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Teen Services Web

A professional development guide for Teen Librarians, Teen Liaisons, and anyone else fortunate enough to work with Teens in the Library.

Server Invites & Guidelines

It is highly encouraged to limit access to your server by invite-only; this will ensure that the space is only accessed by teens who filled out the necessary information to join the server. You will also want to provide guidelines to teens who join/use the server, as well as guidelines for library staff and teen volunteers who help run and moderate the server.

Below are considerations for your invite form / guidelines, as well as examples from the 210teenlibrary Discord Server.

Assess how teens request to join the server. Usually, this will require the use of a digital form (such as Google Forms or Microsoft Forms) that teens can fill out to indicate their interest in joining the server. You will also need to identify which staff members will oversee invite requests and send invite links to approved teens.

Because invite links are the entrance to your server, be sure you fully understand how invite links work when generating them for your teens. Read Discord's Invites 101 for more information.

You will also need to assess what information is needed from a teen before they receive an invite link. Check with your management / administration team about what information to request from teens, but consider asking for the following: 

Personal Email
You’ll need a good email to send the invite link – ask teens to use a personal email, as school email accounts will generally block external messages. 

Discord Username (and tag/discriminator if applicable)
Here’s an example of a Discord Username and #tag/discriminator: Matthew#1234

Previously, Discord usernames were not unique and many people could have the same username. Discord used randomly generated 4-digit numbers called tags (also known as discriminators) that were unique to each account in order to differentiate between accounts, in particular for those with the same username.

In May 2023, Discord began rolling out a change to their username system in order to provide unique usernames and display names for everyone, without the use of a tag/discriminator. This rollout is still in effect, and you may still encounter teens with accounts that use a tag/discriminator. Read more information about usernames here: New Usernames & Display Names.

Current Library Use
Asking teens which library locations they currently visit can provide helpful information in understanding the current usage patterns of teens joining the server. You may even want to extend this to ask how they currently use the library (to attend teen activities, check out materials, etc.). Providing an “I do not currently visit/use any libraries” option or something similar will also give insight to how many teens are interacting with the library for the first system via the server.

What Do You Like to Do?
Considering asking for their interests/hobbies in the form, which can be used to uncover current and relevant interest trends of teens on the server.

If the form below isn't loading properly, click here to open the form in a new window.


On Discord, conversations can move quickly – especially if teens are interacting through a variety of means at the same time (including text channels, voice channels, video streams, .gifs, memes, and more.) Allowing teens to freely chat without staff involvement is a great way to foster teen participation, teen ownership, and teen investment of the server; having established guidelines that teens and teen volunteers (and of course, staff) can point to during those conversations, if needed, helps ensure that the conversations remain appropriate for the space.

Considerations for Teen / Public Guidelines: 

Include (current) teen voices in your guidelines. 
Whether you ask all teens on the server or just teen volunteers, involve your initial/current teens in the creation of your server’s guidelines with the intention of maintaining them as a living document with future teens. This provides an opportunity for teens to take ownership of the space by implementing parameters that speak to their values and ideals and gives them more buy-in to abide by and uphold those guidelines. Allow these guidelines to shift and change as needed, using the experiences of your teens and staff on the server to indicate what needs to be highlighted in your guidelines. 

Use Discord’s Rules Screening feature. 
The Rules Screening feature is a helpful tool to reinforce your guidelines, as it requires new teens to manually agree to your server’s guidelines before participating on the server.

Considerations for Staff / Teen Volunteer Guidelines: 

Because your server’s library staff could include one person (you!), a handful of people, or an entire dedicated team, you may need one set of guidelines or several. If you have teen volunteers, include them in the process of writing their guidelines to provide them with another opportunity to use their critical thinking skills in relation to the community and environment on the server. Whether they've used Discord before or not, be sure that library staff and teen volunteers feel comfortable chatting online, know how to use Discord's various chat features, and have a general understanding of netiquette.

Once you figure out who will serve as staff or a teen volunteer on the server, create guidelines for each group as needed to assign clear responsibilities to everyone. Consider including the following details:

  • Staff / teen volunteer duties and responsible on the server 
  • When staff / teen volunteers should be on the server 
  • How teen volunteers earn service hours 
  • How staff / teen volunteers should appear on the server 
  • Acceptable usernames, avatars, profile pictures, statuses, etc. 
  • How and when staff should contribute to conversations 
  • Handling / report disruptive content or behavior 

Similar to the server's general guidelines, allow staff/teen volunteer guidelines to exist as living documents so they can evolve and change as needed with the environment on the server.

Below are the most recent version of the 210teenlibrary Discord Server's guidelines for teens (last update: September 2023). In their initial iteration, teens provided simple, slightly vague, but overall helpful guidelines that encouraged a positive environment on the server. Over time, teens and teen volunteers have requested updates to the guidelines in a variety of ways.

