Library News

Library Wins State Best Practice Award

Huntingdon County Library was awarded a best practice award by the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) for Teen Nerf Hunger Games, an innovative program that allowed teens to immerse themselves in the world of the Hunger Games books.

Youth services manager Jennifer Powell created the program based on the popular young adult book series by Suzanne Collins and enlisted the help of Juniata College’s Nerf Club members to put together the event. Using various Nerf weapons, teens competed to be the ‘victor’ by eliminating others from play by hitting certain allowed zones on the body and avoided ‘game makers’ who could eliminate players but also clarified and enforced rules.

“I thought this event would be fun and interesting for the teens.  Being a library event, Hunger Games worked because it was a book, first, so it made sense as a jumping off point. It was based on a story they were all familiar with,” said Powell. “Whether they knew about it from the book or the movie, it was something they could get excited about.”

“We received a positive response from the teen participants. It was just fun for them to be a kid again in the library.  Younger kids play in the library, but then that stops, and this allowed the teens to play again,” Powell said. “That’s one of the most important things, because libraries are not just houses for books anymore. Libraries are learning centers. You can go there to relate to other people through books, but you can also go there to learn to relate to other people in person. It’s a meeting place for the whole community, young and old—and now the in-betweens.”

“Programs like this bring life to the library, because, by bringing a book alive, we are making our own stories,” Powell said.

“The library is grateful to PaLA for its recognition of the excellent work being done by Jennifer Powell and the youth services team,” said library executive director Tracy Carey. “The library is committed to building exciting programming for young people that not only builds their literacy skills but entertains as well.”

According to the PaLA Best Practice Committee, programs considered to be a "best practice" should be supportive of learning and literacy, effective in reaching intended goals, cost efficient, age-appropriate, and innovative. 

Huntingdon County Library is a participating PA Forward library. PA Forward strives to promote five key literacies to Pennsylvanians: basic, information, civic and social, health, and financial. These literacies are essential to greater success in all vital roles of life: as students, as parents, as employees, as consumers, as citizens.

Huntingdon County Library is a proud United Way partner agency.