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Keeping TABs On Teens

Unified Neighborhood Includes Young People

by Tracy Canada Hanson

Special to the GPHN

Libraries are safe spaces for teens to meet up and connect with one another. Many libraries host Teen Advisory Boards (TABs) – teen groups that meet to give their opinions and provide input for the library, plan programs, organize and pursue community projects, and to let loose and be themselves outside the constraints of school or other pressures.

TABs are a way for young people to be involved in and give back to their community – something that so many teens have a desire to do but are too often not given credit for.

Since July 2016, the Park Hill and Pauline Robinson branches of the Denver Public Library have hosted four group conversations with people from all over Greater Park Hill. The purpose has been to engage with our neighbors to gain a deeper understanding of our shared aspirations, concerns, and to figure out what actions community members can take.

The thing that stands out most in these conversations is the neighborhood’s shared desire for “One Park Hill,” one unified neighborhood that includes the north, northeast, and south sections of the area and includes people of all races, cultures, socioeconomic statuses, family structures, and age brackets. A community that is unified and inclusive is one of our greatest shared goals.

As the Teen Services librarian at the Park Hill Branch library, I wonder: How do we include and empower the younger members of our community – those who have really valuable things to say, who have incredibly strong voices, whose experiences are different than those of older generations, but who are unable to vote?

I think about the school shooting in Parkland, Florida and of the extraordinary young people across our nation coming together in solidarity for positive change – powerful activists who cannot yet cast a ballot but are advocating for change anyway.

The Park Hill and Pauline Robinson Branch libraries hosted a group conversation for teens last September. What was gleaned from this conversation? Teens are very aware of the generally poor opinion many adults have of them and wish to be treated with respect and included as community members.

The stakes are equally high for teenagers, possibly more so because they are in the midst of figuring out who they are and what is important to them. Perhaps, in light of recent events (the Florida school shooting, followed by the nationwide school walkout on March 14), it is time to organize another teen conversation.

In the spirit of unification and inclusiveness – One Park Hill – shouldn’t we all embrace younger community members into the fold and do what we can to guide and encourage them? I bet we’d all be surprised at what teenagers are capable of.

Pauline Robinson Branch Events

Tech Help Appointments | Mondays and Tuesdays, noon – 1 p.m.

Get technology assistance from one of our in-house experts on your own device or a public computer. Learn the basics, such as email, social networking, word processing and eMedia. Call the library at 720-865-0290 to schedule an appointment for Monday or Tuesday.

Preschool Storytime | Wednesdays, April 4, 11, 18, 25, 10:30 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for 3-5 year olds and their parents or caregivers.

Paper Quilling | Monday, April 16, 5:30 – 7 p.m.

Quilling originated in the Middle Ages when nuns and monks cut thin strips of paper from the edges of books and then created spirals by rolling the strips around feathers or quills to create filigree ornamentation. Today, quilling is rapidly replacing adult coloring books as the craft that calms the mind. Participants will learn the basics of quilling, from how to form the basic spiral to creating their own design, in this interactive workshop. Limited to 20 participants.

The Pauline Robinson Book Club | Saturday, April 28, noon

This month’s selection: The Rainbow Comes and Goes by Gloria Vanderbilt. Drop-ins are welcome.

What is a Rain Garden? Open House | Saturday, April 21, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

A rain garden is a planted area that allows rain water runoff from roofs, driveways, walkways, and parking lots, the opportunity to be absorbed into the landscape instead of storm drains. Join us as we explore what it is and how we can plant one at our library.

Park Hill Branch Events

All Ages Storytime | Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for children of all ages and their parents or caregivers. Craft activity immediately follows the program.

Baby Storytime | Thursdays and Fridays at 11:15 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for babies ages 0-18 months and their caregivers. Play and social time immediately follow the program.

Toddler Storytime | Fridays at 10:30 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for toddlers ages 18-36 months and their caregivers.

Magic Club | Mondays, April 2 & 16, 4:30 p.m.

Do you already play Magic: the Gathering, or are you interested in learning? Stop by two afternoons a month to play and meet other teens. Ideal for ages 10-17.

Writer in Residence: S.E. Fleenor | Tuesdays, April 3, 10, 17, & 24, 6 p.m.

