Friday, 10 April 2015

A New Library Teen Reading Group by Savita Kalhan

I’ve been a member of the library since I was about five years old. Wycombe library had an amazing children’s library and I made use of it every Saturday morning throughout my childhood. Then, when I was twelve,  I joined the adult library where bookshelves went right up to the ceiling. The reference library, upstairs, was well stocked and quiet, with lots of rows of tables and desks, and that’s where I ended up doing a lot of homework. Being the eldest of seven kids, our house was noisy and chaotic, so the library was the perfect refuge and I really don’t know what I would have done without it.
I’ve been going to a few Save Barnet Libraries, where there are threatened closures and down-scaling have put the libraries in jeopardy. We all know how important libraries are, how invaluable they are to local communities, and how one central library serving a huge area cannot serve the needs of library users. Local library branches are essential.
Save Barnet Libraries Facebook page

With the booming teen/YA market, there is obviously a demand for new books. The teen sections of many libraries vary greatly in size and content. Some councils and boroughs have been forced to reduce their spending on books, which generally means less books and therefore less choice. I think it’s important for kids to have choice when it comes to books. In my local library, the teen section is a very small area, although it’s still used by teens to borrow books. They often study in the library too. More books and more choice would be good though. So I thought why not volunteer to start a Teen Reading Group? It would be no more than an hour of my time once or twice a month, and if it promotes reading amongst teens and introduces them to a wider variety and more diverse books, then I’ll be a very happy person.

After a meeting with the manager of the library, the project was given the green light, and we will, hopefully, have our first meeting in a couple of week’s time. I hope the word will spread and more teens join. I hope the library can buy more books, offer more choice, and continue to inspire kids to read.
I'm starting with the CILIP Carnegie shortlist, and from there to a world of books!
And I hope the council sees how important libraries are and the part they play in peoples’ lives.

Savita's website

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Savita on Facebook


  1. Brilliant stuff - the teens are very lucky to have you. Good luck and look forward to hearing more.

  2. A great initiative...well done!