Teen Advisory Board Manager Molli Bryant, left, stands with Nicole McGreevy, Ocean Brown, Celeena Johnson, Kelsea Freeman, Angel Presley and Billy Cook, members of the Camp Verde Community Library’s first Teen Advisory Board. Not pictured, Brittany Johnson.
CAMP VERDE - Many teenagers feel as if what they say doesn't matter.
The Camp Verde Community Library does not see it that way.
The library, taking the lead from director Kathy Hellman, understands that Camp Verde's youth has a voice. And that it ought to be heard.
Recently, the library named its first Teen Advisory Board: Ocean Brown, Billy Cook, Kelsea Freeman, Brittany Johnson, Celeena Johnson, Nicole McGreevy and Angel Presley. With plans to include a Teen Library within in the Town's soon-to-be-built new library, Hellman says she wanted to involve teens in the planning and decision-making process.
"I've worked at other libraries that had active teen advisory boards," Hellman says. "Forming a TAB [Teen Advisory Board] seemed like the best option to allow teens to have a voice in the decisions we make to create library services that specifically address teens."
According to Molli Bryant, the library's Teen Advisory Board Manager, the new board members come from different schools and have distinctly different interests.
"We wanted to draw in teens from all over the area, to give them something to participate in that is wholesome," Bryant says. "They will carry out ideas for activities within the community. They will visit other libraries and learn from their teen advisory boards. And we will receive their feedback on what materials they want in the library."
The Teen Advisory Board will research teen services in other Yavapai County libraries and online and will survey local teens "with the purpose of creating a vision for Camp Verde's Teen Library," Hellman says. "This first TAB will set the foundation for future TAB members, so the board can continue in an advisory and service capacity to the teen library and community in the future."
Bryant, who the library hired to work with the TAB, once worked in management at Wells Fargo Bank in Camp Verde. Bryant has also worked with teens as a volunteer at her church.
"Molli's management skills, combined with her experience working with teens, makes her a great TAB manager," Hellman says. "She went through her teen years in Camp Verde, giving her the added perspective of what it's like to be a teen in Camp Verde. She is getting weekly on-the-job training in the library services and practices portion of the job here."
Bryant says she is pleased with the library's selection of its first Teen Advisory Board. Some of the teens had been volunteers prior to their selection as board members. All expressed an interest in making a difference.
"I've always loved helping kids," McGreevy says. "This is a way to help kids who need help. And to put smiles on their faces."