Born with a chip? Trophy kids Direct Smarter Healthier More liberal More conservative Well-balanced (multiculturally and globally aware) (patriotic and spiritual) 97% play video games 90% own a home computer 85% spend at least an hour a day online 75% have a TV in their room 57% are content creators 55% have a cell phone
97% of teens play games online 32% of households own a handheld gaming device From John Beck & Mitchell Wade’s Book Got Game, which compared characteristics identified by gamer and boomer generation workers
Consume media in any format, if they love a franchise Move seamlessly from format to format
Teens don’t buy albums – they buy songs
Your mission statement doesn’t say “except for teens.” YA Services generate lots of bang for your buck. There are standards for public library service to young adults to be met To fulfill library roles: lifelong learning, community center, etc. YALSA advocates youth services/youth participation. There may not be any other place in the community for them. Teens give back. To foster a love of reading. To build developmental assets. It’s fun!
Stand on the shoulders of YALSA – use the frameworks If there are not statewide standards, form a committee to write them! Tell your story Keep statistics Get testimonials Demonstrate that you are the teen expert Finding allies Get involved in the community Get involved in the profession Develop a strategic plan for YA service
Library staff are generally familiar with the concept of research. In this case it means doing your homework and being prepared. Will teens like the program? The best way to make sure teens will enjoy it is to get them involved right from the beginning. Ask the teens directly about what kinds of programs they want the library to offer. You can ask this question in a one-on-one interaction, invite teen library pages to express their opinion, form a teen advisory board, create a short print survey, or put a poll on your website using a free tool like Survey Monkey (www.surveymonkey.com). A survey can be short, like the Merced County Library's poll (www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=3fSL9vqjIuS3bpvbvA_2b51A_3d_3d) to ask teens if they preferred writing or poetry events, sports demonstration, or collectors clubs. The Monterey Public Library advertised their Tell Us What You Think survey (www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=%2fVzq%2f0QDlknBVsLJ4vHKEA%3d%3d) on their blog in online format. Notice the open-ended nature of the first page of questions. They offered a prize to survey responders as incentive to participate. The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has a Guide to Creating Online Surveys (ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/teentechweek/ttw10/images/techguide_onlinesurv.pdf) that addresses what questions to ask and what sites to use and provides resources to develop your own online survey. Research may also include investigating program possibilities and offering teens a choice of programs to select from. Assignment 1: Blog Scavenger Hunt will help you to see what kinds of programs libraries are offering. The Teen Librarians Webliography at Library Success Wiki (www.libsuccess.org/index.php?title=The_Teen_Librarian%27s_Webliography) may be a place to start for this activity. A few other resources to consult include: • Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (www.voya.com) The quarterly Teen Pop Culture Quiz hints at trends that may spur program ideas, and programming is covered in every issue, and the October issue honors the Most Valuable Program (MVP)—the finest teen library programs in up to five categories, plus one overall winner annually. • YA-YAAC (lists.ala.org/wws/info/ya-yaac) is a YALSA-sponsored electronic discussion list for subscribers to exchange ideas, discuss common problems and seek solutions, and talk about how to encourage youth participation in library activities through programming, teen advisory groups, and professional development.
Who is the target audience? Boys? Girls? Sixth graders? Eleventh graders? N00bs? Experts? Homeschoolers? Girl Scouts? MySpacers? Thinking about a target audience may present outreach opportunities and marketing ideas. Considering the target audience has registration implications as well. Will you allow 10-12 year olds to participate in teen programs? YALSA defines the teen service range as 12-18, but in reality, 10-16 year olds may be your audience. Will you allow well-meaning parents to attend programs with their teens? Sometimes called &quot;helicopter parents,&quot; these overly protective parents may cripple their offspring through becoming their companions and advocates 24/7. What are your program goals? To change perception about the library? To offer a recreational library experience? To improve a set of skills? Be very specific, and select a program with which teens are on board and that meets your program goals. When are you going to hold the program? After school? For a month, online? Will you record it, stream it, archive it? Are there any potential timing conflicts? Partnering with community organizations serving youth may help to synchronize calendars. Where will the program take place? At the library? At another location that serves teens? Online? The Maynard (MA) Public Library holds their end-of-summer-reading program party offsite, and previous locations include a local park, and a rollerskating rink. Why is this program a good choice for the library? Does it align with the library mission, uphold library values, or meet library goals? Does it build teen developmental assets established by the Search Institute (www.search-institute.org/system/files/40AssetsList.pdf)? Or meet American Association of School Librarians' Standards for 21st Century Learners (www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/guidelinesandstandards/learningstandards/standards.cfm)? How will the program be conducted? Do participants need to be there from the beginning to the end, or will it be a drop-in or passive program? Can people participate from home or school?
Marketing is all about advertising your program to ensure all your planning wasn't for nothing! The Berkeley (CA) Public Library took advantage of something as practical as a window to prominently post book reviews. It caught the attention of those waiting outside for the bus, providing a reader's advisory service as well as marketing the library collection to passersby. The Reading (MA) Public Library decorates their windows seasonally, and teens see this as a privilege. Get beyond hanging posters in the library. Send your press releases out to your traditional library venues like newspapers, cable, and radio (chances are, parents or teachers will see it and tell teens), but think outside the box, too. The YALSA website is a good place to start if you are unsure about how to create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) or write a press release; they produce professional PSAs for national initiatives like Teen Tech Week and Teen Read Week that can serve as models. Take advantage of technology tools like Facebook to put ads where your users are, or set up a Facebook page, like the Hennepin County Library (http://www.facebook.com/hclib). Post your fliers in places teens frequent, like hobby shops, pizza joints, and bowling alleys. Market to community partners such as youth serving organizations, groups, and clubs. Never underestimate the power of the personal invitation, and make copies of marketing materials on bookmarks, business cards, or moo cards as take-aways. If technology isn't your first instinct build on existing materials. Ask local businesses to create a loyalty program: teens who show a library card may get a discount or freebie. Something like this creates word-of-mouth buzz around the library. program postersDepending on cost of the program, staff available to assist, and facility size, space in your program may be limited. Make sure you know how many participants can be accommodated before the programming begins. Programs on a drop-in basis work well in most types and sizes of communities. Bear in mind that some populations may not be comfortable with the library collecting information such as name and contact information. You might consider taking pre-registration for some types of programs, to determine how many may/may not show up for or participate in an event. If you decide to require pre-registration, you can keep registration open right up until the program begins, or you can keep a waiting list. Count the numbers that signed up versus the numbers that showed up. Can you come to any conclusions in regard to success? Pre-registration means you can remind people to attend your event, and it helps you develop a contact list of teens to invite to future events and to poll for suggestions. For more about marketing to teens, check out Anastasia Goldstein's School Library Journal article, What Would Madison Avenue Do? (www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/ca6555544.html).
