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home : blogs_old : tone's book zone October 20, 2014

Tone's Book Zone
By Sue Tone
A blog for readers and book lovers. Postings will include information on book festivals, library activities, local authors, classroom visits, book groups, writing and publishing tips, reviews, bookmakers and bookmaking, and how volunteers can help children and adults acquire a love of reading.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A place where kids are welcome - the library!

 by Sue Tone

Carol Sibray

The Prescott Valley Public Library has a vacancy for teen librarian now that Carol Sibray retired.

What's it take to work with high-energy, sometimes rambunctious teenagers within the confines of library walls?

A: Someone special who likes, respects and can communicate with this population.

What's it take to get teenagers into the library to read books?

A: Maybe the DVD movie collection; the CDs a little less so. Books on tape/CD don't seem to hold much attraction, and books don't always fare well, either.

When my family moved to Prescott in 1969, the rental house on South Cortez was a mere three or so blocks from Carnegie Library next to the Elks Theatre (as in the one and only movie theater). The Library had creaky floors, a musty smell, and a worn staircase to the second floor. It was hot in the summers, cool in the winters. The shelves were crammed with books, the aisles narrow.

A new town, new neighborhood, new school - the library was my sanctuary, a quiet place to browse without having to interact with anyone. I rarely saw library patrons my age.

Today's libraries aren't especially quiet. Conversation is encouraged with tables and chairs arranged more along the lines of outdoor cafes on a Paris street than the massive sturdy library desks of yore. Such desks are no longer needed for holding multiple volumes, notebooks (the paper kind), pencils and satchels.

Many of today's planned activities for children and teens are quite lively, as a matter of fact. Sibray was thrilled when the new PV Library designed a corner for a teen section, with comfortable seating, two study rooms and a bank of computers. This is where she offered kids suggestions on the newest graphic novels, or applied glue and glitter to Valentines for Veterans, where the teens felt welcomed. She had an office of her own, which Roy Jenkins, Parks and Recreation, also occupies.

Sure, early release Wednesdays brought its share of kids running up and down the stairs and using their "outdoor" voices. Yes, Sibray and other library staff had to shush them, and sometimes even throw them out until the kids calmed down.

At this time, without another venue, the Prescott Valley Public Library is a safe and welcome place for teens to hang out. And let's face it, books are attractive and they do tend to "fall" into the hands of anyone in close proximity for an undetermined period of time.

Since that takes longer for some than others, let's hope the teens keep coming back.

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, February 28, 2014
Article comment by: Jean Kantu

I just discovered your blog today! My daughter, son-in-law and 3 wonderful children moved to Prescott in March of 2013, not knowing a single person there. Among the places where they were most warmly welcomed was the Prescott Library. When my husband and I visited them, it was one of the "sights" we saw on a Saturday, and we heard LIVE bluegrass music at the library - what a thrill. Anyway, we extend our thanks to the good folks there for providing such a wonderful refuge, meeting place and imagination builder for our kiddos!!

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