Who doesn’t get excited at the prospect of travelling! Oakland Public Library has created a program for teens with this thought in mind. Jackie Burrell describes their Teen Summer Passport program, which has been designed to encourage young adults to experience and learn about their library and their community. Passports are available at all library locations. Teens are encouraged to personalize the passports by producing a self portrait that can be either digital, hand drawn or a photograph. Stamps are collected throughout the summer, by attending library programs, reading books, writing reviews, and visiting specifically designated local hot spots within the community such as museums, farmers markets and cultural venues. Stamps are then exchanged for raffle tickets on a variety of prizes available. Each participant is allowed a maximum of eight chances to win a prize.
I see the program as a great way to get teens involved in their library as well as their community. It can also act as a drawing card for those teens that may not otherwise frequent the library or become involved with any of the programs or services available. Experiencing what the library has to offer gives them an opportunity to explore and develop other possible interests. Teens can become invested in their library and their community, once they are made aware of what is available to them. And finally, I believe this program serves to heighten the library’s profile within the community.
I would be interested in other library success stories using this program or one that is similar. And although the Oakland Library focused on teens, I’m wondering if the program has been promoted as a family event? Are there any variations on this theme?