Teens support library programs and director
Yes, that is Nancy Levin, Heights Libraries director, duct-taped to a wall. This was the work of the Teen Advisory Board (TAB), which comprises a group of students who design and advocate for events that they would like to see at the library. They also raise funds to enable teen programming to continue and improve.
“When the teens are the ones making the decisions, there is a lot more momentum from them to make these programs happen, whether it is the Teen Poetry Slam, Teen Movie Zone or the Teen Spot,” said Jessica Robinson, youth services librarian.
Last year, TAB held a bake sale to fund the Teen Tech Week program. The group has been the spark for other programs, from science-related experiments to the nerd-fighter meet-up and, most recently, the Middle Earth walk-off event. The group also helped promote the programs to other teens and provide the manpower and volunteer time to set up for these events.
A recent event that benefitted from TAB’s involvement was the 15th Annual Poetry Slam. Sixteen teenage poets performed for an audience of more than 60. While community partners, such as Lake Erie Ink and Heights High, contributed greatly to the event’s success, said Robinson, “it wouldn’t exist without the efforts of the Teen Advisory Board."
So why did Levin allow herself to beduct-taped to the wall? It was a fundraiser put on by TAB on Friday, Jan. 10. Selling strips of duct tape for $2 each, the teens made more than $100 and successfully anchored Levin to the wall without any other support.
TAB occupies a special place in Levin’s heart. She explained,“Teen advisory boards are a staple in public libraries. They are created to harness the energy of our young adults and to help them become engaged in the creation of exciting and productive programming for their age group. In addition, it gives them leadership opportunities where they can hone skills used later in the workplace or in college.”
Teens interested in joining the Teen Advisory Board can call 216-932-3600 or talk to any Heights Library staff member.
Julia Murphy is the marketing assistant for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library.