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Schlow Library offers several options for teenagers

by on September 27, 2019 12:30 PM

STATE COLLEGE — Libraries and teenagers may seem like an odd match to some, but the fact is libraries, including Schlow Centre Region Library, in State College, have much to offer those who are in the transformative years of adolescence.

In October, libraries across the country will be celebrating teens with TeenTober, a new month-long initiative by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). The month “aims to celebrate teens, promote year-round teen services and the innovative ways teen services help teens learn new skills, and fuel their passions inside and outside the library.”

The event combines past celebrations — Teen Read Week and Teen Tech Week.

“It’s tough for teens these days,” said Maria Burchill, head of adult services at Schlow. “There are very few destinations where friends can meet to spend time without spending money. A library is the perfect space for them.”

Teens who attend the State College Area High School are enjoying a new library at State High this year. School librarian Mark Morath said it’s been a hit with the students.

“State High effectively created a destination, and students are showing up,” he said. “Not only is it your best bet to find a port and charge up, but we are circulating more books than ever before — up 74 percent. Reading is in. We have placed a strong focus on providing students with a mirror opportunity to see themselves represented in what they read. We want diversity and inclusivity to not only be a theme in our halls but also on our shelves, and the students are all about it.”

Schlow also has created a diverse and inclusive space for teens and the rest of the community. The Friday Comics Club is a popular destination for young and new adults who love the genre and enjoy drawing or writing. There’s also the popular Chess and Go clubs. Teens and other members of the community meet each Saturday to develop their strategy and test their skills against other players.

The young adult print and digital collections of books aim to provide a range of stories about teens that are living a variety of experiences such as homelessness or drug addiction. Further, the library has nearly 2,000 graphic novels in its collection, including superhero graphic novels and popular series such as “Ms. Marvel,” “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” and “The Runaways.”

Each summer, hundreds of teens participate in Schlow’s Teen Summer Reading program, where teens read to win prizes.

For teens interested in games, Schlow has a collection of board and video games that can be checked out. Board games include Ticket to Ride, Sushi Go and Scotland Yard. The video games can be played on Wii, WiiU, PS4, Xbox, DS, 3DS and Nintendo Switch. Some of these titles include Halo, Super Mario Odyssey, Lego Batman, The Legend of Zelda and more.

Inside Schlow, there is free WiFi for everyone. When they’re on the go, teens can use their library cards to access Kanopy, Schlow’s free video-streaming service with thousands of independent films and documentaries available; and Flipster, which offers some popular magazine titles such as People and Rolling Stone.

“Research studies have shown that teens are busier than ever,” said Karen Lambert, adult services librarian at Schlow. “At Schlow, we want to provide teens with an inviting space that offers free educational and recreational materials to use in their leisure time. As many teens are digital natives, having grown up with technology, we know that Schlow needs to stay relevant with the upcoming generations.”

David Pencek is the communications director at Schlow Centre Region Library, State College.


David Pencek is communications manager for Schlow Centre Region Library. He can be reached at [email protected]
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