Friday, September 30, 2011

Picture It: 30 days of art activities, part 4

This year's Teen Read Week theme is Picture It @ Your Library.  It runs from October 16-22.  But don't worry, during the month of September TLT has been helping you get ready!


The truth is, you can do a wide variety of fun things with this type of a theme.  You can challenge your teens to picture themselves doing almost anything with the help of library materials.  Want to know more about space?  Yep, the library has what you need - just picture it.  Want to hunt dinosaur fossils?  Yep, we have that, too.  The library is your door to everything . . .

It can also be a celebration of art and self-expression.  For the month of September, in order to help you get ready for Teen Read Week, I have been sharing a craft a day.  There are a lot of fun things you can do with your teens with this theme for TRW.  Have a craft a day after school as a drop in activity.  Or have 1 large program where teens can choose one or more craft stations to do.  So here is a recap of what I have shared on the TLT FB for the final week of September . . .

Day 22: Art with Maps
Just in time for the 2011 SRC theme You Are Here (well, it would have been awesome if I had found it in time). However, it goes with our literature themes - great for multicultural or travel themed crafts and promoting multicultural/travel theme literature. Also would make great elements for displays. You could use maps to make paper beads, decoupage, and so much more . . .  Already I can picture a reading of Oh, The Places You'll Go while tweens and teens do some map crafts.

Day 23:  Shadow Writing
Scroll way down and look at the pic where the girls are holding the sign "we ♥ daddy". I think this would be a fun way to make wall art with book titles, quotes, and more. A fun activity all on its own or as part of a photography workshop.  All you need is paper or poster board, a camera, and a sunny day great for making shadows on the sidewalk.

Day 24: Wanted Posters
Because day 24 is during Banned Books Week, here is a fun way to create your own Wanted posters.  You can make your teens wanted for reading a banned book or make wanted posters for the books themselves.

Day 25: Personalized Caution Tape
Just in time for BBW, personalized caution tape! Want to make a creative BBW display? You can create caution tape with a personalized message using barrier tape bought at the hardware store. Instructions when you follow the link.  As a bonus craft, here are instructions on how to make a Lady Gags inspired caution tape hat.

Day 26: Magnetic Bottle Cap Mood Bracelets
We talked about multicultural literature as one of the top 10 trends, so we should definitely look at some multicultural crafts. Here teens can take a unique twist on the old mood rings by creating a magnetic bottle cap bracelet with Chinese characters. Unique and cool.

Day 27: Tank top totes
Earlier we talked about having a Project Runway inspired program for teens, and this would be an easier type of sewing project to include in that.  In addition to a fun TRW craft, it would also be a great Earth Day craft.  Reusable totes are in and these would make cool library totes to carry your newly checked out books in.  Tons of fun.

Day 28:  Personalized Guess Who
Take the board game Guess Who and make it personalized with photos of your library staff, teens on your advisory board, or current pop culture stars.  Or make it literary by using book characters or even book covers.

Day 29: Props
I recently spent a Saturday dressing up white Styrofoam wig heads for an upcoming OLC conference.  Who knew it could be so much fun.  This got me thinking, what a great activity for a teen theater type of craft.  In fact, you could put together a reader's theater program and use these props.  Or have it be one activity as part of a bigger theater type of program (which I am blogging about next week so stay tuned).  Or of course you can make them for a photobooth as this blog suggest.  Fun for Halloween, too.  I, however, think it would be great to get older teens involved in reading and performing for younger library patrons so put together a reader's theater group and have part of the preparation be making these fun props.

Day 30:  Get Caught Reading Photobooth
If you have an iPhone, this is super simple because you can use the PhotoBooth app.  If you don't have an iPhone, you can still do it by taking 4 pictures in quick succession and then formatting them to look like a photobooth strip with a border in Publisher or some other photo editing software.  Big Huge Labs also has a way to make them online.  If you are so bold and have a handy man available, you can even make your own photobooth.  There is also a YouTube video on how to make your own photobooth.  In a pinch I think draping some sheets would work just as well.  Take an afternoon and invite teens to drop in to your teen area and visit your photobooth.  You can have them do anything you like, but you can provide them with a variety of fun props (see above) or since it is Halloween some simple dress up ideas.  Or take pictures of them with their favorite books.  Use the photo strips to decorate your teen area and webpage and give a copy for teens to take home.

Picture it week 1
Picture it week 2
Picture it week 3

More craft resources to use with your teens . . .
Books
Websites
freekidscrafts.com/teens
Crafts for Teens
Kaboose
12 Teen Crafts
Be sure to check out the Pinterest board

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Understanding the "Wild Child" - a look at addiction in the life of teens, including technology

On September 13th I attended my second Wild Child Conference in Marion, Ohio.  The Wild Child Conference looks at contemporary issues in the lives of teens and seeks to give participants the tools to recognize and deal with important issues.  Last year's topic was the role and impact of technology in the lives of teens.  This year it was addiction.  TLT believes that it is important for you to understand adolescent development and culture if you are going to successfully meet their needs.  It's a no-brainer really.  You can't successfully serve a population you don't know, understand and, I believe, respect.

If you pay attention to the news you have probably heard that many communities are facing rising problems of drug use.  According to information presented at the WCC conference, alcohol and prescription drug use are the most common issues among teens.  Many teens are finding their drugs right in their parents (or caregivers) medicine cabinets.  And this year they have seen a huge increase in the use of a common bath salt as a drug.  In fact, it looks like new laws are going into effect to limit the sell of said bath salts.

Understanding Addiction
The main speaker for the WCC conference was Annette Franks.  She has a wide variety of materials on her website that can help you understand addiction and recognize the signs of addiction, etc.  In addition, I took notes and posted them on the FB page (not the best format to be honest) and you can see them here:
2011 Drug Update: A brief overview - looks at the most common drugs in use today
Keynote: Understanding Addiction and its impact on youth and families today

Sexual Addiction in the Life of Teens
In addition to drug addiction, speaker Jeff Grant discussed sexual addiction in the life of teens - primarily brought about through the access of Internet pornography or a childhood history of abuse.  The most interesting point referenced by Mr. Grant was the fact that there was little to none research on the subject of teenage sexual addiction.  Jeff is a former youth pastor who has received his counseling degree and specializes in the treatment of sexual addiction.  It is interesting to note that sexual addiction is not the same as being a sexual offender; one can have a sexual addiction and not break any laws or be required to register as an offender.  I recap his presentation here.  He also referenced the article The Making of a Sex Addict by Patrick J. Carnes, PhD.  You can find an article by Carnes here.

