Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

The 2012 Project: because teens love libraries and libraries love teens!

Pleaes note: You can see all information including updates and links to the project pictures here

This year e-readers have really taken the world by storm.  Many people interpret this as another nail in the coffin of libraries.  We don’t need books and libraries they proclaim, and yet every day teen services librarians – you – are making the difference in the lives of teens, and in your communities.  So let’s SHOW the world that libraries are still a vital part of teen lives.  Your teens can help, too.  Read on for what I am calling The 2012 Project.

Instagram, Twitpics, Facebook – social media is used every day and sends a powerful message, so let’s use it.  Our goal is to get 2,012 pics of teens in the library or reading books during the year 2012.  You can take pictures or your teens can send them in on their own.  Each month I will take all the pics and put them here in a visual blog post demonstrating the power of libraries in the lives of our youth.  We will need to collect approximately 6 pics per day to get to 2,012.  But what a powerful, visual message we can make!

Here’s how it will work:
Take your pics.  You can use your cell phone or a digital camera.  You can use an app or a photo editing software.  You can be creative or take a straightforward pic.  Text, no text.  It doesn’t matter.  This is a great time to be creative and inspire creativity in your teens.

You can tweet your pic @TLT16 or post it on the TLT Facebook wall.  No names will be included to protect every one’s privacy.  We will simply create a strong, visual image that sends a clear message.

Get Your Teens Involved:
You can print off this poster (it was originally created in 11×17 size) and put it everywhere.  You can also send it out electronically or put it on your webpage.

Be sure and take pictures at your programs.  When you see teens hanging out ask them if they mind you taking their pic.  Take pictures at TAB meetings, SRC kick-offs, school visits, and more.  Don’t hesitate to click the pic.

But wait, you can make it fun . . .

Have a photo taking party.  You can provide spare parts for teens to get creative and make costumes for the pictures.  Better yet, create a photobooth.

Have tech workshops where you teach teens to use basic photo editing software.  Picnik.com is a free, easy to use online photo editing program.

Have a photo scavenger hunt through the library. Create a list that works for your library: have teens find hidden treasures, unique library landmarks, and of course their favorite titles in the stacks.  Other challenges can be to find items in the library by genre, letter of the alphabet, etc.  You can make it a contest at your library: post a new photo challenge each week or month on your FB page and then ask your teens to submit their pics that illustrate the challenge. 

Have your school art club create a backdrop for your pictures; you know, the kind where you poke your head through a hole and take a pic.  Then invite teens to drop in and have their pictures taken.  To make it really fun have a new background for each month: January could be a snowman, February could be a romance novel cover, March could be science fiction aliens, April could be Steampunk, and May could be a graphic novel/comic book themed illustration for Free Comic Book Day.  You could also just do this digitally.

This is a great opportunity to have your own in-house picture contest and provide incentives to your teens.  Then, when you are done, take the winning pics and make them into wall art to decorate your teen area.  Check out this post on 10 Things You Never Knew You Could Do With Your Instagram Pics to learn more ways you can use the created artwork and reward your teens.

Have a local photographer come in and do a lesson or a series of workshops.

Encourage teens by creating your own photo diary and sharing it online.  You can take your cues from celebrities such as Selena Gomez and Tony Hawk, avid Instagram users.  Remember that teens are visual creatures living in a multimedia age – speak their language and make your pages visually stunning.

Be sure to check out these previous posts for some ideas:

Generate Marketing Creativity with iPhone Apps
Here I discuss my 10 favorite iPhone apps for creating amazing images.  Since I wrote this post I have also decided I love Instagram and Pic Collage.

Picture It: 30 Days of Art Activities, part 4
This post has links to creating a photobooth.

Check out these The 2012 Project updates:
January 12th
January 20th

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