Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Promoting Teen Writers, a guest post by author Jennifer Nielsen

Earlier this month, I shared with TLT readers how The Teen was trying to start her own teen creative writing group and some of the resources that were recommended to us. Today I am honored to welcome author Jennifer Nielsen who joins us to talk more about cultivating young creative writing talent.

As an author, one of my greatest joys is meeting young writers. They are excited, often almost bursting with story ideas they want to share. They ask questions – intelligent, thoughtful, meaningful questions – about craft, career, and problem solving. They want to know other young writers, to give and get feedback and support, but often, they do not know where to turn.

Schools cannot always fill this need in the classroom. As teachers face increasing pressures to focus on STEM education and standardized testing, creativity is often forced out of many classrooms across the country. Personal narratives, persuasive essays, and research papers often take priority over original stories or free writing time.

I wonder about this. We urge students to read but deny them classroom opportunities to create these stories themselves. How can we persuade them that one is important when the other is ignored or devalued?

No one will deny that academic writing is an important skill to learn, but when that’s all a student is exposed to, a gap is created that teen libraries may consider filling.

Consider what creative writing does for a young person:

  1. It reinforces reading skills. In the same way that a teacher often learns more than her students, writers often pick up reading skills they otherwise would have missed.
  2. It is the great equalizer. Creative writing is not “right” or “wrong;” it’s simply a collection of choices. For that reason, a top student has no advantage over someone far behind the rest of their class.
  3. It validates the writer’s voice. Teen libraries are constantly seeking ways to recognize their patrons’ voices, to listen to them, empower them. Writing achieves that, allowing the free expression of thought to emerge on the page. When that page is shared, or posted, or re-read, the writer is heard.
  4. It allows for an expression of the ideal self. During the years when self-worth is most under assault, it’s important to remember that most young writers use themselves as their main character. But not as they are – instead, it’s often the person they wished they could be: cooler, more powerful, more heroic. It is one place where a student can delve into their imagination and seek out their best self. In the same way that a library is a safe space for their patrons, a young writer’s work is their personal safe space.
  5. It allows for an exploration of emotions. Some teens with serious concerns on their minds hold in their emotions, or express them in unhealthy and sometimes dangerous ways. However, the young writer often creates a story that explores these difficult emotions within the safety of a written page. This creates an additional advantage: a teen librarian who might be asked to read such a story may be able to perceive a call for help, even when it is not directly given.

Teen libraries seeking to provide creative writing space can do so in relatively simple ways:

  1. By posting weekly writing prompts; in the form of a question, an image, a stupid fact, an excerpt of song lyrics, etc.
  2. By creating a group story. Patrons may check out a notebook with an ongoing story that they must read to understand where the story was left off, then they can add to it as many words as they want, whether a paragraph, a chapter, or more. Rules should be put in place for what is acceptable, but otherwise, let them have at it!
  3. By posting student created poetry next to a similar published poem or song – except there are no names on it. Patrons can guess which is student created and which is professionally created.
  4. By setting up manuscript exchanges. There are few places for a young writer to go to have their work read, particularly by a peer. But learning to give constructive criticism, and to receive the same. is an invaluable skill.
  5. By allowing teens to “check out” the finished and printed works of their peers, just as they would a book.
  6. By posting opportunities for writing contests, or, as interest grows, by hosting a contest. Summer programs often offer rewards for reading. Why not expand that for writing, with its own rewards and recognitions? They could be a natural pairing.

Teen libraries that create places and opportunities for young writers will fill a need their patrons may not even realize they have. But it will eventually be rewarded. Tomorrow’s generation of authors are in the libraries today. They need to be found.

Meet Author Jennifer A. Nielsen

Photo from author page
https://jennielsen.com/about2

Jennifer A. Nielsen is the New York Times Bestselling author of The Ascendance Trilogy, A Night Divided, and other titles. Her next release will be Words on Fire (Oct 2019, Scholastic), the story of the Lithuanian resistance fighters who smuggled books into their country to save it from the Russian empire.

About Words on Fire

New York Times bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen transports readers to a corner of history with this inspiring story of a girl who discovers the strength of her people united in resisting oppression.