Teens and Technology
Last year's WCC focused on technology, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  And yet as we discuss addiction, the role of technology can not help but come up again.  Technology can be a useful tool and it definitely has increased the access to and role of information in the lives of teens.  And yet it can also become an addiction that hinders their lives.  In addition to using the Internet to access porn and an overuse of all types of media including computers and video games, Annette Franks talked about the effects of texting in the lives of teens.

Texting, Franks points out, causes teens to be less fully present in the moment and changes their emotional experience of life.  We have all seen those teens walking around with cell phones, only partially involved in the moment right in front of them.  This lack of being fully present hinders the development of social skills in a one-on-one setting, the ability to develop good communication skills, and limits true emotional expression and authenticity.  All of these can lead to a lack of true, deep and meaningful relationships.  In fact, texting changes the rate of and depth of eye contact and has tremendous impact on our relationships by this simple act.

Franks also argues that the continual use of cell phones limits creativity, self-expression and the exploration of new ideas and activities.  And again, that lack of being fully present in the moment hinders a teens experience of the world around them.

In terms of library programming, it seems like one way in which we can help our teens is to ask that they not use their cell phones while in a library program so that they can more richly experience the moment.  And if we are doing our jobs correctly, the programs will be interesting enough that they will, in fact, want to be engaged in them.

The Pew center has some good research on the role of technology in the lives of teens:
How do they even do that?

The important key is this:  technology in moderation is a good thing, just like everything else.  But it is important that our teens unplug and get real with themselves, one another and the world around them.  They have to give them selves plenty of time to truly be IN the moments of their lives.  We can help them by providing a wide variety of rich reading materials in tradition formats and by providing a wide variety of ways to interconnect with one another and the world through quality programming.  Create programming opportunities that force teens to interact, to think, and to manipulate real life objects (think crafts, cooking, board games, etc.).

Unplug Your Programming
 
Image from: http://blogs.indystar.com/varvelblog/archives/2007/06/
And here is where I would like to take a moment to talk about Nature Deficit Disorder.  Step outside your home on a week night or Saturday afternoon.  How many children and teens do you see playing outside?  Riding their bikes?  In comparison, how much time did you spend playing outside?  And yes, simply hanging out counts.  Today's children and teens are plugged in to such an extent that many now argue that they are experiencing a deficit of nature.  (Here is a very basic overview at Wikipedia, but I recommend reading the book Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
So if you have the space, get your tweens and teens outside.  Even something as simple as chalk drawing would work, although you might want to call it sidewalk graffiti to make it sound cool.  Maybe you can have them create and maintain a garden space around your library; it's win-win - you have engaging programs for your tweens/teens and your library looks beautiful and inviting.  Other things you can think about doing include water wars and games, music on the lawn, or a wide variety of outdoor games.  You can even do Hunger Games or dystopian tie-ins by doing survival activities.  Make displays of wilderness books and true life adventure stories.

In our programming we sometimes come to overly rely on video games and technology; but if we are going to really address the whole health needs of teens, we will provide them opportunities to unplug and engage with one another and the world in our programming efforts.

You Can Help Teens Succeed
The day closed with Jodi Galloway from the Teen Institute discussing the 40 developmental assets and incorporating them into your programming as a means to help teens succeed.  I had the privelege to work with Jodi Galloway when I was at the Marion Public Library and recently wrote up an article for the October 2011 issue of VOYA (page 354) discussing our efforts to incorporate the assets into our programming.  Research suggests that the more assets a teen has in their life, the less likely they are to engage in risky behavior and the more likely they are to engage in successful behaviors.  There are a wide variety of ways that libraries help teens incorporate assets into their lives from everything by providing free, unfettered access to reading materials to providing quality programs and incorporating teens in leadership roles.  I highly recommend that you take some time to familiarize yourself with the asssets and begin using them as a framework when implementing library teen services.  If a program or service will help a teen meet an asset, then it is of value.  The assets can also be a good framework in discussing your teen department needs and activities with your library administration or community.

So here's my take away:
Know, understand and value teens to serve them well.
Provide balanced programming that sometimes unplugs and engages teens in more meaningful ways.
Help your teens build assets for success.

According to Annette Franks, the number 1 cause of addiction (the reason most teens start using) is the failure of teens to fully engage in self and the world around them and for the adults in their lives to fully engage in them; through quality library services and programming, we can provide them with opportunities to engage.  Our goal: allowing teens the opportunity to be fully present in the moment.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Top 10 Trends in Teen Fiction 2011

Every year you notice them, the trends in teen fiction.  After the wild success of Harry Potter there were a ton of new Fantasy novels being written for teens.  For the last couple of years vampire fiction was without a doubt super hot, due in part to the success of the Twilight saga.  Then all of the sudden there were zombies everywhere.  And thanks to the success of Hunger Games, we can't get enough Dystopian fiction.  I have minded none of these trends to be honest.  So, what is going on this year in teen fiction?  After throwing out a survey on the TLT FB page and the Yalsa-bk list serve, here is what we have come up with . . .

You can download the poster at http://www.box.net/shared/ksdm16quocvfela9fz2e
1.  Evil Geniuses
The evil genius trend probably began quite a few years ago with the success of the Artemis Fowl books.  And with Heist Society being turned into a film (with the help of Drew Barrymore), it is likely to continue to be popular.  Plus, they are a lot of fun.  Suggested titles in this category include Heist Society by Ally Carter and the H.I.V.E. series.  Other recommended titles include The Squad by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty, and the Hero.com/Villian.net series by Andy Briggs.  For younger audiences you can't pass up The Mysterious Benedict Society.  And for just plain fun be sure to check out Dr. Horrible's Sing A Long Blog, not a book and not necessarily for younger teens - but too awesome not to be included!

2.  Paranormal Romance
There is no escaping the popularity of paranormal romance.  If you walk into a bookstore they have entire sections of teen fiction now individually labelled paranormal romance.  Amazon.com even has a separate page for paranormal romance for teens.  Vampires, werewolves, faeries, half demons and more . . . they are all represented.  There are way to many to even begin listing them all, but my favorite has to be The Wolves of Mercy Fall series by Maggie Steifvater.  For faeries be sure to check out the Darkest Mercies series by Melissa Marr.  And for vampire readers try Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber (also available as a gn series), Richelle Mead or the Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine.  For Buffy fans you will definitely want to check out The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, also soon coming to a theater for you.

