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

Take Five Logo

The tenth annual event focused on mental and emotional wellness with the theme “Reemerge, Refocus, Reconnect.” Librarians and other teen services professionals joined in learning and exploration to reemerge into active library life, refocus on supporting our own and our young peoples’ well-being, and reconnect with our teens and each other. This year’s Take 5 experience followed a long winter and an even longer time of multiple national and global crises. In recognition of online meeting fatigue, the live event was 3 hours, instead of all day. Registrants received links to exclusive prerecorded speaker sessions and self-paced activities to explore before the live event. This content directly complimented the theme and was woven throughout the live event.

Over 100 public librarians and library specialists, school librarians, allies from other youth-supportive fields, and high school seniors participated in the live event. Featured speakers included:


Coping During Challenging Times – Recording (31 min) by Beth Adkins, LSW, Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services, exploring fear, traumatic stress (a normal response to abnormal situations), self-knowledge, and self-care. Many additional resources are presented. This video was recorded for Take 5 participants in partnership with Anna Schools. The Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services offers a more in-depth, two-hour training on this topic. See the Tri-County Board website for details.

Five Skills to Manage Stress and Anxiety in Five Minutes – Slide set of presentation by Erin Deitzler (North Community Counseling Centers) on managing stress and anxiety through mindfulness, grounding, progressive muscle relaxation, calming techniques, and breathing. Here is the StoryCorps segment, A Joy of Reading, Sparked by a Special Librarian, referenced in the presentation.

Talk Saves Lives – A 1.5 minute video from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and see AFSP’s suicide prevention resources including crisis services and where to find care and support for mental and emotional health.

Trailblazing Hope Outdoors – Recording (24 min) by Jonathan Slider, Founder and Lead Adventurer, Trailblazing Hope Outdoors. Jonathan introduces his Dayton-area outdoor education organization and discusses the importance to teens and kids of connecting to nature, especially since life in the pandemic has increased screen time and mental health issues for youth. He shares some library-specific ideas to open up the outdoors for your patrons, and tips for beginning hikers and families.

Why Youth Join Violent Extremist Groups – Slide set of Kristin Wilson’s presentation covering how extremist groups operate, causes of youth vulnerability to recruitment, and possible actions to counter or discourage radicalization of young people in your community.

Youth Activism and Contacting Elected Officials – Recording (37 min) by Marijke Visser and Ian Ware, ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office. Marijke and Ian walk through the steps to advocate successfully for an issue you care about. They share stories that highlight how to connect with decision makers and have your voice heard. What you’ll hear can apply in any situation; you can use this information to help the teens you work with find their voice and empower them to take action and make a difference on issues they are passionate about.

Explore additional advocacy resources from the ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office:
Resource library
Building relationships
Using traditional media and Using social media
Year-round engagement
Find your elected officials

Educational Outcomes

  • Participants will learn about and discuss effective practices in supporting teen, peer, and their own mental health and resilience.
  • Participants will learn about and discuss timely content about youth activism, advocacy, crisis intervention, outdoor education, understanding and discouraging extremism, and other topics of relevance to teen/youth services professionals.
  • Participants will hear and consider teen voices on a variety of topics and will experience being learners and empowering teens to be teachers.
  • Participants will explore a variety of learning activities to supplement their knowledge of topics in teen services.
  • 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 the participating organizations plus the iSchool at Kent State University, Anna Local Schools, SERLS: Southeast Ohio Regional Library System, 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
Julia Perrone, Kent State University / Intern, State Library of Ohio
Missy Rivera, Anna Local Schools / Shelby County Libraries
Tara Shiman, Worthington Libraries
Jennifer Wiezbiski, Columbus Metropolitan Library
Kristin Wilson, Mansfield/Richland County Public Library

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