By: Jordan Chan
Whether you need a quiet space to study or a fun environment to relax with your friends, the Los Gatos Public Library has it all. This year, you can expect staff to bring back beloved traditions — like finals week therapy dogs — along with several new programs designed to improve the lives of teens in our community. According to Library Assistant Amanda Flowers, who previously served as the library’s Teen Service Specialist, the staff aims to “engage teens with tools, but also give people a chance to decompress.”
On Sept. 14, the library kicked off the fall season with a pottery class open to all teens. Staff members worked with the Blossom Hill Crafts Pottery store to help beginners create beautiful hand-crafted pieces out of clay. In October, teens will be able to paint the library windows, build fantasy terrariums to take home, and look for adorable pumpkins during a Halloween scavenger hunt to win prizes. All of these programs are completely free for the public. Flowers affirmed, “anyone can come from anywhere to use our resources. The entire point of libraries is to provide free resources for anyone who walks through our doors.”
Although taxpayer dollars fund library books, teen programs are possible because of the Friends of Los Gatos Library, a non-profit organization that aims to “encourage participation in making Los Gatos Library a place of enrichment for all.” Friends of Los Gatos Library raises money through grants, donations, and bookstore sales. Community members can drop off new or lightly-used books on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 to 3:00 PM at their storefront on Main Street.
Teens over 15 years of age can get involved with the library by applying for a volunteer position on the teen page of the library’s website. The creative team puts out a call for volunteers on a quarterly basis, and the most recent set of applications will be open through Sept. 25. Youth volunteers interested in technology can help with a program providing tech assistance to seniors, while those more interested in art can help teach knitting classes for kids. There’s even an opportunity for lovers of the outdoors that involves maintaining the library’s gardens.
Elaborating on their passion for library work, Flowers explained, “my hopes for libraries is to create a more diverse and welcoming and open environment. For my teen programs specifically, my goal is to connect with teens who don’t always see themselves in libraries. Even if you don’t see yourself as a person who goes to the library… you should be reflected here somewhere. Whether you like playing video games, or whether you are dyslexic and don’t actually like reading, I think you should be able to show up to a library and be engaged in some way.”
(Source: California Los Gatos Library, Friends of Los Gatos Library)
Categories: Local News