3. Twins
The Lying Game by Sara Sheppard is now a series on ABC Family.  At the same time Sarah Michelle Gellar has returned to the CW in a series entitled Ringer.  Both are about twins.  There are also a lot of titles featuring twins in teen fiction.  My current favorite twin title is Bruiser by Neal Shusterman.  Bruiser is the story of, well, Bruiser - a boy who can literally take the pain of others, but at what cost to him?  The twins come in the form of Tennyson and his twin sister Bronte.  When Tennyson learns that Bronte is dating Brewster (aka Bruiser), they both learn a lot about themselves and the power of pain.  This is such an amazing story and I highly recommend it.  Other twin books recommended include Pretty Bad Things by C. J. Skuse, Kindred by Tammar Stein, This Dark Endeavor by kenneth Oppel, Envy by Gregg Olsen and Night School by Mari Mancusi.  Not enough twin titles?  Also try Chime by Franny Billingsley, Bumped by Megan McCafferty, Wither by Lauren DeStefano and Blood Red Road by Moira Young.

4.  Steam Punk
There is no denying the current popularity of steam punk.  Steam punk usually takes place in Victorian times and involves steam powered machinery.  The Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld is perhaps one of the most popular steam punk series for teens out there at the moment.  And everyone at yalsa seems to recommend listening to the audio.  In addition to the Leviathan series, you'll want to make sure your teens check out The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross, Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, and Incarceron by Catherine Fisher.

5.  Multicultural, especially Japanese inspired
Graphic Novels and Manga have been popular for quite a while now.  Bookstores now have HUGE areas devoted to the genre.  Often times they have more gns/manga then they do teen fiction to be honest.  Of course this genre spans all age levels.  The influence of Japan can now been seen in teen fiction, too.  In fact, a lot of martial arts seems to be seeping into the pages of teen fiction, which should greatly appeal to boys.  Martial arts makes an appearance in the Young Samurai series by Chris Bradford.  They also played a role in the Nine Lives of Chloe King which had a brief run as a series on ABC Family (it has been cancelled sadly).  Martial arts also plays a key role in the new Dark Territory series by J. Gabriel Gates (I recently reviewed this for VOYA).

6.  Mermaids and Sirens
Last year it seemed like everything was about fallen angels (see Lauren Kate and Becca Fitzgerald series), this year it seems like fins have replaced wings with a huge crop of mermaid tales coming out.  Recommended titles include Mermaid's Mirror by L. K. Madigan, Forbidden Sea by Sheila Neilson and Forgive My fins by Tera Lynn Childs.  One of the character's in Paranormalcy by Kiersten White is a mermaid.  Mermaids also appear in the Lost Voices trilogy by Sarah Porter.

7.  Boarding Schools
One of the trends mentioned involves location, location, location.  In this particular instance: boarding school.  It seems like the best way to get rid of parents in teen fiction these days it to send a teen off to boarding school.  Titles recommended include Anna and the French Kiss, Viola in Reel Life, the Mockingbirds and Variant.  Variant is the first in a new series and I highly recommend it.  I recently reviewed it - highly recommended - for VOYA.  I can not wait to read what happens next.

8.  Dystopian
Filming for the Hunger Games movie recently wrapped up and the movie is set to open across the US in March of 2012.  Make no mistake, the popularity of this series has opened a floodgate of Dystopian fiction.  Dystopian fiction is typically set in a post-apocalyptic world which is bleak and individuals have little control over their lives as their is strong government control.  School Library Journal has run some recent dystopian lists for your convenience.  One type of dystopian tale involves environmental issues - the world ended by climate or environmental disasters.  You can catch SLJ's list here.  They also have a really good list of all dystopia here.  I love love loved the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and can't wait for the movie.  I am currently listening to Delirium by Lauren Oliver on audio-cd and am enjoying it, also.  You can throw some classics into the mix and make sure your teens get their hands on 1984 by George Orwell and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

9.  Mythology and Fairy Tales
Probably due in part to the popularity of the Percy Jackson series, there is a resurgence of mythology and fairy tales popping up in teen fiction.  This is also true for TV and moves, Twilight's Kristen Stewart will be appearing in a new version of Snow White on film while another version of Snow White will soon be coming to your local tv station.  Titles recommended in this category include the works of Rick Riordan, Abandon by Meg Cabot (a retelling of Hades and Persephone) and Sweetly by Jackson Pearce (a retelling of Hansel and Gretel, also ironically twins).

10.  Zombies
The dead are rising everywhere - and that is true in teen fiction as well.  Last year The Walking Dead took off on TV, an adaptation of a highly popular long running graphic novel series.  Suddenly it seemed that zombies were everywhere, including in your favorite classic works of literature (see Pride, Prejudice and Zombies).  One yalsa contributor threw out a classic Buffy reference, earning major bonus points, and said that this year zombies were the new "big bad."  Totally true.  The Rot & Ruin series by Jonathan Maberry is quite frankly, hands down, my favorite.  But I am enjoying them all.  For a look at zombie books see this poster.  Be sure also to check out the Charles Higgens series.  And although World War Z is technically an adult book, teens will enjoy this look back at the zombie wars that destroyed our nation (coming soon to a movie theater near you starring Brad Pitt).

And a couple of trends that didn't quite make the cut . . .
One trend mentioned that didn't make the poster was the length of teen books today.  Without a doubt they are lllloooonnnnnggggg and tend to be in trilogies; but that didn't seem like a strong selling point LOL (although definitely true).  Some other trends that got votes include girls that kick butt (seriously, check out the Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter) and books in multiple voices, which occurs in a great deal of teen fiction today.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Picture It: 30 Days of Art Activities, part 3

This year's Teen Read Week theme is Picture It @ Your Library.  It runs from October 16-22.  But don't worry, I am here to help you get ready!  Here are the links presented for the 3rd week of September as a part of the prep for TRW 2011.


Picture it day 15: Stamping with Legos

Pure genius. And pure fun. And a great alternate activity for those libraries with Lego clubs.

Picture it day 16: silhouettes 

Teens can make pictures of themselves, their friends, their favorite monsters, superheroes or book characters. Get creative with it.

Picture it day 17: Make your own magnetic poetry.

