‘No shush’ library launches programs aimed at teens
More than 100 people visited the Coffee County Lannom Memorial Library in November to have their picture taken with a large, blue replica of a British police box — known to fans of the British science-fiction television series “Dr. Who” as the craft in which The Doctor travels through Time and Relative Dimension in Space (TARDIS).
Children’s librarian Sharon Edwards commissioned husband Brock and their friend Derrick Hill to build the TARDIS for the library’s three-night celebration of the series’ 50th anniversary.
After the event, Edwards noted, “A lot of teens came for the Doctor Who thing.”
In an effort to keep them coming, Lannom Memorial has joined a national campaign called “Geek the Library.”
“We’re using “geek” as a verb to mean anything you’re passionate about,” said Edwards. “Because whatever you’re passionate about, and whatever your into, the library has it.”
The six-month Geek the Library event launches at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30 at Lannom Memorial with a Dewey Decimal scavenger hunt, library knowledge trivia game, and geek photos.
Children’s librarian Sharon Edwards arranges new releases and “teen picks” in the Young Adult section of Coffee County Lannom Memorial Public Library. Edwards is initiating a number of new programs to attract teens to the library.
— Staff Photo by Kelly Lapczynski
“We’re going to have photo booths where they dress in black and we superimpose over them ‘I geek superheroes’ or ‘I geek time lords.’ Whatever they geek,” said Edwards. “It’s really cool and people can make it their profile picture. It’s that kind of out-of-the-box thinking that gets them here.”
“It’s more than just the words on the page, it’s activities.”
The Geek the Library campaign, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is presented nationwide by nonprofit library cooperative OCLC. The campaign features advertising, social networking and grassroots community initiatives to raise awareness about the importance of properly funding libraries.
The website, geekthelibrary.org, provides information on how to support local libraries.
In addition to “geeking” the library, Edwards is also initiating a local program called Teen Tuesday. On the last Tuesday of every month, teens are invited to the library to discuss the books that excite them.
“Teen Tuesday is my attempt to do a book club with teens. Rather than try to get everybody to read the same book, though, I thought I’d have them talk about books that they love and have them try to get everybody else to read it.”
The Teen Tuesday program kicks off Jan. 28 from 4 to 5 p.m.
Teen programming at the library even has its own Facebook page now, thanks to Edwards. Lannom Library’s Teen Scene can be found at facebook.com/lannomlibraryforteens.
On that page, teens can find more information about the programs outlined here as well as a link to 60 book titles to add to their 2014 Young Adult reading lists.
On Tuesday of this week, library patrons were treated to a short performance by the Manchester Millennium Repertory Company’s Teen Actor’s Guild (TAG), a theatre group for performers ages 13- 19.
Edwards explained the unusual practice of having actors project their lines in such a setting. “We are a ‘No-Shush’ library.”
Young actors Charlotte Stephens, Tori Hinshaw, and Mary Margaret Edwards performed a 5-minute “sneak peak” of the guild’s upcoming production “Stage Door.” The Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman play opens tonight at the Manchester Art Center, 128 E. Main Street, and runs weekends through Jan. 26.
Rachel Garrard, 22, who co-directed the show with Manchester’s Noel Clements, said tickets could be purchased online at millenniumrep.org.