Libraries across the nation are targeting a key group of customers this week: young adults. And the Beaufort County Library is no exception. There's nothing our librarians love more than the opportunity to draw in new, young readers and make lifelong learning customers out of them.
Today through Saturday marks Teen Read Week, an initiative started by the Young Adult Library Services Association in 1998. This year's nationwide theme is "Picture it @ Your Library." The program is designed to help young readers pick out creative works and imagine the world through literature.
The Bluffton library will be holding a "Teen Read Week Picture It Party" from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday. This is a particularly cool event for young people who dream of having free run of the library. Being that it occurs after hours, guests ages 12 to 18 will have access to the library after the general public goes home.
The evening's main attraction will be the Digital Photo Scavenger Hunt. Teens will be encouraged to roam the library armed with a list of items to search for and photographs. They are asked to bring digital cameras and cables, or a friend that has one, so the scavenger hunt results can be viewed.
Library staff plan to use this opportunity to incorporate young adults' opinions in their materials-selection process. Teens will be given an opportunity to offer input as to what new Young Adult titles the library should order.
While Teen Read Week is not directly associated with Halloween, the ever-popular holiday will be incorporated. Guests are encouraged to come in costume to Bluffton's Friday event, and prizes will be awarded to some of the most creative.
In addition, the Beaufort library will be hosting a fundraiser for Teen Programing from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Customers are invited to take a haunted tour of the library. Each ticket costs $1. Children younger than 8 are welcome, but should be accompanied by an adult. At the same time, guests are invited to listen to fall stories beginning every half hour and create a fall craft to take home.
There's still time to participate in the third annual Teen Film Festival by the Library Teen Board of Northern Beaufort County. Deadline for submission is 5 p.m. Saturday. Movies must be directed, filmed and edited by teens ages 11 to 17 or in sixth through 12th grades. For more details, check out the rules for submission at www.beaufortcounty  library.org.
And don't miss the Haunted Library in Lobeco: It's a night full of horrifying mystery, gruesome treats to eat and fortune telling along with prizes and more Friday. Registration is required.
The library also offers more than just Teen Read Week to young adults. Each library branch has its own area devoted to teens, with both fiction and nonfiction selections. Our reference databases also offer many research resources that are perfect for completing school assignments. If you're especially interested in literature for young adults, check out YALSA's website at www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/yalsa.cfm . It's full of book recommendations and award-winning books for young adults, a great many which can be found at your local library.