It's often said, in the world of public libraries, that teens are one of the most elusive demographics to reach. Unlike the teens of past generations, libraries are competing with school schedules and extracurricular activities, video games, smartphones, tablets, the latest social media platforms (ironically stated as I contribute to that through posts such as these), and more. However, your Abilene Public Library is experiencing success with local teens through utilizing after hours programming which have been well-received.
Having begun at the South Branch Library, a monthly after hours movie night was offered to teens. Each month features popular flicks based on the viewing tastes of those attending sessions. To our delight, the response by local teens has been great, and they would later evolve into get-togethers where teens hung out with library staff to socialize, eat snacks, laugh, and watch some great flicks too. Plus, as they were hosted on Friday nights, they also allowed parents to have a night to themselves while their kids were having supervised fun for a few hours.
Based on the popularity of this Teen Flix After Hours series, both the Main Library and Mockingbird Branch locations began offering similar programming for teens to enjoy. Each locations offers different after hours activities, with past programs having delved into social gaming sessions, painting nights, glow-in-the-dark parties, anime meetups, Nerf wars, Dungeons & Dragons nights, and more.
So not only do teens come out to have fun with staff and their peers, parents can also rest assured that their children are safe during activities. Each event is hosted after the library has closed for the evening, and teens are supervised by at least two (2) library employees throughout the duration of the event. For each session, a pickup time is provided so parents/guardians will know when to return for pickup, but events usually last approximately 2-hours, depending on what we're doing.
So be sure to check out our events calendar, and lookout for more after hours teen events at your library. We offer something for everyone, and all teens are welcome to attend, no fees or registration needed.