Janesville29.6°

Teen Central

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Jamie Swenson
February 8, 2012

If you haven’t been to the library lately (or if you haven’t been a teen lately), you might not be aware of how amazing the teen area at the library is these days.

Back when I was a teen, the “teen section” at the Janesville Public Library consisted of about one book stack and a few circular paperback stands. Programming for teens? Basically, non-existent at that time. It wasn’t that teens weren’t welcome back then … it’s just that … well, I guess nobody knew what to do with us. We weren’t kids. We sure weren’t adults, and let’s face it – with nothing to actually do at the library – I’m guessing we were not all that well behaved. Plus, the whole young adult novel didn’t really come into vogue until a bit later.

And then it happened. Publishers realized that there was a market for teen books.

Not only did teens want to read about themselves – they were willing to buy books too! And with the books came the question of, “Where should we put these? Certainly not in the children’s room … and probably not in the adult room …” “Maybe we need a teen room?”

Flash forward XX years and voilŕ – not only does the Hedberg Public Library offer a relaxing, audiobook, graphic novel, videogame, computer and book-filled young adult space – but the programming now available to teens is plentiful, creative, and cool too.

Janesville teens most likely don’t know (or actually care) – but they owe their fabulous teen services to the vision of many retired people, such as retired Head of Children’s Services, Cathy Norris. Of course, all of the work of the past would be for naught if the current ‘keepers of the faith’ didn’t equally understand and value teen services (SHOUT OUT to Sharon Grover, Head of Youth Services, and Laurie Bartz, Young Adult Librarian extraordinaire).

I mean, seriously, look at this place. My sixteen year old self would have loved it. And I soooooo would have been getting my outfit together for Zombie Prom on Friday the 13th (of April).

Here’s a glimpse at upcoming teen events (for Hedberg purposes – teens are anyone sixth grade through seniors in high school).

College Goal Wisconsin Saturday, February 18 @ 2 p.m.

For high school seniors, parents and adult students. FREE information and one-on-one assistance filling out the FAFSA – the federally required form for students seeking financial aid – such as grants and loans. No registration required.

College Access Advising Session Thursday, March 1 from 6:30 - 8 p.m.

Walk-in session for high school seniors, parents and adult students. Get one-on-one help from Tou Ya Khang, College Access Advisor, with questions about finding money for college, completing the FAFSA, or admission and application requirements. Woodruff Training Lab. No registration required.

Store Your Stuff: Keepsake Boxes Saturday, March 3 from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Deck out a box for storage of medals, ribbons, jewelry, photos, coins, trading cards, phone and music accessories or other important keepsakes. Supplies provided. Call 758-6585 or visit the Children’s Desk to register.

Teen Techno Jewelry Tuesday, March 6 from 4-6 p.m.

Drop in to Teen Central and make a key chain, ring or bracelet using small computer parts in honor of Teen Tech Week. No registration required.

Friday the 13th After Hours: Zombie Prom Friday, April 13 from 7-10 p.m.

Zombie King & Queen Costume Contest. DJ and dance floor. Food. Photos. Prompt pick-up by 10 p.m. Pre-Registration REQUIRED by calling 758-6585 by Wednesday, April 11. NO WALK-INs.

ZOMBIE PROM??? That is so awesome. Call 758-6585 to register for events, or for further information. If only zombies had been cool in 1986 – it was all about Freddy Krueger back then – and no way was I going to any prom with him! Happy Reading.

Some photos from past programs:

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