Summer is a favourite time of year. Ask teen librarians at Vancouver Public Library and they’ll tell you it’s when they get to do fun, far-out programs and meet teens through the Teen Summer Challenge. What’s that, you ask? Take the Summer Reading Club, which is geared for young readers, and imagine it grew a little taller, had a glow-up and went to high school. Oh, sure, it’s meant to foster a love of reading and learning, but it can’t deny what the kids really want. That’s a summer program designed for teens with the help of actual teens.
Throughout the year, teens join teen advisory groups to share ideas about what youth want to get into at the library. One of the benefits of holding these meetings virtually is that teens can participate at their comfort level and can adjust their mode of engagement at any point. This is where they share their growing interests in baking, crafting and relaxing activities to de-stress. Librarians also hear the demand for online workshops and in-person events, and the desire for a place to hang out with new friends after years of living with the stresses of a pandemic.
The result of this months-long brainstorm is a Teen Summer Challenge aptly themed “Hot Book Summer”—a title that sparked from one shy teen’s suggestion on chat. Every week during summer break features something different such as a virtual Bake Along with CBC Great Canadian Baking Show champion Lauren Tjoe, eco-conscious crafting workshops and Dungeons and Dragons campaigns. There’s even an adventurous spin on emergency preparedness with The Last of Us: Library Edition.
Having a creative outlet is a great way for teens to work out feelings, cope with stress and build resilience through self-expression. Budding teen writers will want to check out the creative writing workshop with author Sarah Suk (author of Made in Korea and The Space Between Here & Now). Inspiration Lab will host an electronic music workshop that will lay the foundation for aspiring young artists to create their own beats.
No library program is complete without books and the teen-led Bingo Reading Challenge encourages teens to keep reading throughout the summer. Whether they’re discovering something new from our curated reading list or revisiting a fan favourite, completing a reading or creative challenge earns entry into a prize draw. Even if they don’t win the prize lottery, between all the free events, inspiring workshops and great reads, teens are sure to discover some of the parts that add up to a memorable summer.
Free Sizzling Summer Teen Events
Hot Book Summer Kickoff | Tue, July 4 | 2pm
Kick off a great summer of creative challenges on the roof of the Central Library. Make a book, style a macramé bookmark and craft a needle-felted companion to keep you company on your adventures.
Play Dungeons & Dragons
D&D 101: Tue, July 11 | 2pm
D&D 102: Jul 12 & 13 | 2pm
Curious about D&D, but not sure where to start? Already play D&D and want to level up? Let the adventures begin! Learn more about the world of D&D and play a short campaign. All levels of players welcome.
Writing Workshop with Sarah Suk | Wed, July 19 | 3pm
Hone your skills and get great tips from writer Sarah Suk, author of Made in Korea and The Space Between Here & Now, at this creative writing workshop just for teens.
The Last of Us: Library Edition | Thu, July 27 | 2pm
Do you have what it takes to survive an apocalypse? Build your team and confront challenges that could arise after civilization ends.
Bake Along with Lauren Tjoe | Mon, July 31 | 3pm
Learn how to become a star baker with CBC Great Canadian Baking Show champion Lauren Tjoe at this sweet online workshop.
Create Beats & Music with FL Studio | Tue, Aug 8 | 2pm
Make your own electronic music! Get an intro to our Inspiration Lab’s music production software and learn how to create, record, edit and add effects to your songs at this hands-on workshop.
’90s Movie Night: Jurassic Park | Wed, Aug 23 | 5:30pm
Wrap up your summer with a night of ’90s trivia and dinosaurs on the big screen. Wear your best ’90s outfit or Jurassic Park cosplay to earn extra prize entries.
For more event details and locations, visit vpl.ca/teens.