So today we began some preliminary interviews so that we could devise a survey for all of you fine young people. This survey will allow us to understand more fully what you guys are into and help us to put some programming and events that we know that you know you would enjoy. The median age of Dan and me is only 25.5 so we’re not in pine boxes just yet, but a lot has changed since our middle and high school days. Call me a dinosaur but I remember life without cell phones, internet or even Nintendo (why in my day all we had was Atari and we had to walk 15 miles in the snow uphill both ways without shoes, just to play a single round of Frogger and we liked it gosh darn it!)
So we first set about talking to all of the teens that volunteer here in the library. We talked to Mina, Megan,, and Emma. And later on we talked to Matt and Ben .When asked what they were interested in they gave us the following responses:
-Twilight, Harry Potter
-Music (wanted to see some Live Music & Music Workshops at the library)
-Art (wanted to see some Art Workshops, which Emma was especially interested in Photography)
-Dancing (wanted some dance workshops)
-Sports: field hockey, football, snowboarding & Ski especially
-Movies @ KPL
-Ben Said “Video Games, Movies, Sports and Music!”
Next I asked them about what online services they frequented most:
-Myspace.com, also Myspace Music
-Keene High School Site
-365tomorrows.com (daily sci-fi short stories)
-failblog.org (for comic enjoyment)
Next we talked about what they did after school; here are some of their responses:
-Homework: Usually done at home at their desk, online or on the dining room table and at a rate of 5-8 hours/day
-Driver’s Ed. ($500+ …. whoa….)
-Volunteer: KPL, Big Brothers Big Sisters
-Hang out with Friends
-Team Sports: Basketball, Soccer
-Theatre/Drama Club: 5 Shows/Year ….another Whoa…
Next we brainstormed some ideas for what we feel our community needs, or what we want in our community that maybe the Keene Public Library could offer.
-Art Gallery: Community run, showcasing the works of all ages, styles, and mediums of primarily locals of the Monadnock Region, free of charge with a suggested donation or rather an openness and acceptance of donations.
-Free (or discounted) Volunteer Drivers Ed. Program
-A really nice park
-More volunteer programs
-Weekly Teen Programming: Matt suggested a weekly Dungeons and Dragons day, and we thought maybe Fridays 5pm-9pm in the Kay Fox Room would be a good idea.
And finally (I only thought of this after talking to the young women) I asked Ben and Matt why they volunteer.
Matt- Required, had volunteered in the past, nothing to do, so… why not? Realized he wanted to make his community a better place, and provided he’s able (has transportation) he’s willing. He started out volunteering at Bellows Falls Library in the Young Adult Department because the Young Adult Department of the Library was one of the few places a young person like himself could go, have fun and get engaged in consistent youth oriented programs. This gave him a greater sense of purpose and insight into his unique potential and to some future career opportunities, because he reasoned that if he was already doing it for free, maybe later in life he could actually get paid for it all.
Ben- Community service- Colleges love it! Volunteering is a free service that allows the library (or the organization serviced) to do a lot more. He spent time in his local library and figured that it was only right to give back to what had given so much.
Something Mina talked about was a group she is involved with in the community called Green Keene Teens. She and some friends felt the need to go above and beyond their High School Sierra Club and decided to put together a more community oriented organization that helps to provide green products and services in the City of Keene. For example they make their very own Laundry detergent which they sell at $5/gallon, greencils- pencils made from recycled materials, recycled jewelry, they’ve volunteered at Stonewall Farm, and the recycling center, they even had a table at this years Solarfest on the KSC campus. They just started in February but are quickly taking action and enacting change in their community! They also happen to have their meetings right here in the Keene Public Library, their next meeting is on August 4th @ noon in the Trustees Room on the 2nd floor. You can find their products at Ocean State job Lot and at Hannah Grimes. For more info you can find them at the web at greenkeeneteens.com
Dan and I also helped out at our “BugFest: A Library Insect Extravaganza” which we held downstairs in the Kay Fox room. Kids stopped by to make insect masks of their own design ingeniously led by the improbable Sean, play insect bingo or take an insect quiz to win a free insect (don’t worry they were plastic) complete with a Bug Box (that look curiously enough like a Chinese take out box….hmmmm..), watch slide shows of insects that help us (people) and those that don’t (bad bug, bad bug) or dragonflies, view real live honey bees makin’ honey, lunar moths, aquatic insects (and leeches too! …. wait…. yucky…) AND SO MUCH MORE!