The Fort Saskatchewan Public Library has two programs nominated for prestigious awards.
 
YOU Library 2016 Minister's Award for Excellence in Public Library Service has recognized the Teen Takeover Program and International Pen Friends.

Teen Takeover is a program occurring once per month on Fridays from 6 - 8:00 p.m., with teens having the whole library to themselves. There is often fun themes including Nerf gun battles, Writer-in-Residence and sometimes open floor - with video games, board games, and the ability to use library materials.

"Teens can be really hard to get into the library," public services librarian Emily Paulsen explained, "this is a problem that libraries everywhere have a problem with, but one of the great ways to bring people in is to do this program. We noticed that Teen Takeover is going so well, it's something that we're really proud of."

The YOU Library Awards is a way to recognize different aspects of public libraries, which can include their collections or programs. It's a great way for libraries to be creative and get more recognized for their contributions to the community.

"We have our new maker space which is awesome," Paulsen added. 
 
"They've been playing the drums and using our video game station. It's a way for them to use the space and for them to hang out with their friends in a safe space and to learn about what the library has to offer."

The program has been a huge success since it opened March of 2015, with an event on April 8 bringing in over 50 teens.

"We're thinking we're doing something right," Paulsen said, "so that's why we put it forward as one of our nominations for this award."

Deadline to vote for the awards is this Friday, April 15. You can find a link to the voting page on the Fort Saskatchewan Public Library's website and their Facebook page.

For more information on the International Pen Friend's program, click here.