Beyond Books: New club creates teen service opportunities at the library
by Sheena Brown
Originally published in the Chillicothe Gazette, January 15, 2023
Being a teen is hard. I should know, I was one about a hundred years ago. Now, I am raising one. It’s rough. There are still hormone fluctuations and the search for self, but everything else has changed.
My influences came from actual people: the girl who worked at Pizza Hut with the cool hair, or movies like Clueless that inspired my 8th grade wardrobe and the way I spoke (as if!). Now, teens have limitless access to images, articles, and communities full of opinions. All in the palm of their hand. Influencer is an actual career option.
My friends passed handwritten notes in study hall or talked face-to-face to communicate. Now, “connection” is constant. Texting, FaceTime, and social media at all hours. Most interactions take place virtually, sometimes with emojis or gifs doing the talking.
A lot has changed.
There is one thing that hasn’t changed: the importance of genuine connection. Feeling a part of something bigger than ourselves. As a teen, I had no idea how to get involved. I wanted to, but it wasn’t until my thirties that I experienced the positive power of service.
Thankfully, teens today have the Teen Service Council at the Northside Library. Teen Service Council is a club for teens who want to have fun, connect with others, and earn service credits at the same time. The Teen Service Council meets once a month. Members hang out, eat free snacks, and choose service activities for that month. Like most things at the library, there is a huge selection!
Maybe you’re really into Minecraft. Cool, come help other kids learn to play. Maybe you’re creative, artistic, or crafty. Great. Contribute decorating ideas for the Children's Area, make art for the Teen Space, or help make craft kits for other kiddos to take home. Maybe you are an avid reader who has massive amounts of recommendations. Fantastic! Bring those suggestions to the library and make mystery bundles for others to check out.
he beauty of Teen Service Council, aside from the snacks, is that it offers multiple things all in one place. All that’s missing is you.
If you’re in sixth grade or above and you’re ready to get started, simply attend a meeting. The next one is Wednesday, Jan. 25 from 5 to 6 p.m. at our Northside Branch. If you can’t make that happen or want more information, please contact Laura Erwin at 740-702-4145, or check out our events at CRCPL.org.
There is no way I’d ever want to be a teenager again. Especially now. But if it meant I could join Teen Service Council, I may be willing to reconsider.
Sheena Brown is a former boy-band enthusiast and an Enrichment Clerk at the Main Library. You can learn more about Teen Service Council and other programs at CRCPL.org.