November 12, 2014.
Even though I was hoping for larger turnout, it was really nice to work with a small group of kids. We did a quick craft, the duct tape lanyard. I assumed it would take us longer to do, since my other duct tape craft took the kids a lot longer than it took for me to do, but for this program, my kids did it quicker than I did. I talked to them about different duct tape crafts they’ve done in the past.
With the extra time that we had, the kids did a bunch of other duct tape crafts. It was really fun listening to them talk about their craft experiences. A few of them even helped each other with their crafts: one boy, JT, helped out another, Nicholas, make a duct tape bag for a good fifteen minutes. I was really pleased to see them collaborate and create.
I think if I were to do another duct tape craft, I’d try to do another quick one, so the kids can have some spare time to do free crafting. Or I’d try to develop a duct tape makerspace so teens could do it on their own time.
October 28, 2014.
My library is one of the few libraries that has programming catering to special needs children and teens. My predecessor had a program where teens with special needs were paired up with volunteers to do crafts, play games, and do baking together.
I had great reviews from the parents about my programmer that I hired for this program. They really enjoyed her.
I had a discussion with one of the parents, who were very happy to hear that we were starting up our programs again. It was very enlightening to have that discussion, since she talked about how important it was for her son to feel a part of the group and that the programs were targeted at his age group. At his home library, the special needs teens were put into programs with the younger children, so he felt like the crafts they were doing were babyish.
October 3 – October 25, 2014
A large-scale, long-time tradition for our library. The teen volunteers, other librarians, staff members and I develop and execute a haunted house in the community rooms for a large audience, mostly young children and their parents.
It’s a huge undertaking. I lost a lot of sleep over this, but I think next year, it’ll be a lot better, since I’ll have had the experience. I had a great time working with my teens and they were very well-behaved.
We decided that our haunted house would be UFO-themed with a crash site and an alien autopsy. I was surprised that the kids would want to go a sci-fi route at first, for a haunted house, but it totally worked. They were also interested in doing an Underworld-themed haunted house; some kids were very interested in doing a Christian-based Underworld, but I basically told them that we would either do a Greek-themed Underworld. I think a Christian-based Underworld/Hell would have been kind of a tough sell for my director and probably would have been unnecessarily controversial.
Next year, I’d want to come up with a list of themes and have the kids votes on those ideas, so I could plan for the haunted house in advanced. It was very difficult trying to coordinate ideas without having any idea what I would be doing beforehand.
September 29, 2014.
Board Game Program.
~10 teens attending
Board games and snacks. A pretty low effort affair.
The kids became a lot less interested in the games when they realized that we were going to let them do pretty much anything with the game pieces. We have a giant Jenga set so the kids used the jenga pieces to built forts and buildings, so they could start fictional wars and countries. I was pretty cool on it, since they focused more on building fots than throwing stuff at each other.
Friday, July 1, 2014.
~85 teens attended
So this is a huge yearly program that is very popular in town. We regularly have 80+ kids attending.
Since this happened a while ago, I won’t really go into significant details. It’s probably the largest scale single night program that we do. It’s a fun night for teens, where they come to the library after we close and they stay until midnight. We have games, snacks, movies, crafts, karaoke.
In the future, I’d try to figure out a better way to wind down the whole program. We usually play a movie as we corral the kids at the end of the night, but it’s always kind of dud, since they’re already keyed up on ice cream and candy and won’t pay attention to the movie.
Before I started working, they tried to hire a DJ to refocus their energy. Apparently, it was very awkward and probably worse than the movie. I could see that, since it’s a bunch of 6 – 12th graders, who didn’t sign up for a school dance.
Date: August 10, 2014
~15 kids attended
So this was a program that I did a while ago, during the summer time. I did the craft before hand and it didn’t seem so difficult when I did it, but I had some trouble conveying the instructions to my kids. Because the group was large, I often had to go to smaller groups of kids to help them fix their mistakes or reexplain the instructions.
If I were to redo this program, I would try to better prepare myself on how to explain the craft to the teens, so it would be easier for them without having to do the whole one-on-one thing.
Quick intro: I’m a librarian. I enjoy watching TV and eating tacos.