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Take Five Program

Take 5 is an annual event for teen/youth services librarians and library specialists, school librarians, and their allies who support and care about young people. This grassroots-organized, low-cost event grew out of practitioners’ interest in collaboration and dialogue. Take 5 offers relatable, engaging speakers from various youth-facing fields, plus hands-on activities, small-group conversations, space to dream big and engage with high-level issues and trends, and the opportunity to meet and learn from other youth advocates. Past participants describe Take 5 as energizing, affirming, creative, and fun.

Explore summaries and resources from all the past Take 5 events.

Take 5 is supported by the hosting libraries, the participating organizations, and by the State Library of Ohio with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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Summary and resources for the 2022 event:
Take 5: Let’s Talk About It – An Ohio Youth Services Day of Dialogue

The 10th anniversary event took place on May 6, 2022, in Columbus, where we started 10 years ago. It was hosted by Columbus Metropolitan Library and featured Columbus-based author, artist, filmmaker, educator and mentor Donte Woods-Spikes and Jackie Calderone, founding director of multidisciplinary youth arts and mentoring program TRANSIT ARTS, plus an expert panel of new and seasoned teen librarians, and small group conversation on aspirations and challenges in the wake of the pandemic.

Featured speakers:

Donte Woods-Spikes is known for various forms of work including professional speaking which landed him on the TEDx Stage and multiple conferences. His first book, So. Long.: Unfinished Good-byes With The Children of COVID-19, explores the effects of the pandemic on children. His community work includes projects such as A Talk With Our Sons and Empathize With Me which explores social issues and personal narrative through interviews. His documentary work includes films As a Matter of Black (Sundance FIlm Festival), Donte and Day’Mariah (Best Documentary, Columbus Black International Film Festival), The Untold Story of Walt Neal, and Learning to Live Again. Donte’s overall goal is to educate and connect the world beyond perceptions and stereotypes with authentic experiences through storytelling and documentation.

Jackie Calderone is the founding director of TRANSIT ARTS and was previously the Director of Education for the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts where she founded the CAPACITY Youth Arts Program. Calderone’s passion for community-based arts was sparked during her seven years at the Ohio Arts Council where she coordinated the Dance and Jazz Music programs. She has been honored with numerous awards including the Greater Columbus Arts Council’s Community Arts Partnership Award for Arts Educator and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education’s Virtuoso Award. She has served on a variety of National Endowment for the Arts funding panels and has designed and led workshops for organizations including Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The National Performance Network, The Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Dance USA, and many more.

TRANSIT ARTS is a Columbus-based, citywide network of artists, spaces and resources where central-city youth, ages 12-21+, are deeply engaged in leadership, multi-disciplinary arts workshops, performance and exhibit opportunities, employment, and entrepreneurial enterprises. Programs are free to youth and provide sanctuary and inspiration to dream — accompanied by the necessary tools to realize those dreams. TRANSIT ARTS is a program of Central Community House,  in partnership with The Columbus Federation of Settlements, The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, and a host of artists and organizations throughout Central Ohio and beyond.



A Safe Library Space: a video created for Take 5 by Donte Woods-Spikes with teens and workers at the Parsons Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

TRANSIT ARTS Resources for Libraries: videos, websites, background information, and the Creative Dream of Your Life activity shared at the event.

Ohio Collection Analysis Initiative: a self-paced set of tools for considering collections that empower children and teen readers by respecting and appreciating their differences and similarities. Available to Ohio library staff at no charge.


Educational Outcomes:

  • Participants will learn about strategies for engaging and empowering young people and elevating and honoring their creative work.
  • Participants will consider timely, critical topics in service to young people including reconnecting with and supporting teens after 2+ years of pandemic conditions; inclusive programming; outreach; use of space; overcoming barriers; and more.
  • Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on and discuss their relationships with their teens, their workplaces, and themselves and to envision the future of these relationships.
  • Participants will experience ways in which the arts provide empowerment, inspiration, and sanctuary for young people.
  • Participants will expand their network of peers and allies across libraries, schools, and other youth-serving establishments, for support, resources, advice, and encouragement.
  • Participants will take away renewed enthusiasm, affirmation, and ideas to enhance their programs and services.



