The Big Event! Creating dynamic programs that bring in the crowds

Standard

Hello! This is a presentation I gave, with the help of the Mane Six, at the 2014 Ohio Library Council Conference and Expo, all about creating special events at your library. Please feel free to use this information as you see fit!

Presentation: PDF // PPT
Handout: PDF

Ahoy there, Teen Think Tankers!

Standard

These presentations were a part of the Teen Think Tank Event on September 19 at the Lima Public Library. In the interest of wanting to share with my fellow teen librarians, and to save some trees, I’ve made the resources available here.

Avast! The All-Important Hand Out!

Yo-Ho-Ho (& a bottle of whaddya mean you’re not into that anymore?)
Powerpoint // Slides PDF

Shiver me timbers, that’s AMAZING: Teen programs under $25
(adapted from Do More With Less)
Powerpoint // Slides PDF

Supplemental sources:
>> Live & Let Spy: Trivia, Caesar cipher, Morse code, & Running key cipher
>> Superheroes vs Villains Ultimate Showdown: Trivia // Challenge sheet
>> Night of the Ninja: Trivia
>> Doctor Who: Trivia through Time and Space
>> Mortal Instruments: City of Bones trivia
>> Supernatural Survival Skills 101: Trivia
>> Divergent: Trivia

Note: I don't have the answers for most trivia (sorry!), but all answers can be found online. Also, all Powerpoints include fancy, aptly-themed fonts, but if you search online for the font, you can easily install it. While playing the game, to return to the question grid, click the shape in the corner.

Doctor Who, Part Two

Standard

Doctor Who continues to be very popular amongst my teens, so we hosted another Who event this summer, this time just for teens (our previous program was all ages).

I found some fun videos on YouTube & put them into a playlist. My favorite was definitely a rather adorable fandom cover of Call Me Maybe. Give it a listen!

We played many games – Blink/Don’t Blink (a rather fast game of Red Light/Green Light, so we played it many times), Cyberman Says, and Toss the TARDIS. I discovered that my teens love to play any theme-specific game of hot potato, so of course we just tossed the TARDIS around to the theme song.

From our previous event, we again used the Gallifreyan translator but this time to make bottlecap keychains, and also made duct tape bow ties as well as Van Gogh coloring sheets for those who just want to hang out and watch the videos.

The biggest hit of the event was, by far, Guess Who. I would say that most of my teens had never played, with a surprising number that never even heard of it.They played this continuously all night, with many arguments ensuing (is River a villain or a hero?). They came up with the rule that Captain Jack is human, but the Face of Boe is not, being rather nice to those new fans who are still catching up.

I threw this together after seeing it on Tumblr, and the graphics & instructions for making your own is here at Karen Kavett’s blog.

The big craft of the evening was SPACE JARS. I followed the directions from Martha Stewart to make snow globes, only we tipped the jars right-side-up, and added a dangling TARDIS.

Supplies!
Jars (ask your staff to save or purchase)
Polymer clay
Silver jump rings
Fishing line
Hot glue gun
Glitter & confetti
Water
White marker pens
Black permanent marker
Glycerin (optional)

How to do it!
TARDIS:
1. Create rectangles from blue polymer clay. I was able to get eight out of each pack.
2. Press jump ring into top.
3. Bake according to instructions (I did steps 1-3 prior to event)
4. Using markers, add doors & windows.

JAR:
1. Hot glue fishing line to jar lid. (also done prior to event)
2. Tie fishing line to jump ring on top of the TARDIS.
3. Add glitter & confetti.
4. Fill with water.
5. Add a squirt of glycerin, which helps slow glitter’s descent to bottom. (A bonus, but not required.)
6. Tighten jar lid, gluing to seal if desired. (We did not do this part; the jars were fine.)
7. Decorate top of jar as desired with quotes, pictures, etc.
8. Shake up the jar to the theme music!

Be sure to ask if you have any questions!

The Hunger Games Survival Challenge: Catching Fire

Standard

<< Click here to download .zip of all files associated with this program >>

This is everything you need to run a successful Hunger Games scavenger hunt-type program. My previous program in 2012 was fun; the event I ran for Catching Fire was much better. Fifteen was the perfect number for an hour’s worth of fun, with some easy & some hard challenges for everyone. They don’t even need to have read the books to do anything other than the trivia.

