Pasadena Public Library's Teen Zine (TZ) is a bi-annual publication that features writing, photos, artwork, book reviews, and articles by or about teens at the library. The 30-40 page mini magazine is created almost entirely by teens including layout, editing, and graphics. The TZ encourages inspiration and higher responsibility; it utilizes teen talent, passion, and empowers expression in writing (fiction and nonfiction), photography, art, creation, and design, while exposing teens to publishing and journalism. Plus, it gives teens an opportunity to showcase their abilities and earn volunteer hours. The TZ brings great publicity to the library and advocates for teens in the community.
The content for the TZ is gathered from contests in writing, art, and photography, event photos, articles by library staff or teen volunteers, and teen book reviews. While the first few TZ specific contests attracted a small handful of submissions, three issues later, the submissions more than quadrupled. The content, quality, and teens' skills improve upon subsequent publications, which is noticeable when comparing the issues.
While the Pasadena Public Library opted to spend more on high quality printing, this session will present inexpensive options so that even libraries with minimum resources can offer their teens similar experiences. The poster itself will feature full color examples of some TZ pages in various stages (from draft, layout, editing, polishing, to finished). Visitors will receive handouts with a checklist, steps to get started, and a physical copy of Pasadena Public Library's latest Teen Zine, while supplies last.
I will utilize a laptop (I'll make sure it's charged) to show additional work by the teens and will bring several hundred Teen Zines to give away. The poster will have full color photos and descriptions, as well as, captions (and highlights) indicating how teens have learned to improve their work.
Youth Services Librarian
Pasadena Public Library