Getting teens to read

Area libraries, schools holding drawings for Teen Read Week


— The prevalence of video games, TV and the Internet makes it tough to get and maintain the attention of teenagers, but area librarians aren't giving up.

This week was national Teen Read Week, a week dedicated to promoting reading among the country's teens by encouraging them to read recreationally.

Alison Lambart, youth services manager at Bud Werner Memorial Library, directed area teens to a national Web site so they could vote for their favorite book much like reality shows have audiences vote for their favorite singer or dancer.

Nicole DeCrette, librarian at Steamboat Springs High School, had students write down their favorite books and requests for new books as part of a daily drawing she held.

DeCrette even had students nominate a peer to model for a reading-themed poster to be displayed in school.

Karen Brown, director of children's services at Hayden Public Library, is finalizing plans for a teenage program to promote reading and interacting together in a safe environment.

But librarians want more than one week dedicated to increasing teenagers' love for the written word.

"If it's the right book and you get it in the right hands, it will circulate," DeCrette said.

Books such as "The Kite Runner," "The Lovely Bones" and "The Da Vinci Code" have been so popular that DeCrette struggles to keep them on the high school library shelves.

In honor of Teen Read Week, Lambart directed teens to the library's Web site,, where they voted for their favorite books along with a national teen audience.

"There were 22 nominated titles," she said. "Since August, I've encouraged teens to read these books so they can vote. I'm all about giving them a choice."

Science fiction and fantasy books tend to be popular genres with teens, but well-known adult authors such as Joyce Carol Oates and Carl Hiaasen also have written books for teens.

The high school, in conjunction with Bud Werner Memorial Library and the Parent Information Committee at the high school, held an essay contest to send one teenage writer and reader to the Literary Sojourn last weekend. Laura Holthausen was the winner.

"A lot of our kids don't know about the Literary Sojourn, and it is expensive for them to attend," DeCrette said. "We wanted to encourage the kids really into reading and writing to meet real authors."

For more information about Teen Read Week, visit


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