Kiss of Death: Lauren Henderson
The Book of Tomorrow: Cecelia Ahern

Santa Clara Teens Take Third Place In "Why I Need My Library" Contest

As a board member for the Foundation and Friends of the wonderful Santa Clara City Library in Santa Clara, CA, I'm thrilled to post this news release:

Three students from Wilcox High School win $1000 for the Santa Clara City Library

May 23, 2011 -- Alvin Ho, Brian Li and Alistair Twombly placed third in the 16-18 year old category of  the American Library Association’s “Why I Need My Library” video contest. This national contest encouraged teens ages 13 to 18 to create original videos on why they think libraries are needed now more than ever. Teens submitted one- to three minute videos on YouTube. The videos could  be live-action, animation, machinima or use a combination of techniques, and teens worked in groups of up to six.

The Santa Clara teens' artistically shot video conveys the library as a haven and escape for teens from everyday stress and pressures. Alvin Ho describes his thoughts about how the idea for the video came about:

When planning this video, my initial plan was to play up the "learning" aspect of the library, as a source of books, magazines, and internet. However, as I sat in the designated teen section, it occurred to me that yes, our library serves that purpose -- but so does every other library in the United States. What sets Santa Clara's library apart is its open environment, from the public displays of art to the sprawling park behind it. In the Teen Section, students sprawled on couches, huddled over computers relax after a long day of work, and its proximity to several high schools make it a hub of activity after school. Then it dawned on me that what truly makes this library special to us is the freedom it affords.

The YouTube link to the video is

Congratulations to the winners. The Santa Clara City Library appreciates the prize money and will use it to continue to make the library a welcoming environment for teens and all its patrons.

So nice when a library gets good news, during these trying times. And when that news comes at the hands of motivated teens, it's even better.