Last week I went to Safeway to pick up a cake I had ordered for a reception. As I was walking out of the store a teen who was sitting with 3 of her friends at the outside table said, "I know you - you work at the library." I replied that I did and she said, "that's so cool. I have a question for you: exactly how many manga books do you have?" Not knowing the exact number, I just said, "lots - almost every other book in our teen section is manga." One of her friends chimed in with, "wow!" Then one of the boys at the table mentioned that he had just moved here and thought the Oak Harbor library was really small. I asked where he had moved from and he said, "Seattle - I used to go to the main library and the one here is just tiny!" I agreed that it was when compared with Seattle's downtown building but told him that he should think of it as being more like one of Seattle's neighborhood branches and that we were part of a much larger system. I also had an opportunity to let them know that the library was having an anime film festival during the December school break, which rated another "cool."
Yesterday a teen inquired about the Teen Advisory Group. I explained that we were just getting the group started, some ideas of things the group might do (help plan programs, give suggestions about the teen collection, help with a library blog or myspace page, etc.) and that he could earn community service hours by participating. He took 3 applications (1 for him and 2 for some friends) and then shared that he had recently applied for a squire position at the library. After puzzling about this for a few seconds I said, "Oh, you mean one of our page jobs?" And he said, "that's right - I always get the name confused!" Well, I personally love the idea of having teen "squires" at the library to help out - maybe our teen advisory group will become our squires!