Youth Empowerment

Primary author: Richard Styre

As a library we can help our youth to learn valuable lessons that will help them through life.

What is in this tool?

This tool will help you think through how your library can facilitate knowledge sharing to the younger generations, as well as some concrete ideas to get you started.  The goal is to give children a way to be independent and inspire them to take the initiative to be self sufficient and productive.

Research has told me that our youth are a very important element in a thriving Library and Community. The question is how can we do this? How do we get their heads into learning life skills?  This can be as simple as facilitating the passing down of knowledge from one generation to the next. 

The search for knowledgable people shouldn’t be too hard. We are surrounded by knowledgeable people in our communities all the time. You can turn to a local mechanic for help teaching lawnmower repair.  You could ask a bicycle shop to help set up a bike repair station outside the library.  A local teacher might help set up an interview skills class. Your neighbor could teach sewing.  A fisherman could teach fly tying. The possibilities are endless. You will be surprised how many people around you can be a very valuable resource for these tasks, and that most will be thrilled that you asked them.

LISTEN: “Knowledge is wealth, knowledge is– is– you’ve gotta– it makes you independent, you know. The library makes you independent because of the fact that, hey, I can come here, I can find this out, and not necessarily have to talk to somebody if you’re not a very social person or a person that can self explain to someone– explain to someone what you are looking for. There are the books; there’s the information. There it is, right there. And it’s a thing of immense service that you can’t get anywhere else.” Mark, interview #8-3-16

Further Resources

Want to learn more about seeking contribution from community members? Try the Pathways to Belonging: Contribution tool.

Want to learn more about tapping into existing community knowledge: Try the Awakening to Community Potential tool.