The Johnson County Library (Overland Park, KS) is hosting Teen Tech Bingo this week. Teens are entered into a drawing for every five tech activities completed. Activities include make your own avatar and creating a video on animoto.com. We have mounted table-top tents on top of the public youth computers that point teens to the internet location where they can begin Teen Tech Bingo.
This is a self-directed activity, which helps because we can get very busy at the neighborhood branches. It’s easy for staff to recommend the activity, whereas putting together an afternoon program during the “schools out” session would require a lot more effort (i.e. schedule changes and program prep time).
These type of self directed learning activities may be the way to go in the future as libraries face staffing issues such as hiring freezes and obstacles such as small budgets.
However, it is nice when you are able to pull together resources and do a big program for the teens (such as an after hours event), because it shows the teens that they are important and the library truly is a place for them. If you work together with a group of librarians across the system to plan big events, then one person doesn’t get stuck with all the work and things can actually get accomplished! Working with others is another strategy that can be useful when you don’t have a lot of time to do planning.
To read what other libraries are doing for Teen Tech week, visit the YALSA wiki. You can add your own program ideas there or comment on this post!