For more poetry ideas check out Poemcrazy: freeing your life with words. It is amazing.  There is not enough poetry in the life of teens if you ask me.

Picture it day 18: Minimalist posters

For a fun activity, look no further than the designs of Albert Exergian. He created a variety of minimalist posters for his favorite tv shows. Wouldn't it be fun to see what teens came up with for their favorite books? A simple bow and arrow for The Hunger Games, maybe. Or an apple with 2 fang bites for Twilight.

Picture it day 19: Paper quilling 

Have a bunch of books you are discarding? Get your teens together and practice paper quilling. Since you won't be using colored paper you can create black and white pictures - or paint them when you are done. Of course you always could just used color paper, but then what are you going to do with all of those discarded books?

Picture it day 20: altered books

You probably have books that you are weeding out of your collection, so why not turn them into art. You can rip, cut, paint, tear - whatever you need to create your altered book art. This page has some examples, but google altered books and you will find a lot out there.

Picture it day 21: Steampunk crafts!

How about literature inspired crafts for Teen Read Week? Here are a ton of steampunk inspired crafts, some of them have How Tos. If money was not an object, it would be fun to have a genre inspired craft a day for the week. Of course, money is always an object. Pair this with the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld . . .

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Picture It: 30 Days of Art Activities, part 1

This year's Teen Read Week theme is Picture It @ Your Library.  It runs from October 16-22.  But don't worry, I am here to help you get ready!


The truth is, you can do a wide variety of fun things with this type of a theme.  You can challenge your teens to picture themselves doing almost anything with the help of library materials.  Want to know more about space?  Yep, the library has what you need - just picture it.  Want to hunt dinosaur fossils?  Yep, we have that, too.

It can also be a celebration of art and self-expression.  For the month of September, in order to help you get ready for Teen Read Week, I am sharing a craft a day.  There are a lot of fun things you can do with your teens with this theme for TRW.  Have a craft a day after school as a drop in activity.  Or have 1 large program where teens can choose one or more craft stations to do.  So here is a recap of what I have shared so far on the TLT FB for the first week of September . . .

Day 1 : The exquisite corpse

The exquisite corpse is a great way to create collaborative artwork (it also works for poetry) with your tweens and teens. You can use one large sheet of paper and fold it or use individual sheets of paper. 1 person creates a head, 1 a to...rso, 1 the legs, etc. You are usually looking at 3 or 4 body parts. No one teen can know what the other is drawing. When you put them all together you get a collaborative creation that can represent the very best that Sci fi and horror has to offer. This is a great way to introduce those genres. Or just do it for fun. You could do it as a group activity or teens could do it on their own and turn their sheets in. There is a lot of flexibility here. They would look great decorating your teen area or scan them in and share them digitally (or do both!)
Very basic info available at wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exquisite_corpse and more artistic info available at http://www.exquisitecorpse.com/definition/About.html

Day 2: gyotaku, the Japanes art of fish prints

You can take this theme into multicultural territory with a variety of activities, including the Japenes art of fish prints. Although it is traditionally done using real fish, you can use plastic fish. In fact, you can use a wide variety of objects, including fruits and vegetables, shoes, found objects and more. You simply apply ink to one side of the object and gently press it onto paper to get a print image. Then you can embellish as you wish. Pair this with some other multicultural art projects for a great multicultural Picture It program.

Day 3: Infographics


Infographics is a visual way to represent data (great examples at the link above). Have teens create infographics of their reading experience. How many books of each genre have they read? Do they read more fiction or nonfiction? Also, you can use infographics to create a unique yearbook of your life. It can be a year in review or a life in review. Or have them create an infographic of their favorite book: how many times does Edward stalk Bella? Create a visual representation of the 12 Districts in The Hunger Games. How much of your teen collection if paranormal romance? Come on, you know it's a lot :)

Day 4 : The Denim Gadget Case

You can recycle old jeans to make this cool storage case.  Hand sewing will work, no need for a machine.  Not only can you use the case for things like iPods or cell phones, you can use them for pencil cases and more.  Here is a way to expand one pocket into many and make a wall hanging organizer using recycled jeans.  You can do this as a single project or as one choice on a theme day: recycled crafts, sewing crafts, renovate your wardrobe crafts . . . you get the idea.

Day 5 : Book Quotation Celebration

Help teens turn their favorite book quotes into unique pieces of artwork.  Read all about the inspiration for this project and see examples at my original TLT blog post.

Day 6: T-shirts

Here you can learn to make original t-shirt designs using freezer paper and peel and stick sheets.  They can be book related, or not.

Day 7: 52 Reasons Why deck

Take a deck of card and share 52 reasons why you love someone or something.  Very easily adaptable.  Think, 52 reasons I love books, or 52 books I love, or 52 reasons I love Harry Potter (insert book of choice here).

Bonus CraftStar Wars crafts, including the Yoda finger puppet

I shared this earlier, but it is a great way to get Star Wars fans together and share your favorite Sci Fi series.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tweet for FREADOM contest

The Teen Librarian's Toolbox loves FREADOM (the freedom to read) and encourages everyone to celebrate Banned Books Week (9/24 - 10/1). And we have prizes!


Join us in the fight against censorship during BBW and Tweet for FREADOM (it's so important you have to say it all in caps!). Teens and their favorite librarians are invited to Tweet their messages against censorship. Words are a powerful thing so give us 140 characters (that's how long a Tweet is) speaking out against censorship.

There are two ways to enter:
1) Tweet your message and tag the Teen Librarian's Toolbox @TLT16
Or
2) Compose your 140 character message and share it on the TLT Facebook wall

Tweets will be accepted beginning Sept. 24 until the end of BBW Oct. 1.

One grand prize winner will receive a signed copy of Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by frequently banned author Chris Crutcher PLUS six "Read Crutcher? @#$% yes!" wristbands (3 white on black, three black on white) and 25 CC bookmarks.

5 runners-up will receive wrist bands of their own.

Brought to you by TLT and author Chris Crutcher and his magnificent assistant Kelly Halls at ChrisCrutcher.com
       
Looking for some inspiration?  Here is what some others have had to say about censorship!
                               

