New York Library Association. - The eBulletin

Back to School, Back to the Library

by Chrissie Morrison, YSS President

Fall has always been my favorite season.  Not only was I one of the nerdy kids who celebrated the return of school each year, but I also looked forward to fall activities like soccer, drama club, and apple picking – not to mention my birthday and Halloween.  (Yes, my birthday is technically still in summer… but it’s after Labor Day, and that is “fall enough” for me!)  

Now that I work as a YA Librarian, I have even more reasons to look forward to fall.  Fall means that I’ve lived through another year of summer reading and that I will see my “regulars” again.  Though I’m sure this isn’t the case in every library, most of my library teens who come on a daily basis during the school year don’t have a reliable way to get to the library during the summer and live too far away to safely walk here; I end up with a completely different group of teens during the summer.  I’m still amazed by how little cross-over exists between my school year teens and my summer teens, but I’ve not yet given up on attracting the summer teens to our school year events.  
After all, who wouldn’t want to come to Teen Library Council (TLC) meetings, where they get to make suggestions about programming and materials – and then get “paid” in ice cream sundaes for their work?  I’m shocked that the teens who read so voraciously over the summer don’t usually attend our BYOB (Bring Your Own Book) Book Clubs, but I’m looking into ways to advertise and incentivize these programs.  (Feel free to contact me with ideas that have worked for you!)  My library has also decided that we should partner with the local middle school and run some programs in the evening to attract more middle schoolers to our teen events (which are actually open to grades 6-12).

One of my very favorite things every fall is our Teen Read Week (TRW) Lock-In.  The library closes at 5pm on Saturday, and the teens get exclusive use of the library for five hours!  We start with dinner and a movie and then move on to other activities, like a library-wide scavenger hunt.  While I know that not everyone has the staffing [or permission] to do lock-in events, I sincerely hope that every library makes an effort to participate in TRW in some form.  To that end, I have created a flyer about ways that libraries can participate in TRW.  For access to that flyer – and to help YSS track all the libraries that participate – please sign up @

Happy Fall!