NORWICH — The Guernsey Memorial Library, located at 3 Court Street in Norwich, has started a new reading club for kids and teens aged 10 to 16 years old.
The club will meet at Guernsey either on the second to last or last Thursday of each month at 4 p.m. to discuss the books they read that month, play some literary-themed games, and enjoy snacks.
Although the club is structured similarly to a book club, the Teen Reading Club won't pick a specific book to read each month. Instead, the group will focus on a theme each month, and each individual can choose whatever book they'd like to read that fits the theme.
Guernsey Children's Librarian Kim Hazen said she will provide questions about the books for participants to answer to spark conversation during the meetings, but will keep them general enough that they can be applied to any book.
"I figured we’ll have a theme each month because that way it gives them some general guidance. You know, sometimes people just don’t know what to read at all. So this month we’re going to do fantasy, and then next month we’ll pick a different theme. So they’ll at least, like if they don’t know what to read at all, they can go along those general guidelines, because there’s so many books out there," said Hazen.
"The questions are going to be general enough that they can answer them on any book. So they’ll be general questions for any book that they can answer, so it doesn’t have to be a specific book that they’re reading. It’s more or less like, did they like it?" she added.
The group held its first meeting last Thursday, and now participants will spend the month reading a fantasy novel of their choosing, to discuss at the April meeting. Hazen said after that she has a few ideas for additional book themes, including mystery, sci fi, and realistic fiction.
Although she's planning themes, Hazen said she would be open to allowing group members to pick the monthly themes as well.
"There might be a little bit of both, depending which kids we get and stuff like that. If they want to pick the theme, I don’t have a problem with that," Hazen explained. "Sometimes, especially in the beginning, they might be a little quiet until we get to know each other. So I can at least pick them in the beginning and get some input later on and do some things they really want to do."
She said she's also going to plan some literary games for attendees to play during the monthly meetings. For their first meeting, the group enjoyed a game of team bingo based on books.
"I’m sure once we get it started it’ll be great I think. I think it’ll be a lot of fun," Hazen said.
In addition to Teen Reading Club, the Guernsey Memorial Library has several other programs for kids and teens.
Every last Monday of the month the library offers Lego Club at 6 p.m., which is open to both kids and teens. In 2023, Lego Club will be held on April 24, May 22, June 19, July 24, August 21, September 25, October 30, November 20, and December 18.
Guernsey also offers a monthly kids' art activity, and the week of April 11 the library's story time series will pick up again.
"That week of April 11 we start up. We’re just on a two week break basically until after Easter. But basically we do songs and finger plays and stories, and we’ll do a craft there too," said Hazen.
There are also occasional events and activities held by the library that are not regularly scheduled, such as the recent "adopt a stuffed critter" activity.
For more information about the Guernsey Memorial Library and their available programs and activities, visit GuernseyMemorialLibrary.org or the Guernsey Memorial Library Facebook page.