Library to host teen prom event
The Saline County Library will host a prom for teens from 6 to 10 p.m. May 11, at Herzfeld Library in Benton.
“Library Prom is the dream prom we all wanted,” said Jennifer Watson, young adult librarian, adding its like a school dance but with only friends.
She said the library has a mix of teens who do not feel like they fit in and homeschooled students. It gives those groups a place to feel they fit and a chance to have a typical high school experience.
It is open to teens ages 13 through 18. No one outside that age range will be permitted.
Teens can attend as a couple, a group or individually.
The staff decided to start at 6 p.m. so if they wanted, the attendees could go out to dinner and do photos before the event.
Watson said the last day to turn in contracts for the event is Tuesday. All attendees must have a contract turned in to be allowed to participate in the prom. The contracts include parents’ contact information, permission to seek medical attention if needed and expected behavior for each teen.
Contracts can be picked up at either library location (Benton or Bryant) and turned in at the Children’s Desk.
When attendees enter the library, there will be a professional photographer from Perspective Integrated Image Design to take traditional prom photos. Downstairs, there will be a photo booth with props for the teens to take pictures with their phones.
The dance will take place in the downstairs reading area. The space will be limited to keep the group together and safe.
Watson said they will eat snacks and dance. There will be all the normal group dances and the librarians plan to teach the teens some ballroom dances.
Bryant Teen Librarian Brett Williams will serve as disc jockey for the event. The playlist was created with input from the teens at the library.
Watson said they are still in need of speakers. If anyone has any the library can use, she asks that they call her at the library.
The idea came about when Watson was talking to the homeschooled students who wished they could go to a dance like public school students.
She talked to Youth Services Director Sarah Beth Lesko and they decided to hold the prom.
The library collected dresses from the community, along with attire for boys and accessories. They had a dress try-on day in April that Watson said went well. Most of the girls found a dress they liked.
“I was floored by what the community was able to give us and how they support us,” she said.
Watson’s goal for the prom is to give each student who attends “a magical experience.”
“I want the kids who attend to have the best time possible,” she said.
The library can be reached at 501-778-4766.