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 The kids and teens that serve on the Baldwin Public Library’s advisory boards come up with ideas for new programming.

The kids and teens that serve on the Baldwin Public Library’s advisory boards come up with ideas for new programming.

File photo by C & G Photography Staff

Kids have their say at library with youth board meetings

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published December 9, 2019


BIRMINGHAM — Kids say the darndest things, right?

And sometimes, what they say can be a darn good idea.

Always on the lookout for ways to make services better, Baldwin Public Library staff members said they often solicit input from patrons. And now that includes the littlest patrons of the library’s youth services department.

This fall, youth librarian Rosemary Retford started the Kids Library Society for students grades three through five. Once a month, participants meet for snacks, brainstorming and fun activities to give library staff an idea of what would best engage, educate and interest younger visitors.

No boring surveys or workshop sessions here, Retford said. The takeaway for library staff is seriously insightful.

“The Kids Library Society (provides) tweens with team building, time management and leadership skills as they voice their aspirations for the library,” she said in a press release.

Since 2006, the Baldwin Teen Advisory Board has met each month to have some pizza and share thoughts on upcoming library events, popular reading choices and ideas for new programming.

“Getting teens involved in the decision-making process at their local library will help them realize how much the library has to offer for their age group and how they can have a say in it,” teen librarian Elisabeth Phou said in a press release. “This program is a great way for teens to assist the library in developing and implementing library programs aimed at local teens.”

The next meeting of the Kids Library Society will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, at the library. TAB meetings are held once a month and rotate between the media centers at Seaholm High School, Groves High School and the library.

To learn more about both groups, visit

The Baldwin Public Library is located at 300 W. Merrill St. in downtown Birmingham.