Danger is never far from Audra’s family farm in Lithuania. She always avoids the occupying Russian Cossack soldiers, who insist that everyone must become Russian — they have banned Lithuanian books, religion, culture, and even the language. But Audra knows her parents are involved in something secret and perilous.

When Cossacks arrive abruptly at their door, Audra’s parents insist that she flee, taking with her an important package and instructions for where to deliver it. But escape means abandoning her parents to a terrible fate.

As Audra embarks on a journey to deliver the mysterious package, she faces unimaginable risks, and soon she becomes caught up in a growing resistance movement. Can joining the underground network of book smugglers give Audra a chance to rescue her parents? 

Kickin It Old School in the New School Library

Today we are honored to share with you a guest post by Middle School librarian Amanda Galliton.

The 2018-2019 school year found our school without 1:1 iPads that we were used to and moved to classroom sets with Chromebooks for 6th and 7th grade, with 8th graders taking their Chromebooks home. The school library is equipped with a wall-mounted 36-inch TV as the monitor to a desktop.  It is difficult to see as well as use. All this combined left me thinking outside the box for lessons when the English Language Arts classes came to the library. Forced to get creative, we went old school and did some things that I grew up doing.

Musical Books

Students and myself sat on the floor in a circle and passed books around until the music stopped. We then read whatever book we had for two minutes. They could read wherever in the book they wanted. I would pick books that were not too gender specific. Many of the students found a book that they wanted to check out.

The pictures show the first stack of books I started with and how it dwindled down after each class played.

Mad Libs

Yes, the Mad Libs that were first published in 1958. I purchased several Mad Lib books from Follett. Students chose groups of 2 or 3 to work with. I handed out the blank portion of the Mad Libs, looking for the parts of speech, first. To prevent some of the middle school mentality, students were asked to use words that used 5 letters or more. Of course, I told them it was to broaden their vocabulary.  Once students filled that page out, they could have the story. Each group presented their story. We did these at Christmas and Valentine’s Day because the students loved them so much.

Metaphor Dicehttps://www.metaphordice.com

Metaphor Dice was created by Taylor Mali. Again, students were in groups of two or three. They followed the directions for the dice. When they rolled, they chose a red, a white, and a blue die to create a metaphor. They were challenged to create three metaphors and explain each one. The classroom teacher and I would walk around to each group and make sure they were on task and that their metaphors made sense. Some of the teachers would take up the papers and continue the activity in their classroom.

Spine Label Poetry

Again, students worked in groups to create poems using the titles on the spines of books. They were asked to use a minimum of four books for their poem. I always do this lesson after they have started talking about poetry in class. I believe this activity really helps them have a better understanding that poems don’t have to rhyme.

Blackout Poetry

I have pages from weeded books for this activity. I put butcher paper down on the tables beforehand. We discuss poems and what they have learned. I give a few examples of what blackout poetry looks like. We talk about how to pick out words and maybe small sentences, but not chunks of the works. Each student receives a book page and a pencil. They are to put a rectangle around each word or phrase they are going to use. When they think they have their poem done, the classroom teacher or I come by and discuss their poem with them. When we feel it is finished, we trade their pencil for a black marker.

Here is a great gallery of Blackout Poetry on Pinterest

Scattegories

In preparation for this game, I take three lists and photocopy them next to the numbers and lines from the column cards. Students are paired up. We follow the board game rules listed in the box. When time is up, we’d go number by number and see if anyone had matching answers. Each group that had an answer for that number would raise their hand and we’d go group by group for them to call out their answers.

We had a blast with these activities. In May, I was covering for a Math class. I let them have free time. Students were asking for the Scattegories game to play. I felt that I really got to know the students better this year than in the past because of the small groups and the discussions when they were working.

Meet Our Guest Blogger

Amanda Galliton has worked for 10 years as a school librarian.  She is currently a Texas Middle School Librarian in Burkburnett ISD. You can find her on Twitter @amandagalliton

Slime, slime, and more slime

Thing 2, a slime connoisseur

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the library…

Like many things (Minecraft, anyone?) slime seemed at first to be a passing phase. But no, it just keeps coming back around. So here I am with my two fail safe slime recipes. The secret to slime success is in how you add the activator – A LITTLE AT A TIME. Please learn from my mistakes, and always add whatever activator you use sparingly, stir a lot, and then add more if needed.

