Each year in early March, libraries nationwide offer an exciting week-long program for teens: Teen Tech Week. This initiative encourages teens to be competent in the use of digital media, especially in nonprinted materials such as e-books, e-readers, social media, audiobooks and databases. Because many do not have access to the internet, this program is particularly important for teens from underserved communities and who are affected by the digital divide. There are some related events of interest offered at Manatee County libraries. On March 1, the Palmetto library will be offering Creators Club: a workshop for teens and tweens on learning how to code and control Edison Robots. Later in that month, Rocky Bluff library will offer an Hour of Code program. Starting in April, Braden River will be offering Teen Tech Lab.
In addition to this program, the Manatee County library sponsors the annual Recycled Fashion Show for teens to compete in, held at the Central location. This event challenges teens to think outside the box and construct clothing using repurposed and unorthodox materials. These can include plastics, newspaper, CDs, aluminum cans, cardboard, paper bags and much more. Prizes are given out based on originality of design, construction and craftsmanship and the use of purely repurposed materials. The library’s Makerspace, Area 52, offers introductory sewing lessons as well. Teens can learn how to use a sewing machine and make simple projects. There is also a heavy duty sewing machine that will sew through materials including plastics, paper, leather and other non-fabric materials.
“Refashioned: Cutting-edge Clothing from Upcycled Materials” by Sass Brown features the designs of 46 international artists who work with recycled materials and discarded garments. This book provides many creative ideas for unusual designs that bring awareness to our disposable culture of wastefulness. The book is divided into two sections: artists that work with used materials and ones who work with unused materials.
“Scigirls” is a PBS Kids show that encourages girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (also known as STEM). Each 30-minute episode features a different group of middle school girls who collaborate in various science and engineering projects. The library has the first season available through Hoopla, a digital app. Manatee county patrons can download this app to get access to many e-books, e-audiobooks, movies and music that can be watched on a monitor or transferred to devices including I phones and I pads.
“The Big Book of Makerspace Projects” by Colleen Graves has dozens of low cost DIY projects that teens can easily make. Step by step instructions with photos and diagrams facilitate these projects. After the first two introductory chapters, a variety of Makerspace topics are covered, including e-textiles, 3-D printing, coding and programing, Arduino, robots, Makey Makey, Little Bits and musical instruments.
These featured books and dvds are available through the Manatee County Library system. Please use our online catalog to locate exact locations of these items.
Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday.