A few months ago, I wrote about one of the YALSA Excellence in Programming Award recipients, Teen Fashion Apprentice at ImaginOn. ‘ This’ July, we hosted an entire week worth of fashion workshops — Fashion Week at ImaginOn — ‘ in preparation’ for a fashion show.


The teens had explicit instructions for the creation of their fashion masterpieces:’  they must adhere to the theme, “Fashionably Ever After,” and their creations had to be made from 100%’ recycled materials. ‘ Both the literary or fairy tale theme and the challenges of working with unconventional materials lent itself to the creation of an extensive resource guide.’  Read More →

As a Teen Library Services Specialist in an urban library branch, I’m always on the look-out for resources on serving at-risk teens.’  Recently one of my own coworkers here at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Teen Services Manager Angela Craig, published Serving At-Risk Teens: Proven Strategies and Programs for Bridging the Gap with Chantell L. McDowell.

Serving at-risk teens

I sat down with Angela Craig and asked her a few ‘ questions about her book and her work with at-risk teens.

MH: Tell me just a little bit about yourself and your background working with at-risk teens both in and out of the library.’  I understand you have also served teens through the YMCA and as a camp counselor.

AC: I’ve worked with at-risk teens since college.’  I started with a therapeutic horseback riding program called AWARE, which stands for Always Wanted a Riding Experience.’  I took teens who had been in abusive situations and helped them connect with horses.’  It was fantastic.’  Later I took that experience with me to the YMCA where I facilitated outdoor education to teens and school aged children.’  These experiences served me well when I started at the Public Library in 2005.’  I never associated working with at-risk youth and library services, but everything I learned as a camp counselor came in to play later when I was a librarian. Read More →

This is the’ second in a three part series on serving homeless youth in libraries. We invite questions, ideas, and comments for the discussion to continue on this very important topic.

I’m new to Teen Library Services, having started at ImaginOn, a unique children-and-youth-only library within the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library system, only six months ago, but with my background in Girl and Boy Scouting I’m not new to service projects.’  When a coworker suggested that we develop a program addressing child homelessness in our city (Charlotte, NC) to tie in with a photography exhibit in the building, I jumped at the opportunity to create a service project for the teens.

ImaginOn has been hosting a photography exhibit titled “Through Their Eyes.”’  The photographs in the exhibit were taken by homeless children during a summer day camp put on by the local non-profit A Child’s Place.’  This past summer participating children were given digital photography classes provided by David Johnson of Silent Images, and these are the photographs now on display at ImaginOn.’  The photographs serve as a great conversation starter with the teens about child homelessness and how it can affect every aspect of a child’s life. Read More →