Implementation is the execution of the program. Make a checklist of all the things you have to do during the event, or make a timeline if the program takes place over a period of time. The program planning form may be of use to make sure the meeting room is booked, the press releases sent, the sign-up sheets printed out, etc. If you have planned and delegated well, relax and enjoy! Don't forget to document the event for evaluation purposes. Two examples of model programs follow. Anti-Prom, New York (NY) Public Library Anti-Prom is an activity for teens who can't afford to attend regular prom or can't attend with the date of their choosing. The event provides an alternative, safe-space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) teens who may not feel welcome at official school proms or dances. The New York Public Library (NYPL) does a lot to support the LGBT community, as evidenced by their brochure, NYPL LGBT flyer. LBGT teens are just one special population that the library serves; the Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) website may be of additional interest. antipromAnti-Prom is teen produced, from theme to decor to couture. The event is the opportunity for teen patrons from all of NYPL's branches, especially Teen Advisory Group members, to meet under one roof and celebrate their accomplishments. It connects the 6/12 event to collections housed in the Schwarzman Building by bringing classes of teens to work with a fashion researcher to design what they will wear to the event. Designs are showcased at the event, and videos of the event are posted online. Anti-Prom is an opportunity for library advocacy. Staff sign teens up for library cards, for the library summer reading program, and to promote other library programs for teens around the system. Finally, Anti-Prom is an opportunity for teens to meet creative experts and role models, such as Tim Gunn and library staff. The NYPL's Anti Prom program celebrates: * Youth achievement motivation (New York City (NYC) teens asked for Anti Prom and help to plan it each year) * The library as a safe space for all teenagers in NYC * Interpersonal and cultural competence in NYC youth * The developmental needs of teens in NYC libraries * Youth as resources in the library: the programmatic ideas born from NYC Teen Advisory Groups * Diversity in New York City teen life * NYPL's overall strategy to provide community space for all NYC teens A podcast (www.nypl.org/audiovideo/anti-prom) during the event is part of the evaluation process.
Evaluation should be based on the program's goals and determined way before program implementation, as part of the planning process. Evaluation can include assessing the program and measuring impact, using outcome based evaluation, and recording/reporting statistics. What is important is that some kind of program assessment is conducted, not only to gauge your successes and repeat or expand on them, but to use as a tool in future advocacy efforts. Determine if there are any benchmarks that will indicate degrees of achievement that will be considered good, acceptable, or in need of improvement. To evaluate your programs: * Keep statistical data. These could be simple door counts, number of participants, website traffic hits, etc. If you can breakdown by age, grade, and gender, do so. If you are having a long program, like a gaming tournament, try doing an hour-by-hour sweep; count everyone in the room and record what they are doing: playing, watching, reading, talking. * Document. If you intend to take photos or film the event, you may need to acquire permission from participants. Don't make a photo release a requirement for attendees. One library told me they wanted to protect the privacy of their patrons, and they refused to allow any photos to be publically posted. Consider an opt-in alternative: set up a Flickr photo pool and invite participants to submit photos of themselves, via a form that gives the library permission to use the images. Visit the Library Gaming Toolkit's Legal page (librarygamingtoolkit.org/legal.html#photo) for tips on how to provide a photography clearance for those under age 18, signed by parents, to provide the library the ability to exhibit photos in the library, on your website, in the local newspapers, and possibly on social networks like Flickr. Remember to jot down the names of the participants based on your photos so that later you don't have to go through the clearance slips and try to match up names. Photo/video can also be used to promote the next event; be sure to cite this purpose on your clearance form. * surveyAsk attendees what they think. Formal surveys may not tell enough about a program. Ask participants why they attended; ask them what would they like to see at the next event. This can be conducted as a podcast that you can edit and post on your library's website—with permission! * Provide a formal evaluation. To create your evaluation, determine the audience your program is going to serve. Then plan for your success by identifying your goals. Do you want to bring in new users? Promote literacy? Provide opportunity for teens to give back to the community through volunteering? Introduce new technologies? Build skills? Train teens and use their new expertise to market library services and programs? Figure out how to measure this success. What are the indicators that your goals were achieved? Finally, decide what kind of story you want to tell to the stakeholders you have identified. * Use an outcome-based evaluations (OBE). Which sounds better: &quot;Ten teens attended a program on how to create an avatar on Friday,&quot; or &quot;100% of the participants increased their skill at designing an avatar by 40%, and 60% increased their perception of the value of the library by 20%.&quot; Outcome-based evaluation is focused on impacts, benefits, and changes in your customers—teens, in this case—by measuring changes in knowledge and skills, behaviors, values, attitudes, conditions, and status. OBEs are surprisingly easy to write. Keep it short—half a dozen questions at most. Consider adding a &quot;Did you know...&quot; question to your surveys, in order to share information about the library and to measure how well you are doing marketing Programming shouldn't happen in a vacuum! Successful planning includes assessment. Evaluations may be formal (a pre-survey and post-survey) or informal (taking photos; asking participants to complete the sentence, &quot;[program name] at the library was...