Photo Credit: "A Beautiful Young Girl wih a Thoughtful Expression" by BenjaminMiller2651 on Freerange site.
Have you ever looked at the listing for teen advisory boards in Inspire or on the library site and wondered what exactly a teen advisory board is? I get this question fairly frequently since my library is one of three Kitsap Regional Library sites which boasts an active teen advisory board (or TAB for short). A teen advisory board consists of a special group of teen participants who become library stakeholders through their volunteer efforts. Through the process of helping the library plan and implement fun teen events (like cosplay DIY workshops and zombie proms) TAB members acquire a sense of pride and ownership in addition to garnering 21st century skills (like collaboration, technological, communication and leadership skills). In fact, the relationship between the library and its TAB is a very positive one for both sides since it gives the library a "...direct link to the inner workings of the teenage mind" in addition to giving the teen participants the volunteer experience that is required for high school graduation (Thinking Big Advocacy Contest Task Force, 2011). TAB experience also looks great on a job or college application.
Every TAB has a slightly different flavor and focus. My TAB (the Poulsbo Library TAB ) has been focusing on event planning (we are planning to film two humorous library-centric commercials), while the Sylvan Way Library TAB has been focusing on event planning and college/career prep (their February meeting will include resume and cover letter review sessions with Pathways to Success). The Sylvan Way Library also provides a "Teen Town Hall" at the end of every TAB so that teens can speak freely about the issues that matter the most to them.
Wondering if there is a TAB meeting close to you? You are in luck!
The Sylvan Way Library's TAB meets on the first Wednesday of every month from 5:30-7:00. The next meeting is Wednesday, February 3.
Poulsbo Library's TAB meets on the third Friday of every month from 3:30-4:30. The next meeting is Friday, February 19.
Port Orchard Library's TAB meets on the first Monday of every month from 6:00-8:00 in the evening. The next meeting is Monday, February 1.
Please see Kitsap Regional Library's site www.krl.org (under Events and Classes) for library locations and more teen programs. Come join us!
Thinking Big Advocacy Contest Task Force. "Thinking Big About...Teen Advisory Boards and Library Programs." YALSA Blog. ALA, 13 Jan. 2011. Web. 8 Jan. 2016.