TRW12: Paths for Promotion

With just two weeks left until Teen Read Week 2012 is upon us, it’s time to start putting some real enthusiasm behind your promotion! Besides the traditional print materials like flyers, signs and bookmarks (don’t have yours yet? There’s still time to place orders with the ALA store!), and paper press releases, how else can you spread the word to teens throughout your community?

  • Facebook reaches virtually all of your teen users. The simplest way to let your teens know about TRW through FB is by sharing some of YALSA’s posts and links. But you can also use Facebook to advertise the events going on in your building or classroom, promote some great reads like Teens’ Top Ten, and share pictures of teens “reading for the fun of it” around town.
  • Many libraries connect with their communities through Patch, an online news source featuring local news, events, and topics of interest. Many even welcome guest writers to submit articles.
  • Twitter is a great tool that your library may already be using. Get news out to the masses through words and images, featuring books, audiobooks, ebooks, free downloads, great literature and media apps, and more with simple, short tweets.
  • Interactive displays can really attract attention to Teen Read Week and Teens’ Top Ten. Make them flashy (with bright colors as backgrounds, or even some glitter thrown about), make them loud (maybe not, but be sure to include audiobooks!), and use more than just traditional library materials by including some fun props. Try displaying Halloween masks when featuring spooky titles or plastic food when displaying cookbooks, for example. Take pictures of your display and add them to your library’s tumblr or Pinterest accounts!
  • Programming in the weeks leading up to TRW can be great promotion, too. Prior to TRW, hold a Mock Award’  or book discussion event to hash out what your teens think the top 10 teen titles should be.

It’s not too late to put some of ALA’s Teen Read Week publicity tools to use. Tell us what you are doing to promote TRW in your schools and libraries in the comments!

— Kate Vasilik, Piscataway (NJ) Public Library, Teen Read Week 2012 Committee

A few thoughts on publicity

I work in a library where children’s and adult programming is incredibly successful on the whole–I’m talking standing-room-only in a room that seats 175 people, and in a town of about 20,000, that strikes me as pretty good. Teen programs…not so much. We’ve had a few programs where I was floored by the number of teens who came–nearly 60 to a Black Tie Party that the Teen Advisory Board hosted, about 50 to our Summer Reading Finale party. But some, like book groups, chess programs, craft stuff….get zero kids, two, three–teeny numbers. So I’ve been thinking a lot about the kind of publicity I’ve been employing and how it should change.

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Media coverage of YA literature

Yesterday, Charlie Gibson interviewed Marcus Zusack about his new book, THE BOOK THIEF. During the interview Gibson lavished praise on the book, never mentioning the fact that it was a books for YAs OR that Zusack had just received a Printz Honor for his last book. While I am grateful for the media coverage, I wish there were some way to let those who “handle” the talent know about YA and its awards. I am certain that had Zusack won a Newbery or Newbery Honor, it would have been mentioned. How can we get out the word?

Posted by Teri S. Lesesne