Teenagers like music. Libraries are beginning to catch on to the idea. In fact, more and more bands are jumping on board with the concept and have scheduled tours throughout the United States that specifically focus on playing library shows. Deimosa Webber-Bey, 29, teen librarian of the Rio Rancho Library, has taken the concept even further. “I decided it was more cost effective to just book local bands for events at our library," she says. "It gives teens a chance to eventually become supporters of local bands when they're old enough to go see them at a venue that only allows 21-and-older to attend.”
Thursday, June 28, Webber-Bey has scheduled the first Rio Rancho Library concert featuring local bands. The 2bers, Tennessee Skinny and Vertigo Venus are the scheduled acts. The event is in support of a new reading program that creates incentives for teens to read more in the summer months, called “You Never Know Who Might be Making Noise at the Library.”
Two of the bands at the inaugural event, funky rockers Tennessee Skinny and industrial power puffs Vertigo Venus, were selected from this year's Rio Rancho Battle of the Bands. Hip-hop from the 2bers rounds out the set. “I had seen the 2bers play about five times and loved their show, so I asked them as well,” says Webber-Bey.
A teenager itself, Rio Rancho's once-minuscule library has grown up with the city. Rio Rancho Library offered just two rows of books aimed at teens in its infancy. The expanded new library, located at 755 Loma Colorado near Rio Rancho High School, has a teen room with computer stations, several shelves of reading material and a diverse national and local music collection.
Having events such as this are only a small part of the long term goals of Webber-Bey and the Rio Rancho Library staff. As the center’s youth librarian, it's Webber-Bey’s goal to incorporate local teen culture into the library's curriculum. "This type of exposure expands teen thinking ... to let them know these are also jobs that they can have someday,” she says. "If you're going to bring in an author to do an author talk, why not bring bands in to play in support of the music in the teen library’s collection?