I volunteer at the Serra Mesa-Kearney Mesa Branch of the San Diego public library. While there today I was folding the calendars for the month and took a look at the programs offered. They offer quite a variety of programs, but it seems like most are aimed at small children or older adults. For example, they have Hopscotch Tiny Tots Stories and Crafts, Preschoolers Storytime with Grandma Patti, and Cowboy Bob, all aimed at preschool aged children. For pre-teens there is are Chess Classes and Learn to Crochet. For adults there are several exercise classes, job workshops, and book clubs. However, aside from the free tutoring, there are no programs aimed at youth between 14 and adulthood. Given the proximity to several high schools and the large youth population in the area, this really seems like a missed opportunity. I don’t know the library’s reasons for not having a strong presence for teenagers, but I do think reaching out to that population would be a good idea. I’ve noticed on the weekend that there are several high school aged patrons in the library.
Though I didn’t choose the program proposal for my final project, I did think a little about what programs could be beneficial. A book club for teenagers could be a great addition. I remember loving the book club I was in as a teenager because it gave me a chance to read something other than the books assigned in class and gave me a chance to express my opinion about that reading in a more free manner. Other branches also have music, movie, and video game programs that could attract youth patrons. One of the branches has a particularly interesting sounding option for a Teen Library Council that meets to discuss the library’s future programs.
Even if the programs it chose were completely different than those the other branches implement, the Serra Mesa-Kearney Mesa Branch could definitely benefit from implementing at least one program aimed at teenagers.