Li­brary to host teen prom event

The Saline Courier - - COMICS - By Elisha Morrison el­[email protected]­ton­courier.com

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.

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