It can be difficult for teenagers to find that place where they belong, but the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library has the welcome mat out for any teenagers looking for a place to go, meet new friends and share their interests.
The library offers the new Teen Advisory Committee, which will meet every Monday (except stat holidays) from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Prism Club, a safe zone for local LGBTQ2S+ 13 and over, meets every Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. There is also the Anime Club, open to all ages, which takes place every Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The Teen Advisory Committee is new this year and the goal is to plan and implement projects in the library and the community. The first meeting was held on Monday, Sept. 12.
“It was a successful first meeting,” said Corrie Brown, programmer with the library. “They’ve given me a few ideas for things they want to do.”
The Prism Club has been running for four or five years and Brown said there is a strong need for this club in Sylvan Lake.
“We find that we have kids that don’t have anywhere else to go,” she said. “We want them to feel as comfortable as possible.”
The club was created for a teenager that used to frequent the library, Brown explained, and attendance can fluctuate week to week. Although the club is for people 13 and over, Brown said they won’t turn away younger kids who think this program can help them.
The Anime Club has been running for three or four years and Brown said this was an idea that was brought up by one of the library volunteers.
“The volunteer was hoping for more of an adult group, but we got a lot of younger interest. However, all ages are welcome,” she said.
“One of the more heartwarming things that came out of it, a kid in the Anime Club was excited to come and he told me he was really happy to be able to talk about anime and not get beat up,” Brown recalled. “They get to talk about these things that they love and not get picked on. They find that community with their peers and they know it’s a safe place for them to hang out.”
Although she grew up with Pokémon and Sailor Moon, Brown said she has been learning a lot since the Anime Club began.
“They’ve taught me so much about anime and manga, and some of them are just amazing.” Anime refers to the television shows and manga refers to the books. The library has manga books that can be checked out and more books, of any genre, can be brought in through the Parkland Regional Library system. There are 50 libraries and books can be borrowed between them.
The Sylvan Lake Municipal Library also offers book clubs, including a junior book club, for avid readers of all ages.
The library newsletter and calendar can be found on the library’s website or they can be picked up in person.