Teen Services

Four portrait photos of teens in black and white

Welcome to Teen Services at BPL

Here at Bridgton Public Library (BPL) we work to provide you with a safe space to research, study, charge your phone, hang out, and relax. 

Attached to the children’s room is a room decorated and curated with teens in mind. We have bean bag chairs, a charging station, latest new releases, a white board for doodles, and more!

The Youth Services Librarian, Miss Samantha, is always open to suggestions as she continues to work to optimize this space for Lake Region’s teens.

Bridgton Public Library - Art Contest

We miss our patrons and all the color they bring to our days.

Create any type of art with whatever you have around the house. You can draw of paint, but you can also create a sculpture out of laundry.  Your imagination is your limit!  Submit a photo of your art to Miss Samantha's email by April 15th. Include in your email: Artist's Name, Age, Town (you don't have to be from Bridgton or Maine!), and Title of the Submission.  A volunteer local artist will select the winners for each category.  Winning art will be featured on our Facebook and Instagram accounts!
Age Catagories: Fresh Canvas (0-3), Crayons (4-7) Imagineers (8-12) Mixed Paint (13-17) All Grown Up (18+)
Email: samanthaz.bridgtonlibrary@gmail.com
Include in your email: Artist’s Name, Age, Town (you don’t have to be from Bridgton or Maine!!), and the Title of the Submission. IF THERE IS ANY OF THIS INFORMATION YOU DON’T WANT TO BE PUBLIC YOU CAN STATE THAT IN YOUR EMAIL (all artists under 18 will not have their last names posted), but the email must contain all the information for clerical purposes.

Email: samanthaz.bridgtonlibrary@gmail.com

Did you know?

Librarians just want to help you find the information you need. We won’t judge you, and we will always keep your questions and checkouts private. That being said, we understand there are some things you want to keep to yourself. Don’t forget, you can always read while you are in the library and look up books using our book lists or catalog instead of asking for help. We are always willing to show you how to use these resources.


Collection Lists

We are always adding new materials, and we constantly update our lists. New lists can be made as well. If there is list you think we should have, feel free to ask Miss Samantha to make one, or submit the suggestion anonymously through the suggestion box at the Youth Services Desk.

Item Type

Topics

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Resources

Crisis

If you (or someone with you) are experiencing a medical emergency, are in danger, or are feeling suicidal, call 911 immediately.

Crisis Call Center: 1-800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863 
Crisis Text Line (U.S. only): text HELLO to 741741
Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-2433

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Activism & Society

Our country has a long history of youth-led movements that brought about significant social change. Young people have advocated for child labor laws, voting rights, civil rights, school desegregation, immigration reform and LGBT rights. Through their actions, the world has changed.

ADL | 10 Ways Youth Can Engage in Activism

Youth have been at the forefront of activism throughout history. Today, that pattern continues, stronger than other. If you are interested in getting involved in social and political activism, check out the links below!

My Rights

National Coalition Against Censorship: NCAC’s mission is to promote freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression and oppose censorship in all its forms, including education on First Amendment rights and obligations.

Voting

The most impactful way to effect change in a democracy is by registering to vote and voting at every election. It’s critical to research ahead of time what will be on the ballot, so you can go into the voting booth empowered and confident on where you stand and what you’re voting for.

In Bridgton, you can register to vote at the town hall. The town website provides information on when upcoming elections are taking place and what will be on the ballot. Check it out here!

The library also maintains a page with information about voting and upcoming elections. Check it out here!

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Assault & Abuse

Sutter Health offers articles and resources on Abuse and Violence for Teens. Did you know that “teens are twice as likely as adults to become victims of violent crimes”? This website discusses how to seek help and prevent violence against others.

Domestic Violence
  • Through These Doors is a domestic violence resource center, which has a location in Bridgton. The center “serves victims and survivors in Cumberland County, Maine [and] provide safe and accessible services to all people affected by domestic violence regardless of race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender, age, primary language spoken, or immigration status.”
  • Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence is the only statewide organization whose primary goal is ending domestic abuse in Maine.

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Education & Employment

Education and employment go hand-in-hand and allow use to live the lives we aspire to. However, both can be overwhelming to navigate! Below are resources to help you make sense of school and prepare for your professional future.

