A teen watches his creation come to life on a 3D printer during Teen Tech Week at the San Antonio Public Library. Photo Courtesy of Teen Services at the San Antonio Public Library.
A teen watches his creation come to life on a 3D printer during Teen Tech Week at the San Antonio Public Library. Photo Courtesy of Teen Services at the San Antonio Public Library.

Saying that libraries are more than books is practically a cliché these days – but what Teen Services at the San Antonio Public Library wants teens (bookworms and non-bookworms) to know is that there is always something fun going on for them at their San Antonio Public Library – and that’s a guarantee.

How can we promise this? Because at many of our library locations the teens have taken over – taken over planning activities and making sure the librarians know what teens want, what is fun and cool and what is not.

Teens love to hang-out and they love technology. Enter Teen Tech Week: an annual celebration during spring break that showcases all of the great digital resources and services that are available for teens at their San Antonio Public Library.

A teen designs objects using a 3D pen during Teen Tech Week at the San Antonio Public Library. Photo Courtesy of Teen Services at the San Antonio Public Library.
A teen designs objects using a 3D pen during Teen Tech Week at the San Antonio Public Library. Photo Courtesy of Teen Services at the San Antonio Public Library.

“Libraries are for making…” is the theme of Teen Tech Week this year which will take place throughout the San Antonio Public Library System during spring break – the week of March 8 – 14. This year’s theme celebrates the Library’s role in providing teens access to equipment, community, and education that allows them to design, prototype and create things that wouldn’t be possible elsewhere. This year teens will have a chance to experiment with coding, make their own art machine, and play music with MaKey MaKey among other activities.

Teen Tech Week demonstrates how the San Antonio Public Library provides meaningful contributions to the educational and social development of the teens in our community. Teen Tech Week is a celebration of digital literacy and technology sponsored by the Young Adult Services Association (YALSA).

The San Antonio Public Library has participated in Teen Tech Week since its inception in 2005. This year, for the second year in a row, San Antonio Public Library’s Teen Services was selected to host a special Teen Tech Week event sponsored by Best Buy & YALSA. San Antonio joins libraries in ten other US cities (including Washington DC, Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Seattle, St. Paul and New York) to offer a free “Hour of Code” class for teens. The class will be presented by members of Best Buy’s Geek Squad and will take place in the Central Library’s Teen Department. This hour-long course will take place on Thursday, March 12 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.,  and will provide hands-on training that will help teens learn to code. Advanced coders and beginners are welcome. This fast-paced and fun activity is open to 13 to 18 year olds only. Registration for the “Hour of Code” class is required and seating is limited. For more information or to register, teens can call the Teen Services Department of the San Antonio Public Library system at 210-207-2678.

Teens learn to use a 3D printer during Teen Tech Week at the San Antonio Public Library. Photo Courtesy of Teen Services at the San Antonio Public Library.
Teens learn to use a 3D printer during Teen Tech Week at the San Antonio Public Library. Photo Courtesy of Teen Services at the San Antonio Public Library.

The Hour of Code activity at Central Library is the highlight of Teen Tech Week – a week that will boast a variety of technology-based activities at each branch library location. A full listing of Teen Tech Week events can be found on the San Antonio Public Library’s calendar of events at www.mysapl.org. Teen Tech Week coincides with spring break – so if parents are looking for free things for their teens to do – we’ve got you covered.

Teen Tech Week demonstrates the value your library gives to the community by offering teens a space to extend learning beyond the classroom where they can explore, create and share content and play a role in crafting their library experience.

A teen learns to use a soldering machine during Teen Tech Week at the San Antonio Public Library. Photo Courtesy of Teen Services at the San Antonio Public Library.
A teen learns to use a soldering machine during Teen Tech Week at the San Antonio Public Library. Photo Courtesy of Teen Services at the San Antonio Public Library.

Throughout the year at each of our library locations across the city, teens will find a vibrant welcoming space, a free weekly activity just for teens, and opportunities to be involved and play decision-making roles in their library services. One of the overarching goals of Teen Services at the San Antonio Public Library is involving teens in the development and implementation of activities and programming for themselves and their peers. If teens need volunteer service hours for school or if they have a passion (like manga or Doctor Who) they would like to share with like-minded teens, they’re welcomed to get involved! Teen Services at the San Antonio Public Library offers experiences for our City’s teens that spur creativity and curiosity and are, frankly, just fun.

For more information about Teen Services at the San Antonio Public Library, and a list of Teen Tech Week Activities, visit mysapl.org or call 210-207-2678.

*Featured/top image: A teen watches his creation come to life on a 3D printer during Teen Tech Week at the San Antonio Public Library. Photo Courtesy of Teen Services at the San Antonio Public Library.

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Jennifer Velasquez

In addition to her work with the San Antonio Public Library as teen services coordinator, Jennifer Velasquez is a lecturer at the San Jose State University School of Information in California. In 2011,...