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Thu, Nov. 14

Teens get a new leader at Prescott Valley Public Library

New Teen Librarian Jeff Howick, Prescott Valley Public Library. (Sue Tone/Tribune)

New Teen Librarian Jeff Howick, Prescott Valley Public Library. (Sue Tone/Tribune)

Jeff Howick is no stranger to young patrons at the Prescott Valley Public Library — even though he has held the title of Teen Librarian for a mere month.

Howick has been a part-time library employee for two years in circulation and as assistant librarian in the children’s section. This past month, he earned his Master’s degree in Library Science through University of Arizona. When former Teen Librarian Shelbie Marks accepted a position out of state, Howick felt the time was right to apply for and take on the position.

His first focus is the summer reading program, which began June 1. His second goal is to work on community partnerships.

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Teen Librarian Jeff Howick, foreground, listens to a tune recorded in the digital media lab by Athena Sligo, 17, on June 11, in the Prescott Valley Public Library. (Sue Tone/Tribune)

“I want to reach out to teachers and schools to see how we can work together, what I can offer to make their lives easier,” Howick said this past week as young patrons walked past greeting him by name.

Helping high school students apply for college and scholarships is on his list as well as working with an organization through Northern Arizona University with students who want to pursue a career in education. Every three months, youth librarians throughout Yavapai County gather together, and he is looking forward to meeting with them.

The Prescott Valley resident and his wife, Misty, an associate pastor with Prescott United Methodist Church, have 5-year-old twins who will turn six and enter first grade this year. It was the birth of the twins that brought the family back to the States after teaching in Japan for four years.

“We moved back to be closer to the grandparents,” he said, adding that one set lives in Phoenix and the other in Tucson.

Howick grew up in Phoenix and attended University of Arizona. He has managed a comic book store where he could always find something to match up with customers, and was counselor and then program director at a summer camp.

He has an affinity for libraries, often visiting them with his children for story time. Volunteering and then working at the Prescott Valley Public Library was a way to continue involvement in education, but not have to be in the classroom, he said.

He is learning the library’s collection, and also the community. He hopes to build a youth internship program.

“One thing I heard is they want young people to stay in the area. One way to draw them back is offering training through internships whether they use their skills in a library somewhere or in related fields,” Howick said.

Teen Library Assistant Coleen Bornschlegel said the transition has gone smoothly. She sat on the hiring committee and said Howick did very well in the interview process and “it felt right” to consider him for the position.

Upcoming events for teens at Prescott Valley Public Library

The Teen Summer Reading Program’s theme for 2019 is A Universe of Stories, and the Prescott Valley Public Library has several exciting events scheduled over the next few weeks.

Wednesday, June 19: Maker Faire is open to all ages from 4 to 7 p.m. to make slime, learn how to use a sewing machine and 3D machine, try digital drawing, record music with the Garage Band program, and participate in robotics and Lego activities.

Thursday/Friday, June 20-21: Hogwarts Summer Camp operates from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for ages 12 to 18. Registration is required (at pvlib.net/teens) for the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where participants will learn how to defend against the dark arts (karate instruction) and take a potions class (essential oils). Learn the game of Quidditch and compete for house points.

Thursday, June 27, 2 p.m. see how high you can launch your rocket in this Teen STEAM activity.

Thursday, July 11, at 2 p.m. another Teen STEAM project allows participants to explore the stories behind the stars and create a unique constellation of their own.

Thursday, July 18, from 2 to 3 p.m. the Reader’s Theater will give a performance in the auditorium.

Thursday, July 25, from 2 to 3 p.m. an epic battle, Nerf Space Wars, takes place in the Crystal Room.

Saturday, July 27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The summer culminates in the impressive Fandomania: A Comic-Con Event where visitors and participants come dressed as a favorite character, play games, attend workshops, and meet local authors and artists.

July 31, 2 p.m., the final Teen STEAM event will offer everything you want to know about the moon and its phases.

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