Teens

 Learn more about what the library has to offer teens and how you can participate below.

 

Recommended for Teens

 

Explore titles in the below genres:

Resources, Programs and Events

There's always something happening at your local library branch. Follow our recommendations below for popular teen programs and resources, or search the full event list.

Join our Teen Discord server—a virtual hangout space where teens ages 11 to 17 can enjoy virtual programming and chat with other teens and our librarians—all in a curated, welcoming and well-moderated environment. Topics include:

  • Anime
  • Arts and crafts
  • Books
  • Movies 
  • Trivia
  • Video games

Discord is free (available as a mobile app, PC program or via web browser) that allows users to communicate via text, voice or video in real time. The server may be public but is constantly monitored by our librarians and has safety measures in place to ensure that the server is always as safe as possible. To learn more, review the Parents' Ultimate Guide to Discord.

How to Join

There are two ways to join:

  1. Using your email address, register for an upcoming teen program that is being hosted on Discord. The Discord link will be emailed to you about 30 minutes before the program begins.
  2. Complete the Teen Discord Server form and the Discord link will be emailed to you within one to three days.

Teens aged 11 through 17 can join us for three to five days, during which they can focus on an interest, hobby or career of their choice, in a workshop setting. Each day of the workshop, teens will work with an expert facilitator to learn about the topic and create a culminating or final product. Teens that attend all days and complete their workshop will receive a $20 Amazon gift card. The workshop themes vary each summer and have included the following and more:

  • Art 
  • Astronomy
  • Babysitting certification 
  • Care and Keeping of Pets/Vet science 
  • Creative Writing 
  • Dance 
  • Drones (building and flying)
  • Game Development 
  • Improvisation 
  • Music production 
  • Photography 
  • Robotics  

Explore this virtual maker space and exchange technology-based ideas, lesson plans and activities with other Maryland libraries and schools.

Watch videos about new books, video games, anime, sports, cooking and more! 

Contests and Challenges

Learn more about the following contests for teens.

Participate in the library’s annual Summer Reading Challenge from June through August.

Battle of the Books is a reading challenge for grades 4 through 8 where participants can earn points by reading Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award nominated books from our titles lists, taking our online practice quizzes and attending virtual events. The 2022 competition details will be posted when available.

Baltimore County teens currently in grades 6 through 12 are challenged to submit an original piece for the library’s annual “Exercise Your Write” short story contest. Teens utilize their creativity and voice to write about social justice, inequity, civil rights and the experiences of marginalized communities, by selecting one quote from a list provided by the library—or choose a quote, lyric or phrase of their choice from a book, poem, short story, essay, article, song, speech, etc.—and create a short story based on their interpretation of the quote and its meaning to them. The 2022 competition deadline has ended. Next year's competition will begin January 1, 2023.

Congratulations to this years winners! Read the winning stories on the BCPL short story website.

Middle School Winners 

1st Place—"The Defiling" by Sophia Kantsevoy, 8th grade, Pikesville 
An inspiring story of a teenager standing up against anti-Semitism in the face of apathy from their peers and school administrators.   

2nd Place/Staff Pick—"The Red Door" by Annabelle Kroart, 6th grade, Hereford 
This story serves as a sobering reminder of the viciousness of capitalism and pays homage to the people who came before and fought for workers’ rights to safety.  

3rd Place—"Mr. Porter, Sir" by Zoe Deese, 8th grade, Owings Mills 
Told through the eyes of a teenager, this tense short story grapples with the ever-present threat of police brutality that faces people of color.  

High School Winners

1st Place—"The Death of Apartment 61" by Adiyah J. Parham, 10th grade, Owings Mills 
A devastating tale following a family as their home is forcefully gentrified for the benefit of the wealthy class.   

2nd Place—"Hair Covered Barrier" by Yakhare Gueye, 12th grade, Towson 
Cruel words from friends cause a young girl’s hair to grow until it completely encases her. It takes her mother’s love to remind her of the beauty and power of natural hair.   

3rd Place—"I Love You Too" by Zachary Lyons, 11th grade, Owings Mills 
This intimate conversation between a teenager and his father, a victim of the prison industrial complex, serves as an important statement against the dehumanizing effects of incarceration in America.   

Staff Pick—"When You’re Autistic" by Jenna Nesky, 10th grade, Pikesville 
This short story offers a frank look at the way the structures of our society ostracize people with neurodiversity and shows the way our differences can be our strengths.   

Get Involved

Earn Service Learning Hours

Join Baltimore County Public Library to earn your service learning hours, meet new people, and help youth and families at the library. Apply for the Building Buddies Summer Service Learning Program.

For Students and Teachers

Students

Teachers

Learn More

For more information or questions, email yfe@bcpl.net.