Roseville library brings in teens with youth programs

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published September 18, 2013

 Local kids show off their anime-themed costumes during the library’s anime cosplay night in February.

Local kids show off their anime-themed costumes during the library’s anime cosplay night in February.

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ROSEVILLE — For the past few years, the Roseville Public Library has been holding programs designed to attract teenagers to its doors.

Youth Librarian Jason Novetsky said the teen nights started as a way to give kids in the city something fun to do, and as a way to draw them to the library for something they will enjoy.

“We get some kids we don’t usually see other times of the month, but they come for the activities,” Novetsky said.

The library hosts a monthly teen activity night in the Erin Auditorium. As of September, the teen night schedule has moved to the fourth Monday of each month, Novetsky said, adding that while it has averaged about 8-10 attendees a month, he has heard from other teens that they would like to come, but the former Wednesday night schedule did not work.

“We do have a small group that consistently comes every month, and then there’s always a few people who show up that we never see again, but you know, they’re busy,” Novetsky said.

He said the programs essentially alternate between craft projects ranging from tie-dying to making lanterns out of mason jars, and holding game nights with games that encourage socialization. Special holiday events, such as a Halloween costume party, have also become an annual affair.

Novetsky said he attends meetings between all the area youth librarians, where they swap ideas and experiences. But he noted that every community is unique, so what works in one may not work in another. He also has a simple system to determine if a program is worth bringing back or simply dropping.

“A good indicator is if people come,” he said. “If no one shows up, then we probably won’t do it again, but we’ve done the tie-dye craft two summers in a row now because it’s been well-attended. And I will talk to (the kids) and see what they’re interested in doing, and what games they like.”

The library also provides snacks and chips as another incentive to get teens to show up, and Novetsky said he advertises with posters in the library, a program listing in the library newsletter and on its website, and sometimes sends the information to the school district.

“Even if they may not be interested in what we’re doing, maybe they’ll come for food and end up enjoying it,” he said.

Novetsky also runs family movie nights, where the library shows recently released all-ages movies, and anime nights, where the library shows animated Japanese films or TV shows. The anime nights are scheduled for the first Wednesday of the month, while the final family movie of the year is set for Oct. 9.

While the movie nights do particularly well in the summers, Novetsky said the anime nights have proven very popular with teens year-round. He said there is a consistent group of teens that attends who have helped increase attendance by telling, and bringing, their friends.

Novetsky said when making the viewing schedule, he includes recommendations from the attendees of the anime nights on what to show, after making sure it has appropriate content and is available on DVD. For family movies, he usually goes with films that are current and family-oriented, he said.

Upcoming programs on the library’s teen schedule include an Apples to Apples game night Sept. 23, a zombie night Halloween party October 28, and an anime night with D.Gray-Man Oct. 2. All programs begin at 6 p.m.

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