A look back . . . .

As a new year begins, it is time to look back on the activities and fun we had in the Teen Room this past year. 2016 was a crazy year! Here in the Teen Room, we had fun activities each month.

In January, we accepted applications for our teen volunteer program. This program is so important to keep our library running. Every day we have volunteers run our teen clubs. Without teen volunteers, we would not have clubs. They also help with our recycling program as well as our children’s department activities, particularly in the summer months.

In February, we offered a Blind Date with a Book. We wrapped up books and the teens got to pick up a few to take home, unwrap, and read. This display allowed teens the opportunity to choose a book without seeing the cover.

In March, we had our annual Teen Tech Week. For a whole week we had our LittleBits, Legos, Robotics, and our 3D Printer Pens available in the Teen Room Maker’s Space. The teens were able to create things with these various electronic devices—anything from robots to 3D drawings.

April was a pretty quiet month for us. The entire library celebrated National Library Week, a week dedicated to celebrating libraries.

In May, we hosted 6th grade tours. These tours allow us the chance to bring our 6th graders in and emphasize what they can do in the teen room as soon as they ‘graduate’ from sixth grade. We’ve found there are still people who don’t realize the Teen Room exists and by hosting these tours, we hope to remind the young adults that we are here for their recreational and educational needs.

June through August saw our Summer Reading Program. This year’s theme was “Get in the Game.” Our goal was to offer teens information on various life skills every Wednesday. We taught them about looking for a job, personal finance, stress management, and how to take care of animals where a selection of pets were welcome in the teen room (please note: no pets were eaten during this program!).

In September we focused on National Banned Books Week. This year our big attraction was having the teens guess which banned book we shredded. You can read more about this event here http://ccpls.info/teens/2016/10/11/banned-book-week-2016/.

For October we held a few different events, the first being Teen Read Week; for this we hosted a Bring Your Own Book Club. Teens were able to bring any book they loved and talk about it. You can read more about this fun event here http://ccpls.info/teens/2016/10/26/teen-read-week-book-discussion/. Our last event for October was a Tim Burton Movie Marathon. We watched BeetleJuice, Frankenweenie, Corpse Bride, and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

November was International Games Day. We had a ton of fun! We created life-size Jenga and Checkers! Nothing beats watching a stack of soda boxes fall over.

Finally for December, we had a quiet month. We provided a drop-in craft for teens to create a book ornament, and a hot chocolate bar. Nothing says winter spirit like hot chocolate, good books, and great company. As the New Year begins we are excited to see where 2017 takes us, and we are excited that you are on this crazy adventure with us! Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!!

Teen Volunteer Holiday Book Fair


For over a decade, the Campbell County Public Library Teen Volunteers have held a semi-annual Scholastic book fair. This book fair is run entirely by the library’s volunteer force, including the adult volunteers who help during the school day. However, after school, Teen  Volunteers run the booth. The holiday book fair is particularly important to the youth of our community. At the end of the fair, the Teen Volunteers receive matching funds scaled according to the book fair profits, which are then used to purchase books to donate to youth service agencies in our community. These agencies include GARF, the Boys and Girls Club, the YES house and many others. This is one reason the fair is very important and why we ask the Teen Volunteers to each take at least one shift. Another is that this is a perfect time for you to do some Christmas shopping! We have a variety of books for you to choose from, for many different readers. Stop by and get some early- or last-minute shopping taken care of! The final reason the book fair is important is you can buy books! What other way would you want to end the year than by curled up by the fire reading a new book?! Join us at the book fair:  Monday, December 5, 5pm-7pm; and Tuesday, December 6 through Thursday, December 8, 10am-7pm.

Soaring Eagle Book Award nominees – 2016-2017



The Soaring Eagle Book Award nominees are generated by the recommendations of our teens in the state of Wyoming to promote reading. The teens nominate and, eventually, vote to award their favorite of ten nominee books each year. Although there are several criteria for a book to be considered for a Soaring Eagle nomination, my favorite is that the goal is simply to help our teens find “good” books. Often these are books that cover a wide range of topics and make relevant social observations.

