I just happened across this article which mentions the efforts of the Racine, WI public library to engage youth.
"From Xbox tournaments to "Fear Factor" competitions and an upcoming "Pimp My Cart" contest in Racine, libraries in the Milwaukee area are trying harder to reach the elusive iPod-wearing, text-messaging 13- to 17-year-olds.
"The library isn't a cool place to be for that age group, so we've had to say to teens: We need your ideas. Get your friends from school and the neighborhood and church and tell us what you want," said Sandy Rusch Walton, a marketing and public relations officer for Milwaukee Public Library, referring to the system's increasingly active teen advisory board."
There are some very cool ideas in there and it's great to see that libraries are working to reinvent themselves and draw new patrons in. When our new library is finished construction it will have a greatly expanded youth section and more open spaces that will provide some room to try these new things.
I've heard quite a few people wishing for a Chapters lately. I'm with them but the new library has room for a coffee shop too. Soon we'll be able to go to the library for a good book, a latté and a little ambiance.
Maybe Grande Prairie is on the path to it's first Poetry Slam. If that doesn't combat the perception of GP being just an "oil town" I don't know what will.