With school in Andover going hybrid and limited in-person services, the Teen Room is trying to find new ways to serve students in grades 6 through 12. While tween and teen patrons can visit the library until we reach capacity or request items to pick up via our curbside service, we want to offer a virtual space as well. Therefore, we are introducing our Teen Room Discord Server!
We know that students and caregivers have questions about Discord so where are some questions we think you might want to know the answers to.
What is Discord anyway?
Discord is a web/mobile chat service where you can set up private “servers” where people can communicate via chat and voice. It's a service that can be used to build community and communication. We hope that it will be a place where tweens and teens can talk to each other about books, TV, activities, and other interests, as well as a quick way to reach out to librarians for help on assignments or requesting materials.
Who can participate in the Teen Room Discord server?
Teens and tweens in grades 6 through 12 can register to participate. To register, please fill out this form to get an invitation link. We ask for your name, grade, school, email, and library card number to confirm that you are a tween or teen in grades 6 through 12. If you don't already have a Discord account you can make one when you get the invitation link for the Teen Room server. If you don't have a library card, you can apply for one here.
How have we been using Discord already?
We already use Discord in combination with Roll20 to run our weekly Dungeons and Dragons game.
Discord says it's for people 13 and older. How can my 6th grader who is not 13 participate?
While most other Teen Room programs don't necessarily require permission from a parent, we will require that a caregiver of a patron in grades 6 through 12 who is not 13 years old give their permission to join via the registration form. We want tweens and teens to feel able to choose the programming they participate in at the library while also trying to balance digital safety.
What are the rules?
- Respect and be welcoming to each other.
- Racism, homophobia, or hate speech of any kind will get you banned for one day in the first instance. After that, you're banned from the server permanently.
What are your safety measures?
We have consulted with other libraries, like the Boston Public Library, that uses this service and used some of their suggestions to create the rules above regarding patrons under 13.
Teen librarians will also be monitoring the server weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm and as they can on nights and weekends. We hope that this will prevent any bad actors from spoiling the community or harassing users.
We will also be removing all users from the servers at the beginning of each school year and require students to sign up again. This way, we can start fresh with students who are currently enrolled in grades 6 through 12 while giving graduating seniors from the spring will have time over the summer to say goodbye to friends.