Virtual Teen Services via Discord: Community, Gaming, and Best Practices

A two-part webinar series taking place Wednesday, April 12 and Thursday, April 13, 2023 at 11:30am Pacific/12:30pm Mountain/1:30pm Central/2:30pm Eastern each session.

Discord, an online, community-focused social platform, offers an unprecedented opportunity for library staff to cultivate teen ownership of a virtual library space, benefitting from a high level of teen participation that shapes and transforms that space.

In this two-part webinar, learn how to design and facilitate a virtual library space on Discord for all teens that provides a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment for diverse teen voices and perspectives. Participants will be able to articulate how virtual library services for teens using Discord allows teens to form critical thinking skills; access and share information; collaborate and create communities of interest with their peers; and actively take ownership of their library services. Moderation tools and strategies for insuring the safety of your communities will also be discussed.

In part one, participants will gain an introduction to Discord, guidelines for creating a community server for the library, and strategies for advocating for the need, value, and impact of using Discord to provide virtual library services to teens in a responsive and relevant manner. In part two, participants will learn how Discord can support gaming at the library, including how Discord’s features support community gaming, how to facilitate events for your teens, and how to measure success to support more gaming initiatives.

After participating in this event, you will know how to:

  • Set up and facilitate a Discord server for your library’s teens
  • Advocate for Discord as a teen service
  • Moderate and ensure safety for the communities in your server
  • Measure the success of your Discord programming

Matthew Loaiza is the Assistant Manager for the Teen Library @ Central at the San Antonio Public Library (SAPL). He leads SAPL’s 210teenlibrary Discord server for teens (ages 13-18) and works with a dedicated systemwide staff of Teen Services Librarians and teen volunteers to provide innovative and transformative virtual library experiences for teens through the server. Matthew’s efforts are recognized and consulted by library professionals from state, national, and international sectors, and he co-presented about this work at ALA’s 2022 LibLearnX conference as well as co-authored a case study for Computers in Libraries Magazine.

This event will be hosted in Zoom. Automatic captions will be enabled for this event. This event will be recorded, and registrants will receive access to the recording within a day after the event ends.

If you have questions or requests regarding accessibility, contact us at or at 312-280-5100.