Library Corner: We’re looking to build bridges with Grand County’s teens |

Library Corner: We’re looking to build bridges with Grand County’s teens

Polly Gallagher
GCLD Executive Director
Libraries in Grand County are reaching out to teens to see what they want from the libraries in an effort to better serve that demographic.
Maddy Trail/Homegrown Talent Initiative

Libraries can be an ideal location for teens. Cozy window seats to chat with friends or a quiet place for sketching; an ability to charge phones and other devices, as well as free Wi-Fi; a great assortment of books, including young adult favorites, horror, suspense, and graphic novels. But, it turns out that isn’t exactly what teens are wanting.

In last year’s Community Needs Assessment, GCLD did fairly well across the board, but a consistent gap occurred in households with teenagers. For these respondents, GCLD consistently rated a full point lower in all areas (on a 5-point scale). As a service for our community, GLCD needs to be a service to all members of the community, including teens.

Ben Mathis, as Kremmling Library’s Teen Tech Navigator, led the Lego Club and Virtual Reality Programs. He’s also a Scary Story Contest judge.
GCLD/courtesy photo


GCLD turned to the CREW program to help find answers to the question, ‘What would make the library more attractive to teens?’ Through a study in statistics, they gave us the following answers.

“Teens aren’t thinking about the library,” MPHS CREW student Daisy W. reported. Through their research, change in the GCLD service model must occur to better engage teens. Here’s what Grand County teens recommended:

Resources and Programming

Teens are interested in video games, role play games, DVDs, and sports equipment. Teens like to compete. Hold teen tournaments as events. Keep people active. In-person tutoring and homework help is appreciated. Also, food is always welcome.


Teens didn’t know about many of the resources that GCLD has that are interesting to teens. Having a library promoter in the schools is important. Finding out events from a friend and through word of mouth is how teens engage. Buzzfeed, Instagram, and SnapChat are the social media platforms teens are using.


The libraries’ hours are not conducive to teen school schedules. GCLD has great online resources, so help teens better access those resources. If there are means to connect with teachers to help teens connect with the library, that would be appreciated. Additionally, ideas regarding lockers or the ability to transport items to the school for convenient pick-up was suggested.

GCLD is listening to this feedback and applying changes. We have purchased Dungeons & Dragons starter kits, Cards Against Humanity, sketchbook kits, and Nintendo Switches that are available for checkout (to find other like items, search “Library of Things” in our catalog).

TeenTober events include a scavenger hunt in the branches, and for those looking to be a voice for what we have available through the library, the Teen Advisory Group (TAG) will have its first meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 21 in Granby or Kremmling. Participants can also join virtually via Zoom and will be provided with the link after registering at, “Programs” tab.

Teens may also RSVP and register at any library. For planning purposes, registration is required for all in-person and virtual attendees.

GCLD is looking to build bridges with teens. If you know a teen who is looking to volunteer in the community or have an internship in community engagement, literacy, or something similar, have them stop by one of our five libraries to discuss opportunities.

Kenna Wall proudly displays her artwork created during one of Kremmling Library’s Teen Craft Nights.
GCLD/courtesy photo
Recurring Events

The following events and activities are available at your Grand County libraries daily through October.

• TeenTober! – A month-long celebration of teen services in the library.

• Art Display — Jordyn van Gaalen: “Sprakeloos–Not capable of being expressed in words” at Fraser Valley Library.

• Art Display — Dezmin Jackson: “Endless Canvas” at Granby Library.

• East Grand Fire Department Quilt on display at Fraser Valley Library.

• October Quilt Bingo — Adult take-and-make activity at Fraser Valley Library.

• Juniper Library Storytime Stroll featuring “The Library” by Sarah Stewart.

• Technology assistance at Granby Library.

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