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Media Room

Date: 2/11/2021

Teen Programming Reimagined

Teens are invited to Blount County Public Library’s reimagined youth programming, to be held each Saturday at 2:30.


All programs are virtual. The first Saturday of each month is for a “drop-in” Dungeons & Dragons game session, using Roll20. The second Saturday will be for board gaming, set up so that participating players can discuss game strategies and choices while a coordinator films the board. The third Saturday will be YA Café, a space for teens to share their favorite media, such as books, music, anime, etc. And the fourth Saturday will be an online trivia contest.


Ashten Royse, one of the library’s teen-aged volunteers, said he’s glad to dive into the new schedule: “I’m excited to start doing things again!” He will be the ringleader on the first board game day, taking players through Boss Monster.


Boss Monster is a bit of a romp, Royse noted. The table-top indie card game puts players in the role of the villain in an old-school video game, building traps and hazards to thwart the fictional hero. Players may suggest other games in coming weeks, or games may come from the library’s own collection.


Jennifer Spirko, the library’s Youth Services Manager, said that programming in the COVID era has been challenging. “We hope that by having a consistent ‘hangout’ time, we can offer teens a way to connect with each other in a fun, low-pressure context.” Young people already spend a lot of their time online, she noted, adding that the library hopes to add an in-person version of these programs when it is safe to do so.


Most of the programs require nothing other than the participants sign up in advance, by emailing Spirko ( or Carrie Godfrey, the library’s teen librarian ( The deadline is midday Friday before each program; signups after that time may not be able to be included in the fun.


One extra-special addition is the new YA Café. Because the popular program included snacks and beverages for the participants, Godfrey will be packing treat bags for teens who sign up in advance. These “Café Crates” are lighter versions of a monthly subscription crate, and each month will be slightly different, but all will include delicious treats, a gift and some materials for a shared activity. The bags can be picked up via the library’s curbside delivery or at the Children’s Library desk inside the building during open hours.


“Everything’s been weird with COVID,” Royse noted, and this slate of varying programs will, he hopes, help the library to rebuild its popular teen programming. 


“Someday we’ll be sitting around a table playing games and eating great food together,” Spirko said. “This is our way of bridging from where we have been as a community to that goal of regular hangout times.”


For further information about library programs or services, call the library at (865) 982-0981 or visit the Web site at . To sign up to receive a monthly calendar by email, go to the library’s Home Page and go to “What’s Happening?” on the Menu Bar. Then under News and Events click on Join Calendar Email List. Also check out Facebook at “Blount County Public Library,” Twitter at “Blount_Library,” and Instagram at “bcplibrary.”