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

Take 5: Level Up, Level Out
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Athens Community Center

The theme of the fifth annual Take 5 event, “Level Up, Level Out”, incorporated two growing trends in youth services: gamification and getting outside.

Each Take 5 event includes traditional conference presentations as well as opportunities for attendees to exchange ideas, share successes and inspire each other through an open poster session and in small group conversations throughout the day. The event also included an evening hike at Sells Park in Athens, and a tour of the at Alden Library at Ohio University.

View photos from this event on the Take 5 Facebook page.


  • Opening speaker Miguel Figueroa, director of the American Library Association’s Center for the Future of Libraries, highlighted and explored key societal trends with implications for our work with young people.
  • A day-long memory drawing/writing and sharing experience leveled up attendees’ connections with peers, teens, and self.
  • Guided conversation during the locally-sourced gourmet lunch combined game-playing with addressing challenging issues in youth services.
  • Hands-on activity stations provided a wealth of ideas to bring back to libraries, museums, and schools. Stations included: Survival Skills and Team Building with Rural Action; Therapy Dogs with Sharon and Sydney; Outdoor Education with Rising Appalachian Warriors; Discovery Kitchen Tasting Tables with Community Food Initiatives; Pop-Up Makerspace and Book-a-Bike, both with Athens County Public Libraries; 3-D Printer with SERLS; and Windows to Our World, an attendee-led poster session.

Educational Outcomes

  • Participants explored trends that will impact our young people and our workplaces.
  • Through a memory-sharing process, participants engaged in conversations with peers to move dialogue and action towards the heart of what teen services encompasses.
  • Participants were exposed to other libraries’/schools’/institutions’ innovations, challenges, and solutions in serving young people.
  • Participants expanded their networks of youth services experts across the state, for support, resources, advice, and encouragement.
  • Participants took away renewed enthusiasm, and ideas to enhance their programs/services.


This event was made possible by the State Library of Ohio and Athens County Public Libraries, with support from SERLS and the Athens Community Center.