This post contains two main points, one that my first SRP could have been better and could have been worse. If I'd spent more time planning individual programs and less time trying to pack in as much as possible, I think I could have reached more teens. This summer, I cast a wide net and caught rather few fish. In the upcoming year, I'll be concentrating more on the programs that work (book club, Dance Dance Revolution, etc.) and only sparingly introducing new programs. My volunteers will get more of the attention they deserve, and in cooperation with the children's librarian, we'll be be offering service opportunities for teens and services to children. Homework Help! Computer Docents! Reading Buddies! Oh my!
The second of my points is that I think I've reached that point in my life where I want to stop teenagers, give them a shake and tell them a few things. I want to tell that 15 year old girl running around vastly pregnant that her life is about to CHANGE and that she needs to spend a wee bit more time figuring out how to be a mother and a bit less time running amuck and rolling her eyes at librarians. I want to congratulate that 17 year old who has turned his life around and is now concentrating on improving all skills from typing to library research just so he can graduate. I want to stop the seventh graders, force a book in their hands and tell them to get off MySpace.
Of course, I can do none of those things, save quietly encouraging the 17 year old, putting up interesting and enticing book displays for the fifteen year old and the middle schoolers and offering exciting programs that lure kids away from MySpace (a daunting task, I know).
This has been a professionally challenging summer for me. I'm grateful for my supportive supervisor and my patient family and friends who have listened to me whine (because honestly, that's what I did, whine) all summer.
Now, I'm heading into a new season. I'm excited about pursuing more outreach opportunities and dropping fruitless programs.