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Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Buttons for Bibliophiles – Teens, TABs and Fundraising
Submitted by Emily Sanders, Teen Services Librarian, Barrett
Memorial Library, Williams Bay
Examples of some of the Buttons for Bibliophiles - submitted
It is my goal every day to create an atmosphere in my
library that is inviting and exciting for the teens in my area. Teens are
interesting for a number of reasons, one being that they are in a very unique
place in life…Not quite adults, but
certainly not children. They are constantly experiencing the world in new and
exciting ways.I love talking with
teenagers, I love hearing their opinions, and I love watching them grow into
themselves. I wanted to make sure when a teen walked through our doors they
felt like they were welcome. In many
cases my teens had something to say about things they wanted to see happen in
our Library. With that being said, it felt like the natural next step was to
start a Teen Advisory Board.
Our teens have great ideas! Some of them are as simple as
asking for a cork board to post ideas on, others are larger than life and
require a much larger budget than I have… but I never want to flat out say no.
This is where the idea of fundraising came from. We had invested in a button
maker a few summers ago. We would bust it out for programming every once in a
while but for the most part it lived in our craft closet.
We started making buttons in February of 2016, around
Valentine’s Day.We had one T.A.B
meeting devoted to button designs, and creations! They decided to call their
fundraiser “Buttons for Bibliophiles.” The teens were coming in after school on
non-meeting days because they had an idea for a button. Soon, we had teens who
had never stepped through our door come to buy buttons.We have a few teens who are photographers who
now turn their art into buttons that we sell up at the front desk.
We had a Teen Advisory Board lock-in last July where the
teens met at the library after hours and made buttons. We blasted music, ate
lots of junk food, and designed cool buttons. Some kids worked together, others
wanted to work solo. We utilized every computer in the library, and by the end
of the night we had a new batch of buttons. We plan on doing this every
semester to keep our collections fresh. Making these buttons also offers me new
insight into our teens, what they like, and who they are.
Not everyone is interested in buying buttons but most people
ask what they are for. I love talking to our community about the work the teens
do for our library. We have pizza at every meeting and because of the “Buttons for
Bibliophiles” fundraiser the teens are able to supply it out of their budget.
I believe in giving our teens some ownership over what
happens in our library so at the beginning of each semester I ask the teens
what project they want to lead, this year it’s a Harry Potter Party in the
beginning of December. The teens are in charge of decorations, food, and
activities. They are able to dip into their funds and can buy whatever they
want for their event.
Buttons for Bibliophiles has been a great source of fun and
creativity for our teens!