How Libraries Could Improve for the Next Generation
I know recreational reading is a dying habit, but I’m still somebody who frequently visits my local library. In the summer, I stay in the library for over 20hrs per week. In the winter, I may visit only once a week. But that’s still better than most!
My library’s chain is pretty impressive. They try to always update their systems and have recently merged with another branch (which is awesome, because the Wyong libraries have a waaaay better YA selection).
However, there are still many improvements I think libraries could change so they’d get more active members.
For instance, my library have impressive communities for children (under 12s) and the elderly. There’s at least three functions for each of those ages, but consider the middle ages. Anywhere from Young Adult to Late-Thirties is completely disengaged. And I know it’s not because they don’t have the audience. They’re just not supplying enough functions or books/entertainment for this demographic.
I would like to see more functions for Young Adults. Including non-bookish things (just like the children and elderly do), maybe a Wii Sports tournament, workshops, cosplay, arts, competitions... the list is endless! Just to have a greater sense of community from teens would be a major improvement.
We have the majority of generations hating the younger, ‘antisocial‘ generation, but what are we actually doing about it?
What do you expect when government engagement is lacking? That awkward 14-17 year olds will just host their own events with a bunch of strangers???
There should be more advocates for reading. I guarantee you, many teens won’t have been urged to read something according to their interests in the past year. Librarians and co-ordinators should interact more, from online to visiting high schools, to get more teens involved. Even if it’s borrowing graphic novels, audiobooks (which I access on the library’s app!!!– that’s perfect for most teens), DVDs for tv shows and movies, music, board games, video games…
There’s so much potential. I’d love to see libraries try to transform the YA community engagement, once and for all. Young Adults are a defined culture. It’s time they were acknowledged in government functions.