The secret of how to get the teens to add activator sparingly, well, that took some time and trials. My go to method is to put out the plastic toy pipettes from the children’s science set, but you can also buy cheap plastic pipettes from many online retailers. If you put out a bowl of activator without an obvious way to pour it, no spoons, and plastic pipettes, they seem to get the idea.

The secret slime weapon! You can buy pipettes like these on Amazon

No-Fail Sparkle Slime

So first, lets do no-fail sparkle slime! For this recipe you will need: clear glue, water, food coloring, glitter, and liquid starch.

Start by adding equal parts clear glue and water to a bowl (I usually limit the kids to half a cup of each, because the resulting slime will fit in a sandwich bag.) Stir these until they are completely combined, then add food coloring and glitter as desired, stir to combine. Then, slowly, with the pipettes, add one squirt of liquid starch at a time, stir, and evaluate. Continue to add liquid starch, one squirt at a time, stirring completely, until the mixture achieves the desired consistency. Take out of the bowl and play!

The Teen making slime

Foam Slime

Next up – foam slime! For this recipe you will need: regular school glue, shaving cream, food coloring, and borax solution.

First you need to create the borax solution. To do this, pour boiling water into a bowl, add borax one spoonful at a time, and stir to dissolve. Continue to add spoonfuls of borax until it will no longer absorb into the water. You will have some borax settled into the bottom of the bowl, but never fear! Leave the bowl to cool for a couple of hours, and the rest or the dregs should absorb into the water.

When it’s time to make the slime, add half a cup of glue and 2 cups of shaving cream to a bowl. Stir gently to incorporate the glue into the shaving cream without deflating the shaving cream. When the mixture is completely combined, add food coloring as desired and mix. This is where the regular glue comes into play. You can use clear glue, but the color won’t be as vibrant as with the regular school glue. Next, add the borax solution, one squirt at a time, stirring after every addition, until the slime reaches the desired consistency.

A word about desired consistency – this may be different for each individual. I’ve had some teens who prefer their slime to be drippy and gooey, and some who prefer theirs to be almost solid. In general, you are looking for an oozy but not sticky consistency that is easy to stretch and play with without it sticking to your hands. The more you make slime the more you will begin to recognize this in the bowl, but sometimes you just have to take it out and play with it to be sure.

Do you have a favorite slime recipe? Be sure to chime in in the comments.

Cindy Crushes Programming: DIY Harry Potter Book of Monsters

Harry Potter is a series that continues to be popular as new tween and teen readers discover it every day. In celebration of all things Harry Potter, Cindy Shutts recently hosted a program with her teens and taught them how they can create their own book of monsters. The steps are outlined below.

Supplies

  • Hot glue and gun
  • Fake fur
  • Large googly eyes
  • Red felt
  • White felt
  •  Composition notebooks

Step One: Measure the composition notebook.

Step Two: Cut and measure the fur a little bit larger than the notebook. This allows there to be a little overlap and gives a better effect. Excess can be trimmed off.

Step Three: Hot glue the fur on the notebook. Start at one end and press the fur down as you glue. This ensures that the glue does not dry before you have a chance to attach the fur.

Step Four: Cut sharp looking teeth out from the white felt. It looks better if you do it free hand rather than tracing it because the trace marks often show. Hot glue the teeth on the inside cover of the notebook.

Step Five: Cut a tongue out of the red felt and hot glue it on the inside cover of the notebook.

Step Six: Hot glue the googly eyes on the felt so it looks like a monster.

Step Seven: Let dry then enjoy your book of monsters.

Finals Thoughts: This was a very enjoyable craft. I had been avoiding it because of the costs, but I saw a picture online that looked easier and cheaper. I used a 40% off coupon on the fur. The fur is the most expensive part of this program. Use a coupon if you can! There are more difficult versions that cost more money to make, but this one was perfect for us. The teens loved it and wanted to do it again.

Teen Services 101: What Do We Know About Teen Programming?

