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Teen board promotes programs

SOUTH POINT — Teens had the chance to perform to their favorite songs, a capella or with a CD at the second annual Briggs Idol Night.

Taking the floor at the South Point branch Monday night was Beth Gilbert, who sang “Tell Me Why,” the Taylor Swift song from her “Fearless” album.

Gilbert, a South Point High freshman, isn’t new to performing, getting her feet wet in fourth grade when some friends entered her in a talent contest. Primarily a vocalist, Gilbert would like to turn her avocation into a professional gig in the future.

“I like to sing a lot. It expresses the way I feel. It makes me happy,” she said before performing. “When I’m stressed I hum to myself. It keeps me calm.”

She admits to nerves before performing whether at school or church, but believes it’s important to persevere.

“It makes me feel self-confident,” Gilbert said. “I get a little nervous, but I have to do it. Singing is my passion.”

The Briggs Idol Night is among a variety of programs the library offers teens throughout the year.

“Last year I had such a good turnout,” Amy Ward, young adult librarian, said. “The kids throughout the year asked if we were going to have it again.”

Once a month Ward sits down with the six members of her teen board to brainstorm on what youth would like to see at their library. Ward started the board a year ago to help her keep her pulse on teens’ interests. The board is open to students ages 12 to 18 years old. They offer program ideas and help with the bimonthly newsletter available at each branch, where they offer book and movie reviews.

“They give me really good input, what teens like to see in the newsletter,” Ward said. “And it gives them experience. Some schools give them volunteer hours.”

Board members include Gilbert, Katlyn Compston, Marti Newman and Mandy Lyons.

“I like reading and people can see the books I like,” Newman, a sophomore at South Point High, said.

Layne offers special interviews with bands through her MySpace page and shares the results in the library newsletter.

“It’s fun to see the answers they have,” she said.