The most recent update to the server guidelines (in September 2023) stemmed from a group of teens who wanted more in-depth guidelines that further cemented the server as a safe space for all teens. The update process included the following steps:

  1. All teens on the server were provided with a link to an optional survey, asking them to share their thoughts and feedback on the current guidelines as well suggestions on how to improve the guidelines and the server in general.
  2. Staff assessed the survey results, examined the current guidelines, and incorporated the results into a draft of the new guidelines.
  3. Teen volunteers were provided with the draft and invited to share further thoughts, feedback, and suggestions.
  4. Finalized guidelines were approved by the Coordinator of Teen Services and an announcement was made on the server about the new guidelines.

210teenlibrary Discord Server Guidelines

The 210teenlibrary Discord Server ("this server") is a virtual library space for teens (ages 13 to 18). This server is a safe space for all teens, and as such, we support and respect diverse identities, perspectives, beliefs, and points of view. Just like in-person teen spaces at San Antonio Public Library (“SAPL”) locations, this server is a place where teens get to decide what happens - including activities, events, conversations, and more.
SAPL Staff are here to make sure the server is operating correctly, help facilitate clubs, answer questions, and assist with anything else that might arise. SAPL Staff are not necessarily here to jump into conversations on the server – while we are always happy to chat with you, this is YOUR space and we respect it and fully support it as a “teens only” and teen-led space.

We don't want to limit how you and other teens interact on this server, but we want to make sure that this server is a welcoming, inclusive, and safe library space for all teens. Here are this server’s guidelines:

  1. By joining, using, participating, and remaining on this server, you confirm that:
    • You understand this server’s purpose and you are currently a teen (ages 13-18).
    • You received an official invite to join this server by filling out the form at
    • You agree to leave this server once you turn 19.
  2. Be courteous and respectful to all.
    • This server is a safe space for all teens—all teens are welcome and supported on this server.
    • Be excellent to each other, lift each other up, encourage each other’s ideas, and celebrate everyone’s successes.
    • Respect each other’s identities, perspectives, beliefs, and points of view.
  3. Be conscious of how you approach conversations.
    • Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and opinions. Civil discussions about differing perspectives are permitted—but hurtful or offensive comments about an individual or groups of people are not allowed.
    • Be mindful of where you are posting messages on this server; use the appropriate channels for specific conversations (such as political discussions in ⁠politics).
    • Hate speech, harassment, bigotry, bullying, trolling, or shaming of any kind in any form is not allowed. This includes (but is not limited to) racist, sexist, derogatory, or anti-LGBTQ+ comments.
  4. Only post/share content that is appropriate for this server.
    • Usernames/nicknames and messages sent anywhere on this server, as well as any uploaded custom emojis/stickers, should only include appropriate, harmless, and nondisruptive content, links, or files.
    • Carefully consider what you include in your public bio or status and its impact on others.
    • Spamming is only permitted in ⁠spam; this channel exists to provide a space for you to spam appropriate messages that do not meaningfully contribute to other conversations on this server.
  5. Keep your personal information safe.
    • This is a safe space BUT avoid oversharing; never share things like your full name, phone number, or address.
    • Remember what you put on the internet is there to stay, even if it is deleted.
    • Don’t post things online that you wouldn’t want anyone else to see.
  6. 6) Self-promotion is totally okay.
    • Share and promote your own Discord server, Twitch stream, YouTube channel, Instagram account, and more in ⁠self-promo. You can also share awesome stuff going on in San Antonio or virtually in ⁠community-promo.
    • Anything shared in ⁠self-promo or ⁠community-promo must be free (no cost) and open to the public to participate in or attend.
    • BUT you can’t post on this server or direct message (“DM”) someone from this server to advertise anything for sale, such as commissions for artwork or other things you or someone else made. You also can’t ask for payment of any kind, for any reason (such as posting a Venmo or Cash App QR code) or post referral links/codes where you or someone else receives a financial incentive or credit (such as Temu).

This server also abides by the following guiding documents:

Comments posted by teens on this server do not necessarily reflect the views or position of the San Antonio Public Library.

  • A record of this server, including but not limited to deleted messages, will be retained for archival purposes. As an extension of the San Antonio Public Library, this server may be subject to Freedom of Information Act requests. To learn more about FOIA requests, visit

By joining, using, participating, and remaining on this server, you grant the San Antonio Public Library permission to share and reproduce any content you post on this server for informational, educational, and promotional purposes. We will remove your username on anything we share/reproduce, unless we’ve asked for and receive your consent to share/reproduce your content with your username or name.

  • What we mean by this is that from time to time, we may use messages or content from conversations on this server to share with other people – such as library administrators or external stakeholders – to showcase how the server is being used by teens.

Not following this server’s guidelines...

SAPL Staff and/or Teen Mods may contact you if something you post is not in the spirit of these guidelines. We'll let you know what’s going on and have an open, honest conversation with you about the situation; our hope is to clear up any misunderstandings so everyone can get back to enjoying the server.

  • If you choose not to adhere to these guidelines at any time, SAPL Staff and/or Teen Mods may limit how your account can access/participate in this server.

Below are the most recent version of the 210teenlibrary Discord server's guidelines for Teen Mods.

Below are the most recent version of the 210teenlibrary Discord server's guidelines for Library Staff.