When The Library Becomes More Than Your Childhood

When The Library Becomes More Than Your Childhood

With the amount of stress and work high schoolers have to deal with, the last place they might want to go is the library. Teens do not want to spend more time learning and reading.  However, there is more to a library than just books. The library offers many programs to stimulate people for all ages in various ways. While there are many libraries to discuss from our own EHS Media Center to the famous New York library with its iconic lion-flanked entrance, the Eagle’s Eye would like to spotlight The Edison Public Library and its offerings. 

Because of the pandemic, the Edison Public library has increased the amount of teen programs. The newly-converted remote setting of various library programs has facilitated newfound teen participation. These programs also match different interests, appealing to a wider group of young adults. 

Some of the programs for teens include trivia nights and creative art programs. Other reading programs include book clubs and writing stories. With teen interests in mind, the library also hosts rant sessions known as Tea Time.

The Teen Advisory Board provides a space for teenagers to become involved in organizing and making decisions for the community.

— Isha Malaviya ‘22

“The purpose of all the programs is to get involved in the community, as well as learn about new topics,” Mr. Jeff Harrison, Teen Librarian, said. “But also, they are meant to be fun for everyone involved.” All the programs the library hosts are free, allowing for the involvement of all people within a community, as Harrison mentioned.

While the advisors at the library are the instructors, a newly started program has made some adjustments. The library recently started the Teen Advisory Board, or TAB. “Teen Advisory Board is a group of teenagers that want to spread more information about the library and all the things that it offers to people in the community,” said Nikita Badlani ‘23, a TAB member. The members of the board, who meet twice a month, initiate and lead different programs at the library. 

“The Teen Advisory Board provides a space for teenagers to become involved in organizing and making decisions for the community, which are useful skills for their futures,” said Isha Malaviya ‘22, another TAB member. With the ability to start new programs, students are able to express their creativity. Ideas for the future include volunteer opportunities and tutoring sessions.

“Any teen in Edison can join the board. Coming to the meetings and working on events and projects also counts towards volunteer hours,” said Harrison.

The library has faced many challenges in the past year, but one of its biggest issues is drawing teens into their programs. There have been several instances in which no one showed up for certain programs. The main purpose of the creation of TAB is to support teens and their interests.

“Teens need a safe place to explore their interests while enjoying themselves and making friendships at the same time,” said Samantha Bozzone ‘23, a TAB member. While the current generation has outgrown the library physically, they remain connected in various ways, and can be further connected by visiting the Edison Public Library’s website or contacting them.

“We look forward to getting input about the programming we offer and finding out what Edison teens would like to see from the library in the future,” said Harrison.