By Polly Keary, Editor
Books might be becoming an anachronism in the electronic age, but libraries are not. The Monroe Library offers a host of services and programs for the most tech-savvy teen, and new Teen Librarian Lindsay Hansen is there to help them make the most of what the library has for them.
Hanson, a Pacific Northwest native with a degree in library science, took the place of Chuck Pratt, who moved on to take a job in Stanwood.
Since taking over, Hanson has been working to make young people aware of how the library can help them.
“We have a ton of stuff,” she said. “I do teen programming, and manage the teen collection of books and do outreach for high schools, talking about databases available for research and homework.”
Kids, for example, can get free help with their studies through a program called HelpNow.
“It’s great,” said Hanson. “There’s live tutors you can talk to from 1-10 p.m., and kids can log on and talk with them.”
There is also a writing lab that’s available to teens and adults, alike.
“Students or adults can submit essays or resumes, and someone will look over it and send it back,” said Hanson.
There is also a massive amount of information available to help with research, culture studies, science, state and national histories and more, at students’ various reading levels.
And for kids who write, a young writers’ group, a new version of the popular Wednesday Night Writers group, will begin meeting the first Wednesday of March and every Wednesday thereafter from 5:30-6:30 p.m. It will be lead by successful mystery novelist Bernadette Pajer, who also facilitates the adult’s group.
But libraries aren’t all just about intellectual work. They can be about having fun, too.
“There’s a teen gaming program once a month,” said Hanson. “Our next one is Wed, March 15, 3-5 p.m. We have a Wii, an XBox with Kinect, Dance Dance Revolution and Mario Kart.”
Hanson doesn’t want to guess what teen’s want. She wants teens to decide what they want for themselves.
So she invites teens to participate in the Monroe Teen Advisory Board, which will hold its first meeting under Hanson’s direction on Tuesday, March 5, from 3:30-5 p.m.
The board is scheduled to meet once a month to talk about what kind of programs they want, as well as decide on other aspects of the teen experience at the library.
“It lets them be leaders,” said Hanson.
The options are wide open, she said, mentioning that there is a budget to allow for some special events or programs.
“Anything they want to do that’s legal,” she said.