Most of the supplies are listed, but you do need:
– Nerf-style archery set; various styles available on Amazon.com. We shoot at our old Twilight trio stand-ups, but you can easily print out targets.
– Bags of some sort – backpacks are available through Oriental Trading

Basic instructions:
1. Print out the challenges, enough for the number of teams you’ll be having. We’ve divided the teens into 12 teams in the past.
2. Stuff the challenges into envelopes, or simply fold them. I highly suggest at least tucking the origami challenge & the associated paper into an envelope.
3. Number the challenges, staggering so not everyone is at the same challenge at one time. There will still be some overlap, of course, but this definitely helped. Instruct the kids that they MUST do everything as a team, and that they MUST do them in order.
4. Create an arena map of your library with the stations posted. Freehand or Publisher!
4. Place challenges, map, and pencils into the bag, and place them in the center of the starting room (the Cornucopia). Ready, set, go!

If you have any questions, please be sure to let me know! Sometimes what I think is self-explanatory only makes sense in my brain.

The Science of the Big Bang Theory

Standard

So hey – I have a Big Bang Theory event on Thursday! And since I know a lot of you are throwing one as well, I’d thought I’d share what I have planned. The idea for this program was to do something for every character, showing at least SOMETHING about what they do. Sheldon is by far the hardest, as string theory is something that this former music major can’t wrap her head around at all. I honestly have very little science in my background (I’ve never taken a single chemistry class in my life), so this entire summer was really rather terrifying. Not just because I don’t know much about science, but because I wanted to show science in a way that’s fun & doable for 20-40 teens in a room.

But I think I’ve got a pretty fun event planned – we’ll have to see if the teens agree! Mostly, these are crafts & games that use a variety of scientific principles. I’ll be adding signs at every station that explain what’s going on & why we’re doing it, including the science behind Leonard’s lactose intolerance!

Sheldon: Theoretical Physicist
Very simple explanation of string theory
– cat’s cradle – each teen goes home with their own string!

Leonard: Experimental Physicist
– To explain chaos theory/centripetal force: spinning paint art (also science of color!)
bottle music
straw challenge – how far will it go?

Penny: Acting
– body language/charades using emotions
– cheesecake! I’m going to get the tub of cheesecake & make little cupcake sized cakes for everyone.

Raj: Astronomy
moon phase necklaces

Howard: Engineering
toothpicks & gumdrops: challenges!

Bernadette: Microbiology
bread-making: wheat vs gluten-free flour, feeding the yeast sugar vs a sugar substitute (does it bubble the same?)

Amy: Neurobiology
– optical illusions craft: 3D hand prints
Stroop Effect game

Wil Wheaton: Biomechanics
– Wesley Crushers bowling!

ALSO:
Paper-Rock-Scissors-Lizard-Spock Tournament!
Science of how to win

Nerdfighter Gathering 2014

Standard

TFIOS has come & gone, and it was just fantastic, was it not? My teens are still raving about it. To celebrate the movie’s premiere, we held a Nerdfighter Gathering, and it was so, so much nerdy fun.

What’d we do?
YouTube playlist of a variety of TFIOS stuff & classic Vlogbrother videos
Hanklerfish hot potato; the kids got SO into this it was hilarious. The prize was just a fun size bag of plain M&Ms! I think we did it six times, to A Song about an Anglerfish.
– Book charms!
– TFIOS/Okay bracelets & keychains
– TFIOS cloud t-shirts
– Nerdfighter pins
– Prizes of print outs of various Nerdfighter art
– Pizza! It’s always the answer.
– NO EDGE four-square, which was especially fun because most of them had never even heard of it!
– Pin the Glasses on John Green (you might have seen it on Tumblr. John Green basically made my life by reblogging it to his own Tumblr; aaaaaah.)

To be honest, a lot of this stuff must sound like nonsense if you’re not pretty familiar with Nerdfighteria, but it was basically the highlight of my teen librarian experience. To get to be so nerdy with something I love so dearly was just so great. Here are some more pictures of the event in action!

#WeNeedDiverseBooks!

Standard

With all the conversations going on right now about the importance of diversity, take this as your reminder to add some diversity in ALL of your displays. Add TYRELL by Coe Booth to your John Green display. Put Cindy Pon’s SILVER PHOENIX and Nnedi Okorafor’s AKATA WITCH on your fantasy display. BOY MEETS BOY by David Levithan ought to be on your romance display. Antony John’s brilliant FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB should be on your realistic fiction display.

Take a step back & make sure you have faces of all kinds throughout your teen space, no matter the population you serve.

Because it’s important.