On Monday night at the Syosset Public Library's TeenSpace, H.B. Thompson Middle School students Eric and Abby sat at the desk of librarians Sharon Long and Pam Strudler.
These two students however, were not there seeking book recommendations or homework advice. Instead, they were advising the librarians as part of
The Board, which meets once a month, offers teens the chance to give their input about what programs and materials they would like to see their library offer. The meetings are open to any teenagers and give the librarians valuable feedback to help shape programming that is stimulating and useful to the population they serve.
"We're flexible- that's the number one thing," said Mrs. Long, who is the Teen Services Librarian and leader of the board.
Students' suggestions have inspired programs such as the upcoming Holiday Crafts and "Glee" night on Monday December 6, as well as the Syosset Library Teen Open Mic Night being held on Friday, December 10.
Past ideas generated by the Teen Advisory Board have included last week's activities in which the students made puzzles for children and wrote letters for sick children and adults as well as veterans. They have also held origami making programs, art and knitting clubs, as well as input towards the Syosset Library Blog and video game collection.
The students and librarians brainstorm ideas for future events, community service opportunities, library clubs and even what video game and book titles the library should order for its teens. Ideas discussed at the November 22 meeting included potential programs for ornament decorating, snowflake making, candy sushi, a "back to school" panel, and even a proposal for a Harry Potter event - which would tie in with the recent and upcoming movie releases.
The group also discussed ideas for Syosset Library's upcoming 50th Anniversary, which will take place in June and feature programming commemorating the 1960s as well as the library's annual summer reading program.
"If you come up with a good idea, you can get to go to your event," said Eric, a student board member.
Librarians said that attending the meetings is considered community service by Syosset schools and is a great way for teens to help the library keep in touch with what services are desired by the teen community.
The group also provides input to the librarians about books in the teen section that are either outdated or not useful. Abby, another student board member said that pulling out and looking at the old books "was so much fun," she said. "I could do that for hours!"
Syosset teens interested in getting involved with the Teen Advisory Board are invited to attend the next meeting, which will be held Monday, December 20 from 7:00 -8:00p.m. For more information about the TeenSpace, the Teen Advisory Board as well as other upcoming Library programs or events, consult the Library newsletter, website or the Syosset Public Library TeenSpace page on Facebook.