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Garfield Students Work To Remove Library Stigma For Young People

Garfield Public Library's Youth Services Librarian Lauren Magielnicki
Garfield Public Library's Youth Services Librarian Lauren Magielnicki Photo Credit: Joshua Jongsma

GARFIELD, N.J. — The library in Garfield is like many libraries, filled with venerable books, staff with encyclopedic knowledge and a variety of events throughout the week.

Unfortunately, young people have very little interest in any of these things.

"Let’s face it. I’m young but I’m not a teenager anymore," Youth Services Librarian Lauren Magielnicki said.

Magielnicki is leading the effort to start a Teen Library Council for the Garfield Public Library to pull in more students.

Some Garfield High School seniors already have taken interest in the council.

"There is a stigma attached to libraries for people in my age group. They tend to believe that the library is strictly a place that you have to be quiet and read," said Garfield High School Senior Sasha Estrada. "But it is so much more than that.

"A library is a place where you can visit to unlock your creativity. It is a friendly environment that gives you access to knowledge."

Estrada said she hopes to create group discussions on popular books, writing contests and "Black Coffee Houses," events that focus on students' artistic abilities, such as acting, singing or writing.

Another student said some students don't read much but that might be an opportunity for an outreach.

"I just thought that maybe I could change that or at least become a part of something that reaches out to the kids to get more into reading at the library," said Garfield High School Senior Kevin Negron.

Students interested in joining the Teen Library Council can contact Lauren Magielnicki at the Garfield Public library.

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