YA staff and many other librarians throughout the building take pride in taking the time to read some, or all, of the Soaring Eagle Book Award nominees each year. YA staff spend days in the schools talking about the Soaring Eagle nominees to the teens in our community. In preparation for the school year, the library uses Campbell County Public Recreation District grant money to order a set of the award books for county agencies and district schools, so that students can have ready access to them. The teen volunteers at CCPLS  pack the books and mail them out in a memorable day that involves chaos, fun, packing, double-checking, triple checking, taping and un-taping boxes in order to get the correct books to their locations.

The books themselves cover a variety of genres and themes, from non-fiction, to fantasy, to historical fiction. Of particular interest to me this year was the theme of the ‘monster’. It was common in many of the books that were nominated. The monster is a person, an individual who is capable of inflicting harm on others. These people often lead us to questions about humanity. A book that tackles these themes can help us see the choices that we face and the consequences of them. Some of the situations the characters handle are relatable, as they could happen to anyone. Some are not. Yet the idea of choices, choices to stand up for what’s right, choices to fight against impossible odds, choices to decide what will happen next in the story, remains something that translates through all situations. The following book talks were given about stories that deal with these themes.


code-of-honor Code of Honor

By Alan Gratz

Scrolled on a piece of paper was the code of honor that Darius and Kamran had lived by since they were little. 1—Be the strongest of the strong, 2—Be the bravest of the brave, 3—Help the helpless, 4—Always tell the truth, 5—Be loyal, 6—Never give up, 7—Kill all monsters. Only now, as the whole world is watching, Darius appears to have violated that code by betraying the elite Army Rangers and joining al-Qaeda. Kamran, a senior in high school, a football star, the homecoming king, is seeing his world turned upside-down. There are news reporters camped on his front lawn and no one but Kamran believes that Darius is innocent with his regular appearances on TV, personally taking responsibility for attacking Americans overseas. But Kamran does not believe it. He knows the code that he and Darius live by and he is determined to find the truth for himself, to prove that his brother is committed to their code of honor.

When Kamran himself is kidnapped, questioned and held prisoner by Homeland Security, he must convince them that he, a senior in high school, knows what the rest of the country does not believe—that Darius is innocent and he is trying to warn Kamran through a code that only they know that worse acts of terrorism are coming. Can Kamran prove that Darius is innocent and save the lives of thousands of people?


violent-endsViolent Ends

By Various Authors, including, Shaun Hutchinson, Neal Shusterman, and Kendare Blake

Violent Ends is not a story about the actual shooting that took place at Middleborough High. It’s about Kirby, the boy who pulled the trigger and killed five classmates and one teacher. This book is told from seventeen points of view. Some of the stories happen before the shooting, some after, and a few take place during the shooting. The stories range from years before the shooting and to months after. Kirby’s sister has her own story about how she deals with the fact that her brother is a monster who ripped her and her family’s lives apart. Another story is told from the point of view of Billie, the new girl at school who was just trying to get the perfect picture. There is even a story from the point of view of the gun that Kirby used. The gun tells a beautiful story about its time before entering Kirby’s life and also its time with Kirby leading up to the moment before the shooting.


All American Boysall-american-boy

By Jason Reynolds

Rashad is an artist and a member of ROTC who happens to be an African American. He decided to go to the store and pick up some chips, something he has done many times. However, this time as Rashad is kneeling by his bag to collect his money, a lady trips over him. The cop only sees Rashad kneeling by his bag, making it look as if he is trying to steal the chips. Rashad tries to explain what has happened, but the cop does not listen. He pummels Rashad for “resisting” arrest. The cop ends up putting Rashad in the hospital causing the graffiti art that started everything “RASHAD IS ABSENT AGAIN TODAY”.

Quinn, a white kid saw everything, but he is not sure what exactly he saw. He knows he saw his best friend’s brother, a person who is like a big brother to him, beat the crap out of a fellow student. He keeps the fact that he saw it silent for a while, because he believes someone has to have caught it on camera.

Someone did catch it on camera, and it does not look good; splitting the school and the nation down the middle. People start blaming “racism” and “police brutality”. As it turns out, prejudice didn’t die after the civil rights movement. Know we fight for a future where no one will be absent due to police brutality.



