Who knew a library could be so epic?

Last night, we held the first Teen After Hours event at the Portland Public Library.  This program was a collaboration between the library and Officer Ray Ruby of the Portland Police Department.

All in all, it was a great success.  We played video games, ate pizza, had a massive hide and seek game, and just enjoyed life.  It’s the best example of what I’m calling the teen “un-program”.  With the teen un-program, you have a program with lots of different stuff, you open it up to teens, and…well, just watch the video to see what happens.

I can’t wait until we have the next one.

(Many thanks to Portland Public Library Teen David Chu for filming/editing this video.  David takes awesome photos and videos and shares them with the world at his website)

*PS* At the end, the teens are very politely telling me to stop tweeting!  Ha!

-Post by Justin Hoenke, Tame the Web Contributor

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7 thoughts on “Who knew a library could be so epic?”

  1. Just curious, what was the benefit of having the collaboration with the police officer about? Was there a benefit to his being there (outside of crowd control)? Was it part of an outreach effort? I’ve been doing lots of similar stuff at my library — just inviting kids to hang out, playing games and doing small crafts — but have always thought that I’d need a big overarching plan if I was going to do something after hours. Maybe not…

  2. Jack: The police officer (Officer Ray Ruby of the Portland Public Police Department) works in Youth Services for the department. He co-sponsored and planned the event with us. The Police Department provided lots of the food as well as an extra hand at the end. It’s all part of their youth outreach program.

    I highly recommend other public libraries looking to see if their police department has a similar program. It really helps out when libraries collaborate with other organizations in the community. I’m seeing that a lot of organizations that provide service to teens have similar goals as teen libraries…

    ” I’ve been doing lots of similar stuff at my library — just inviting kids to hang out, playing games and doing small crafts — but have always thought that I’d need a big overarching plan if I was going to do something after hours. Maybe not…”

    YOU CAN DO IT! It’s pretty simple, as it just requires a few tweaks and ok’s from administration. Once you get that, the ball is rolling and everything is rad!

  3. Hey Justin,
    We’re trying to organise a “Loud Lock in” for our upcoming Summer Holiday programme ‘down’ here in and I was wondering how you promoted the concept to teens? I’m trying to come up with a blurb for our promotions document that in produced for the local community.

    Any suggestions?
    Please let me pick your brain.
    Cheers
    Emma

  4. Emma,
    Let the brain picking commence!

    When I spoke to teens about the program one on one, I told them to think about how the library is when it is open: sort of quiet, relaxing, more of a formal type thing. Then I told them to picture the library closed and open to only teens. Think of the noise they could make! Think of the massive hide and seek games we could have! Toss those rules out the window and obey only one rule….HAVE FUN!

    I guess what I’m trying to get to here is that I just pitched it as this exciting, once in a lifetime chance.

    I wrote this post about an all night teen event I held at my old job. We go a bit more in depth talking about the planning, so this may help:
    http://librarygarden.net/2009/11/10/teenlockin/

    Feel free to use our flyer for a point of reference:
    http://pplteens.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/teenafterhourstaketwo.jpg

    And as well, look at this video! This is just a glimpse into the fun we had:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAMAILpUk3M

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