Thursday, September 8, 2011

TPIB: Art Through the Ages

Picture It days 8-14

This year's Teen Read Week theme is Picture It @ Your Library.  If you read through my previous Teen Programs in a Box posts, you will find a variety of fun craft/picture themed ideas.  And I have already shared one TRW idea called the Book Quotation Celebration.  But I thought I would put a fun twist on the topic and celebrate art itself.  Art has a rich history that begins way back with cave paintings and proceeds through things like pottery, pointillism, cubism, and postmodernism.  I am not an artist, but I am married to a man who was an art major.  Occassionally I have learned something from him.  So in an era where the arts are struggling for school funding and teens are struggling for the time and means to express themselves, I think a celebration of art through the ages would be a great Picture It @ Your Library program.  So jump in your time machine and let's go back in time . . .

For an awesome Art Through the Ages program, you'll want to choose several of the crafts below, or find your own (High School Art Lessons is a great resource), and set up a variety of stations.  At each station have a table tent sitting next to an example of the craft with a brief explanation of what historical or artistic time period the activity represents.  Also, be sure and pull a lot of your amazing craft books off the shelves and put them on display in the room where you are working.  Worried about having enough hands to help with the program?  Contact your local HS art teachers and ask for volunteers to help at each station; often they will offer their students extra credit if you agree to sign something stating they were there.  A lot of these activities can be modified for various age levels; you'll only really need assistants if your audience tends to skew towards the younger teen years.

Cave Paintings
Some of the earliest recordings we have date back to pre-historic times in the form of cave paintings.  Cave paintings usually told stories in hieroglyphics or in pictograms.  You can create your own cave paintings using some very basic (and cheap) supplies.  Either use flattened paper bags from your grocery store or use a roll of brown shipping paper as your back drop.  This will help create a cave wall feeling.  You'll want to scrunch them up to give them texture.  Have teens create their art work using markers, paints, stamps or whatever works for you.  This is a simple, open ended activity and in the end you can create a cave wall in your teen area decorated by your teens.

Hieroglyphics
The ancient Egyptian art of Hieroglyphics is always a lot of fun.  You can get a variety of fun Egyptian stencil and stamps at Amazon.com.  Buy some air dry clay and have your teens use toothpicks to draw these symbols into clay beads that they make.  Make sure you punch a hole in each bead before you begin working on your project.  Then, simply let dry and string and you have an ancient necklace, charm bracelet or keyring.  (There are also some African design stencils available for the same type of craft).  Many colors can be used in layers to create a multi colored bead, they do not have to be one color.  If you choose to use FIMO or similar clay that must be baked, you can bake these in a toaster oven.

Pottery and Statues
Ancient Greece and Rome are known for their pottery and statues.  You can give teens the opportunity to create their own by using the same air dry clay mentioned above.  To take the theme in a different direction, you could decoupage boxes with old magazine pics of famous statues.  You could also create paper mache' figures that you later paint, but this is a very time consuming activity.  This is a great way to get community involvement if you know someone in your community who could bring in a pottery wheel and give a demonstration.

Jewelry
Jewelry and adornment is a rich part of most cultures.  You can give teens a wide variety of beads and beading stuff (think necklaces, keychains, head bands, and more) and see what they create.

Murals and Mosaics
Give each teen 1 sheet of plain white paper.  Give them 15 minutes to draw, color, and fill the space.  Then use all the pages together to create a giant mural or mosiac in your teen area or some other area of the library that could use some decoration.

You could also do this with digital photography and give teens specific challenges (say, take a picture of your friends reading their favorite books) and see if they can create a reading collage.  Bonus points if you can use all the pics to make a larger picture of a book.

You can also purchase a variety of mosiac crafts (foam or tile) for the teens to do.  There are things like picture frames and boxes that would work well.  As far as activities go, this can be on the more expensive side.

You can also get individual ceramic tiles and some paint (enamel).  Give each teen a tile and let them design away.  After the tiles dry you can use them to create an amazing mural.  If you know someone with the skills, you can put them together to make cool tables for your teen area as seen here.  You could also frame them and hang them up as a picture.  You'll want to put a clear coat (it is literally called "clear coat") over it to protect and preserve it.  It would be great to give it that library twist and have them somehow incorporate their favorite book title or quote in their piece.


Paper Making and Marbling
Here you can find an intricate process to make paper.  There is a 45 minute process outlined here.

An easier way to deal with the history of paper and paper making would be to do some fun paper marbling activities.  The $5 Friday blog outlines and inexpensive way to do this.

Origami
Origami is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding.  You probably have a lot of books in your collection to help you with this portion of art history.  There are also some books available on duct tape origami or origami using money.

Stained Glass
Stained glass is an intricate artform that is time consuming but beautiful.  You can make basic stained glass replicas by melting crayong between two pieces of wax paper using the heat of an iron.  You can also use tissue paper to make these stained glass windows.  Or you can kick it up a notch and mod podge layers of tissue paper onto votive holders and make stained glass votives.

Pointillism
Pointillism is a form of art in which a variety of small dots are used to create a larger picture.  George Seurat is one of its most famous practitioners.  You can have teens create their own Pointillism pictures using pencil erasers and water color paints or stamp pads as seen at Get Spotty.
Be inspired by this
to make this
Cubism
Cubism was made famous in part by Pablo Picasso.  You can use discarded manga and magazines to create Cubism collages as seen here.



Pop Art
Andy Warhol is perhaps one of the most famou pop artists.  And perhaps his most well known works are his representations of Marilyn Monroe and Campbell's soup cans in various colors.  These are fairly simple to create digitally using photo shop editing tools.  In fact, there are some iPhone apps that do it instantly for you.

Future Art
Wait, you still have some of that clay left over, right?  Make clay aliens to represent the future.  Or have teens use things like tin cans, utensils, etc. to make their own robots.

As seen at Book Clubs 4 Boys http://bookclubs4boys.blogspot.com/
Don't forget to tap into your local resources.  If you have a college near by with an art department ask the professors for inspiration, they may even be willing to come and do some hands on activities.  The same goes for middle school and high school teachers.  There are a wide variety of art history lessons plans online for you to consult.

You don't have to do all the time periods in one day, you could have several activities from ancient times one day, medieval another, and so on and do it as a series.  Want a literature tie in?  Make it a book/art club and read a book and do an art project from the time period.  Or since we are talking about one week, Teen Read Week, you could do an after school art project every day for the week.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Don't Underestimate the Value of "Hanging Out"

Also known as, the value of unstructured versus structured programming!

