Last week was our first teen Summer Reading Program. Teen programming always makes me nervous, because it is more unpredictable. I never have a good idea how many people will come, if what we planned will appeal to a wide range of people. During the school year, we get very low attendance at teen programs, but during the summer more kids show up. But how many?
Our first program focused on discovering self before we go out into the world to explore. I suppose it is a good place to start the program, but not our most popular one, which would have been nice to start on a high point.
We did some book talks, which I posted earlier. All of the books we talked up got checked out, which is always a good sign!
Our main activity was Yoga, and we were SO lucky to have one of our regulars, who has a teenaged daughter, teach the class. She teaches yoga locally, and she did the short program for us for FREE. It was AMAZING. She had a great connection with the kids, and the room was full of 35-40 teens, both boys and girls, relaxing and putting themselves into the exercise.
After that we did some Origami, and Zentangles. We had a number of boys who came just for these last two activities. It was a lot of fun and we had about 45 teens.
This year’s Teen Tech Week theme is Mash-ups, which is what I did LAST year. I could save myself time and energy and just do the same program again, but it wasn’t terribly well attended. So instead of pulling out the old power point, and sitting in an empty room hoping for kids to show up, I decided to do something different.
Like many libraries around the country, my library system is investing time and money into our digital collections. Mostly the books we have for download are paid for by the state library, and shared among all state residents. But with this new emphasis, the library hopes to put money of our own into building a digital library for our patrons. As part of this, I thought it would be good to demonstrate how to use these developing collections. I figure even if the teens aren’t that interested, there may be some adults who would like to come!
So I borrowed some e-readers, and an iPod, and got the software installed on the branch laptop. We also got an inexpensive flash drive mp3 player to raffle off. In an effort to reach out to more teens, I sent e-mails to the local schools. Thus far I’ve only heard back from one teacher. A special needs teacher who thought that this would be a good way to bring the library to kids who struggle with getting into the building, and who would benefit from audio books. I’ll be going to her school at the end of the month to give this presentation again.
We have a lot of patrons ask about how Netlibrary and Overdrive work, so hopefully some of them will come to the presentation so I can explain it all at once!