S.E. Fleenor, a local writer of fiction, non-fiction, and articles, will be working with library patrons to help you with a new or existing writing project. Whether you’re at the brainstorming phase, have started a draft, or are about to finish your piece, Fleenor will provide feedback and writing prompts. Come prepared to work on a piece you’ve already started or respond to the writing prompts provided.

Decrease Your Clutter, Increase Your Peace of Mind | Wednesday, April 4, 6:30 p.m.

If you loved the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo or The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and want to create calm and ease life’s transitions, professional organizer Alison Bresler will guide you through simple things that you can do to avoid being paralyzed in front of a bulging closet.

After Hours Library Olympics | Friday, April 6, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Bring your friends to compete in the Library Olympics. Choose your country, win prizes, eat pizza and cupcakes. Test your wits! Be physical (but not too physical). Ideal for Teens ages 11-17. *Permission slip required, pre-registration suggested. Download the permission slip or stop by the library.

No Strings Attached Book Chat | Saturday, April 7, 11 a.m.

Read whatever you want and attend whenever you can. Share a recent read, an old favorite, or anything in between.

The Beaten Territory with Author Randi Samuelson-Brown | Saturday, April 7, 2:30 p.m.

Denver was a wide-open town in the 1880s, living up to its reputation as the Wild West. Randi Samuelson-Brown will lead a discussion on the 1890s world of prostitution, licit and illicit drugs, bad whiskey recipes and the saloon and brothel culture that flourished in Colorado. Books available for sale and signing.

Teen Advisory Board (TAB) | Tuesdays, April 10 & 24, 6 p.m.

Join the Park Hill TAB. Help plan events and projects, talk about your favorite books, music, movies and make your opinion count. Plus snacks. Ideal for ages 13-18.

Pajama Storytime Yoga | Wednesday, April 11, 6:30 p.m.

Soothing yoga practices and breaths, along with music and a story! Ideal for ages 3 to 8 accompanied by an adult. Led by yoga instructor Miss Mattie.

Japanese Beetle Control with City Floral Greenhouse | Saturday, April 14, 11 a.m.

Japanese Beetles are voracious and cause significant damage to over 300 different plant species found in our landscapes, our agricultural areas, and a few of our native plants as well. City Floral Greenhouse will share information on how to handle this invasive pest.

Henna: History, Art, and Application | Saturday, April 14, 2:30 p.m.

Learn more about the history and cultures surrounding the beautiful art of henna. Experience it first hand with a small application and by creating your own designs. Seating is limited, please arrive early.

Kids’ Book Club | Tuesday, April 17, 3:30 p.m.

Book: The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling

Our snack will have a bit of the “chocolate touch.” Ideal for grades 2-3.

Tween Book Club | Thursday, April 19, 4:30 p.m.

Book: From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg Activity: canvas painting

Underground Comedy Club: Nancy Norton | Thursday, April 19, 7 p.m.

Comedy Works headliner Nancy Norton, who worked as a Registered Nurse, is known for performing uniquely funny performances that connect with universal truths through her intuitive, authentic, high energy, fast paced, and engaging style. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Eighteen and over only due to adult content.

DIY Family Fairy Garden | Saturday, April 21, 10:30 a.m.

Create your own magical fairy garden with your children. A container, soil, one plant and materials for making stepping stones, paths, flower pots, tables, fences, and more are provided. One container per family while supplies last.

Protect Your Privacy Online |  Wednesday, April 25, 6:30 p.m.

Learn about tools you can use to limit what’s shared about you online. Find out how browser plug-ins, proxies, and the Tor browser can help keep your information private.

The Lost Creek String Band | Saturday, April 28, 2:30 p.m.

The musicians formerly known as the Stapleton String Band combine the melodic tones of the mandolin, banjo, guitar, ukulele and violin in a repertoire that spans everything from folk and bluegrass to acoustic rock.

GPHN Center Stage | Wednesday, May 2, 6:30 p.m

The Greater Park Hill News is an award winning, monthly publication that has been in continuous production covering our community since 1961. Come hobnob with the editor, writers and photographers, learn about the history of the paper, and enjoy refreshments and activities suitable for all ages in a celebratory atmosphere.

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