Homework Resources
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab – Provides information on researching and writing papers, and well as a citation guide for MLA and APA style papers.
  • CIA World Fact Book – Provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, transportation,military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.
  • Library of Congress Digital Collections – Includes digitized collections covering history and historical documents, film, photography, art, maps, music, geography, and more.
  • Kahn Academy – Free online help and classes in all areas of math and science, computer coding, and more
  • Citations
    • Why does citation matter? It’s important to cite your sources to add validity to your argument and prove you have done research. It also gives credit to people whose work you are using and avoids issues of plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offense and is not only limited to the copying of direct quotes, but also rewording an original idea of another person. Furthermore, people who are interested can follow your citation to read your sources if they are interested in learning more about the topic.

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College Resources

Are you interested in going to college? This can feel impossible if you don’t know many people who have gone or graduated from college or if the cost of higher education is prohibitive. No matter the concerns you have about applying, getting in, or paying for college, there are resources available to help you make a well-informed decision that is right for you.

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Employment

It can be overwhelming to think about your future career path, especially when career planning can feel like a job all on its own! We’re here to help make it more manageable. Start your planning here:

But what about everything else that goes into getting a job? Once you have an idea of what kind of work you’d like to do, it’s time to figure out things like cover letters, resumes, and interview skills.

  • Resumes – learn what a resume is and how to write one here
  • Cover Letters – discover the importance of cover letters and how to create one that catches a future employer’s eye
  • References – most jobs will require you to include personal/professional references; check out these tips for choosing the right references
  • Online job searches – the majority of job searching (and applying) is done online these days; learn how to navigate the online job hunt
  • How to find a job – information on alternative avenues for finding employment and how to avoid scammers
  • Sending in your application – before you hit send, go through this checklist to make sure everything is in order
  • Volunteering and work experience – work experience and volunteering can help you gain experience that employers are looking for while providing you an opportunity to discover if you enjoy a particular employment field
  • Interviewing – check out these interview tips!

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Family, Friends, & Relationships

Navigating relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners can be confusing. Thankfully, there are many reliable sources that can help you in your interpersonal relationships.

  • Bullying – Learn about what constitutes as bullying, what resources there are for getting help, and various fact sheets to help you navigate bullying you experience or witness.
  • Bullying, Safety & Privacy – ” As you get older, life can get more complicated. Bullying. Sexual assault. Protecting your privacy online. You don’t have to figure this stuff out alone — we’re here to help.”
  • Relationships and Social Skills – below are some featured articles from the Relationships and Social Skills page:
    • Family – “We first learn about loving and caring relationships from our families. Family is defined as a domestic group of people with some degree of kinship — whether through blood, marriage, or adoption. Ideally each child is nurtured, respected, and grows up to care for others and develop strong and healthy relationships. This does not mean that it is always easy to make and keep friends; it just means that we share the goal of having strong relationships.”
    • Friends – “As you get older, some of your friendships will start to change, and some may grow deeper. You might also begin to know many more people, although not all of them will be your close friends. Chances are, you will also start to spend more time with your friends, and maybe talk on the phone more. Changes in relationships are natural but not always easy.
  • Understanding Relationships – “Relationships can make us feel fantastic! But a fight with a close friend can really hurt. It’s also upsetting when the people closest to you, like your family, don’t seem to get you. Plus, relationships can be very confusing, especially when they change as you get older.”
  • Romantic and Sexual Relationships – ” Confused about relationships? You’re not alone. But don’t stress — we’re here to help. Whether you’re dating, hooking up, or breaking up, we can help you figure out what’s going on.”
Emancipation

As stated on Maine’s state legislature page, “Emancipation is a legal process conducted through the District Court which declares a minor over the age of 16 to be independent of his or her parents or guardians.” The process by which this is achieved is outlined here. The first step in the process requires the teenager to fill out and submit a formal petition for emancipation, which can be found here.