&quot;). What is important is that some kind of program assessment is conducted in order to gauge your successes and improve. Informal Evaluations You'll see me write this over and over: Keep statistical data. These could be simple door counts, tracking age, grade, gender, or hourly activity reports. Don't forget to include non-participants, staff, and presenters in your count—they are part of the event, too! Formal surveys may not tell enough about a gaming event. Ask participants why they attended and what would they like to see the library offer for other events and activities. You can turn the evaluation session into a podcast by recording the discussion (always ask permission, and edit out names). Formal Evaluations Formal evaluations are about impact: &quot;How has my program made a difference?&quot; and &quot;How are the lives of the program participants better as a result of my program?&quot; These questions are all about outcomes: changes or improvement in skills, attitudes, knowledge, behaviors, status, or life. To create your outcome-based evaluation, determine your audience. Then, plan for your success by identifying your goals. Do you want to bring in new users? Introduce new technologies? Build developmental assets? Market other library services and programs? Raise library visibility? Figure out how to measure this success: what are the indicators that your goals were achieved? Finally, decide what kind of story you want to tell to the stakeholders you have identified. You might turn to developmental assets for outcome-based evaluations. For example, do teens have increased assets after a library program? Or you might measure increased skills at a craft or technical proficiency, a change in attitude about the library, changed behavior (like going to the library more), or knowledge about a topic. Ask participants to measure their knowledge of an application or technique, their skill at using an application or technique, their awareness of library resources on the topic, and their value or comfort with the library. Have them rate on a scale of 1-5. At the end of the program, ask the exact same questions on the reverse of the page. This way, you can easily assess each individual's growth over the time of the program. Each number represents a 20% increase or decrease. For more about OBE, take a look at the IMLS page on O utcome Based Evaluations (www.imls.gov/applicants/obe.shtm) or Outcome-based Evaluation: Practical and Theoretical Applications , by Robert Voelker Morris (aad.uoregon.edu/culturework/culturework28.htm). Sample Program Assessment Last fall I used OBE in a poetry workshop at the Bellingham (MA) Public Library. Results follow. Q. Do you have a library card? 100% of participants have a library card. Q. How often do you visit the library? No one visits the library more than 3 times a week, but 20% visit the library once a week, 20% visit the library once a month and 60% visit the library several times a year. Q. How did you hear about today's workshop? All participants heard about the workshop from Leslianne's (the teen librarian) visit to their school. Q. What did you learn today? 30% said &quot;better ways to write,&quot; 30% said &quot;writing exercises,&quot; 20% said &quot;poems,&quot; 10% said &quot;ransom note poems&quot; 10% said &quot;a lot!&quot; 10% said, &quot;how to start writing&quot; and 10% said &quot;about public speaking.&quot; Q. What was your favorite part of today's program? 60% said &quot;ransom note poem&quot; and 30% said &quot;writing exercises;&quot; 10% said &quot;all.&quot; Q. What was your LEAST favorite part of today's program? 60% said &quot;nothing,&quot; 10% said &quot;telling someone else how you could fix their poem,&quot; 10% said &quot;space poem,&quot; 10% said &quot;not doing a short story,&quot; and 10% said &quot;public speaking at the beginning of class.&quot; Q. Would you take another writing workshop at the library? 100% of the participants said they would take another writing workshop at the library. Q. What other programs would you like to come to at the library? 50% said &quot;teen zone.&quot; Other suggestions included book club, writing workshops every 2 weeks, movie making and Rock Band competition. One participant commented, &quot;I'm not sure what else they have.&quot; Q. Please share any additional comments: &quot;Thank you for the wonderful work you have done,&quot; &quot;This program was AWESOME!&quot; &quot;Thank you.&quot; Workshop Evaluation: Q. Please rate your knowledge of creative writing exercises on a scale of 1-5, where 1=low and 5=high. 20% reported their knowledge of creative writing exercises increased 0% 20% reported their knowledge of creative writing exercises increased 20% 40% reported their knowledge of creative writing exercises increased 40% 20% reported their knowledge of creative writing exercises increased 60% Q. Please rate your knowledge of writing process on a scale of 1-5, where 1=low and 5=high. 20% reported their knowledge of writing process increased 0% 60% reported their knowledge of writing process increased 20% 20% reported their knowledge of writing process increased 40% Q. Please rate your comfort in expressing yourself in writing on a scale of 1-5, where 1=low and 5=high. 50% reported their comfort in expressing self in writing increased 0% 30% reported their comfort in expressing self in writing increased 40% 20% reported their comfort in expressing self in writing DECREASED 20% Q. Please rate your skill in writing on a scale of 1-5, where 1=low and 5=high. 50% reported their skill in writing increased 0% 40% reported their skill in writing increased 20% 10% reported their skill in writing DECREASED 20% Q. Please rate your comfort in sharing your writing on a scale of 1-5, where 1=low and 5=high. 30% reported their comfort in sharing their writing increased 0% 10% reported their comfort in sharing their writing increased 20% 60% reported their comfort in sharing their writing increased 40% Q. Please rate your comfort with public speaking on a scale of 1-5, where 1=low and 5=high. 10% reported their comfort with public speaking increased 0% 50% reported their comfort with public speaking increased 20% 30% reported their comfort with public speaking increased 40% 10% reported their comfort with public speaking DECREASED 20% Q. Please rate your knowledge of public speaking on a scale of 1-5, where 1=low and 5=high. 20% reported their knowledge of public speaking increased 0% 20% reported their knowledge of public speaking increased 20% 40% reported their knowledge of public speaking increased 40% 20% reported their knowledge of public speaking increased 60% Q. Please rate your comfort with the library on a scale of 1-5, where 1=low and 5=high. 90% reported their comfort with the library increased 0% 10% reported their comfort with the library increased 20% Q. Please rate your good feelings about the library on a scale of 1-5, where 1=low and 5=high. 90% reported their good feelings about the library increased 0% 10% reported their good feelings about the library DECREASED 20% There are a multitude of other program possibilities, or course, and some of you have already shared some on the online discussion forums. Hopefully, this provides a good overview of some classic, tried-and-true literacy and art-based programs for teens