Necessity is the mother of invention.  It is also how I learned about the power of, and importance of, hanging out in the lives of teens at the library.  The first library I ever worked at was just a few blocks down the street from the middle school.  Every day at 3:20 pm it was flooded with a ton of teens who had just had to sit for 8 hours; they were looking for somewhere to go and something to do, but a library was not an ideal environment.  Thus my first Teen CoffeeHouse was created.  A teen coffeehouse or cafe type program is a more informal type of program that invites teens to come into your library in a safe space and simply "hang".  This is a more self-directed type of program.  Teens are in the library in a library sponsored program, but they determine how they spend their time in the space.

In comparison, a lot of library programming tends to be more organized and structured:  craft programs, book discussion groups, Harry Potter parties.  Lots of librarians (and their administrators) like these types of programs because they have form, structure and usually some type of obvious literature or collection tie-in.  They also tend to be staff intensive (a lot of staff time is invested in planning, prepping, and marketing), cost more in funds (crafts and speakers in particular tend to cost more), and you can have very mixed results.  The truth is that when you pick a program topic, you are limiting your audience from the word go.  Believe it or not, not everyone likes Harry Potter or Twilight.  So the moment you pick a theme to program around, you are cutting out a portion of your target audience.

Don't get me wrong, I think that structured programs are important for the library (as you know, I have lots of structured programs in a box right on this blog for you to choose from).  What I propose, however, is that libraries adopt a programming model that balances structured with unstructured programming.  Have a weekly after school cafe and supplement it with one structured program a month (depending on your library space and staff).

In a coffeehouse/cafe type of environment, teens are invited into the library in a designated space (I recommend a meeting room with doors, it can get loud) and given the opportunity to experience the library and each other, but choose how they are going to spend their time within that environment.  I typically have a video game system set up in one area as one option; in addition, a lot of the teens came in and worked on their homework (I always took a laptop in so I could help answer questions), worked on group projects, sat around and talked (or texted), played yu-gi-oh or magic, or - believe it or not - some of the teens actually read (how I will never know, I mentioned it gets loud right?).  In fact, there were almost always 2 or 3 teens in there reading (usually graphic novels and manga).   

The Benefits of Unstructured Programming, aka "Hanging Out"

They Are Developmentally Appropriate
Teens are peer oriented and on an amazing journey of self discovery; at the same time, they are moving away from adult authority and trying to navigate life more on their own.  A cafe type of program is a great environment for teens to do all of these things.  Here teens can explore relationships, navigate social situations in a safe environment, choose for themselves how they want to spend their time, and feel a greater sense of freedom in a safe space.

Let's look for example to the 40 Developmental Assets.  The premise behind the assets is that the more of these assets that a teen has, the more successful they are likely to be (and the less likely to engage in risky behaviors like drug and alcohol use).

Asset: Community Values Youth | Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.
Asset: Safety | Young person feels safe at home, school, and in the neighborhood.
Asset: Youth Programs | Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and/or in community organizations.
Asset: Homework | Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day.
Asset: Reading for Pleasure | Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.
Asset: Interpersonal Competence | Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.
Asset: Personal Power | Young person feels he or she has control over "things that happen to me."
Asset: Other Adult Relationships | Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults.

As you can see, a coffeehouse/cafe type of program that encourages self-direction in a safe environment helps promote many of the 40 Developmental Assets.  By giving teens choices, you are communicating respect and support.  And this is a great way to build relationships with your teens, which brings me to my next benefit.

They Encourage Relationship, Participation and Feedback
Because I don't have to spend time giving craft instruction or keep supplies stocked, this type of program allows for greater interaction between the teen services staff and the teens.  Over time you learn who they are and what they love.  They come to serve as a more informal Teen Advisory Group; however, because such a large and diverse crowd attends, you get a wider variety of viewpoints and ideas.  The truth is, that there are certain types of teens that tend to sign up for and participate in advisory groups, and these are often the very teens who needs we are already meeting fairly well in the library.  However, as teens come and hang out at your coffeehouse, you can spend time talking to them.  And as I learned who my readers were, I tapped into them for collection development feedback.  For example, I am not a big graphic novel/manga reader, but a lot of them came to my TCH so I would take my catalogs in with me once a month and they were always more than happy to tell me what I needed to buy (or quit buying).  Eventually teens started coming to me at the TCH and saying they wanted to do x, y, or z for programming.  I also often got the teens to take pictures and develop commercials, etc. for me.  I always took a cart of new books in with me and shared my favorites.  And I always knew which teens I could ask to take fliers to the schools for me.  In effect, as I built relationships with my teens I tapped into their strengths and used it to enhance teen services at my library.

They Get More Bang for Your Buck
The truth is, programming costs money.  And here libraries are facing continuing budget and staff cuts, putting more pressure on staff to decrease costs and yet produce greater results.  And staff time is also money.  Every minute that you spend on researching and developing programs is a cost to the library; plus it takes you away from other tasks.  We are all trying to find ways to better balance our time, money and resources.  Because there is almost no prep time involved in a coffeehouse, you are automatically decreasing your programming budget.  And because you can reach a greater audience, you are increasing your potential audience.  Plus, I have always found that teens love the TCH so much that they market the program for you.  Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool you have.

They are a PR Goldmine
Every community is looking for positive things for their teens, so why not let it be at your library?  Keep track of your statistics and put together good pr materials.  Make sure patron, parents and the community as a whole know how many teens you are serving weekly and yearly.  I averaged between 40 to 70 teens a week at a cost of just $1.17 a teen (in snacks).  Yearly I was serving over 2,500 teens at the TCH.  Let your community know about the success of your teen program and how it meets their developmental needs and benefits the community (remember, engaged and valued teens are less likely to do risky behaviors).

They Cultivate a Love of the Library
One of our goals in providing teen programming is to cultivate positive regard for the library, and we do this by creating positive experiences.  Coffeehouses get teens into the library on a regular basis.  They meet the widest variety of needs and attract the widest variety of participants.  They communicate a trust and respect in teens that results in teens having a trust and respect in libraries.  In addition, teens are more likely to start using your library resources and collections as they become repeat visitors, especially if you tap into them and get their feedback.

So, what's the problem with unstructured programs?
A lot of library administrators are not as supportive of unstructured programming.  They need specific goals and evaluations that show that you met those goals.  They want concrete collection tie-ins.  You can overcome this obstacle by really selling the program.  You do have goals, your goals are to get teens into the library and build relationships with them.  Help staff understand teen development and how this type of programming is essential for healthy adolescent development.

