Teens to Take Lead at Barnes County Library

TR Staff
Staff Writer

By Joseph Kjos
Teenagers in Valley City will have a chance to take some creative control in this season’s Barnes Country Library programs. The first meeting of T.A.B. (Teen Advisory Board) will take place February 25th in the Valley City Barnes Country Public Library at 4:00 p.m. and teens from grade six up through age 19 are invited to come and hear what the program is about, then consider if they want to become a part in it.
Organizing the meeting is Donna Lemer, who is new to the library but excited to begin this project. “It’ll all be up to the kids,” she says. “I’m really hoping for a nice turnout of teenagers across the board because what a sixth grader is interested in is widely different from what a senior is.”
The theme for this season of library programming is “Universe of Stories,” and the teens will have a direct hand shaping what those individual programs will be. Though they will need to be in step with the “Universe of Stories theme,” Lemer says it could include STEM, robotics, career education, or hosting reading days for the youth in Valley City.
The first meeting on Monday is open for parents and teens to get a sense of what T.A.B. is all about and if it fits individual schedules. Lemer herself says that she’ll work with the kids, too, in order to make things come together.
“My schedule is flexible enough that hopefully, we’ll be able to work together with the teens to find the best time,” she says.
Another thing Lemer wants clear is that T.A.B. won’t be busied with fundraising: “We might in the future, if we need some funds for a specific thing, but it won’t be a normal part of T.A.B.,” she says. “And it’s completely free for anyone who wants to be a part of it.”
Lemer’s goal is that T.A.B. will become a continuing program in Valley City.
“I want it to become such a normal piece of the Valley City Barnes Country Library and hope that it will go on whether I’m involved or not,” she says. “I really want [the teens] to become a part of the library because it’s such a good opportunity to learn how committee and boards work, a way for them to help another generation and become familiar with processes that will help them later on in their career.”