Programs as Beta What constitutes success or failure for a teen program? Were the program goals met? Did the expected number of teens show up? Have fun? Did library staff see the program as successful? Why do teen programs succeed or fail? There are a myriad of reasons, some detailed below. Failure is not necessarily a bad thing; making mistakes is a way to learn. I encourage library staff to embrace the idea of all programs as beta programs—a trial or run through, intended to locate and work out bugs and get user feedback. It takes a ton of pressure off the idea of doing it correctly (or perfectly!) the first time around. There are many library programs that take time to build momentum, and if we write off programs as a failure when they don't go right the first time we lose a lot of potential. Here are some things to think about as you evaluate and learn from beta programs. Teen Input Often programs fail because the program was planned without teen input. Never make assumptions about what the teens in your community might like; always ask them directly. One summer I thought a reader's theater program would be a lot of fun. I selected books, advertised the session, and bought cookies. The cookies became key in desperately bribing teens (who happened to be in the library to use the computers) to participate. Meaningful Participation It's not enough to ask teens what they want. If you make them part of the process at every step they become invested and take ownership. They are more likely to spread the word through word-of-mouth marketing, and they are more likely to feel committed enough to show up on the day of the event. Planning Did you forget to check the community calendar when scheduling your DDR tournament? The Haverhill (MA) Public Library scheduled a Dance Dance Revolution program the same day as the high school homecoming, and only one teen showed up for the session. Conferring with other community organizations means you won't conflict with homecoming weekend next time. I cannot stress enough the importance of checking a community calendar! I was once hired to host a video game program at the Nantucket (MA) Atheneum, and no one showed up! A local school was hosting a magician for grades K-8, and their program was partially funded by the Friends of the Library. Since there is little else to do on the island in early spring, whole families attended the magic show, teens included. Did you underestimate the number of teens who would show up, so you ran out of refreshments and materials? Try requiring advance registration, so you have a ballpark idea of how many people might show up. Marketing It's not enough to hang a flier in the library to advertise a program for teens. If that's all you do, be prepared for disappointment. Put announcements for your programs in the places teens go, online as well as in physical locations. Give teens three to four weeks advance notification of an event (but have your calendar planned on a quarterly basis). Expect them to forget, and build some form of reminders into your marketing plan. Consider offering incentives for those who come with a friend. Consider programs that have failed at your library. What factors made them fail, and what did you learn from the experience? I'll be asking you to think about these questions, and we'll be sharing our thoughts in a discussion forum this week.
Teen Advisory Groups One of the best ways to solicit teen input is through meetings. Teen Advisory Group (TAG) participation is frequently meaningful and can count towards community service hours that may be assigned by schools in your community. Think of your TAG as a focus group that will help you select materials and offer services to teens in the community. At my TAG meetings, I offered a programming element about 50% of the time. TAG activities: * Icebreakers * Looked at Baker & Taylor & Ingram &quot;Advance Graphic Novel&quot; brochures for materials to recommend for purchase * Filled in order slips from journals I initialed * Dusted shelves and picked up stray books from around the library * Shelf-read teen book and CD collections * Made snowflakes in winter to decorate themed display * Cleaned picture books * Mended paperbacks with tape * Made holiday cards in December and valentines in February * Generated a list of favorite and least favorite books * Brainstormed program ideas * Planned and presented poetry of Dr. Seuss program * Planned and presented a teen coffeehouse * Looked at magazines bought from store, rated them, and recommended for purchase * Hired a &quot;Stamping Up&quot; demonstrator to lead a stamping workshop * Recommended movies and video games for purchase * Put yellow stickers on summer reading list books * Ate pizza, Chinese food, homemade cookies, and lots of junk food (not all at one meeting!) Some libraries may have union contracts that don't allow volunteers to do some of the activities on this list; vetting volunteer tasks with a union steward or department head is always recommended. In the union library where I worked I was careful not to choose tasks that threatened the jobs of paid library staff. Paid staff might shelf-read, but limiting teens to a small and specific section wasn't a job threat. Paid staff might contribute to bulletin boards in their individual departments, and there was a voluntary beautification committee dedicated to things like hanging paintings and designing signage, but teens putting snowflakes on bookcases was not a job threat. Placing yellow dots on books and audiobooks to denote summer reading materials was part of a task that involved searching for titles, placing holds on checked out items, and making changes to the library catalog—all things that only a paid staff member was qualified to do. While adding a sticker to the spine of a book might be considered a technical services task, I felt it was a small piece of a larger job that required staff work prior to this final task. Stickering books is not something that was noted in anyone's job description. Volunteer staff only did one piece of the process; we didn't have one person in charge of the task of summer reading materials; and summer reading wasn't an ongoing year-round project. For all of these reasons, the union steward and volunteer supervisor were comfortable allowing teens to place stickers on books. As it turned out, the process was so time intensive that we eventually recatalogued the entire summer reading materials collection and left it on permanent display. The Young Adult Library Services Association has an excellent resource on how to start and maintain a Teen Advisory Group (www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/tags/tagsresources/tagstartup.cfm). Please take a look at it before proceeding, and then return here to continue with this week's reading.
