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Libraries today are filled with more than just books! Not that books aren’t amazing, but there are so many other resources that can be accessed through local public libraries, not the least of which is technology. 

Teen Tech Week is here to invite and encourage young people, along with their families, to visit and experience all of the technology that their local libraries have to offer! 

History of Teen Tech Week

Teen Tech Week was born in 2007 and was founded through the efforts of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), which is a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The purpose behind this week was to create a national initiative that would encourage teens, parents, teachers, youth workers and other concerned adults to explore the digital resources available through libraries throughout the country.

Each year since, Teen Tech Week has been celebrated with a focus on providing tools and resources to young people and their families, inviting them to visit their local public libraries and learn more about what might be available to them. Access to computers, internet connectivity, software programs, training courses and much more is within reach to most families in the United States through their local public libraries.

The organizers of Teen Tech Week and YALSA come up with a new theme each year to provide a more specific focus on a relevant topic. The general theme for all of Teen Tech Week is “Get Connected @ Your Library”. But themes on some of these interesting topics have also been included throughout the years:

  • Libraries are for Creating
  • DIY @ Your Library
  • Libraries are for Making
  • Be the Source of Change

How to Celebrate Teen Tech Week

Get about the business of connecting teens with libraries during Teen Tech Week. Check out some of these plans for getting involved with the week:

Visit the Local Library

Parents, grandparents and other people in the lives of teens can get involved with Teen Tech Week by encouraging their teens to visit the local public library to check out the options for technology. This might mean that younger teens could use a ride to the library while older high school students might be able to drive themselves. However they get there, encourage the students to talk with librarians, attend seminars or participate in other Teen Tech Week events.

Offer Tech Courses for Teens

Libraries staff members that are interested in getting more involved with the up and coming generation might consider offering some technology usage courses for teens. Kick them off during Teen Tech Week with a taster course, an open house or some other event that brings teens through the door and gives them a better idea of what to expect.

This is an excellent opportunity to prepare teens for the future by making sure they build their digital literacy skills. And libraries who participate are encouraged to sign up through the YALSA web page to show support and help secure the organization’s funding for future events. 

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