Most library systems will want to ensure that their server is invite-only to ensure that the space is only accessed by teens. 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 the server.
Below are considerations for your invite form / guidelines, as well as examples of guidelines from the 210teenlibrary Discord server.
You will need to assess how teens request to join the server. Usually, this will require the use of a digital form (such as Google Forms) that teens can fill out to indicate their interest in joining the server. You will also need to identify which staff will oversee invite requests and send invite links to approved teens.
Because invite links are the entrance to your server, be sure to 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 supervisor / administration team about what information to request from teens, but consider asking for the following:
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 / Discriminator ("tag")
Here’s an example Discord Username / Discriminator: Matthew#1234.
Discord usernames are not unique and many people can have the same username. But the Discord Discriminator (also known as a tag), which is a four digit number that is randomly generated after account creation, is unique and attached to your account. Collecting this information will help track which teens joined your server.
Current Library Use
The information from your invite form can provide fascinating information about the teens on your server - including which library locations they currently visit or what library activities they already participate in. Providing an “I do not visit any libraries currently” option or something similar will also give insight to new teen patrons.
What Do You Like to Do?
Considering asking for their general interests 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 interacting through a variety of means at the same time (including text channels, voice channels, video streams, .gifs, memes, and more.)
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.
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 current/initial 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 (if possible) to provide them with another opportunity to use their critical thinking skills in relation to the community and environment on the server.
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:
Below are the most recent version of the 210teenlibrary Discord server's guidelines for teens.
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.