Active Versus Passive Programs The type of program offered at your library may depend on many variables: time, space, staff, and budget. Active programs require your time and attention during the program. Active programs include book discussion, training, TAG meetings, and librarian-hosted events: anime club, gaming programs, creative writing classes, computer workshops. Passive programs are programs that take time and attention before and after, but the library staff are free during the program to work on the desk or to complete other duties. For example, a passive program might include leaving arts and crafts materials on a cart in the teen area and inviting teens to create their own valentines. Such a program might require preparation (advertising; pulling books of poetry and volumes on lettering, cardmaking, or decoupage; setting out materials) and cleanup, but a staff member doesn't have to facilitate the program. A suggestion box is the easiest passive program. Ask a teen to decorate a box (construction paper, wrapping, and old Sunday comics make great wrappers). Create a short suggestion form, with optional contact information. Collect responses once a week. I cut the contact information off of the suggestion slips and placed names in a envelope. Then I posted the now-anonymous questions and responses in the Teen area. Every Friday, I pulled out two names from the envelope and gave away free books. Other libraries use incentives such as candy or coupons as incentives. wellco The Wells (IN) County Public Library posts responses on their library blog (www.wellscolibrary.org/suggestionbox.html). Note another passive program they offer: the teen department hosts a Question of the Week program. Each week teen cardholders are given a question and the reference book to look up the answer. There is a candy/trinket reward for finding the correct answer. Hiring a performer to deliver your program may also be considered a passive program. The staff member must arrange the event, book the room, prepare evaluations, and deliver a check; however, often the patrons may be left in the capable hands of the performer for the duration of the session. Free Ice Cream Friday Teens who came into the Shrewsbury (MA) Public Library (splatatspl.blogspot.com/) at 4 pm one Friday in March 2008 received a free ice cream sundae when they gave input on choosing a theme for upcoming summer reading program! Every teen or 'tween who attended also received a raffle ticket to win a DVD (Wall*E or Twilight). This is an active program because a staff member had to be present to interact with the teens and coordinate brainstorming ideas; hand out raffle tickets, and scoop out ice cream (note that those last three things are tasks a teen could do). Because food was involved, having someone to keep an eye on the potential for mess was a good idea. Ice cream isn't something you can leave out and ask customers to help themselves; staff supervision is definitely required for this program. Or is it? This active program could have been turned into a passive one by posting an online survey about possible summer reading program themes on the library website. If a person answers a question asking for contact information, they could receive a raffle ticket. Participants could print out (or be emailed) a coupon good for a free ice cream cone at a participating local vendor on a specific date (or between a range of dates). The benefits of a passive version of Ice Cream Friday might be: * No space to reserve (good for small libraries or a last minute idea) * No staff to monitor the program on a Friday afternoon (good for a library with a small staff or no off the desk time; surveys can be checked from any library computer, at any time within a specified date range) * No food in the library (good for small budgets, no food or drink policies, and keeping custodians happy) * The ability for teen participation at a variety of times, as opposed to Friday at 4 pm on March 18 (good for teens who have busy schedules) * Community partnership (working with a local vendor to reward library users is good for the library, the vendor, and the customer) * Branding the library (making sure the library name and/or logo is on the survey and the coupon ) 6-word memoirsSix-Word Memoirs Six-Word Memoirs were a passive program at the Winnacunnet High School's Hawley Library (www.winnacunnet.org/hawley-library) in Hampton, NH in December 2009. Students and teachers could pick up a form at the library and write a six-word memoir on the form. Then they turned it in at the library. Leaving a name was optional. The memoirs were posted on a library bulletin board. This passive program could have been turned into an active one by holding a writing workshop at the school library. Examples from the book Not Quite What I Was Planning, by Larry Smith, could be shared, and then participants could work on writing their six-word memoirs together. They might have a snack, read memoirs aloud, offer suggestions and feedback, write memoirs for each other or for literary characters, and put together a compilation of their content: a bulletin board, a web page, or a print booklet. The benefits of an active version of the Six-Word Memoir program might be: * Teens coming together in person (good for the teens, good for library stats) * Teens participating in an asset-building activity (support, boundaries and expectations, constructive use of time, commitment to learning, social competencies) * Teens creating something to contribute (a chapbook or display) Keep these different types of programs in mind as we move throughout the course content. Is a volunteer program an active or passive program?
At a professional development session I attended once, the facilitator stated that the annual cost of a Teen Advisory Board is about $30, or the price it costs to make 10 pans of brownies (for refreshments!). One of the best options for low-budget programming is to call on what Chris Shoemaker of the New York Public Library calls &quot;in-house specialists.&quot; In a December 2009 YALSA blog post (yalsa.ala.org/blog/2009/12/23/dollars-and-sense-23-your-in-house-specialists), he details the kinds of programs a library can offer by putting teens in charge. Shoemaker suggests beginning with a conversation about an interest or skill you have and then inviting teens to share. For example, a drawing workshop can use teen expertise and be supported from materials in the collection and in library supply closets. He advises mentoring the teen workshop leader by providing tips on public speaking and how to run a workshop, and he reminds library staff to be present during the event, as much for moral support as to make sure things go smoothly. Staff Experts Speaking of in-house talent, there may be other staff at the library who can lead a workshop on knitting or quilting, creative writing, cooking, gardening, or arts and crafts such as origami, card making, or calligraphy. If you decide to approach a local staff member with a request to provide or assist with a program, a good strategy is to wait until you have done your research and some of the planning stage. Be prepared to answer as many questions as you can about time commitments and what you might be able to provide, like desk coverage or materials. Ask your colleague to think about it and get back to you by a specific date, so s/he doesn't feel put on the spot. Be sensitive to their workloads. Individual libraries may have varying policies on staff volunteering their time to do something you might pay a presenter to do, and of course, union