YDL Receives Grant Awards to Fund Teen Programming

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Ypsilanti District Library in historic downtown Ypsilanti provides exemplary services to many teens because of its dynamic programming, caring staff, and its proximity to nearby neighborhoods.  YDL is not the only one to recognize the wonderful work the staff at YDL-Michigan Avenue, 229 W. Michigan Ave., accomplish every day.  This summer two granting agencies made commitments to provide funding to help Ypsilanti teens “Dream It. Make It,” the title for this year’s summer library program.

The first grant is from the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association, and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation which awarded grants to 20 libraries to fund summer internships for teens at libraries. YDL’s Teen Librarian Jodi Johnson applied for and received one of the $1,000 awards

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says that fewer than three in 10 teens have summer jobs and that, overall, more than 44 percent of teens who want summer jobs either don’t get them or work fewer hours than they’d like.  By providing internships in libraries, YALSA is not only able to help teens build needed job skills, but these teen interns provide critical support to public libraries during their busiest season.

“YALSA is pleased to work with the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to offer internships to teens at the library, especially at a time when there are fewer jobs available for this age group,” said Jack H. Martin, YALSA president. “It is a pleasure to be able to offer teens an opportunity to participate in the work our amazing members do.”

Teen interns will assist with creating the summer library program “Dream It. Make It.” and implementing the many programs designed with teens in mind.  There will be Make It Mondays, the Art Zone, the Chill Zone, and Vote for a Movie Nights. 

The second grant was received from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA), through the New Leaders Arts Council of Michigan (NLACM) Retention and Engagement program, a young leaders’ advisory council of MCACA. The NLACM is dedicated to promoting the arts and culture in Michigan, and is focused on supporting other young leaders. This grant for $2,500 will allow the teens at YDL-Michigan to produce and promote “Shout It Out,” a program by teens for teens to be held August 9.  “Shout It Out” features a collage of musical and spoken word performances by teens, produced under the mentoring of Washtenaw Community College music production students (which the grant supports).  There will be poetry and freestyling, the Lyricist Lounge team from Ypsi Ozone House, local bands, dancers and more!  Teens may volunteer to share their talent at this event by calling (734) 482-4110 ext. 1390.

Librarian Jodi Johnson is thrilled to have this opportunity to mesh services for teens with services by teens made possible by the receipt of these grants.  All Ypsilanti teens are invited to participate.

About the Ypsilanti District Library

The Ypsilanti District Library’s mission is to enrich life, stimulate intellectual curiosity, foster literacy, and encourage an informed citizenry. For more information about YDL’s programs, events, and services, visit our website. To learn how teen interns will be used to enhance YDL’s programming, call (734) 482-4110 ext. 1390.

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