Thanks to YALSA and Dollar General the teens at the Whiting Public Library had a BLAST this year – and so did the staff!
The grant that we received this year made it possible for us to offer our teens a variety of fun activities. They got to experience building and playing with Little Bits, Makey Makeys, coding with robots, as well as making their own robots and much, much, more. Our teens had a summer full of fun activities with tools that they had either never seen or played with.
Every Thursday was Teen Fun Day at the Whiting Public Library. We offered a variety of different activities – some low key and some more technical, and while I stressed about our teens having fun, they always enjoyed themselves. Our first program of the summer started with both Shrinky Dinks and Makey Makeys. None of our teens had ever used Makey Makeys, but once I started playing with the laptops and the Makey Makeys and showing them the basics, they couldn’t wait to take over. Soon every laptop was taken! It was the first time that I have seen them walking away from Shrinky Dinks! The following week we had a Scavenger Hunt which tested our teens’ library skills, and they had a blast. After we finished our Scavenger Hunt, we moved to our activity room to make our BristleBots. None of our teens had ever heard of them and I think that they were a little hesitant, but once we got started building them they loved them and we had no free table tops as they came up with different ways to race them. But the fun didn’t stop there.
As I mentioned before, thanks to the grant that we received, we were able to purchase a number of things for our teen programs, including Lit
tle Bits. Our teens had never seen Little Bits before and it was a lot of fun showing them how they work. We did a number of activities from the Little Bits site and once I felt everyone was comfortable seen how the Little Bits circuits worked, I let them get creative. I put out a few things for them to use such as cups, paper tubes, LEGOS, markers, pipe cleaners, etc… It was a lot of fun watching them come up with ways to use the Little Bits and helping them figure out how to get something to work. But we didn’t stop there – we also made our own operation games and our own board games. Both programs were a lot of fun and our teens were very excited about their creations.
I can’t forget our LED pop-up cards which were a lot of fun to create. We had a few problems with using copper tape correctly, but it was a great program and the teens had a lot of fun adding LED lights to their projects we had both regular LED lights in different sizes and had Chibitronics LED sticker lights which are really great. Also this summer we were inspired to create our own book covers. We let our inner Harry Potter out and created our very own Spells and Potions books. It was a little messy, but our teens got creative and they were happy with their final projects.
At our last Teen Fun Thursday, our teens wanted to know what we would be doing next year, because they enjoyed themselves so much and they also made some wonderful friends. Thank you YALSA and Dollar General from the Whiting Public Library!
My name is Montserrat Inglada and I am the Youth Services Librarian at the Whiting Public Library in Whiting, IN. Books and kids have always been my passion, but I didn’t start off as a librarian. I first went to Art School to become a Children’s Book Illustrator and ended up getting a degree in Graphic Design and later I went back to school and I obtain my teaching degree, but while trying to find a teaching job I came across and opening for a Youths Services Librarian and to my surprise I got the job and again I went back to school and obtained my degree in Library Science and I have been at the Whiting Public Library ever since.
I love working with kids and coming up with ideas for programs. Every year my staff asks me to slow down, as we always seems to have a crazy amount of programs for the kids and teens, especially in the Summer and I always promise that I will not go so crazy the following year, but I get excited about new ideas and every year ends up being crazy, but at least it’s never boring and I love it and most importantly I think the kids enjoy it too!