Long Beach Libraries to Offer Expanded Programming for Teens

LONG BEACH, CA – The Long Beach Public Library (LBPL) is expanding its programming for teens at several branch locations. The summer and after-school programs will add a variety of enrichment activities for youth ages 12 and older with a strong focus on wellbeing, creativity, STEAM learning and collaborative interaction.

“Quality after-school and summer activities are vital to both the well-being and academic success of our city’s kids and young adults,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Thanks to the Long Beach Recovery Act, our award-winning library system is able to greatly expand their programming and opportunities to engage, learn, explore and create.”

Library branches that will feature expanded teen programming starting this summer include Billie Jean King Main Library, Burnett, Harte, Los Altos, Mark Twain and Michelle Obama. The new programs include the following:

Read Beyond the Beaten Path is the LBPL’s Summer Reading Program, with drop-in workshops for teens that include:

  • Shared Science: Critter Plushies – Sew a critter plushie and then add tech adaptations to help it survive in a changing biome at 4 p.m. Thursday, July 7, at Billie Jean King Main Library and 4 p.m. Thursday, August 4, at Michelle Obama.
  • Shared Science: Paper Marbling – Create marbled stationery with hydrophilic and hydrophobic ink techniques at 4 p.m. Thursday, July 21, at Mark Twain.
  • Let’s Rock! – Walk the path of those who looked to crystals for healing. Learn about the most common types of crystals that nature has to offer and make your own crystal beaded bracelet at 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, at Mark Twain.
  • Pathways of the Stars – Explore the constellations, learn more about your inner cosmic being through astrology and create string art of your Zodiac sign at 4 p.m. Wednesday, August 3 at Mark Twain.

SEED: Growing a STEAM Community is a hands-on, experiential, arts-integrated STEAM summer camp program for incoming seventh and eighth graders. These free weekly camps run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, June 27-August 5. Applications are now being accepted online or residents can visit any Long Beach Public Library branch to apply.

Teen Advisory Groups (TAG) is a program for teens interested in volunteer learning opportunities or leadership development. TAGs are a great way for teens to learn and practice crucial interpersonal skills such as teamwork, collaboration, communication, empathy and problem-solving, while having fun with friends. The LBPL is currently seeking members for its TAG program. Visit one of these locations to join or learn more about TAG: Billie Jean King Main Library, Burnett, Harte, Los Altos, Mark Twain and Michelle Obama.

“The need for safe spaces, social interactions, and creative, engaging, and enriching activities for teens has grown significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Acting Library Services Director Christine Hertzel. “Through the Long Beach Recovery Act, the Library has been able to hire additional staff to focus solely on developing programs and services specifically for Long Beach teens. We are very excited to launch our new expanded programming this summer and look forward to more offerings in the fall and winter, too.”

Expanded programming for teens at the neighborhood libraries is made possible by the Long Beach Recovery Act (Recovery Act), a plan to fund economic and public health initiatives for residents, workers and businesses critically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of $800,000 has been allocated from the Recovery Act to support Library program expansions for two years. Additional information about the Long Beach Recovery Act is available at longbeach.gov/recovery.

These new teen programs align with Goal 4 of Long Beach’s Race and Reconciliation Initiative to increase park space and recreation programming to foster physical activity, community connections, and safe space for children and families to play.

For more information about Long Beach Public Library teen programming and other activities for youth, visit lbpl.org or call 562.570.7500.