New England Teen Summit 2022

This past week I (virtually) attended the New England Teen Summit and, as always, it was fabulous! I sometimes feel a slight pang that I don’t get to participate in person anymore but, honestly, it’s WAY more convenient virtually (and this way I don’t have to talk to other people if I don’t want to – #introvertlirbarian.) Pre-covid, this event was put on by the Massachusetts Library System, and librarians from neighboring states could attend if they were able to. Switching to virtual has made it possible for all 6 New England states to work together and everyone has the opportunity to attend – even those from outside the New England states. Librarians without the funds to attend an event like this can now attend for free and will be able to view the zoom recordings when they are posted at a later date.

I missed viewing the keynote speaker but I was able to attend 4 live zoom sessions: One Trusted Adult (presented by One Trusted Adult creator Brooklyn Raney), How to engage teen patrons using Discord, Using Discord to Build a Community for Teens at Your Library, and the MA Teen Choice Book Award Panel. I really didn’t know much about Discord, so these two presentations were excellent and gave me some much-needed knowledge about Discord itself, as well as how (and sometimes how NOT) to use it for teens at a public library.

Other presentations going on simultaneously as the sessions I attended included: Anyone can Cartoon! presented by Daryl Seitchik, Beyond the Book Bans – Creating Inclusive Spaces for LGBTQ+ Youth – Equality MaineYouth Summer Career Bridging Workshop, and Mission Impossible: Deciphering Teen Behavior. All of these presentations will be up on the MLS site to view in the next few weeks, so take advantage! The keynote presentation with Mike Curato is already available since it was pre-recorded. Hoping to watch it sometime this week.

This isn’t maybe the most exciting “last post” but I thought it was a good reminder that we need to take advantage of these amazing – and FREE – resources and continue to help each other out. I actually feel fairly confident that my 41-year-old self can start a teen Discord community after watching those 2 presentations. Am I crazy? Probably! But I’ll give it a go. 😉

Cheers, and thanks for the support!

~ Molly


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