Marian Sutherland Kirby Library Begins New Teen Reading Lounge Program
By MARY KATHERINE EVANS
Mountaintop Eagle Intern

DOG SCOUTS PLAN PRESENTATION-On March 6th, the Webelos I & II Dens of Pack 106 hosted a speaker from the Dog Scouts of America Wyoming Valley Dog Squad Troop #221. The speakers Diana Cognini and Phyllis Sinavage with DSA Jake, DSA Sheila and DSA Pasha presented the Dog Bite Prevention Program and also explained how the Scout Dogs serve the community. The Webelos also collected donations for the Pet Oxygen Mask program sponsored by the WVDS. The donations exceeded our goal collecting enough to donate 3 sets of Pet Oxygen Masks to local fire departments. The presentation will take place at Wright Twp. Fire Dept. on March 27th at 6:30pm. Representatives from Wright Twp, Dorrance Twp and Slocum Twp Fire Departments will be on hand to accept the donations. Shown kneeling: DSA Jake, Diana Cognini WVDS Troop #221, DSA Sheila, DSA Pasha, Joshua Kollar, and Phyllis Sinavage WVDS Troop #221. Row two: Middle Row: Joshua Dennis, Jack Scanlan, Nate Barron, Joseph Otero, Nicholas Gutkowski, and Alex Jennings. Back: Tyler McHale, Nathan Sipple, Kyle Barley, Will Bogdon, Zachary Ayers, Sandy Kollar WI Leader, Ralph Otero, WI Leader; and George Barron WI Leader, Cub Scout Pack 106, Mountain Top.

Calling all teen book worms! A Teen Reading Lounge program is underway at the Marian Sutherland Kirby Library. The goal of the Teen Reading Lounge program is to encourage teens to read and better acquaint themselves with the the library. Teens are encouraged to read and talk about literature that matters to them, since they are the next generation that will be using libraries.

The group’s first meeting, held on March 4, consisted of a journal project and several icebreakers designed for the group to become acquainted, along with a pizza party. The initial meeting was a relaxed introduction to the program. The group will meet every other week until May 27.

“We had a really good turn out,” says Gemma Rose Williams, director of the Kirby Library. The first book the group tackled, The Last Apprentice, by Joseph Delaney, was discussed at their March 18 meeting with Gemma. The Last Apprentice is the first novel in The Wardstone Chronicles series and tells the story of a boy named Tom who has magical abilities and sees magical creatures. The teens also chose the next two books that will be completed and discussed at the remaining five meetings: The Princess Bride by Will Goldman and Coraline by Neil Gaiman. The Princess Bride depicts a twisted fairytale of a prince seeking the hand of a common woman in marriage in order to gain the throne. Coraline is the story of a girl who finds an alternate reality that she thinks is better than her real life. Little does she know, the grass is not always greener on the other side.

The informal atmosphere of the meetings encourages the teens to talk about and choose the books they read. One week is book discussion, and the next meeting, two weeks later, is an art project related to the book.

At their next meeting on April 1, the group will be working on an art project related to The Last Apprentice with the help of the art teacher at MMI Preparatory school, Lisa Ferry. Lisa will assist the group on the art projects that will follow discussions on the remaining two books. In addition to teaching Art at MMI Preparatory School, Lisa is a photography instructor at Misericordia University. She has been a photographer for over 20 years. Many of her photos have been shown on display in galleries in colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, including Bloomsburg and Kutztown.

The Teen Reading Lounge was made possible through a grant from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. Only one other library in Luzerne County, the Pittston Library, has this program. Gemma has been looking forward to initiating the Teen Reading Lounge. She explains the program tailored for teens began in Pittsburgh and worked so well there, that the Pittston Area Memorial Library and Kirby Library were selected to try the program in Luzerne County. There are presently 11 teens in the group at the Kirby Libray. “It’s been really nice to work with them,” remarks Gemma.

Gemma was appointed the Director of the Kirby Library in July, 2013. She has worked on several new events at the library and has planned several more. On Saturday, March 22, the library hosted an eBook workshop. Interested Kindle, Nook, or tablet owners were able to schedule appointments to meet one-on-one with people able to help with anything from downloading eBooks to turning on their eReaders. Also, eBooks can be borrowed from Luzerne County Libraries. A children’s book club began on March 22, and will continue every fourth Saturday each month. Every Friday in March from 3-5 pm, children’s book director, Michele Muro, offers homework help to students. On April 23 at 6:30 pm, Jean Kolojejchick and Roseann Nardone will be giving a presentation about creating a garden that reflects the gardeners’ personality.

Teens ranging in age from 12-17 can join the Teen Reading Lounge program at any point throughout the meetings. Books can be picked up at the service desk, and teens even get to keep the book! The group’s final meeting will be on May 27.

For more information about Teen Reading Lounge or any other library program, call the Marian Sutherland Kirby Library at 570-474-9313.