Local Libraries Host Plethora Of Teen Opportunities

Students from Ota, Japan, arrive Tuesday at Buena Vista Library for a welcome reception given by the Burbank Sister City Committee (Photo By Joyce Rudolph)

Burbank’s public library system continues to provide a wealth of information and resources for local teens, with book clubs, SAT prep classes, writing contests, tech programs and special events and movies geared for the age group. The local libraries also help teens with homework and information on colleges, financial aid, and personal and health issues. All of the Library’s programs for teens are free and open to the public, and are generously supported by the Friends of the Burbank Public Library.


Homework Help Live academic assistance, in all subjects for grades 3-12, is available online from 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Monday through Sunday, with a current Burbank Public Library card; it’s like instant messaging with a very smart friend. BPL’s webpage offers a variety of resources for homework help at http://bpl.chillco.com/teens/homework-help.The Writing Lab resource allows students to upload a paper they’ve written and within 24 hours, gives feedback on spelling, grammar and content.

Students can also take sample tests, get tutoring and exercises in the Skills Building section, make flash cards and brush up on another language in the Foreign Language Lab. For school assignments, students can browse online databases for Biography, Literature, Opposing Viewpoints and general research. Items in the databases are collected from magazines, newspaper, academic journals and websites.

Book Clubs There are three book clubs (grades 10-12, 8-9, 6-7) and they meet once a month, September through May, and discuss the book each club has chosen. The Friends of the Burbank Public Library purchase paperback copies of each month’s book for the club members. Currently, the book clubs are full, but interested teens may call Melissa Elliott at (818) 238-5589 or send an email to her at melliott@ci.burbank.ca.us, including full name, phone number, email address, and grade, to be placed on the waiting list.

“The teen book clubs have been so popular that three years ago we added a third,” comments Ms. Elliott, Teen Librarian at BPL. “We accommodate 20 teens per book club, and don’t plan to expand further, for two reasons: First, that’s a good number for discussion – more than that and it gets unwieldy. Second, we have a set budget for the book clubs and adding more spaces would overspend that.”

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“The waiting list is not long. Usually, we end up accommodating everyone on it,” she continues. “On a personal note, book clubs are my favorite part of the job! I think I can probably say the same for Anarda [Williams, the other BPL Teen Librarian.] We love hanging out and talking with our teens, especially around reading.”

Teen Read Month happens every October and the annual writing contest has been announced; the 2013 theme is Fan Fiction. Teens must submit their 5-10 page story by October 25. The top three stories receive prizes and honorable mentions will also be awarded at the Dia de los Muertos event on November 1.

Technology, Entertainment and More In addition to Teen Tech Month held every March and the Summer Reading Program, BPL also presents programs related to science, language arts and history, plus entertainment, workshops and craft activities. And then, there’s always the latest offerings in books, CDs, DVDs and more in each of the city’s three libraries: Central, Buena Vista and Northwest. For more information on these and other great resources BPL offers for teens, visit their webpage at http://www.burbank.lib.ca.us/teen/programs. Book reviews by Burbank teens and the BPL Teen Librarians, upcoming events and other random items can be found online on the Teen Blog at http://yathinkbpl.blogspot.com/. Those interested in joining the Friends of the Burbank Public Library can find information here: http://www.burbank.lib.ca.us/friends.