policies may come into play. It's important to be aware of these issues. Local Talent The community can be called upon to deliver programs under the library staff's direction/supervision. Local artisans may be willing to donate a session of their time or to come for the cost of materials. Local businesses may encourage their employees to do community service, and they may produce programs in return for a thank-you letter and a space to leave their business cards. Consider a local martial arts studio for demos, a local bank for financial workshops, or a local bakery for cookie decorating. Most businesses are happy to provide these kinds of services in return for a line about sponsorship, a thank-you in the introduction, and a discreet place to leave business cards. Programs provided by local entrepreneurs shouldn't feel like infomercials. It's important to take care to make sure that the program delivers value to teens, rather than simply serving as a promotional channel for the business. Contests Teens get excited about competition, and contests are easy, low-budget programs. A contest can be a passive program (for example, &quot;stop in and guess the number of jelly beans&quot;--or other summer-reading-related item!--in a jar or bowl), or they can be events in and of themselves, pitting groups of teens against one another. In a Trivia Night activity, teens form teams, while a poetry slam encourages individuals to not only write well but also perform well. Local chefs may be willing to judge cooking competitions, and local teachers are often willing to judge poetry or writing contests. The prizes can be small, donated by local businesses, and related to the event (i.e., a cookbook for a cooking competition, a journal for a writing competition). Two recent YALSA blog posts are good sources of inexpensive prize ideas: signed bookplates (just mail the author with a note and return postage; in fact, requesting signed bookplates would be a good activity for teen volunteers!). Several teen librarians in Massachusetts scout out author signings at local and national conferences, and then they use autographed books and advanced review copies ARCs, which are pre-publication drafts of a book provided for marketing purposes, as raffle and door prizes. Check out Steals and Deals by Sarah Thompson (yalsa.ala.org/blog/2009/12/17/dollars-and-sense-17-steals-and-deals) and Sarah Sogigian's companion post on Prizes and Incentives (yalsa.ala.org/blog/2009/12/16/dollars-sense-16-prizes-and-incentives-for-teens) for other ideas. One strategy for coming up with program ideas is to turn to your library collection. Create a 3x3 grid on a large sheet of paper. Label each square with a Dewey Decimal range. Break your TAG into nine groups and let them loose in the stacks. Ask them to browse the collection and come up with a program idea based on the materials in their section. A blank copy of this handout, Dewey Decimal Brainstorming Exercise has been provided in the Week 3 section of the Supplementary Materials and Handouts page, and I've created an optional discussion forum for anyone who would like to discuss this activity. An example follows; links to all programs discussed below are in the Resources File. Dewey Decimal Programming Grid example Don't have a TAG? Hang a sheet of paper with the grid in the teen area, and collect responses on a drop-in basis over the course of a few weeks. Invite teen contributors who want to present a program on a topic to leave their name and contact information with someone in your department. You could do a similar brainstorming exercise by labeling each space on a 3x4 grid with a month. Use Chase's Calendar of Events (www.mhprofessional.com/category/?cat=3) to come up with ideas for timely programs. The point of connecting programs to books is not to increase your circulation statistics; it's about providing topical resources and readalikes to supplement and complement the workshop. Eli Neiburger, gaming guru at Ann Arbor (MI) District Library, warns of bait-and-switch library tactics: &quot;come for the program, stay for the books.&quot; He advises against any offering of summer reading titles in library programs. Instead, focus on paperback, high-interest/low-level materials that are highly browsable. Creating displays related to an upcoming program is a nifty marketing trick. Place materials in a variety of formats on a book cart along with your program publicity materials. Replenish the cart as needed. The day of the program simply roll the cart into the room where the event is taking place.
Voice of Youth Advocates (www.voya.com) is a great place to look for teen programming ideas. A .pdf copy of the Get With the Program, the 2006 VOYA Most Valuable Program (MVP) award, is included on the Supplementary Materials and Handouts page. Book Discussion There are many ideas for book-related programs, starting with book discussion. Meaningful teen participation in the context of successful book discussion means allowing participants to choose books, bring questions, and facilitate the discussion. Think outside the box! Not everyone has to read the same book, and not everyone has to read the book. There can be rich, meaningful discussion over questions like, &quot;What prevented you from finishing the book?&quot; and &quot;What did you think of the cover art?&quot; The Brookline (MA) Public Library hosts a book club to discuss teen books open to ages 13 and up. The program is marketed on the library's website and has a dedicated Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/pages/Brookline-MA/Shelf-Respect-Teen-Literature-Book-Club/179830853349), as well. shelf respect One model that works well is a themed round robin discussion. Participants vote on a genre ahead of time (fantasy, horror) or format (graphic novel, audio, nonfiction), and everyone brings a book in that genre and has time to talk about the book s/he selected. Or try a discussion themed &quot;bring a book you love or hate.&quot; This requires very little prep on the part of the library, since it eliminates the prospect of locating multiple copies of the same title. Another model is for library staff to choose the first title, booktalk a pre-selection, and ask teens to vote on three titles for subsequent sessions. A third model is to offer independent reading a great activity for Teen Read Week (www.ala.org/teenread) in October or National Library Card Week (www.ala.org/nlw) in April. Go to Secrets of Successful Book Discussion (www.slideshare.net/informationgoddess29/book-discussion) to see a Slideshare presentation on this topic. Celebrate Teen Read Week Teen Read Week (TRW) is a 12-year-old annual initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) to get teens to &quot;read for the fun of it.&quot; YALSA posits that teens have so many options for entertainment that it's important to remind them to spend time reading for pleasure, as &quot;it's free, fun, and can be done anywhere!&quot; Research shows that teens that read for fun have better test scores and are more likely to succeed in the workforce. Teen Read Week is also a wonderful opportunity to let your school or your public library communities know how important teen services are. This year, Teen Read Week runs October 17-23, 2010 and is themed &quot;Books with Beat @ Your Library.&quot; If you don't like the theme in a given year, you can always use the more generic &quot;Read for the Fun of It!