Cultivating Dynamic Teen Services

at the Fletcher Free Library

Lisa Buckton is a librarian, writer, and innovator.

She believes it is the role of the librarian to not only encourage and increase literacy and access to information, but also to help patrons develop into knowledgeable, dedicated, and innovative digital citizens, lifelong readers, researchers, and empowered library users and individuals. It is her utmost passion to engage with young adults and cultivate safe spaces for them to explore resources, identity, and community.

Enhance Literacy & Support Lifelong Learning

Foster Dynamic Relationships with Teens

Creating a connection with Burlington t(w)eens demands a positive and energetic presence at the Fletcher Free Library, in the Burlington community, and its schools. Teens respond to authenticity, honesty, openness, and creativity.


Establish YA Voice & Involvement

Let teens know that their opinions, ideas, and knowledge matter! Empowering teens to have a voice and make immediate decisions in programming and services establishes interest, engagement, and commitment. Creating a Teen Advisory Board is imperative to cultivating thriving teen services.


Curate a Diverse YA Collection

Before altering or expanding the current collection one must assess the current middle-grade and young adult library collection, analyze the YA services budget, and create a short and long-term collection development plan. A diverse YA collection will include: young adult fiction, graphic novels, high interest nonfiction, international language fiction and nonfiction, biography, teen specific magazines, music, movies, media, and ample access to eBooks and audio books. Collection development can also expand to include maker activities and kits, eReaders, wifi accessibility, park and museum passes, and more.


Foster a Vibrant YA Space

T(w)eens warrant a library environment that encourages their emotional, social, and intellectual development. The Teen Advisory Board will assist in creating a teen owned and maintained space. The YA specific space will be accessible, comfortable, open, inviting, and vibrant. This designated space will contribute to an overall sense of belonging and purpose.

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Facilitate Access to & Exchange of Knowledge

Generate Innovative Teen Programming

Inventive and adaptable programming is essential in establishing thriving YA library services. Programming may include: Maker, DIY, and craft workshops, teen trivia, NaNoWriMo and writing workshops, stop motion animation creation, storytelling workshops, reading marathons, t(w)een literature circles, skill share sessions, contests and challenges, podcast and webcast creation, coffeehouse meet ups,

maker faires, digital and in-person author visits, gaming, and much more!


Construct Digital & Social Media Presence

A dynamic online presence is vital. Not only do online tools expand the breadth of the library, but they also offer opportunities for real-time connectivity, YA curation of content, and crowd sourcing. An online presence may include: an accessible and energized Teen Services website, a Fletcher Free Teen Services app, a blog via Tumblr, accounts on Instagram, Twitter, Vine, and Pinterest.


Create a Pop-Up Makerspace

Maker activities simultaneously delight, engage, and educate t(w)een patrons. Creating a pop-up makerspace allows flexibility; activities can easily be brought to schools and set-up collaboratively throughout the greater BTV community. Makerspace activities are awesomely endless and may include: 3D printing, MakeyMakeys, Arduinos, littleBits, and coding.

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Build Community Connections

Establish Community Partners & Resources

Burlington is teeming with opportunity! Our city is alive with artists, writers, musicians, makers, innovators, athletes, politicians, and artisans. The Fletcher Free Teen Librarian has the unique possibility to bring these phenomenal resources to t(w)eens' fingertips. Potential community partners and resources include: Generator, Burlington City Arts, Burlington Parks & Recreation, the Vermont College of Fine Arts, Blu-Bin, Vermont Public Radio, Arts Riot, the Flynn Theatre, the Vermont

Symphony & Youth Symphony Orchestra, Shelburne Farms & Museum,

Rosie's Girls, ECHO, the Governor's Institutes of Vermont, Green Mountain

Roller Derby, and the Vermont Studio Center just to name a few.


Create Collaborative Programming

Opportunities for collaborative programming are endless. Utilizing greater Burlington's vast array of resources the ultimate goal is to educate young adults socially, emotionally, and intellectually.


Stimulate Positive Change within the Community

Generate enriching leadership opportunities for teens to give back to the greater Burlington community! Leadership opportunities may include: creating a Teen Tech Squad that mentors and teaches youth, elders, and community members, collaboratively planning with Burlington Parks and Recreation to lead environmentally conscious campaigns, ideas, and living, actively assisting in the presence and growth of the Book Mobile, create and present pop-up maker ideas throughout the community, partner to create public art, and curate a Burlington digital history project, including digital walking tours.