Area teens will be reading for the fun of it as Evanston Public Library celebrates Teen Read Week, Oct. 18 to 24.

Teen Read Week is the national adolescent literacy initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest-growing division of the American Library Association.

“Today’s teens seem to have less and less free time, and there are increasingly more activities for them to take part in during what little leisure time they have,” said Mary Johns, Director of Evanston Public Library. “That is why it’s important to encourage teens to set aside some time to read.”

Being around adults who are avid readers can counteract the latest statistics from The Nation’s Report Card, which indicate that in homes across America the number of different types of reading materials has decreased, and a smaller percentage of 17 year olds saw adults reading in their homes.

Studies show a regular reading habit increases reading proficiency and Johns agrees. “One of the most important ways teens acquire the habit is by watching adults they respect reading,” says Johns.

Teen Read Week is held annually during the third week of October.

The Evanston Public Library provides a variety of resources to support teen reading in its teen-only space, The Loft, including study rooms, video games, free Internet access, books and audiobooks.

The library also offers free college planning drop-in sessions for high school students every Monday from 5 to 8 p.m. through the end of December.

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