Today I am ready to resume our Teen Services 101 discussion (I’ll put all the previous posts at the end of this one) by talking about Teen Programming. Programming, as you know, is an important part of teen services. Here we discuss some of our thoughts regarding teen programming. I am specifically going to share with you some things that we – and here by we I mean teen librarians who answered an online survey – have found to be true of teen programming likes and dislikes. Specifically, in broad categories, I’m going to share with you what is often most successful and what is often least successful when it comes to teen programming in public libraries. Please keep in mind that there are always outliers and exceptions, but as a general rule, this is what we find tends to work or not with teens and programming.

How this data was collated: 1) Around 50 teen/YA librarians responded to a very informal poll and discussion about what has worked or not worked for them regarding teen programming, 2) this list was then vetted by 10 of my closest peers and respected YA/teen services librarians, and 3) this has been proven true time and time again in my 26 years of working with teens. It’s a curated list of best practices presented to you with the knowledge that as with all things, it’s not a hard and fast rule, but it is a good reference point.

Things that typically prove successful with teens and programming

Programs that offer opportunities for self-expression

There is a reason that I know 22 different ways to make a t-shirt: t-shirts are a great way to get teens engaged with making and programming while also giving them an opportunity for self expression. Poetry, journals, digital media, etc – these are all programs that have been successful for me time and time again. Teens are going through a tremendous amount of identity exploration and they seem to enjoy creative opportunities where they can embrace and express who they are.

The Teen making a T-shirt bag in the Teen MakerSpace

Popular culture tie-ins

Some of my most popular and well attended programs have been Harry Potter, Doctor Who and Sherlock related. The trick is you have to pay attention to what your teens are into and strike while the iron is hot. Sometimes this means putting together a quick, last minute program. Cindy Shutts recently shared a WWE program that she did with her teens, something that would not have occurred to me but demonstrates the value of knowing your teens and responding to their interests in a timely manner. Take a few moments each day to talk with your teens, discover what they love, and tie your programming into these things. This simple act communicates respect and value while inviting your teens to have fun with you in the library.

Escape rooms

Escape rooms are fun ways to get teens into the library to work together as teams and engage in creatively problem solving while having fun. I find these to be slightly similar to interactive murder mysteries, which I have also successfully hosted in the past. There is something fun about solving puzzles, following a trail of clues, and trying to escape a room or solve a mystery.

Maker programs

You do not have to have a dedicated makerspace to host a maker program. In fact, a large amount of teen program has always been maker related. Crafting, DIY – it’s all a maker program and they are popular for a reason. The best part about maker programs is that teens usually have something to take home with them. Also, they are another way to get teens engaged in creative self-expression as mentioned above.

Craft programs

See above. Crafting is making – and it is popular. A bulk of my programming over the past 26 has involved crafting or marking of some type in large part because that is what has always been the most attended type of programming for me. Also, most people like having something fun to take home.

Gaming (tabletop and electronic)

Gaming of any variety has always been fun and popular with teens. It’s not necessarily quiet, so chose your space and time accordingly. There is a ton of research out there about the various benefits of both types of gaming and I urge you to look into it if you need to make a defense to admin about why gaming should be a part of your teen programming.

Trivia events

I love a good trivia night! Stump the librarian, popular culture trivia nights, general trivia nights – there are a lot of ways you can incoporate trivia events into your teen programming. They can be an event in and of themselve or a part of a wider themed event. For example, most Harry Potter programs usually have a trivia component to them. I highly recommend hosting trivia events with your teens.

Life size games

I was turned on to life size games when Heather Booth blogged here about Life Size Angry Birds. I repeated that program multiple times while the game was popular and it is a lot of fun. I have seen various posts about life size chess, Candy Land, Hungry Hungry Hippos and more. These games are fun because they make something little quite big and tap into childhood nostalgia.

Childhood nostalgia

When one of my previous makerspace assistants suggested that we put a perler bead station in the makerspace, I argued that it was too juvenile for teens. I was proven wrong. Time and time again my teens remind me that as they sit on the cusp between childhood and adulthood, they often like to do things that are childlike or remind them of their childhood. Sometimes teens just want a moment to dive back into the carefree moments of their childhood.