&quot; theme. TRW poster From a programming standpoint, YALSA is practically providing the research, planning, and marketing pieces for you with a great website (www.ala.org/teenread) that includes program ideas, publicity materials, and a planning timeline. Library staff that register in advance often get free materials (books, posters, and promotional items) from publishers and sponsors. Teen Read Week content can be used year round, or you can extend TRW for a whole month of reading-related programs and activities. Ideas for 2009's program, &quot;Read Beyond Reality,&quot; include a reading tournament, creating maps of fantasy worlds, tying in community service, inviting a guest speaker, holding a book-versus-the-movie discussion, creating music playlists for favorite literary characters, and hosting an essay writing contest. Summer Reading Programs Although summer reading programs may run for only six to eight weeks, they can take up the entire year in planning. Themes are selected in early fall; materials ordered and activities planned in winter; promotion begins in spring; and implementation begins in late June/early July, concluding with evaluations and statistics compiled after Labor Day. Kat Kan's book, Sizzling Summer Reading Programs for Young Adults (ALA Editions, 2006) is a good place to start if you have never run a summer reading program. The largest benefit for me, when I ran one, was it became an opportunity to get to know teens on a one-to-one basis, and program registration allowed me to collect contact information that I later used to share information about upcoming programs. make wavesThe Collaborative Library Summer Program (www.cslpreads.org), or CLSP, is a grassroots consortium of states working together to provide high-quality summer reading program materials for youth at the lowest cost possible for their public libraries. The majority of U.S. states participate. The 2010 program for teens has a water theme with the slogan &quot;Make Waves at Your Library.&quot; Traditional summer reading programs are twofold: participants register and set a reading goal to be reached by a specific date, and they may or may not earn points for attending library events that mesh with the program's theme. When counting participation, registration plus reading a book/attending a program are the measurement, not finishing the program or meeting a reading goal. Occasionally library summer reading programs align with statewide or school summer reading initiatives, as well. For example, Washington Reads (www.sos.wa.gov/library/wa_reads/default.aspx) is the Washington State Library's statewide program to promote reading for all Washington residents. The State Library sponsors various projects and collaborates with libraries, schools, and other agencies to encourage reading. Some libraries, like Columbus (OH) Metropolitan Library's VolunTeen's Initiative (ebranch2.columbuslibrary.org/blog/thank-you-volunteens), and the Ocean County (NJ) Library System's S.A.I.L. Program (theoceancountylibrary.org/Teens/SAIL.htm), were mentioned in the teleconference with Julie Scordato as programs that use teen volunteers to run their summer reading program for youth or to work on specific library projects. Teens help youth log titles into reading records, give out prizes and incentives for those who reach benchmarks, assist with programs and events, or shelfread and shift materials. sails Reading for Cause is a trend for teen summer reading programs. The Amesbury (MA) Public Library pioneered reading for a cause in MA in 2005. Teens read to earn &quot;bucks&quot; that are then turned into real money by the Friends of the Amesbury Library and donated to a worthy cause. One year $301.00 was donated to Save the Manatees. The following year, the Amesbury Library raised awareness of the plight of the greyhounds, with teens reading to raise money for Greyhound Friends of Hopkinton, MA. Teen volunteers also helped run the program, marking the reading logs of participants, passing out dog biscuits which were be turned into money at the end of the program, and giving out the raffle tickets for the greyhound-themed prizes. They did this from the &quot;Dog Shelter&quot; in the Young Adult Department. Teen Librarian Margie says, &quot;It was their program, and they were involved from start to finish.&quot; Check out the Slideshare presentation on Summer Reading Programs titled, All Reading is Good Reading (www.slideshare.net/informationgoddess29/teen-summer-reading). Arts and Crafts Programs Arts and crafts programs can be led by a teen or library staff, but they can also be great drop-in, do-it-yourself (DIY) programs where you leave materials, instructions, and a sheet of paper for teens to sign in (or even just to make a hash mark for an attendance count). If you choose the latter, make sure to leave at least one completed example, a take-home copy of the directions, and a resource list for replicating the craft. I tend to think of art programs as very open ended (collage, recycled books) and craft programs as very specific (valentines, duct tape wallets, sock puppets). book thongYou don't need to be a beading expert to provide a beading program. Provide materials, space, and instruction, and let teens make simple decorated pins, memory wire bracelets, or book thongs (thin ribbon embellished with beads at each end meant to lie flat in a book, as a bookmark). flag pinThere is an abundance of beaded safety-pin patterns online; start at Evelyn's Beading Page (home.att.net/~mcdermand/EvsBeadie.html) for beaded friendship pins, keychain beadies, and hanging pin styles. You don't need to know how to do calligraphy to offer a lettering program. Put out books on calligraphy and penmanship, markers and paper, and run this as a drop-in program. It's particularly effective after the holidays (thank-you note workshop) or for Valentine's Day/Mother Day/Father's Day (card making workshop). Creative Writing Programs A creative writing program can be an ongoing series, a week-long camp, a writer in residence program, or a one-time session focusing on a specific skill, like writing Haiku or honing a college essay. If you don't feel that your own skills are good enough to lead a poetry circle or writing workshop, guess what? This is probably another area where you can outsource: ask a teacher, an author, or teens to assist. One of the programs I inherited from my predecessor at a teen library was a very successful Open Mic night. I hosted mine on a Friday instead of weeknight, and I advertised by producing a bookmark-shaped flyer for each high school and middle school student, and 65 teens attended--up from 12 the previous year. The following day, I got a phone call at 10am (on a Saturday morning!) from a teen attendee who wanted to know if there was a creative writing support group for teens in the community. I said, &quot;No... but we can start one, if you help!