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Re: Participation Issues  Mari Hardacre
 Jun 29, 2000 15:43 PDT 
Our Teen Council tends to *not* want to work on projects that were not
their idea. If a project is their idea from its inception, they are more
likely to have a vested interest and to put in the time. Since they make
the decisions about their mystery play and the sleepover, they are willing
to put in enormous time commitments on these things. (Some of their ideas
are expensive or time-consuming to implement such as the mystery character
(Bill the Bodycast) who was constructed out of papier-mache and "spoke" via
a remote microphone/speaker system in his stomach [voice provided by the
play's director in the sound room].)

But... if i plan a program that is open to the general teen public without
getting their input, they are unlikely to attend. Also, they are not
necessarily interested in the full range of things their peers like. For
example, many teens here are really into anime but only one TLC member
comes to Anime Nights. So if we had only opted to present programs that
had the TLC stamp of approval we would have missed out on reaching the
anime crowd.

So anyway, maybe offering them a list of possibilities then having them
select one that they would then plan and present--with some degree of
decision-making power--would help....

At 01:51 PM 6/29/00 -0700, you wrote:
 Okay, I'll admit my group (though enthusastic) tends to display the
teenage attitude of "That's a great idea! ... Why are you looking
at me? Oh, no - I'm too busy to help."

My philosophy is "The teens do the work, the teens get the credit" but
they sometimes don't seem to want to do much work. I've got them going
on passive programs (TAG Picks booklists, a bi-weekly poster drawing,
etc), but can't seem to get the focus for larger projects.

Anyone have any suggestions to improve participation at meetings and
encouraging active help in program production? (I've already tried


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Mari Hardacre
Young Adult Services Coordinator
Carmel Clay Public Library
55 4th Ave. SE
Carmel IN 46032
email: mhard-@carmel.lib.in.us
phone: 317-814-3979
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