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Courtesy of PPLD

Laurel Bergstem, Senior Young Adult Associate at Cheyenne Mountain Library, and John Spears, Chief Librarian, pose with a PPLD Zine Laurel created.

Next month will mark two years at Cheyenne Mountain Library for Laurel Bergsten.

At 26, the Colorado Springs native and who works as Senior Young Adult Associate has a youthful energy that allows her to readily relate to teen patrons.

Bergsten, a Manitou Springs High School graduate who studied English and creative writing at Colorado State University, is responsible for all teen programming and events , as well as managing the teen volunteers. She’s pursing an online master’s degree in Mythological Studies with an emphasis in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in California.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the programming to virtual for the foreseeable future, so Bergsten has taken to producing YouTube videos to reach the teen patrons at home.

“We’ve been filming different crafts and skills for short videos on the PPLDTV YouTube channel,” Bergsten said. “I get to be on cooking — it’s been fun. I really enjoyed making the videos, pretty much right off the bat.”

Check out her latest video, “Teens Eat: DIY Ice Cream” video tutorial (bit.ly/3hTbUIF), in which Bergsten demonstrates how to make homemade ice cream at home using common pantry ingredients, no machine necessary.

One of Bergsten’s favorite pre-COVID library activities was hosting a book club once a month at lunchtime. “We’re hoping to start one virtually,” she said.

Usually she assigns a “genre read” rather than a specific book for the group. She’ll choose a genre such as Fantasy or Romance and the club members choose a book in the genre and then each contributes to the group discussion.

“They get more excited when they get to pick their own books,” she said.

Working with the teen volunteers is probably the most rewarding part of her job, Bergsten said.

“I love working with the volunteers, just because you get to see the teenagers do a good job and see them make friends with the other volunteers,” she said.

As of this writing, Cheyenne Mountain Library, 1785 S. 8th St., is open for limited indoor services, with masks and social distancing required. Learn more at ppld.org/cheyenne-mountain-library.

Editor, Pikes Peak Newspapers

Michelle has been editor of the four Pikes Peak Newspapers (Pikes Peak Courier; Tri-Lakes Tribune; Cheyenne Edition; and Woodmen Edition) since June 2019. A Pennsylvania native and Penn State journalism graduate, she joined The Gazette's staff in 2015.

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