Children’s & YA Services

Does Your Library Want to Have a Teen Summer Reading Program?

A teen summer library program can fulfill key parts of your library's mission statement. Most public library mission statements call for equal service for all ages. Yours may also state your library's efforts to encourage life-long learning. A teen summer reading program can help to fulfill these missions. Today's teen is tomorrow's voter. Treat teens with respect and give them programs of their own. They'll be that much more inclined to support your library when that referendum vote comes up. Parents of teens will appreciate your efforts as well, and this can also translate into positive voting and maybe even increased financial support.

The key way that summer library programs for teens are different from those for children is that teens are given the opportunity to take charge of their own library program. This ownership translates into pride in the program and pride in the library. This pride has a direct influence on teen usage of the library and teen behavior in the library.

A summer library program also benefits teens in numerous other ways. The Search Institute has identified 40 developmental assets that "help young people grow up healthy, caring and responsible." The assets are divided into external and internal categories. Some of the external assets are: support, empowerment, boundaries and expectations, and constructive use of time. Some of the internal assets are: commitment to learning, positive values, social competencies, and positive identity. All of these can be addressed with a teen summer library program.

What makes everything even easier is the teen summer reading program manual that is available from your State Library! Everything you need for a summer's worth of passive and active teen programs, including artwork on a CD to use for advertising, is right at your finger tips. If you don't have a manual and would like one, contact Jasmine Rockwell at

summer reading, teens

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