Redlands Library offers resources to help teens learn to drive, find jobs and more – Redlands Daily Facts

By Kristina Naftzger

Teenagers, several months ago, I wrote a groundbreaking mullet-inspired (yes, hairstyle) article on Young Adult Resources at the AK Smiley Public Library. It was a business in the front, a party in the back, in which I described some academic databases offered by the library (the business), followed by some exciting book recommendations (the party).

This month, I’m avoiding all business and just want to focus on partying, but I don’t know what kind of haircut metaphor applies. A French braid? No, too stuffy. A flat fade? Too disciplined. A comb with a ponytail? Yes! This is the most party-ready hairstyle imaginable. Please read on to discover the world’s first comb-with-a-ponytail-inspired article – aka an absolute party – where we consider some very interesting library resources waiting for your discovery.

The Teen Underground wants to help you be a safe driver (Photo courtesy)

Let’s talk about driver’s licenses first. Do you want one? Do you need it? Do you dream of having one? If you’re nervous about the written part of the driving test, oh kids, buckle up your seat belts and start here! The library recently partnered with to provide free, unlimited access to the Official California Driver’s Handbook, online practice tests for automobile, motorcycle and commercial driver’s licenses, an exam simulator , etc. Start taking the practice tests when you’re 12 and have nothing to fear… you’ll be a pro by your 16th birthday!

Teenagers, of course, just kidding. Even if you’re already 16 (or even older), this free resource will help you master the rules of the road so you can tackle your written driver’s test with confidence. Take this resource for a tour of the teens page of the AK Smiley Public Library website at (no login required). And what could be a bigger party than being a safe and informed driver? Very fit for a comb over with a ponytail.

OK, OK, I hear you. You don’t want this party to end. Well, you’re in luck. The library currently has another digital resource that you may want to check out right away. SkillShare is an awesome online platform that provides access to thousands of creative courses, taught by industry experts, on all sorts of topics, from animation to creative writing to graphic design and web development. Usually access to this resource costs money. This is where the comb over with a ponytail comes in. Currently, if you use the link from the eDatabases page on the AK Smiley Public Library website (, you can activate your prepaid account for three months — totally free .

As I mentioned, there are thousands of fun and potentially challenging courses for your career. Here is just a small sample of classes that caught my eye: DJing for Beginners; Animal portraits; Write your own script; art journaling; Social Media Marketing: Top Tips to Increase Your Followers and Go Viral production of independent films; Stop Motion for Beginners; and more. If you’ve ever dreamed of producing an independent stop-motion documentary about your surprisingly successful side gig selling still life portraits of your Chihuahua, this is the resource for you.

Teenagers don’t yet adjust your comb with a ponytail. I have one more party to share with you. The Calm Room, produced by the Rosen Teen Health and Wellness team, is pretty much what it sounds like…a virtual place to visit when you need to unwind. A puppy playroom camera? Yes, they have it. Soothing fireplace sounds? Sure. Videos of peaceful walks in the forest? Sure. Links to mindfulness and meditation apps and helplines? Affirmative. Wait, don’t you think this looks like a party? Teenagers, please think with your comb. Sometimes the only party you need is a quiet party that allows you to refocus and catch your breath. You can access The Calm Room – and all the serenity it has to offer – from

There. Now you can comb your comb, let your ponytail loose, and immediately start reveling in these digital resources. And if you’re on Instagram and your parents approve, follow us at akspl_teens for all the latest YA library news and happenings. We promise to continue posting content about the comb with a ponytail.

Kristina Naftzger is a Youth Services Library Specialist at the AK Smiley Public Library, 125 W. Vine St., Redlands.