The BWG Library has an exciting new addition to its team of librarians – and you can find him browsing, reshelving and making displays in the Young Adult (YA) area of the library. Sasha Ioffine is the new Teen Services Librarian at the BWG Library, and he is excited to bring teens back to the library after a difficult year.
With a background in English literature and a master’s degree in the field from York University, he knows the importance of upkeeping literacy and research skills at the critical juncture of late middle-school and high-school. While pursuing librarianship, Sasha taught students in various settings, which helps him with aiding any teenager with an assignment or giving a book suggestion.
Interestingly, he is a major proponent of reading graphic novels, and he touts the library’s big comic collection in the YA area. As an avid reader of fiction and all things YA, he can be spotted listening to an audiobook in one ear and devouring a popular series in paperback form at the same time (as well as playing chess when pausing from reading).
As a champion of reading, he facilitates the Teen Book Reviews volunteering opportunity, which is a program designed to get teens reading and have them excited to share their opinions about their favourite (or not-so-favourite) reads. He circulates these reviews on the library's Instagram page, in the hope of reaching other teens who share their affinity for that read.
In general, Sasha believes that teen readers are being shaped and molded on social media, as a whole new wave of book influencers have invaded that space. He particularly names #BookTok as having a huge influence on what teens read, and he is encouraged by its popularity.
Besides books, Sasha is eager to have teenagers engaged in various programs at the library. He is looking forward to bringing back the Teen Advisory Group (TAG), whose goal is to make the library a great place for teens to plan programs, events, and reach out to the Bradford community in general. TAG members will have the opportunity to gain skills in leadership, teamwork, creative problem solving, and event planning – all while earning volunteer hours.
Sasha anticipates that programs like the Teen Book Reviews and TAG will engage a segment of Bradford who would benefit from being more integrated into our community. Most of all, he looks forward to being a resource for all Bradford teens, even if it is to just recommend a very good book (like Better in the Movies by Lynn Painter).