Teens attract library patrons through technology
Andrews – Local teenagers are doing their part to increase participation in the library one game at a time.
"Our goal is to get electronics into the library to attract more teenagers from the upcoming generation,” said 15-year-old Taylor Lackey, president of the Andrews Library Teen Advisory Board. “Technology is such a [big part of our lives], and we feel it’s the only way for libraries to survive and thrive the way they used to.”
Lackey and 13-year-old Nathaniel Dockery, vice president of the Teen Advisory Board, coordinated several fundraising events over the last year, collecting enough money to recently purchase an Xbox One and a Live Gold membership for use by library patrons. The group purchased a PlayStation 4 gaming system for the library a couple years ago.
The teens brushed up on their Fortnite skills on July 29 in hopes of one day competing for millions of dollars. "It would be fun to go to New York one day and play [for money],” Dockery said.
While gaming is fun and the opportunity to win cash is exciting, the teens understand the larger goal is to attract library patrons who may not otherwise choose to walk through the doors. When people visit the library to play games, they said, there’s a great chance they’ll pick up a book to read.
In addition to local competitive gaming tournaments, Teen Advisory Board members have also held car washes and sold T-shirts to raise money to help the library. They’ve also discussed plans to host a movie night once a month.
“We need more people because we don't have as many members as we used to have," Lackey said, adding that teens seem to lose interest in the library after graduating high school. “The more people we have, the more activities we can do to raise money, the more things we can do for the library.”
The Teen Advisory Board also donates money toward a college funding scholarship each year, which helps graduating seniors purchase items that may not be covered by traditional scholarships.
The board meets the last Tuesday of each month at the library on Main Street downtown. Youth ages 13-18 are welcome to participate.
"When you’re a part of TAB, you get both a boost of responsibility in the library and a boost in respect from the people who work here,” Lackey said.