Food

I have mixed feelings about food and programming. One in twelve people has a food allergy, some of them life threatening, and my child is one of them. I hate the way everything in our world is food based as it can exclude a lot of people. At the same time, I know that 1 in 5 children goes to bed hungry so having food at a program, even in a fun way, can be a great way to help address this situation. And food based programming is fun and popular. Cupcake Wars like events have proven popular for me, for example. What I would recommend here is to be mindful of food allergies – know what the top 8 food allergens are – and make sure and provide a variety of options so that participants can partake safely. You’ll want to make sure your advertising makes it clear that food will be present and keep all packaging so participants can look at the ingredients listings if necessary. Also, because of the prevalence of deadly peanut allergies, I highly recommend not having any peanuts or peanut butter. You’ll also want to be aware of what the food handling laws in your immediate area are before introducing food at your library.

Things that typically prove unsuccessful with teens and programming in public libraries

So what doesn’t work as well when it comes to teens and library programming? Well, we’re going to talk about that. And I’m sorry to say, I’m going to have a moment of heresy here.

Teen book clubs in public libraries (more successful in school libraries)

I feel like this is heresy to say, but in my experience it is very hard to host a successful teen book club in a public library. It’s not impossible, I know, for example, that Amanda MacGregor has hosted a successful book club both in the public and now in the school library. I have tried and failed to start three book clubs at three different locations. I know only a handful of public librarians that have led successful book clubs in a public library setting. Many respondents to my survey have also indicated that they too have been unsuccessful at book discussion clubs/groups. Those that are successful indicated that they partnered with the local school and did it on the school grounds and teachers offered extra credit for participating. Like I said, your mileage may vary, but I definitely wouldn’t start with this if you are trying to start putting together some teen programming.

So what about the books? We’re going to talk more on Wednesday about how to tie books and reading into our teen programming in creative ways.

Information sessions/lecture type programs

Again, there are always exceptions here, but on the whole, teens seem the least interested in attending information sessions or lecture type programs. I know that Heather Booth has hosted some well attended career panels, proving that this is not a hard and fast rule. Irving Public Library hosts author panel discussions that have well over 100 teens in attendance. But over the course of 26 years, my least attended programs have always been something that was more education based.

Things without a lot of personal choices involved

I have also found that the more personal choice a teen has, the more successful a teen program will be. For example, if you are going to host a craft program, consider offering a choice of five programs instead of one so that a teen can choose what they do within that time and space. Having some stations as opposed to one activity chosen and dictated by an adult seems to have more teen appeal. Whenever you can in whatever way you can, open up your teen programming to allow teens to make more personal choices within that time and space. We all like restaurants that have more on the menu as opposed to less, so think of programming in the same way.

Things that feel too much like more hours in school

The number one response I got when I asked my fellow teen/YA librarians about teen programming was this: it can’t be anything like school. By the time our teens come into the public library, they have already spent eight hours in school and the last thing they want is to be involved in anything that resembles school. I’m not saying here that programming can’t, isn’t or shouldn’t be educational, what I am saying is that it should help teens achieve educational goals in fun ways. But also, keep in mind, teens deserve recreational opportunities and downtime just as much as any other group.

And there you have it, a brief overview of what overwhelmingly tends to work and not work when it comes to teen programming in public libraries. As I mentioned in my introduction, there are always exceptions. These are not hard and fast rules, they are more here’s what we know and think based on experience and current best practices. Your mileage may vary and you should definitely do what works best for your patrons.

What tips, tricks, stories and experiences do you have to share with us? Please comment below and share your thoughts.

Teen Services 101

I’m just getting started, what do I need to be successful?

Foundations: Understanding Teens Today

What Do Teens Want from Libraries Today?

The Challenges and Rewards of Serving Teens Today

Cindy Crushes Programming: Tile Art

I love doing drafts with tiles. They are super cheap and it is easy to do many projects with them. I get my tiles from Home Depot, Menard’s or Lowes. I purchase the white ceramic tiles. The size depends on the price and type of tile available. I will discuss two of my favorite tile crafts below.

