  Also, I have a great and supportive Administration, and keeping them involved also helps with the process.’  While I can write about programming, I find that my Director often helps me iron out the kinks when it comes to the more “statistical and administrative” areas of the grant.

Stacy Vandever Wells is an at liberty youth librarian who spends her time reading, writing and volunteering at large. Find her at @stacyvwells.

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