Libraries turn page on Teen Read Week

Published: Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 03:51 PM.

"They're encouraged to read other things," Owens explains. "Some teens are reading books other than 'Harry Potter.' " They're picking up Tolstoy's 'War and Peace' and works by [Albert] Camus."  

Walton County libraries have a total of 41,165 active library cards. Only 1,508 of them belong to teenage readers. However, Linda Thompson at the Coastal Branch Library said she's seen an increased interest from young readers at the South Walton library throughout the past few years thanks to programs and activities geared toward interacting with local youth.

"Our library clerk Shirles Johnson has encouraged young people to visit the library through activities such as the summer reading program, hosting a sock drive for area nursing homes, book drives for children in the hospital and coat drives for local homeless children," Thompson said. "Her thought was to get them working toward projects that help the community."

For Teen Read Week, Coastal Branch Library is inviting local teens to create a poster based on their favorite book. Paper and arts supplies are available at the library. All poster artists will be entered in a drawing for a Barnes & Noble gift certificate.

"It's important for teens to see other teens reading and to set an example for younger kids," Thompson said.

Over in North Walton County , the local library isn't just another site for Teen Read Week, but a part of Florida 's history. During the week, the DeFuniak Springs branch will also host drawings for book store gift cards.

The DeFuniak Springs Library, built in 1886, is the oldest continuously used library in the state.

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