Kids Legal summarizes the requirements for gaining legal emancipation in the state of Maine as follows:

  • You must be at least 16 years old
  • You must refuse to live in a home provided by your parent(s) or legal guardian(s)/custodian(s)
  • The Petition for Emancipation must be filed in the District Court in Maine where one of your parents or legal guardians/custodians lives
  • You must be able to prove that you have a plan to take care of your basic needs
  • You must be able to show the Court that you have sufficient maturity to make decisions for yourself, and
  • You must be able to show the Court that it is in your best interests to be emancipated

Additionally, the Maine District Court will appoint a free lawyer to represent you. The appointed lawyer can help you fill out your petition and will represent you in the court hearing. You can fill out a request for counsel form here.

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Gender & Sexuality

Gender and sexuality can be confusing to define, and it can feel like your own gender and sexual identities are in a state of flux! Learning about these concepts and reading the stories of others who have questioned their own gender and sexual identities can help you navigate your own journey.

LGBTQ+

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth are part of every community, come from all walks of life, and are present in every racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographical group. While many LGBTQ youth transition from childhood to adulthood successfully and become healthy and productive adults, others are negatively impacted as a result of many factors; for LGBTQ youth, social stigma about their sexual choices or identities can be particularly difficult.

Health Considerations for LGBTQ Youth | CDC.gov

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Health

Health is a broad term that encompasses many aspects of life. It is also something that is easy to take for granted — right up until your health status changes. Discover what impacts your health and how better to care for your body. While our relationships to our bodies and minds can be complicated, they are worth working on as our bodies and minds are our lifelong companions!

Nutrition

Would you like to have more energy, clearer skin, and get sick less often? There are many medications, energy drinks, and strategies available, but eating healthy is one of the most important and universally effective ways to improve your health!

Eating Disorders

  • The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures, and access to quality care.
  • Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens that covers everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

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Mental Health

Feeling overwhelmed? Anxious? Unsure if what you’re feeling is “normal”? Arm yourself with knowledge! Explore what mental health professionals are saying, read accounts of others navigating mental health issues, and empower yourself to discuss this complicated and personal topic with trusted adults in your life.

  • OK2TALK is a community where teens and young adults struggling with mental health conditions can find a safe place to talk about what they’re experiencing by sharing their personal stories of recovery, tragedy, struggle or hope.
  • “Do you have some super-strong feelings? Maybe you change from happy and confident one minute to sad and confused the next. You are not alone!” Read more on feelings at Girls Health.
  • Emotions and mental health – “Being human is an emotional experience, and we all have moments of happiness, sadness and anger. Learn ways to deal with your feelings, and how to seek help when you feel overwhelmed, hopeless or depressed.”

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Puberty & General Health

TeensHealth is a resource for teens who need honest, accurate information and advice about body health, emotions, and life. Check out their resources on puberty here.

The Center for Disease Control and Protection works “to protect America from health, safety and security threats.” Find reliable information on all types of diseases, health concerns, and health security, including Zombie Preparedness.

Sutter Health offers many resources on puberty and health; follow the links below to check them out!

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Sex & Pregnancy

Sex, Etc. is a site by and for teens. It offers a wide variety of information on sex education including birth control, STDs, and relationships.

Scarleteen offers “sex ed for the real world,” providing information on sexuality and relationships that is “inclusive, comprehensive, supportive.”

Planned Parenthood (PP) is a powerful resource for information on sex, relationships, bodies, and more. PP can help you get on birth control, test for STDs, and answer any and all health concerns.

Sutter Health offers many resources on puberty and health; follow the links below to check them out!

  • Pregnancy – how does it happen? What are your options?
  • Sexual health – “You’re in control of your body and decisions. Find out about the challenges and risks associated with sex and how to stay safe.”
  • Ethical sex – “Ethical sex sounds complicated and a bit difficult, but if you choose to be sexual, you should aim for ethical sex. It’s actually not as complicated as it sounds.”

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Vaccination

Learn about Teen Vaccination from the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), “a non-profit organization [that] works to increase immunization rates and prevent disease by creating and distributing educational materials for health professionals and the public that enhance delivery of safe and effective immunization services. IAC also facilitates communication about the safety, efficacy, and use of vaccines within the broad immunization community of patients, parents, healthcare organizations, and government health agencies.”

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Drug Use & Abuse

Knowledge is power. Arm yourself with information so you can stay safe — and help keep your friends safe, too.

If you think you might have a drug problem, you are not alone and help is available.

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