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Q&A with Caroline Niepokoj, Teen Services Librarian, Teen Library Council Coordinator on renaming of Dreamscapes event

Grace Guo
The Dreamscapes mural faces the Teens Department at the Carmel Clay Public Library. The mural was designed by CHS graduate Conner Heagy and is the new theme for the Teen Library Council event formerly known as the Yule Ball.

Caroline Niepokoj, Teen Services Librarian and Teen Library Council Coordinator

What is Dreamscapes, and who is it for?

So, Dreamscapes is an event (on Feb. 10 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Carmel Clay Public Library) planned and put on and presented by TLC, or Teen Library Council, for teens in grades eight through 12 as a way for Teen Library Council to kind of get experience planning events as well as kind of give back to the library in a way that gives them the opportunity to have the ability to put on a program that’s teen-led and something exciting for them and their interests.

And so this year, with the Dreamscapes theme, it’s based on the mural in the Teen (Services) Department. So that’s kind of the imaginative, creative kind of vibe coming for the event.

What was behind the choice of changing the name from the Yule Ball to Dreamscapes after so long?

So, I found out that people had kind of been wanting to change the theme for a few years. And so last year, we had the discussion about changing the theme, and we didn’t end up doing that. I had been thinking about it for this year, and somebody in the Teen Services Department had the idea of ‘Why don’t you base it off the mural?’ Because that’s always going to be relevant to the library, and then you can just bring in other fictional elements or anything else that kind of fits with that. So we decided to go with that and then bring in that dream, creative fiction kind-of-world situation. You know, people can still dress up in costumes and things, but at least the basic theme of the event is always going to still be relevant to the library and the library’s interests.

Aparna Prasad (left) and Divya Ariyur (right), sophomores and Teen Library Council (TLC) members, attend a Monday night TLC meeting on Feb. 5 in the Teen Program Room at the Carmel Clay Public Library. TLC members were able to sign up to volunteer at Dreamscapes at the meeting. (Grace Guo)

It seemed like it (Harry Potter) was almost aging out, or younger people seemed to be reading it more than older people. And so a lot of Teen Library Councilors kept asking like, ‘Can we change the theme to something different?’ and they didn’t really want the Harry Potter theme anymore. We figured if that was the case, we didn’t want to do another book theme. So then we would go, well, it’s always going to be relevant to the library if we go with Dreamscapes, so we go with Dreamscapes in the hopes that that’s a good base, and then we can go from there and bring in whatever we want with that.

Will the actual event be different this year than in previous years?

I think it’s just the way it’s set up because, technically, this is the first time we’ve had it in (half of) the Community Room. Last year we had it (there), (but) the whole Community Room was open for a dance floor. And this year, we only have half the room open for a dance floor, and the other half is going to be a quiet room.

I know before the (library) renovation, there was a quiet room where it was like a movie and some other activities; if you don’t want to dance, you can do those. We kind of brought that back with half of the Community Room, and the other half is going to be a dance, as well as the hallway (which will) have more activities, too.

How can teens participate in Dreamscapes?

Allison Shen (left) and Ava Liao (right), sophomores and Teen Library Council social officers, lead the social activity at a Monday night TLC meeting on Feb. 5. The meeting was held in the Teen Program Room in the Teen Services Department at the Carmel Clay Public Library. (Grace Guo)

So the way to participate is to register online on our website. You go there, you register there and then you’re set to go. And then you just come in and enjoy the night.

The event is before the Winter Formal (at the school) so you can go to the whole event, and then have about half an hour and then go to the Winter Formal. So, if you want to expand your fun that night, feel free to register and then come to the Dreamscapes event, and then when you leave, just go to the Winter Formal.

What else should a teen interested in attending Dreamscapes know?

I think that whether you want to dance or not (you can have fun). You can wear formal or casual or you can even dress in cosplay if you want to. We’re bringing in that whole creative vibe. So, if you want to do cosplay because that’s what you want to wear or if you want to wear your formal dress and then go to the winter formal, all of it’s welcome.

With that though, it’s not just kind of a dance, there are other activities. So there is kind of something for everybody here at the event. So if you like to dance, there’s dancing, there’s going to be a life-size board game, there’s going to be other board games and other activities throughout the night and throughout the space of the library and the main hallway. So there is a little bit of something for everybody; it’s not just going to be like a dance kind of setup.

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