Teen Read Week is a week-long celebration of teens and reading. The event was founded by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) in 1998. Teen Read Week is observed each year during the third week of October. For seven days, the library intensifies its efforts to encourage teens to read for pleasure. Reading for recreational purposes boosts test scores and lays the foundation for future success as an adult.
Public libraries schedule events in honor of Teen Read Week. Librarians who work with teens plan various activities in hopes of encouraging young adults to pick up a book for fun. Activities can range from simple programs to elaborate events featuring special guests and refreshments.
Some libraries host an open house for teens during Teen Read Week. During an open house, the young adult librarian may talk about services for teens, upcoming teen programs, and the collection housed within the teen department. Often, the library will serve refreshments and give away door prizes. Other libraries may use Teen Read Week as an opportunity to form a teen advisory board comprised of teen volunteers. The teen advisory board helps the librarian develop program ideas, brainstorm improvements within the teen department, and suggest new materials to add to the library collection.
Another potential activity for Teen Read Week includes providing a lock-in at the library. Teens spend the night in the library playing games, reading, watching movies, and eating snacks. The librarian and other library staff supervise the teens throughout the night and serve them breakfast in the morning.
Anime film festivals are other popular events during Teen Read Week. Many teens enjoy watching Japanese animation called anime. Libraries take advantage of this obsession with anime by hosting film festivals featuring the cartoons. The librarian will also use this opportunity to booktalk the various manga, or Japanese comic books, that the library has available for checkout.
If the budget permits, some libraries may choose to invite a popular author to the library. Authors who write books for teens can make a public appearance at the library, reading selections from their work, answering questions from teens, and speaking about the writing process. At the conclusion, the library can offer the author's book as a door prize to one of the teens in the audience. This is a good way to encourage teens to read for pleasure during Teen Read Week.
Teen crafts and gaming nights are two other options for libraries that want to lure more teens into its doors. Many teens love to create art, knit, draw, or make other types of crafts. Those who love to play video games will come to the library if it provides them with gaming opportunities free of charge.