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Dover Post
  • Local teen gives peers a way to give back to county library

  • A local Positive Outcomes student has teamed up with the Kent County Library to get a Teen Advisory Council off the ground.
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  • Michael Dawes, of Frederica, is required to complete an internship during his senior year at Positive Outcomes Charter School.
    Dawes, a former frontman for a local band, has an appreciation for word and writing, so he chose to do his internship at the Kent County Public Library.
    "I wanted to know how the library works," Dawes said. "I also just really like helping people. I've learned that there's a lot more to working at a library that just check books in and out."
    As part of his internship he is required to complete a personal project, so the 19-year-old chose to start a Teen Advisory Council, a project that Head Librarian Hilary Welliver had long been hoping to get off the ground.
    "I've been interested in stating a Teen Advisory Council for a while," she said. "Michael was very enthusiastic about the idea, he really grabbed it and ran."
    Welliver describes Dawes as an idea person with a lot of energy and creativity, so it's not surprising that he has realized Welliver's dream.
    The group is open for teens from ages 13 to 19. Michael will head of the group but Leeane Goulet will be the advisor for council. The council's focus is on generating feedback as to how the library can better meet the needs of their age group.
    "I wanted to get teens together so they can come in, share their ideas," Dawes said. "Our first meeting is next week, we'll get together, discuss ideas, movies and books."
    According to Welliver, teens are currently and underserved population in the library's coverage area. She's hoping that the Teen Advisory Council can help find ways to bring teens in.
    "When we look at the volume of teens for our service area we aren't reaching as many as we could," she said. "We want to tailor our efforts to reflect what teens want. Who is better to target teens than teens?"
    According to Welliver, there are teens that come into the library and check out books, but she wants to find out what more teens want.
    "I want to find out if they're interested in downloadable e-books, downloadable movies, or video games being added to circulation," she said.
    The Teen Advisory Council will meet the first and last Tuesday of each month. Their first meeting will be held on March 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Kent County Public Library. The topic of discussion for the first meeting will be National Library Week.
    "I'm genuinely interested in what teens have to say," Welliver said. "I'm hoping we can take the ideas that teens suggest and implement them."
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