Teen/Adult Services Librarian Beloit Public Library
In an age of rising teen anxiety and stress, as librarians, we turn to what we know best-- our books. Together with authors and with mental health professionals, librarians are uniquely positioned to offer a haven of socio-emotional learning through programming, a safe and inviting atmosphere and opportunities to reflect upon self and look into the windows of others, growing empathy, community and understanding that transcends the walls of the classroom.
Examples of highlighted student learning opportunities include the use of a school-wide student and faculty book club paired with authors to discuss mental health and diversity within YA literature and the connections to teens’ daily realities, the collaboration of library and school groups to perform needs assessment surveys through CMS channels and then the development of student focus and discussion groups to build community and promote awareness and action and continuous programming in the library that provides students with opportunities to both reach out to others and dial into self. Outreach opportunities include “Stall Street Jounals” with a library corner that promotes books and community connections relative to spotlighted issues and concerns.