We want teens to come to the library.
We get the books they want to read.
We hold events we hope they'll want to attend.
We go to the High Schools to tell them about these things.
But what else can we do?
Getting the word out and letting the teens decide on their own that it would be cool to go to the library is hard. How can we do effective outreach to teens?
My co-worker came up with a great solution... Set up a booth at an Anime Convention!
We not only promoted our library's collection and events, but we obtained other literature from cities within a days driving distance. We also handed out sheets on how to get a manga/anime collection started.
I must say this was an amazing experience. LOTS of teens came up to our table. A lot of adults came up to our table. We met librarians from all over and exchanged ideas and stories. We bonded with our local teen patrons who are anime fans and met new ones. People were excited to know about our events and anime clubs. Some we're excited to learn that libraries offered such things!
We raffled off a Ramune and bag of goodies every hour and one of the highlights was seeing the teens get so excited about their goodies.
Another great surprise was to see the teens I worked with at my old library in Boone. It was great to see them and hard to believe it's been 2 years and they are graduating and going to college!
I made a steampunk costume for the event because I love any reason to dress up!
I also met other people in the community who would love to donate their time and talent to the library. I must say that I left the event inspired and excited to come back in future years.