Book Mod Podge Tiles

Supplies

  • Tiles
  • Book cover images
  • Mod Podge
  • Brushes

Steps

  1. Print out and cut book images. If you have old School Library Journal issues that you were going to recycle, they would be perfect for this craft.
  2. Position the images on the tile to see how it will look. You can do one big book cover or many smaller book covers. I love doing many book covers.
  3. Place a layer of Mod Podge under the image and then place another layer on top. Next glue all of the book images at once with another layer of Mod Podge. Then you will want to put a few layers of Mod Podge on top of the whole tile. Be very careful when explaining this step to the teens they will want to us  too much Mod Podge. Gentle layering works best for this project.

Thoughts: I love this craft for Teen Read Week. It is a simple craft and teens can celebrate their favorite books. They can make lovely coasters or a work of art.

Nail Polish Tiles

Supplies

  • Tiles
  • Nail Polish (avoid glitter nail polish)
  • Water
  • Aluminum Half Size Deep Foil Pan
  • Stick

Steps

  1. Pour a layer of water into the foil pan.
  2. Put nail polish in the water. Pour it in gently. Try to swirl it when you put it in the water. Use multiple colors.
  3. Put the tile in the water, but do not submerge it. It should be just deep enough so it hits the nail polish layer that is floating on the top. Pull the tile out quickly and let it dry.
  4. Use your stick to get rid of the extra nail polish in the water so you can keep your pan nice and clean
  5. You can add a little more nail polish by hand if you missed a spot on the tile.

Thoughts: This is a really pretty craft and also super cheap. I did learn, however, that glitter nail polish does not work well on this craft.

Cindy Shutts, MLIS

cindy

Cindy is passionate about teen services. She loves dogs, pro-wrestling, Fairy tales, mythology, and of course reading. Her favorite books are The Hate U Give, Catching FIre, The Royals, and everything by Cindy Pon. She loves spending times with her dog Harry Winston and her niece and nephew. Cindy Shutts is the Teen Services Librarian at the White Oak Library District in IL and she’ll be joining us to talk about teen programming. You can follow her on Twitter at @cindysku.

DIY Neon Signs, Part 2

After figuring out how to make DIY Neon Signs (see the initial posts and instructions here), I recently hosted a Teen Makerspace night where we put the program outline into practice. As you may recall, the first DIY Neon Sign The Teen and I made did not have a background and it was just kind of a wire word, and although it works and is up in Thing 2’s room, we just felt it needed a little something something. So we modified our plans and added a wooden background, which helps it hold its shape better and gives it a bit of stability that it was missing.

I have a carpenter friend who helps me with the Teen MakerSpace programs and he came with pre-cut wood, nails, hammers and wire cutters to help with background. You will recall the other supplies you need are EL wire and batteries. In the neon sign we made with no background, we originally attached the EL lights to wire using zip ties to help it hold its shape. With a background, this step proved unnecessary.

So here’s what we did.

Step 1: Write your word on a piece of paper in cursive writing. You need one continuous word for the project to be successful and it’s simply easier. The Teen provided the excellent penmanship here.

Step 2: Following the outline of the word, hammer nails into your board along the shape of the word to hold the EL wire in place. Think of it as doing string art, but with EL wire instead of string.

Step 3: You will then wrap the wire around the nails to create the word in EL wire.

The trick is to use enough nails and get the placement right to hold it all in place. If you would like, you can use glue like e600 glue to adhere the wire to the wooden background. We wrapped the remaining wire and power source around the back and held it in place with zip ties and nails. You then just tear out all the background paper and you have a pretty awesome neon sign.

This is a pretty cool project and we all really liked the final results. There is a part of me that wishes I would have pre-painted the background wood white or black, but the natural wood color is attractive as well. The big thing is that the tweens and teens in attendance all thought this was really cool.

Cindy Crushes Programming: DIY Wizard of OZ Necklaces

Supplies:

Our library had a series of programs that were themed around the Wizard of Oz. I worked on coming up with craft I could make when I saw my friend, Andrea Sowers, post on her Twitter account a necklace craft she had made. That’s when I realized that what I wanted to do was to make a pendant necklace.

I talked to my coworkers who loved jewelry making and asked Andrea a couple questions about how she made her necklace. I then combined everyone’s contributions to make my own process, which I have outlined below.

