We’re in the News!

Check out the cool article by KOMO News featuring The Interactive Media Teen Book Club! Kelly was interviewed and her photo with author, Marisa Meyer, is included! YAY, Kelly!


Teen book club combines old, new mediaTacoma author Marissa Meyer visited the book club and signed copies of “Cinder”. Photo courtesy of Kristy Gale.

It’s no secret that technology is changing the way we consume information.

Even Ikea has kept pace with changing habits by altering its bookcases to hold, well, other things.

But the Tacoma Public Library has found a way for paper-bound books and new technologies to coexist, and even complement each other. Its Interactive Media Teen Book Club employs blogs, videos and other digital resources to give teens new tools to discuss the books they love.

“The concept that reading and digital media might have some sort of intersection probably felt natural to them,” Teen Services Librarian Sara Sunshine Holloway said of the club and other programs the library has just for teens.

The club, which meets once a month to discuss a different book, was started by Teen Services Librarian Kristy Gale last March to provide an outlet for the voracious young readers she kept encountering.

“We want them here,” Kristy Gale said. “We would rather have them here than on the streets.”

But teens and libraries go together in more ways than one.

In fact, Americans under 30 are more likely than older readers to do reading of any sort, according to aPew Internet and American Life Project survey released in October.

They may, however, be reading a bit differently. Readers under the age of 30 are more likely to read long-form content on computers or cell phones than older readers. And while high schoolers aged 16 to 17 are actually the most likely young readers to use the library for research needs or to check out print books, 60 percent of them expressed interest in borrowing pre-loaded e-readers from libraries.

The book club uses technology to meet teenaged readers where their interests are. The teens regularly film book talks and reviews, design their own book covers for their favorite reads and will soon be creating book trailers using software recently acquired by the Tacoma Public Library.

“The fact that it’s interactive with a blog, book talks, and creating our own book covers makes it more fun and expands what it means to be in a book club,” Tacoma Science and Math Institute junior Kelly Nguyen said.

Kelly has always been a reader, and enjoys the opportunity to meet peers that love books, too. She’s also always been a fan of libraries — but this club is changing the way she thinks of them.

“The book club at the library is another thing that has changed the way I view the library,” she said. “The library is not only a favorite place, a resource for books, but a way to do different things with all the events and resources they have.”

The Interactive Media Teen Book Club has a limited supply of free books available for teens to keep — and doughnuts at every meeting!

Its next meeting is on Dec. 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Tacoma’s Main Library (1102 Tacoma Avenue South). Readers will be talking about J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”.

To register, click here or visit the library in person.

For more information, visit https://teenbookclubtpl.wordpress.com/.

Thanks to Marisa Petrich for giving us the spotlight!

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