So you schlepped down to your local library to check out Guitar Hero. While you were waiting for the n00b in front of you to become frustrated and give up, they sprung – kid-librarians, armed with… books.
As reported by the Fort Dodge Messenger, librarians in Humboldt, Iowa are hoping the lure of video games will bring teens through the front door. Meanwhile, teen volunteers will be waiting to talk up books with unsuspecting gamers. It’s all part of a program to encourage students to read.
14-year-old Sam Lenz, a freshman at Humboldt High, is a member of the library’s Teen Advisory Board:
While they’re sitting here fidgeting and waiting, we pounce on them and say, ‘Read this.’
Sarah Wright, a senior, added:
They’re usually very receptive because you’re another cool teenager.
Librarian Demi Johnson said that a book recommendation from another teen might carry more weight than one from an adult:
Maybe if [other kids] like it, it’s way cooler than if the librarian [makes the recommendation].
Nor are the teen advisors pushing books favored by adults. From the Messenger story:
The students… displayed particular fondness for books that delved into serious — and sometimes taboo — topics, such as affairs with teachers, suicide and self-mutilation.
They also talked about removing books, labeled by adults as classics, that had sat on the shelves for years without being read. Lenz said he and other students displayed a definite preference for newer titles.