This event was made possible by Columbus Metropolitan Library, the iSchool at Kent State University, and the Take 5 planning team:

Brie Haag, Loudonville Public Library
Kelsey Holmes, Chillicothe & Ross County Public Library
Janet Ingraham Dwyer, State Library of Ohio
Erin Kelsey, State Library of Ohio
Mary Anne Nichols, The iSchool at Kent State University
Dierric Rogers, Worthington Libraries
Jennifer Wiezbiski, Columbus Metropolitan Library

This event was also supported in part by federal Institute of Museum and Library Services funds, granted through the State Library of Ohio.



Take 5 is an ongoing dialogue on new ideas and creative approaches for people who work with teens and youth in libraries, museums, arts organizations and other learning environments.

The centerpiece of the Take 5 project is an annual event bringing together public and school librarians, museum and arts educators, and others invested in supporting young people and expanding their capacity. This event is an attendee-driven conference planned by youth services professionals from across Ohio.

Take 5 promotes creative approaches, collaboration, and network-building, and demonstrates the power of peer groups to generate new and useful ideas. Take 5 features boundary-expanding speakers, and opportunities for attendees to exchange ideas and inspire each other through discussion, hands-on learning, and professional networking in a casual environment. Attendees share their dreams and successes through an open poster session and small group conversations throughout the day.

Presentations and resources from previous events are gathered at the following links for use by anyone interested in exploring new ideas and collaborative opportunities in youth services.

Continue the conversation year-round on the Take 5 Facebook page. Tweeting about Take 5? Use hashtag #take5ohio

Past Events

Information, links, and resources from previous years of Take 5:

2022: Take 5: Let’s Talk About It!

2021: Take 5 Virtual Event: Reemerge, Refocus, Reconnect

2020: Take 5 Virtual Event: Bridging the Gap

2019: Take 5: We’re All in This Together

2018: Take 5: For Teens, With Teens

2017: Take 5: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going: Empowering Youth Advocates

2016: Take Five: Level Up, Level Out! An Ohio Youth Services Day of Dialogue

2015: Take Five: Take Four! An Ohio Youth Services Day of Dialogue

2014: Take Five: Take Three! An Ohio Youth Services Day of Dialogue and Discovery

2013: Take Five! An Ohio Youth Services Day of Dialogue and Discovery

2012: Take Five!


Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff: In fall 2017, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) released its updated Teen Services Competencies. Developed to ensure that all teens receive high quality service from their public and school libraries, this document outlines ten competencies, or skill groups, that library staff need in order to serve teens effectively and productively. They include Teen Growth and Development, Learning Experiences, Community and Family Engagement, Cultural Competency and Responsiveness, and more. The Teen Services Competencies also help people, within and outside the field, to understand the unique role library staff can play in helping teens prepare for college, careers and life, and to communicate that role to others.

Connected Learning in Libraries: a collection of resources for learning and practice, from the Connected Learning Alliance. At the intersection of interests, relationships, and opportunities, connected learning empowers teens (and others) to pursue knowledge and skills that interest them, in ways that engage them.

ALA Center for the Future of Libraries: a project of the American Library Association to identify emerging trends relevant to libraries and the communities they serve, promote futuring and innovation techniques to help librarians and library professionals shape their future, and build connections with experts and innovative thinkers to help libraries address emerging issues.

Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills: a national initiative of the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  Combining strengths in traditional and digital learning, libraries and museums are well-positioned to build the skills Americans need in the 21st century. Libraries and museums are strong community anchors that, together with formal education and other community organizations, create a network of learning within a community.

New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Project: charting the landscape of emerging technologies for teaching, learning, research, creative inquiry, and information management.  The NMC Horizon Reports cover both formal and informal learning in the higher education, K-12, and museum sectors. The reports provide a detailed overview of six emerging technology topics and explore the relevance of each for teaching, learning, and creative inquiry through action-based examples and recommended further readings.