Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Back to School!

We can’t deny it any more: It is August. It is technically still summer, but many of us are now thinking back to school.  In fact, I even went out and bought the Tween a few school supplies.  The list is so long and expensive it helps to spread it out over a couple of months.  There may have been some tears shed.

At the library, it’s time to start thinking fall programming.  Well, technically, that time was really during the SRC but, you know, that’s kind of a busy time.  It’s also time to start thinking about reaching out and making and building partnerships between public and school librarians.  As I type this I am working on editing a vlog series I recently recorded with Naomi Bates from YA Books and More on the topic.  I am still newish to vlog editing so, you know, hopefully I will get that done before school actually starts.  Or it will be a series during the school year.  In addition, our Middle School Librarian Robin will be sharing her life as a school librarian throughout the year in her posts.  Robin has also agreed to be the Battle of the Books coordinator for her district this year and I am looking forward to hearing about that.

But while we are thinking back to school, here’s a look at some of the things you can do to help make this year a successful school year for your teens and your library.

Programming


Send Them to School in Style: Back to school crafts
Crafts to decorate lockers, get organized and more.  Celebrate going back to school with fun, hands on activities.

Library Boot Camp
Want to help teens figure out how to use the library?  Of course you do! Send them to bootcamp.  Library bootcamp.

Mark My Spot: Bookmarks 
Here’s a quick, easy programming idea that you can do in a school or public library: make bookmarks.  There are several adaptable and easily personalized ideas here.  You could do this program while you talk about book care.

Renovate Your Room – and get organized for school
A ton of programming and organizational activities based on Where’s My Stuff by Zest Books.

Buzzfeed has a great list of 37 DIY Back to School crafts

Networking

Teen librarians typically come in two flavors, public and school librarians.  We should talk to one another.  Work together.  Heather talks some about it here and here.  So get together once in a while for lunch, booktalk together.

Books

Great books for Freshmen
They are new, some of them are scared, and most of them have no idea what they are in for.  Check out these great reads for Freshmen.

Great books for Seniors
The heat is on and everyone wants to know, what will you do now?  The teens in these books definitely know how they feel.

Great books for Middle Grade Readers
My tween readers are all about graphic novels right now.  In fact, my tween has read Smile by Raina Telgemeier something like 10 times in the last 3 weeks.  Here are some good reads to add to your collection.

Make the Grade
The ultimate guide for being successful in school

Where’s My Stuff
Has tips for organizing notebooks, lockers, backpacks and, of course, your room.

Take 5: Out with the old . . . Great reads for those about to graduate HS

Everywhere you look our seniors are getting ready to graduate, trying to hold it together for just a few more months.  At the same time, one huge question hangs over their heads: What Now?  Nipping at their heels are the junior class, ready to jump into their place so that they can begin a year of prom, senioritis, and face that same big question.  Here are 5 amazing books perfect for seniors, those that love them, and those that remember being one – or are looking forward to being one.  Each of these novels explores that one huge question: What happens next?

Death, Dickinson and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia by Jenny Torres Sanchez
Frenchie has been looking forward to graduating and moving to Chicago with her best friend, but he doesn’t know what happened; the thing that is making her so depressed.  You see, one night she ran into her years long crush BOB and went on a random adventure around town.  The next morning, she learned that after she left him he committed suicide.  What did she miss that night? Could she have stopped him?  So Frenchie finally realizes that the only way to answer those questions is to relive that night, this time hoping to see what she missed.  This is a raw, heartbreaking read. Sanchez capture the voice of Frenchie perfectly in this tale of depression and loss and confusion.  This is an early contender for the Printz Award in my book, reminiscent of the aweseomness that is A. S. King. (Full review coming but 5 out of 5 stars)

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