The Future of Libraries Gives Teens New Opportunities

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Libraries are often overlooked for the opportunities they offer. However, as of late, libraries across San Diego have been taking a more progressive approach to their establishments.

Both City of Carlsbad public libraries implemented new and improved promotions to attract teens and young adults to come in and have time to themselves.

Photo taken by Ari Beckett
The City of Carlsbad Libraries implement reading programs to incentivize their users to read more. The author of “The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein” has been the focal point of the reading program and was set to make an appearance on March 10.

In recent years, with the introduction of online books and more instant entertainment from the internet, libraries have been challenged to rethink their approach, especially when it comes to young students, the epitome of internet savvy people. For many people, when they think of a library, they see it as a one dimensional — books, books and more books — with little to no incentive to go to. The City of Carlsbad uses this mentality to spark a new interest in the public to walk through the doors of either the Georgina Cole or Dove library located in Carlsbad Village and La Costa.

Photo taken by Ari Beckett
Chocolate and candy bars are given out to those who write reviews on book chapters. Librarians have used this as a way to branch out to a younger demographic of scholars.

They encourage young learners by providing them space to express themselves. Some of the opportunities the city offers them include ukulele classes, sewing classes, homework zones, guest speakers and many more unique incentive based concepts. It is common for the library to put on promotions where a student can write a book review and get a free candy bar.

SCHS student, Samantha Low, has had first-hand experiences with what there is to offer through her time as a volunteer at the library.

“There’s a bunch of people in a room and you start sewing. And you make these quilts for trauma patients, and all the people are really cool and sweet,” Low said.

Photo taken by Ari Beckett
Sewing classes are given on miscellaneous weekdays throughout the month. The quilts made are then given to trauma patients in support of the Sewing for a Cause program.

Low touched briefly on the fact that libraries are doing more than ever to bring in new customers through their programs, and Sage Creek Librarian Cathy Asker can attest to that as well.

“The lives of teens are changing, and so trying to keep up with those changes in your life means that librarians need to think of other ways to stay relevant,” Asker said.

The Sage Creek library has recently undergone a few changes in these times of technology. Recently, students have seen the desktops move out of the computer area in the library in exchange for use of borrowable Chromebooks and empty desks.

Asker explained how she “fights” to allow gaming on computers in Sage Creek’s library.

Photo taken by Ari Beckett
The City of Carlsbad Libraries implement reading programs to incentivize students to read more. The author of “The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein” has been the focal point of the reading program and was set to make an appearance on March 10.

“If I took away games, there would be a huge portion of our population that would never enter these [library] doors,” Asker said.

Along with opportunities to play games in the Sage Creek library, the Carlsbad City Library offers many programs to expand skills such as sewing and utilize free apps such as Kanopy, a movie streaming service.

As the lives of students change and become more inundated with technology the insides of libraries are changing with it.

“The lives of teens are changing. You have way more technology in your lives on a minute by minute basis… Keeping up with those trends means keeping up with staying relevant to teenage lives.”

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