There will occasionally be behavior problems.  As the teens enter and exit the library in large numbers, they do not do so quietly.  And sometimes, some of the teens in the room don't get along.  Again, it is important for you to continually sell the program to staff: don't let them focus on the negative but remind them of the overall positive.  Maybe 2 teens got into a fight at the library one day, but 38 others teens came in and had a positive experience.  You can overcome this obstacle by making sure staff understand normal adolescent development, having a good acceptable behavior policy in place, and continually communicating the overall success of your program.  Read this blog entry to learn more about working with non teen services staff.

 So let's recap, shall we . . .

The cons are:
there can be some behavior issues,
you will have to sell it and sell it again to some staff and there is a certain level of training and communication that I think is important - let your staff know about the success of the program, share quotes from your teens, let them know the benefits over and over again.

The pros are:
it meets teens developmental need for peer oriented interaction;
it communicates a level of trust and respect to the teens;
it gives teens an opportunity to choose how to spend their time in a safe environment with some oversight;
it gives you and your library a forum to communicate new materials, popular materials, upcoming events and services;
it builds a core teen audience for your library;
it allows you opportunities to develop relationships with teens in your community and better meet their needs (they become and informal TAB);
parents and community members love seeing this type of positive teen programming;
and it builds positive pr opportunities.

Herein lies one final important point:  There is no value in programming if nobody comes.  I recently formed and participated in a local Asset Builder's Coalition (you can read about it in the October 2011 edition of VOYA).  One of the things we discussed as a part of the coalition is how you get teens to come to your programming.  It involved organizations from United Way, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, The Boys and Girls Club, etc.  Over and over again one of the themes that kept coming up was the idea that teens were more likely to come if they felt they had more freedom within the program to choose what they were going to do, how they were going to spend their time.

So if you can, I encourage you to make "hanging out" a part of your regularly scheduled programming.  It's a win win for everyone.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Guest Blog: Cuyler, turning the dream of being a writer into a reality

Every writer starts as a dreamer.  Cuyler dreamt of being a writer.  And now his first book is being published.  This is his story of how he is turning his dream into a reality.

My Journey as a Writer
By Cuyler Seth Creech

My name is Cuyler Seth Creech. I am currently eighteen years of age and I reside in a small town called Whitt. I’m your average bookworm, one whose bookshelf is currently overflowing with an ocean of pages of adventure and mystery.

Each book is like another world to me. Some have dangerous worlds, others have spectacular worlds. They take me to all kinds of places, like a dozen mini vacations in a weeks time. And even though each world is different, they all receive the same reaction for me: Wow. I wish I could do that.I’ve always been a little off with how I speak. I tend to stutter and mumble and end up just sticking with being quiet. My words get jumbled up inside my head as they make the journey out of my mouth. It was like a glitch in the system.

I was very jealous of the vast number of authors out there. How they could take something so small and turn it into a jaw-dropping masterpiece just by using their head. They flow of all the countless and mesmerizing ideas taunted me, asking me to give them flight into stories of my own.

So finally I did.

But it wasn’t easy. For years I tried and tried and tried, but I could never come up with a good story. The blessing of a good flow hadn’t come upon me just yet. Sure I’d written countless short stories, ranging from dragons to time travel, but they just weren’t good enough. But the fact that I could not resist was that I loved to write. It didn’t matter if they were good enough on paper.

Well my father spoke to me. He hadn’t read the first chapter of the great disaster, but he’d told me not to give up just yet. That maybe I just had to be patient. Like the flow would come to me when it decides.

The flow is a raw power. Like fire. Uncontrollable and unpredictable. It can diminish itself into something as thin and useless as smoke, or it can return with a vengeance like a raging forest fire. The flow is not controlled by the author. The author is controlled by the flow.  So I waited for my forest fire. I waited and waited and waited, and still nothing. I read instead of wrote, again being taunted by the abilities of the authors I craved.

And one day I sat down in front of the computer, its screen a mindless hum of nothingness as it stared back at me. Waiting patiently as well for my fingers to sprawl across its unused keys and relieve the itch to be pressed.

And still, nothing came.

The next day I was driving in my truck, on my way home for another flow-less night of staring at the ghosts of potential.

And then it hit me. Like a speeding train with no breaks. Names. Places. Events. Storyline. Bam! Bam! Bam!

I raced to get home, the accelerator pressed to the max. I flung open my bedroom door and sat down in front of the computer. Its sad, luminous face looking up at me with surprise and hope. I unfurled my fingers, placed them in their designated seats, and watched as my forest fire set ablaze.

I researched and found the perfect area for the setting of my book. A small, dilapidated village in Alaska. A place called Anaktuvuk Pass. A home for my homeless characters. After I found them a home, I started to write. The untamable fire coursed through my fingers as they sped across the keys, greedy like sharks in a feeding frenzy in the sea of letters.

My forest fire was raging.

Soon the first chapter of Skin-walker was completed. I hit “Ctrl+P” and watched as the words made their home onto the paper. I grabbed the sheets, still warm from the printer, and gave them to my family to read.  And this time I didn’t get a bad review. On the contrary. I got a great review. They could see everything so clearly, as if they themselves were there in the icy, cold mountains of Alaska. The flurries from the blizzard biting at their face and ankles.  From then on I knew I had a good thing going.

My family continued to read my story. Chapter by chapter like a soap opera. Skin-walker was the new kid on the block. And boy was he popular.

Throughout the process, I’d been satisfied with everything but the title. So soon, Skin-walker became reborn as my greatest accomplishment. A little story I like to call Shifter.  A year and a half and over 90,000 words later, I’d completed my first ever novel. Shifter was ready for the next step.

For only half the battle was over.  The editing…oh the editing. That was a major pain, but extremely worth it in the end. Each time I went over it, it got better and better. Like a stone being polished into a gem. Over and over until I held a glistening diamond in my hands.

My dad and I researched countless publishing houses, each one with their own prices, but all of which were out of my price range. So we figured for me, a guy who wasn’t making thousands of dollars, we decided that self publishing was the way to go. But even self publishing was no cheap ride either. They offered various services from cover design to manuscript formatting, both of which were extremely expensive. That being said, I knew I had to do this on my own. So I did.

From the cover to the spine and all the other painstakingly furious formatting, I did it all myself. I guess secretly I didn’t trust anyone else with manifesting my precious creation through cover art and format but me. But finally it all came together. I got everything I needed to do done.