Step 1: Print out small images that you want to use in the pendants. Remember they need to be able to be cut in a one-inch circle.

Step Two: If you want to have glitter glue in the image, make sure to tell the teens to use very little because you want the glitter glue to dry before you attach the round cabochon. I used a tiny bit of red glitter glue for the Ruby Red Slippers. Others used silver for Glinda’s wand or green for the Emerald City. I used a toothpick to make sure that I made the glitter glue attach well.

Step three: Take the round cabochon and put a layer of diamond crystal on it and attach the image. Use a toothpick to smooth it out. Roll the toothpick on the back of your picture like a rolling pin to release any air and help it stay flat. Wait for it to dry before staring the next step.

Step four: Use the e6000 glue and put it on the front of the pendant tray. You will want to put your dried round cabochon with the image attached on the tray. I would press it gently. Let it dry completely before wearing.

Final Thoughts: This craft turned out great. I really enjoyed it and I am doing a Disney pendant craft in April. I would have gotten longer necklace cords, because people have different neck sizes and not everyone likes having a tight necklace.

Cindy Shutts, MLIS

cindy

Cindy is passionate about teen services. She loves dogs, pro-wrestling, Fairy tales, mythology, and of course reading. Her favorite books are The Hate U Give, Catching FIre, The Royals, and everything by Cindy Pon. She loves spending times with her dog Harry Winston and her niece and nephew. Cindy Shutts is the Teen Services Librarian at the White Oak Library District in IL and she’ll be joining us to talk about teen programming. You can follow her on Twitter at @cindysku.

Cindy Crushes Programming: The Road to Wrestlemania

wrestlemania1

Every year, I do a program during the week leading up to WrestleMania and I call it Road to WrestleMania. I started doing this program when I realized that many of my teens were wrestling fans. I do this program for all ages so families can come together.

Quick History of Pro-Wrestling according to Cindy:  Professional wrestling was a carnival sport where the outcomes where predetermined. Wrestling used to be divided into territories before it was changed into two major competing companies, WCW and WWF. There was also a small major company, ECW, which was known for hardcore wrestling. ECW went bankrupt and was bought by the WWF. WCW was sold to WWF after the Time Warner AOL merger. The WWF changed their name to World Wrestling Entertainment after losing a lawsuit with the World Wildlife Foundation. Professional wrestlers are now referred to as sports entertainers.  Other independent competitors have made this the Golden Age of Independent Wrestling. AEW, Ring of Honor, Shimmer, and Rise are making a strong impact on the wrestling world.  Pro-wrestling does have a long problematic history with race and how women’s wrestling has been treated. This year will be the first time a women’s wrestling match has headlined WrestleMania. This was announced on Monday, March 25, 2019.

I come dressed to impress.  I always dress up as a pro-wrestler and try to do their unique entrance. The entrance of a professional wrestler tells you a lot about the character they are portraying.

wrestlemania2Cindy as Becky Lynch

wrestlemania3Cindy as the Undertaker

The first activity I do is wrestling trivia. I like to do the following categories–Matches, Women Superstars, Male Superstars, Classic Wrestling, and Name that Wrestler.  This is done in the style of the Jeopardy game show.

Fun Fact: The first time I ran these programs, women were referred to as Divas and now they refer to them as Superstars, which is the same title that they use for men. They also now have a new women’s tag team titles.

Next I do promo class. Promos are when the wrestler expresses their thoughts and feelings. It is usually a what, who, where, when, and how. I am really excited because in the past it has been hard to get teens to feel confident enough to participate. I have a new game that I think will help make the experience easier and more fun. I learned about this at a wrestling convention. It is called SmackTalk Showdown.

wrestlemania4

There are three types of cards.

Name cards– you will need two to make your wrestlers name.

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Segment cards that are about where and when the promo takes place.

