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Arlington's teen librarian brings dancing to the library

Jocelyn Redel tries to keep up with the teenagers dancing to Dance Dance Revolution at a new event for teens at the Arlington Library. Redel has been teen librarian since March. Redel earned her library degree in an on-line program through the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. -
Jocelyn Redel tries to keep up with the teenagers dancing to Dance Dance Revolution at a new event for teens at the Arlington Library. Redel has been teen librarian since March. Redel earned her library degree in an on-line program through the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
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Dancing and gaming don’t seem like the types of activities appropriate in the library, but teen librarian Jocelyn Redel will do anything to get kids interested in reading.

After six months as the teen librarian at the Arlington Library, Redel is launching some new teen activities this fall.

“We held focus groups during the summer and asked the teens what they would like to see at their libraries, and this is one of the things mentioned,” Redel said, while gasping for breath after trying to keep up with the electronic game, Dance Dance Revolution.

The event attracted Melissa Bergemeier to the library for the first time in a long time.

“Hardly ever,” That’s Bergemeier reaction when asked how often she visits the library. She and her sister are homeschooled and they were interested to see what the gaming was all about. She danced to her selection of songs on Dance Dance Revolution, placing her feet on pads on the floor that documented her correct steps, with points showing up on the screen. After a few minutes she stepped away from that game to let the next person in line to have a go. She watched her sister playing Guitar Hero, with an electronic guitar slung over her shoulder. Each correct action resulted in points on the screen.

“You can pick any band you want,” Bergemeier said. “It’s like karaoke for guitar.”

Redel said she had to plan a long time ahead to get the equipment from the Sno-Isle head office. Now she’s got three events for teens each month.

“When I heard these games were available I decided to plan a monthly gaming event,” she said. Along with the games, there were also snacks and sodas.

Other teen activities include the Manga Book Group at 3 p.m. on the first Monday each month. Redel leads the discussion as readers share their thoughts about their favorite Manga books.

Another gaming event, “Creepy Karaoke” is set for Saturday night, Oct. 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. Teen library patrons are invited to arrive in costume and rock the night away, singing karaoke and challenging friends at games like chess, Apples to Apples, Monopoly, Speed and others.

Redel recommends the frightening “Books with Bite” scavenger hunt and she said there will be prizes for best, worst and most unique costumes.

The teen events are supported by the Sno-Isle Foundation and the Friends of the Arlington Library.

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