2020: Take 5 Virtual Event: Bridging the Gap

Take Five Logo

Bridging the Gap” was the theme chosen for the 9th annual Take 5 event. The planning team organized a day of creative approaches, new ideas, collaboration, and network-building to help us help our young people bridge gaps: between middle and high school, to pathways after high school, to the long, complex, exciting and scary transition to adulthood.

This theme took on a new meaning with the public health emergency caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus beginning in early 2020. By April, it became clear that the event could not take place as scheduled at the Columbus Metropolitan Library on May 1.

In about 4 weeks’ time, the planning team developed an online event to replace the regular in-person event. All the speakers who had committed to the in-person event generously agreed to participate in the online event. Several representatives of youth-supportive organizations, who had planned to participate in the Activity Fair, agreed to lead breakout discussion groups. Mindfulness teacher and coach Daron Larson, who led a memorable session at the 2019 Take 5 event, accepted our invitation to return as our opening speaker. Four veterans of previous Take 5 Teen Panels also agreed to join us again to share how they are faring with online schooling and the shelter-in-place order, and what advice they would give their younger selves.

About 80 public librarians and library specialists, school librarians, allies from other youth-supportive fields, and teens and young adults participated in this reframed Take 5 event. Featured speakers and sessions included:

A small-group discussion breakout was facilitated by representatives of youth-supporting organizations including:


Take 5 Virtual Activity Fair – Ordinarily, Take 5 events feature a lunchtime activity fair, with information tables, host site tours, crafts, and other hands-on activities. This virtual activity fair includes ideas for socially-distanced programming with teens, and resources and services offered by the youth-supportive organizations that participated in the Take 5 event.

Post-Traumatic Resilience: Attentional Fitness Through Mindfulness Practice – A slide set from Daron Larson’s presentation.

Exploring the Physical Aspects of Your Emotions – By Daron Larson

Calm Is Contagious: Mindfulness Strategies for Responding with COVID-19 Related – Resources curated by Daron Larson

Youth Entrepreneurship in Libraries – From the Ohio Afterschool Network

What Are Healthy Relationships? – From The Center for Family Safety and Healing

Where’s the Line? – From The Center for Family Safety and Healing

Educational Outcomes

  • Participants will experience and discuss effective practices in attention, mindfulness, and resilience, particularly during the public health crisis.
  • Participants will learn about the community college experience and opportunities for students through the lens of an Ohio community college.
  • Participants will explore the array of options and experiences available to high school students in career-technical education pathways.
  • Participants will consider ways to engage and support youth and to incorporate youth voice and leadership.
  • Participants will hear and consider teens’ experiences and perspectives.
  • Participants will take away renewed enthusiasm, affirmation, and ideas to enhance their programs and services.


This event was made possible by the participating organizations plus Columbus Metropolitan Library, The iSchool at Kent State University, Anna Local Schools, and the Take 5 planning team:

Brie Haag, Loudonville Public Library
Sarah Hedrick, Lane Libraries
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
Missy Rivera, Anna Local Schools / Shelby County Libraries
Ruby Smart, Chillicothe-Ross County Public Library
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.