Working with tweens can be fun and also frustrating. My branch will have a large after school crowd of tweens but they’re not at the library to attend a program or hang out. Instead they are at the library to meet with a tutor, work on homework, or grab a book quickly before they rush off to their extracurricular activities. No matter how much we advertise programs to this age group, our attendance can sometimes be low. Or at least it feels low when we’ve put a lot of effort into planning a program that we hope will be a big success.
It’s hard to get caught up in numbers and statistics when it comes to programming. It’s also hard not to compare programs with each other. Sometimes I think about how we can get a group of 30 or more toddlers for storytime but I’m lucky if I can get a few tweens for a program.
But I can’t get caught up in measuring program success by numbers. Instead I focus on the stories. Like the middle schooler who came to every single Hunger Games program we provided last year, won the movie tickets in the giveaway, and came to the library this year and said “thank you so much for having those programs about The Hunger Games! They were my favorite and I met my best friend-and we’re still friends today and we met at the library.”
Or the tween who attended a recent program and was excited to win a set of books she hadn’t read yet.
Or the tween who gets excited to meet someone else who shares their interests when they thought they were the only one who liked Doctor Who, or Origami Yoda, or Cupcake Club.
When I feel down about tween programs and wonder what we could do better to reach this age group, I remind myself of all that we have provided for tweens and that we are successful. We are providing a place for tweens to come, meet other tweens, and participate in a program just for them-and that’s a success.
Are you interested in reading more tween-related posts? The YALSA Blog and the ALSC Blog both offer information of interest to librarians who work with tweens.
I didn’t know much about STEM programming before this post – or at least I thought I didn’t. Then I did some research. Turns out, I’ve been doing STEM programming without realizing it.
Those marshmallow catapults for The Homework Machine book club and the Rube Goldberg machines both for 4th and 5th graders were STEM programs. Those bottle rockets and the lava lamps for teens were STEM programs. Best of all, they were all super fun and the kids and teens had a blast!
A machine built at Otis Library
The theme for next summer’s collaborative reading program is all about science: Fizz, Boom, Read! (for kids or as general theme for the entire library) or Spark a Reaction for teens. Both of these themes can easily support a wide range of STEM programs. (more…)
Heading to Philadelphia for ALA’s Midwinter Meeting? Looking for some great food away from the Conference Center? You HAVE to try the many wonderful delectable delights at the Historic Reading Terminal Market.
Just a stone’s throw from the Convention Center, this market has something for everyone. Whether you are looking for an Amish homemade meal or an authentic “Philly Cheesesteak,” the Reading Terminal Market will have. This local gem not only sells delicious food, but is also peppered with many shops that may just have that perfect gift or souvenir you didn’t even know you were looking for. Find all the information you need to plan your perfect “break” from the conference here.
Hope to see you there!!
The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is a national organization of librarians, library workers, and advocates whose mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens, aged 12-18. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve, and empower teens.
With Executive Director Beth Yoke, prepared an agenda and documents for the quarterly YALSA Board conference call.
Supported several YALSA Board members in liaison duties.
Strategized priority areas and provided support to several new and continuing Chairs.
Participated in an interview with Salt Lake’s the Deseret News.
Held virtual discussion with the YALSA Executive Board on various committee drafts and Board exit interview findings.
Shared feedback with YALSA’s Executive Board Liaison and BARC Liaison regarding recent changes to joint Division meetings.
Prepared for a Board discussion on implications of the Future of Teens and Libraries report.
Appointed members to fill vacancies on various committees and taskforces.
I can’t wait for YALSA presentations and events at ALA MW in Philadelphia; so much to learn, celebrate, and discuss! Purchase your Morris and Nonfiction Award presentation program tickets in advance at the ALA MW site for just $19.
This post is part of a series where the YALSAblog takes a closer look at Learning Lab grantees from museums and libraries to learn how they engage middle and high school youth in mentor-led, interest-based, youth-centered, collaborative learning using digital and traditional media.” To read more about the context of the Learning Labs, visit the first post in the series here.
Today we will read about HiTech, a Learning Lab with the Howard County Library System, MD from Christie Lassen, Director of Public Relations, email@example.com. (more…)
Every year around this time, it seems all the adults in my life–whether they’re co-workers, relatives or relative strangers who meet me at a holiday party and discover that I’m a librarian–want to know what the best new books are in time for gift giving. Although this isn’t the way I do my shopping–books, to me, are very personal gifts, and I’m not inclined to give one that I haven’t read myself–I’m usually happy to help, if I can.
But sometimes I can’t. I’m completely out of my depth when it comes to readers under the age of, say, 12, and it’s really hard to recommend a book when you don’t know anything about the intended recipient. “It’s for my nephew,” they’ll say. What does he like to read? (Does he like to read?) “Oh, I don’t know. Just… you know, what’s good?”
The most awkward situations, though, are when I admit my dirty secret: I don’t read grown-up books.
This post is part of a series where the YALSAblog takes a closer look at Learning Lab grantees from museums and libraries to learn how they engage middle and high school youth in “mentor-led, interest-based, youth-centered, collaborative learning using digital and traditional media.” To read more about the context of the Learning Labs, visit the first post in the series here.
Today we will listen to a conversation about the Philadelphia Free Library Foundation Learning Lab from K-Fai Steele (pronounced Kay-F+eye), Teen Programming Specialist SteeleK@freelibrary.org. (more…)
A weekly short list of tweets that librarians and the teens that they serve may find interesting.
Do you have a favorite Tweet from the past week? If so add it in the comments for this post. Or, if you read a Twitter post between December 6 and December 12 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.
Full confessions: I’m terrible at video games. I lack the hand/eye coordination needed to work magic with the controllers. But I like to watch gamers. I know I need more practice, and I think that I would love gaming if I didn’t get so frustrated. It’s a vicious cycle.
Gaming in the library seems to come in cycles. First there was the DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) and Guitar Hero, big spectacles that could be as much to watch as to play. Librarians raved about those parties. Then there was the Wii games – specifically, sports with teens (and also with seniors). Once a niche event, National Gaming Day has expanded and evolved into International Games Day.
This year Minecraft programs have swept through libraries around the country, but the Darien Library in Connecticut took it to the next level, scaling up to make the gaming experience even better. They host a county-wide server. (more…)
Data-driven decision-making. Research-based programming. Outcomes-based planning. Are these some familiar phrases around your library, school, or organization? Do you know how to incorporate research and data about teens into your library services and programming? The YALSA Research Committee’s new project is aimed at helping YALSA members make connections between research about teens and best practices for programming, services, and library advocacy.
This Fall, our committee been curating a collection of existing research related to the lives of young adults. This effort isn’t so much about finding data on young adults and library use, but if you are interested in research related more specifically to teens and libraries, technology, and literacy, be sure to review the most current YALSA Research Bibliography, annotated and organized according to the YALSA Research Agenda.
To complement the Research Bibliography, our committee searched for research and statistics on topics to help inform librarians and their work with teens. (more…)