As soon as the files were fine tuned to the publisher’s guidelines, they were emailed, ready to be put together. After some more fine tuning here and there, all there was to do was wait.
On May 31st, Shifter, my greatest creation, was published into the vast world of literacy. My greatest accomplishment. Biggest dream coming true.

When I received the first printed copy of Shifter it was like a dream. To hold the story in my hands as something solid, something real, that meant a lot. It meant that I did it. I’d done what all those other writers I’d been so jealous of had done. I’d written a novel. I could call myself a published author. It felt amazing.

So here I had my novel published, printed into a glossy-covered masterpiece. So what was next? Well, my journey as a writer has not ended here with only one book published. Far from it. I have big plans for Shifter. I plan to have it become a series of three books, a trilogy. Currently, my newest book Unspeakable, which is a separate novel and not part of the Shifter series, is in the works. And many others in the future. And maybe one day I’ll go to my computer, sit down and boot up its welcoming screen. Perhaps I’ll go to that place where my first story resides. Where Dinosauria awaits to grow wings and fly into its life of public literacy. One day, it will join its brothers and sisters, to entertain children and adults alike.

Because I have found my calling. My voice to speak to this world that craves touching, adventurous, and enthralling stories.

This is my life. So open it up and watch my forest fire burn.



Want more info?  Visit Cuyler's page.

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Banned Books Week Primer

On paper, I seem like the least likely candidate to advocate for Banned Books Week.  I have a bachelor's degree in youth ministry from a conservative Christian college and I teach children's church.  Don't get me wrong, there are books that I have read that have appalled me (although more for just bad writing then for actual content).  But some of the very books that have been challenged by others are the very books that have touched me and made a difference in my life.  In fact, the biggest turning point in my life came when I was in the 11th grade and read To Kill a Mockingbird.  How could you not love Atticus Finch?  I get that it deals with some dark and heavy things.  But I also get that the world itself is often dark and heavy.  I think there is great benefit in slowly learning about the truth of the world in safe environments where you can process the information in your own time in the safety of your home.  Although it is truly wrong for us to assume that we know anything about the life of others and the truth is, there are teens living lives more horrific than they could ever read in a book. 

Four years ago I lost a baby to miscarriage.  It was the most horrific experience I could ever have imagined.  To help me crawl out of that dark place, I read every book my library had on the topic of miscarriage - fiction and nonfiction.  And when I was through with those I ILLed more.  I needed to read the stories of others and know that I was not alone.  I needed to know that others felt the pain, the rage, the jealousy and the emptiness that had taken place in the emptiness I now felt inside me.  Reading the stories of others helped me slowly crawl my way out of a dark abyss.  I want teens who are struggling with abuse, addiction, identity issues, etc. to have the same tools that I did.  I want them to be able to read the stories of others and know that they are not alone.  I want them to find the strength to get help and change their life in positive ways.  I want them to know that there is hope.

And let's look at the opposite life example: those teens who are growing up in safe and healthy home environments.  I am a mother of 2 little girls and I get the need and desire to protect them.  But I also know that every day they are getting 1 step closer to going out into this big wide world that no matter how safe I want it to be, the reality is that it often isn't.  I need them to develop an understanding of how people can be and how they should respond.  I want them to learn to keep themselves safe.  I would rather my daughters learn about abusive boyfriends in a book and know how to spot the signs and get out rather than experience it firsthand when it is too late.  Plus, I want them to learn compassion for others.  It is a big world, every one's life is different.  I want them to be able to embrace others and be a light in the world.  Again, I would rather them do this by taking safe baby steps in the pages of a book then to wait until they are 18 and shove them off an unexpected cliff into the abyss that is the real world.

No one can ever guess the way a story will affect the life of another.  In the 6th grade I read It by Stephen King (for the record I was supposed to be reading The Hobbit, which I have still never read - oops).  It would be easy for an outsider to say that I shouldn't be reading that book because it was too scary or too violent.  But that book touched me and taught me what true friendship was.  It changed the goals I set for myself in that I wanted to be a better friend and have meaningful relationships.  I wanted to have people in my life that I could look back into the past with and have shared stories.  Other people read It and they just become afraid of clowns, sewers and spiders (and with good reason).  My point is this: each book touches us all differently.  I can't predict how you will respond to what you read, I don't get to decide for you what you can read.  And vice versa.

So yes I enthusiastically embrace the idea of Banned Books Week.  I stand up and challenge those who would try and censor what others read or have access to.  Remember that censorship is more than a parent deciding what is right for their child; censorship is someone trying to say what is right for all children (and adults, too).  Intellectual freedom is an important value for us all.

So here are some basic Banned Books Weeks resources to get you started:
The basic ALA guide
The American Booksellers Foundation also has a list of display ideas
The American Booksellers Foundation also has a list of books challenged/banned and the reasons why
Random House has a teacher's guide with a variety of ideas
Kelly Milner Halls does a lot of work for Chris Crutcher regarding censorship and you can see it here.  You can also download CC BBW posters designed by me, Karen Jensen
For more general BWW posters, you can visit the Teen Librarian's Toolbox FB page and download these.  You can print them and use them for display or download the digital image and use it on your webpage and FB pages.
I also wrote a blog post about BBW and shared a few ideas
This post has a poster that gives some specific books and the reasons they are banned
A couple of ideas for your social media page:
1.  Post a book a day and have teens guess the reason why the book was challenged/banned.  Or give the reason and have them guess the book.  You can make it multiple choice if you want.
2.  Make a simple contest sheet where you remove the titles from books and have teen guess what the books is and match the reason it is banned/challenged.  You can upload the contest sheet so teens can download it and turn it in.  You can also make them available in your teen area for pick up.
3.  Tap into teens creativity and ask them to design book covers or posters for Banned Books Week.  During BBW have a drop in workshop.  Share the images electronically to raise awareness.
4.  Have an online book discussion of a BBW title.
5.  Share a variety of online resources by "pushing" links through your feed.
For example, in this youtube clip John Green discusses the fact that he is *not* a pornographer.
6.  This past year there were a lot of online articles and discussions about teen fiction and whether or not it is too dark, etc.  Share these articles with your teens and get them discussing it.  What do they think about the fiction they read?
7.  Ask teens to write a twitter feed describing a world in which reading was not allowed.
8.  Share a quote a day about BBW
9.  Share a link to an author a day that has been challenged/banned
10.  Take 1 day and make your pages go completely silent.  That is what would happen if censors had their way.