Teen Read Week book discussion


October 9 –October 15 was Teen Read Week. Teen Read Week started in 1998 as a way to promote “reading for the fun of it.” The theory was that teens have a lot of free time, and instead of reading, they go outside, play video games, or do a number of other activities. By giving them a week during which libraries and bookstores encourage reading for fun and reading what teenagers love, it was hoped that teens would start reading more. The movement has helped.

This year for our TRW program, we decided to hold a book club. This book discussion would not be a typical “here’s a book read it, discuss it” meeting; instead, we asked the teens to bring a favorite book to talk about. We had a pretty great turn out with eight young adults coming. They each brought a different book, and as the particpants lit up when they started talking about the book they had brought. One of the fun parts was when a young man started talking about his book, Eragon, by Christopher Paolini. His book talk spiraled the group into a conversation about just how generic the main character was and how much better the book would have been without him.

The point of the book discussion was to help teens find books they may not have seen or heard of. One girl brought Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger, and by the end of her talk another teen commented that  he had seen the book and thought it sounded boring but after hearing her talk about it, he had to give it another chance. Book club success? I think yes!

All in all, the program was successful. . Everyone participated, and everyone had a good time.


Banned Book Week 2016



“Banning books is just another form of bullying. It’s all about fear and an assumption of power. The key is to address the fear and deny the power.”  ― James Howe

Ideas are dangerous- and we like that. We like challenging what you thought you knew, holding a mirror up to the world and asking if you like what you see. In another place and time you might not have access to a book, simply because someone else thought you shouldn’t. We believe that is a choice for YOU to make and that’s why every year we celebrate Banned Books Week!

You have the freedom to choose what you read and we encourage you to use it!

This September 25- October 1, we celebrated Banned Books Week!

Congratulations to the winner of our Guess the Banned Book contest: Genesis Soto! Come in for your prize!

Can YOU figure out what the Banned Book is from only these phrases?




Welcome to the new Teen Room blog for the Campbell County Public Library! We hope this will be a space to not only talk about the great books we read, but also to share information on all the cool things happening in the Teen Room, all year long.

Right now, in September, we are getting back to our school-year schedule for clubs and other activities. Today, for example is an early-release afternoon in the school district.  This means that the Teen Room is a busy place – teens hanging out playing video games and board games, doing homework, and socializing.  Actually, the entire Library is busy:  there’s an event for school-age girls upstairs, and an exhibit from the Cheyenne Children’s Museum in our large meeting room.

Our library staff could not support all these activities without the help of our CCPL Teen Volunteers. Our volunteers donate their time to help with events, lead clubs, and perform behind-the-scenes duties that make the Library a great place to be.

Just as our Teen Volunteers do great things for the Library, we think we do good things for them, as well. We use our volunteer program as a way to promote job skills and a good work ethic among our force. Teens have to fill out an application; secure references; and attend a training session before being able to volunteer. In addition, volunteers are expected to track their time; be on task while volunteering; and call ahead if they cannot fulfill an assigned task.  Teens who volunteer for several years often develop confidence and leadership skills that help them when seeking “real” jobs.

Joe, for example, began volunteering in the Teen Room as a new 7th grader, several years ago.  Although he began with volunteering on our gaming afternoons, he moved on serve as one of the leaders for our afternoon clubs.  Leading a club meant showing up on time; being prepared for an activity; and cleaning up when the club meeting was over.  Joe also recognized the need to behave as a role model for other teens. Although Joe started out as a relatively shy volunteer, leading the clubs helped him grow and become more confident in himself.  Eventually, his leadership skills and work ethic helped Joe secure a job; he recently moved up to management of his department.  Certainly, Joe’s volunteer experience was not solely responsible for his success, but we like to think being a Teen Volunteer for several years helped in his growth.

Just this afternoon, there are at least twelve Teen Volunteers working in the building. Two supervise the video gaming in the Teen Room; four paint fingernails and make crafts for the Girls’ Day Out school-age program; one gathers recycling throughout the building; and five play with young children at the Cheyenne Children’s Museum exhibit.  All are learning to lead, to work, and to interact with people. These teens will make great employees someday.

We have just accepted a new round of Teen Volunteers for the fall season, part of our back-to-school activities. We’ll take applications again at the beginning of the second semester, in January. If you are a 7th-12th grade teen, come join our volunteer force.  You’ll help the Library, and we’ll help you, too!