The Evolution of a TAB

My Teen Advisory Board is small but mighty. Prior to the pandemic, we had around 6 teens in the group. We met twice a month in the library’s meeting room for an hour and a half. Meetings usually consisted of snacks, games, and program-planning. The group has always enjoyed creating programs, passive and active alike.

One of the first passive programs they created was a Jokes and Riddles Scavenger Hunt in Fall of 2019.

That same year, they hosted a Tween and Teen Winter Bash. They created the flyer, chose the food, voted on the movie to watch, led crafts and games, and gave the thumbs up on decoration purchases.

In February of 2020, several TAB members volunteered at our Steven Universe Escape Room Extravaganza. This was an after-hours event with A LOT going on. We had the actual Escape Room, a Gravity Falls marathon with pizza and snacks, karaoke, Together Breakfast, door prizes, raffles, button-making, board games, crafts, a photo booth, and more.

The Steven Universe Escape Room Extravaganza was our last big program before the library closed due to the pandemic. A few months later, TAB was meeting online. To my delight, we hadn’t lost many members. The group missed the library but were happy to meet and engage with each other over Zoom. These meetings were very informal and served as a way for the teens to reconnect with each other. The agenda was always loose.

Learning the ins-and-outs of how my job functioned during the pandemic caused me to put TAB on hold for the Summer of 2020. When we restarted TAB in September, our numbers had dropped. But we still had some and some was much better than none.

Since Fall 2020, we have added more members and our numbers are back to what they were pre-pandemic. We have two old-timers and four newbies. I am always delighted to start the Zoom call and see them already in the waiting room.

I have another post that highlights some of the things my TAB has done during the pandemic. You can see that here.

With most of the group back in their school buildings, we had to rethink how TAB functions. Our meetings are still virtual and will be for the foreseeable future. We recently shifted from spending our meetings program-planning to spending our meetings building relationships. With new members on board, we took a few steps back to reassess and reform the group. When asked what they wanted the meetings to look like moving forward, members said they wanted games, in-group trivia and quizzes, Pancakes vs Waffles, and opportunities to share what they were reading, watching, and listening to. What I heard was that they wanted time to connect with each other.

Examples of in-group trivia and quizzes can be found here, here, and also here.

If you want to see what media my TAB has recently been engaged with, you can check out this Instagram post.

I’m excited to continue on this journey with TAB. These teens are truly bright spots in my day.

 

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