Thursday, March 11, 2010

More teen programming ideas!

In an earlier post, I told you about the knitting club rage that's hitting libraries across North America.  Well, now I have a few more great ideas for teen programming that I picked up at the Southern Alberta Library Conference that I want to share.  
First of all I should tell you that none of these ideas are my own - they belong to Medicine Hat Public Library and Michelle Bien (Youth Coordinator extraordinaire).  Michelle's session at the conference was fun and full of really great ideas for teens that really work.
Here are a couple of my favourites: 
(There were quite a few, so if you'd like me to share all of them, just ask.)
Host an Improv Night.  The teens get to be silly which can be very amusing.  Here's an example of one game to play.
Works best with an even number of people, the more the merrier.  Everyone shakes hands and greets each other politely.  Then, you shout out:
"Greet everyone as if they smelled bad"
"Greet everyone as if you are bored"
"Greet everyone like a long, lost uncle"
and so on.
Host an Anime Night - you know this one's going to be popular!
Not only will this program be popular with teens, but it's fairly inexpensive as well.  Provide pencils and markers, paper, erasers, tables and chairs and some Japanese-themed snacks (ALWAYS PROVIDE SNACKS!).  Let the teens practice and show off their anime drawing skills.   If you have "how to draw anime" books in your collection have them on hand too.  Encourage teens to come dressed as their favourite Anime character.
I really liked Michelle's ideas and sort of wished I was still a teen so I could take part (sort of).  Michelle suggested that the best way to improve teen programming in your library is (if you don't already have one) to form a teen advisory group.  According to Michelle, she couldn't create these great programs without them.  Think about how you could include the ideas of teens in your community.

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