Friday, March 16, 2012

These are teens...


This post is for anyone who's ever wondered why teens are worthy of exemplary library service.

As you probably know, we had some bad weather here in Southern Indiana a few weeks ago. One of the worst-hit areas was Henryville, a town about 30 miles north of my library in New Albany. The Henryville schools were completely destroyed. Henryville High School students were sent home with literally minutes to spare before the tornadoes hit. If school administration hadn't acted when they did, hundreds of students would probably have died.

You may also know that the country group Lady Antebellum is holding a video contest for an appearance at one high school prom this year.

Henryville High School students put together a video to enter the contest. But that's not what this post is about.

Students at D.C. Everst High School in Wisconsin, hundreds of miles away, completely unrelated to Henryville made an entry for the contest... an entry asking Lady Antebellum to come to Henryville's prom:

And last night, my friend, Silver Creek High School English teacher Mr. Hankins shared a video that the Silver Creek High School students had made. Another entry for Lady A's contest... asking Lady Antebellum to come to Henryville High School's prom:

If you have any doubts about why teens deserve the very best service and a place in the library to call their own, just look at these videos. I'm so impressed by their capacity for empathy. Look at what they're doing here, for their neighbors, for their fellow Americans who have had a tragedy.

It may seem like a small thing, a contest for a prom performance. But to Henryville, it means the world. It means not being forgotten. It means knowing that people want to lend a helping hand, that other teens are putting aside their worries about tests and dates and jobs to do something nice for them.

If we, as librarians, have the chance to serve these teens (and other teens who are just as capable of great acts of kindness), we need to jump at it and do the very best that we can. Our teens deserve it.