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Friday, March 1, 2013

SLP Workshop Follow-Up: Working with Teen Volunteers

A great way for teens to be involved with your library is as volunteers!  This has the potential to hit many of those 40 Developmental Assets, and it can help you get things done that would be impossible without the help.  Here are some things discussed at the SLP workshop last month.

Perks for teens:
  • T-shirts
  • Community service hours (either court mandated, or needed for school or National Honor Society)
  • Extra hours/lottery tickets for the volunteers (an hour of volunteering counts as the same as an hour of reading).

SLP jobs teens can help you do:

  • Program assistants at programs for younger kids
  • Help prepare craft, etc. materials for programs
  • Help looking at reading records and distributing incentives
  • Create decorations (Boyceville had an amazing teen SLP decoration committe)
  • Reading buddies--act as one-on-one help for reading buddies.
Non-SLP jobs to consider:

Being part of a teen advisory board--meeting monthly, or even quarterly, to give you advice on developing relevant programs, services, collections for their peers.

In Menomonie, a teen volunteer who loves Pinterest is working on collecting all the boards of teens from Menomonie who pin, to create one big, local, teen-created pin-board.

In Baraboo, the teens help a lot with MOVING things, LIFTING things, and helping to

Have teens join you for Library Legislative Day! Senators and Assembly-people love to see engaged, active high school students, and the kids enjoy feeling empowered, talking about something they care about. Plus, a trip to Madison...hard to go wrong, there. This year, IFLS sponsored a bus trip to Library Legislative Day. It would have been great to have a busload, including lots of library-loving teens!

Managing the logistics:

  • Keep track of teen volunteer hours
  • Provide training
  • Have kids fill out an application (see here for some examples)
  • Penny recommended a subscription, at least for the summer, with www.volgistics.com to help keep large numbers of volunteers organized

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Teen Tech Week!

Tomorrow, we'll go back to a round-up of ideas from the Summer Library Program, but for right now, I want to do a timely post about Teen Tech Week, which is coming right up March 10-16.  This year's theme:  Check In @ Your Library, which "encourages libraries to ...showcase the outstanding technology they offer, from services such as online homework help and digital literacy-focused programs to resources like e-books, movies, music, audiobooks, databases and more."

So...what are you planning?  If you don't have anything yet, don't panic.  You can take some of the great ideas on the website, and from fellow librarians and use them during your own Teen Tech Week that fits your schedule better!

In Rice Lake, Ashley is planning to load their library's iPad with apps, and have the teens evaluate them for small prizes.  In addition, a staff member who is big into Tumblr is going to do a Tumblr showcase for them.

In Eau Claire, they are hosting a Teen Tech Week Open House for teens and their parent/guardians, to learn about all the tech-related resources available at the library, from e-content to databases to iPads.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dr. Seuss Party Idea

Taking a break from regularly-scheduled SLP workshop reporting for this timely idea from Kris Farley about Dr. Seuss birthday celebrations.  I know many communities are excited about this, and Kris came up with a  "stealth" program to add to the fun.

"The Children's Council in Ladysmith had a special Dr. Seuss event in the community room, and I had a simple game up in the library for any child who wanted to play.  They encouraged the kids to come up and play when they were finished at the celebration. I posted Dr. Seuss characters on the ends of book shelves with a packet of stickers for each. Then I made up a simple sheet with the same characters on it. Kids found each character on the bookshelves, got a sticker, and put it on their sheet. They returned the completed sheet and got a Dr. Seuss pencil. It went really well. A few families did a sheet together - others each child did one. It was easy enough for each child. I will build on that for next year."

Monday, February 25, 2013

Summer Library Program: Teen Roundup Part 3, Incentives

There are as many ways to run a Summer Library Program as there are libraries.  Many SLP programs include some kind of incentive for participating, reading, or volunteering.  Here are a few ideas generated at the workshop about things that can motivate teens to participate:

  • Letting kids count reading of ANYTHING, not being picky about what
  • Consider doing a collective prize, for the teen area:  if we read 3000 hours collectively, the library will purchase a Wii, X-Box, Comfy chair, laptops, pizza oven for programs.  According to Penny, this was extremely effective in Baraboo, but got a little unsustainable budget-wise, with a feeling of needing to up the ante.
  • In Baraboo:  The first 8 hours, they get a book or a pizza coupon (Papa Murphy's has a literacy program and gives out coupons to libraries); the next 8 hours, and every 8 hours after that, they get 5 prize lottery tickets to use for prizes for totebags, food, gift cards, posters, decks of cards, gift certificates for miniature golf, etc.
  • In one library (forgot to write down where!) kids earn one starbuck per hour, then use at the end of the summer party to bid on hidden prizes, which range from an iTunes card to a package of ramen--the element of surprise makes it fun
  • There was some support for holding grand prize drawings in private, not as part of a big party
  • Menomonie has a Lame Prize of the Week--donated from staff garages and basements.  The "lamer" the better--kids are disappointed if the prize isn't silly enough.
  • New Richmond experimented with giving out cold, hard cash last year--they got gold coins to make prizes of $50, $75, $100 and $125.  Kids earn tickets for reading 5 hours a week (extra chances if they submit a book review)
celebrations,gold,gold coins,pots of gold,riches,Saint Patricks Day,special occasions,St Patricks Day,symbols,wealth
  • I used a Choose Your Own Adventure format (stolen from the Brown County Library), back in the day (way back when Choose Your Own Adventure books were really a hot commodity).  Community members donated time (a day with a large animal vet, an afternoon on the Coast Guard Cutter, a behind-the-scenes tour of the local theater, a chance to make something with a local neon artist, that sort of thing).  I'm sure there are insurance ramifications for this wacky idea, but it sure was a fun way to connect teens with adults who share a passion.

I'm sure there are more ways to do this--what do you do?