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Smack: This will tell the player what their wrestler is doing during their promo.The game is similar to Superfight where one person judges the players when they performer their actions. The judge is referred to as the producer or they add more smack cards to wrestler’s segments. At the end of the game the winner is the first to have three winning segments.

wrestlemania9Pick the Winner:

I find scorecards online, which I print out for the teens to write down who do they think is winning.  I found one on Squared Circle on Reddit. This is usually posted the week of WrestleMania. This one from last year was made by user,  u/THEGRANDEMPEROR

https://imgur.com/a/Ki8pP

If I cannot find a scorecard, I will make one myself by looking at what matches I know are going to happen based on the day of the program. What matches are going to happen is determined by time interests and injuries. I have heard this year will be the longest WrestleMania ever.

 

Final Thoughts: This is a program I love to do and the teens really enjoy it. I think it is so interesting to see how the world of Pro Wrestling has changed since I started this program.  Women would only have five-minute matches, but now they are main eventing.

Cindy Shutts, MLIS

cindy

Cindy is passionate about teen services. She loves dogs, pro-wrestling, Fairy tales, mythology, and of course reading. Her favorite books are The Hate U Give, Catching FIre, The Royals, and everything by Cindy Pon. She loves spending times with her dog Harry Winston and her niece and nephew. Cindy Shutts is the Teen Services Librarian at the White Oak Library District in IL and she’ll be joining us to talk about teen programming. You can follow her on Twitter at @cindysku.

Cindy Crushes Programming: Hosting a Riverdale Fan Party

Today as part of Cindy Crushes Programming, Cindy is continuing her series of Riverdale themed programs that she recently hosted with her teens. Since beginning this series, actor Luke Perry suddenly passed away and we want to offer our heartfelt sympathies to the cast and his friends and family.

My library had a month of teen programming based on the popular television show Riverdale. I had an escape room, which I outline here, and a fan art night. On fan art night I made fan collages and gave my teens coloring sheets. Teens are very into coloring.

riverdale1There are a few Riverdale DIY craft ideas and coloring sheets on this Pinterest board

I had one more Riverdale event: a Riverdale fan party.

I was a little nervous wondering if I had used up all my Riverdale ideas already. What could I do to make it more interesting? Honestly, I was freaking out a bit.

I knew I was going to do Riverdale trivia because my teens love trivia. I used the same Jeopardy style PowerPoint many have used in the past. My categories were Actors, Episodes, Characters, Music and Serpents.  This was one of my most competitive trivia events I have ever held. Everyone was prepared and this shows how much the teens truly love the show.

Some Riverdale Trivia Sources: https://www.sporcle.com/games/tags/riverdale ; https://www.popbuzz.com/tv-film/quizzes/riverdale-trivia-quiz/ ; https://quizizz.com/admin/quiz/5bafa75eba102200190795f2/riverdale-trivia

ukcrest

My next competition was making a city crest for Riverdale. I explained how towns and families often have crests I even pulled up the Shutts family crest to show them an example of one. I talked about how the British crest has a unicorn which is the national animal of Scotland. The teens were very interested. They were very competitive about making their crests and asked often for more time because they were taking it so seriously. I loved the wining one so much. It had a serpent, a bottle of maple syrup, and the high school symbol on it. They used various elements of the show to tell the story of Riverdale.

DIY Coat of Arms

The last contest was a fan fiction challenge. I gave then all a prompt and told them to write a story from where the prompt left off. The prompt I used was, “Jughead walks into Riverdale High one Sunday morning and finds the principal dead.” I did have to explain what fan fiction was to teens who did not know. I explained that they were writing a story inside the Riverdale universe using the characters and the places in the show.  They all worked really hard and it was nice for them to get to use their creative writing skills. It was an enjoyable night

P.S. I had already taken my Riverdale display down when I heard about the tragic death of Luke Perry. I had watched the first two seasons and really enjoyed seeing him play Fred Andrews. He was an amazing television dad. I am sending love to all of his friends and family.

Cindy Shutts, MLIS

cindy

Cindy is passionate about teen services. She loves dogs, pro-wrestling, Fairy tales, mythology, and of course reading. Her favorite books are The Hate U Give, Catching FIre, The Royals, and everything by Cindy Pon. She loves spending times with her dog Harry Winston and her niece and nephew. Cindy Shutts is the Teen Services Librarian at the White Oak Library District in IL and she’ll be joining us to talk about teen programming. You can follow her on Twitter at @cindysku.