UK Teen Read Week

No one would have believed, in the first years of the twenty-first century, that the YALSA Teen Read Weeks were being watched keenly and closely by intelligences more or less the same as theirs and just as mortal as their own; that as librarians busied themselves about setting up their activities and outreach programmes they were scrutinized and studied, perhaps as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.

The first question that may come up is: “Why a UK Teen Read Week?” It is the first question that popped into my head after I thought hey why not do this?

The answer is simple; I have been involved in UK Teen Library Services for almost 10 years now. I have watched teen library services grow and change – I have even been involved with several services and left them better than they were when I started, well there were more teens using them when I left so that is always a plus.

Librarians that work with teens in libraries are constantly involved in outreach and working with and chatting to teenagers. We run events, visits and activities as frequently as is practicable. We are also very few and far between, and since the cuts there are less of us than there used to be.

There are dozens if not hundreds of teen reading groups, manga groups, movie clubs, craft workshops and short term teen groups running in UK libraries at any one time. How do I know this? Well through Teen Librarian I speak to other Librarians who share my passion for teen services, I count as friends many library staff members that do the good work, some of whom I have actually met. There are others I will meet eventually and one of the things we do do, is talk about what we are doing, share our worries and woes in the teen library service market and share ideas (sometimes).

Librarians that work with teens in libraries are constantly involved in outreach and working with and chatting to teenagers. We run events, visits and activities as frequently as is practicable. We are also very few and far between, and since the cuts there are less of us than there used to be.

For all the work we do I have seen remarkably little sustained publicity about it on a national scale.

So if we all choose one week of the year to shout about what we do and publicise it with prepared publicity material to send to print, radio, television and online press outlets we can make people sit up and take notice. We may be able to inspire new readers, encourage new library users and celebrate the teens that use our services already.

Teen Read Week as I envision it is not and should not be looked upon as an attempt to wedge all teen service offerings into one week but rather to take one week and CELEBRATE what we do, what we have done and share ideas of what we can do to encourage Teens Reading for Pleasure.

The text below is taken from http://teenreadweek.ning.com/page/faq

What is Teen Read Week ?

Teen Read Week is held each year during the third week of October. In 2012, it will be celebrated Oct. 14-20.
Teen Read Week is an national literacy initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. It’s aimed at teens, their parents, librarians, educators, booksellers and other concerned adults.
Teen Read Week’s theme is Read For The Fun Of It. Each year, YALSA offers a new sub-theme to serve as a basis for developing programs in schools, public libraries, and bookstores. The 2012 sub-theme is It Came From the Library, which dares teens to read for the fun of it. The event offers librarians and educators a chance to encourage teens to read for pleasure and to visit their libraries for free reading materials.
Teen Read Week 2012 will be celebrated at thousands of public and school libraries, classrooms, and bookstores across the country. Although teens realize the importance of reading, they have a huge menu of activities to choose from when deciding how to spend their free time, and reading gets lost in the shuffle. Reading skills get rusty when they are not used. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reports that over the last 20 years there have been only modest gains in reading achievement. And although there are many active literacy campaigns, very few efforts focus on teenagers.

I am interested in Teen Read Week, but how do I participate?

There are many ways that you can participate in Teen Read Week. You can offer special programs or activities or simply encourage teens to read. Over the summer, encourage teens to read nominations from the Teens’ Top Ten and then vote for their favorite books online
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I admit this post is still a little rough around the edges, when I first tweeted the idea on Twitter I got a lot of positive feedback and decided to put my rough ideas down and polish them up. I have started looking forwrd into 2013 to see if I can see any dates that are may be feasible, any suggestions in this regard are welcome! If anyone would like to be involved in the organising UK Teen Read Week or would like to suggest ideas for activities please leave a comment on this post. Any suggestions of dates are also welcome.

Phase two of Operation UK Teen Read Week will be to reach outto Librarians, The Book Trust and The National Literacy Trust as well as UK YA Publishers and authors.

2 Thoughts on “UK Teen Read Week

  1. Karen King on October 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm said:

    Hi Matt,

    I think it’s a fab idea – the only problem for me would be its very close to the Write Path dates, in fact would have been the same week this time. Does it have to be the same time as the US one?

    • mattlibrarian on October 18, 2012 at 6:16 am said:

      Good point thank you! I am trying to fit it in somewhere that does not conflict with other activities.

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