&quot; Derek, true to his word, helped lead sessions, came up with writing exercises, modeled how to provide feedback, produced and distributed marketing materials, and suggested the creation of a teen creative writing magazine. The literary magazine had five teen-produced issues. Teens came up with the name, designed a logo, read and selected submissions, typed in entries (I did the layout), and stapled finished copies. lit mag At bi-monthly meetings, teens selected meeting dates, planned and hosted a coffeehouse every six months, and contributed writing exercises. I booked the meeting room, arranged for guest speakers once a year, promoted new books on writing, and kept extensive minutes on the library website, now archived (web.archive.org/web/20040828164603/www.teencybercenter.org/tps/tps.htm). Goth Sock Puppets Goth Sock Puppets, or &quot;gocks,&quot; were awarded &quot;Most Valuable Creative Program&quot; in Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) in 2006. The Riverton (UT) Public Library invented gocks when a library staff member added a tongue piercing to her sock puppet. It's a program that has been replicated at a number of libraries, including the Carmel Clay (IN) Public Library (ccplyouthservices.blogspot.com/2010/01/goth-sock-puppets.html). gocks Recycled Books altered bookArt and poetry can be crafted from old print materials (ransom note poems: cut words and phrases from discarded magazines and books and gluing them onto paper to make a poem) and discarded library books (write, paint, and mark up old books to create something new). Techniques may include blacking out or painting over text to make certain words or phrases pop out; highlighting or circling words, then connecting them to create a design or poem; slicing out blocks to allow words from following pages to show through cutouts; cutting out words and gluing them into other spots; or whatever else your imagination can come up with! Duct Tape Crafts Some may fear that craft programs only appeal to girls; duct tape crafts and comic creation workshops seem to be particular draws for young men. Duct tape, available in many colors, can be equally appealing to ladies and gentlemen. Feed them, and they will come!&quot; is an adage of teen programming, but like everything else, successful teen programming requires research and careful planning. Class participants should check their library policies around food prep and local health department regulations before proceeding. Consider avoiding allergen-inducing products. Peanut and shellfish allergies can be deadly. Youth may have sensitivities to wheat, gluten, soy, or dairy products, or they may choose to follow dietary restrictions for medical or spiritual purposes. Food programs that may not include cooking—or even eating—on site might include learning how to garnish with fruits and vegetables or assembling and decorating gingerbread houses. Brewster (MA) Ladies Library (bllteennews.blogspot.com/2008/10/cake-decorating-contest-for-teens.html) held a cake decorating session in fall 2008. The contest became an event, with participants decorating on site, eliminating the need to actually cook at the library. Assembly type foods make for good programs: vegetarian sushi (cook rice in advance, demonstrate rolling technique), cookie decorating (with pre-baked cookies and tubes of icing), and wrap sandwiches are good choices. Library Fear Factor Pop culture is often an inspiration for library programs. The television show Fear Factor has individuals compete in scary and disgusting challenges, and libraries have embraced the food element of Fear Factor by providing taste test competitions. Several course participants mentioned Pop Goes the Library (www.popgoesthelibrary.com) in the Blog Scavenger Hunt assignment in Week 1; one entry features library Fear Factor recipes (www.popgoesthelibrary.com/2005/03/fear-factor-friday-recipes.html). fear factor Chocolate Party A chocolate party seems to be a new twist on the classic ice cream social. Perfect to celebrate the end of summer reading or Valentine's Day, a chocolate party may involve taste testing hard to find candy bars, comparing different grades of chocolate, and actually making chocolate candies. The Chelsea Memorial Library in Northwood NH has just such an event planned for this month. Notice they are marketing their chocolate party on EventBrite, an online social event finder/calender. Guest speaker programs are another opportunity to utilize resources in the local community. Ask a teen to talk about something s/he did or to share and curate something s/he collects. Ask a local celebrity to come and talk about their trade for a career-night type of program, or ask a local amateur to talk about a passion. Take advantages of national programs, like NASA's Solar System Ambassadors (www2.jpl.nasa.gov/ambassador) or Toastmasters (www.toastmasters.org/) to find a speaker. Author/Illustrator Visits Librarian and author Toni Buzzeo maintains a wonderful, resourceful website on Author and Illustrator Visits (www.tonibuzzeo.com/visits.html). Author visits can be a lot of work, but they are very rewarding. Research may include asking teens who they would like to meet (you can narrow the selection by providing a list of local talent) and investigating potential partners to help cover the costs of travel, speaker's fees, and free copies of books. Since the key to a successful author/illustrator visit is making sure teens have read the author's work, a partnership with a school, bookstore, or youth organization can become important in meeting this goal as well as in marketing the event. Most authors prefer that library staff contact their agent to book a visit. First-time authors may be more willing to work directly with you, and they often have lower fees for engagement. Building in other related activities to build buzz is a great marketing strategy. Selecting an author with a book that invites discussion or has a rich cultural background may facilitate this. Some authors will encourage block booking. For example, they may be willing to facilitate a writing (or illustration) workshop, speak at the library in the neighboring town, or appear at a colleague's library in town, as well. Remember that time on the road is time away from writing, and just because someone can communicate in writing doesn't mean that s/he is good with people. Consider an online chat for recluses and the tech savvy. More on this to come in Week 4. Career Nights Invite one guest speaker or a panel of speakers, and host a presentation discussion. This was a successful program at my local public library a few years ago. A panel of five professionals representing various careers were on hand to talk to students about how they use reading while working and to answer participants' questions. Community Speakers A social worker, police officer, stylist, or life coach may be a person for whom teens have questions. Consider asking someone in the community to come and conduct a question-and-answer style forum.
Evaluations are easy! Use a flip chart, white paper tablecloths, or computer and ask teens to complete the sentence. Don’t forget to take photos of the event! “ It was fun because im (sic) learning to play guitar”
RuneScape is a massively multiplayer online role playing game, set in a medieval fantasy style world. It’s fairly easy to master, it’s a long and deep game, and there are lots of ways to play (focus on chat, focus on quests, focus on leveling, focus on crafting, focus on making money). It’s popular with teens at a lot of libraries across the country, and unpopular with librarians because of its heavy use of chat, bandwith-hog nature, and the “undesirable” behavior that is actually common to the age group (socializing, talking about the game, hopping out of chairs to see other players’ screens and offer assistance).Some librarians ban RuneScape. Others fully embrace it and develop programs, contests and discussion groups around RuneScape. Not comfortable with Runescape? Organize a mini-LAN party around Maple Story, Gaia, Teen Second Life, or Small Worlds.
Secrets of Successful Teen Tech Programming Presented by Beth Gallaway For Arizona State Library Yuma, AZ May 2010
“ Facebook gives people the power to share and makes the world more open and connected.” Schmelling, Sarah. “Hamlet.” The Bard of Avon on Facebook. http://www.angelfire.com/art2/antwerplettuce/hamlet.html