Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

TPiB: TTW13- Check In at the Library

I don’t know why Teen Tech Week always sneaks up on me.  Maybe because March is always when summer reading planning seems to be at it’s fullest.  Or maybe because it always seems to fall during my school systems’ spring breaks. Or it’s because I’m waiting for spring.  Who knows.  All I know is I’m always scrambling to find easy programs to do because I’m short on staff and my brain is shot. The YALSA NING for TTW has some awesome ideas for this year’s theme, Check in @ The Library, and you should definitely check them out.  However, if they seem to ambitious, try some of mine.  And if you’re doing something for Teen Tech Week, share what you’re doing in the comments!


These movies break the way to some excellent discussion topics with teens, and a lot of them are topics that need to be discussed- from privacy settings to what image you’re projecting to making sure they’re being safe online, you can create discussion guides to hand out beforehand to get your teens thinking, and start the discussion afterwards.

CATFISH- the documentary that started the TV show. Talk about how to tell if how you’re talking to is really who you think they are, and what your profile says about you.

HACKERS- aside from showing a young Sherlock from NBC and a young Angelina, it shows that determined teens can change anything. Explore ideas of code cracking, and how safe your information is online and on your devices.

WARGAMES- yes, “old” but talk about how even though the tech has changes, the basics of hacking is the same. How safe are things when everything is connected to a computer, and all someone needs is a secret code?
THE SOCIAL NETWORK- How Facebook got started (and the new Spiderman, BTW), talk about privacy settings and passwords, and what people can see and search for.


I was lucky enough to meet Darren Shan at ALA Midwinter, and That Guy and I were able to get two of his new series signed for giveaways for Teen Tech Week at my library.  Since my teens are off for Spring Break during TTW, I’m creating this:

They will have to get four stamps (complete four squares) in order to be entered into the drawing for the book, and thereby will be “checking in” at the library. You could definitely alter it to use for your programs.  (If you want the layout, let me know- it was really easy to create).  I gave them a variety of options, including volunteering, reading, helping me plan summer reading, and doing their homework early.  My favorite is the chocolate- we’ll see if that actually happens.  


The other big success that I’ve had during tech week is when I’ve got low tech/no tech during gaming programs.  I’m always surprised by when I have a huge knowledge of games that my teens have no comprehension of.  Case in point: Clue.  I was SO excited the first summer I was at my current job, and set up a LIVE CLUE.  I had a duct tape body and EVERYTHING.  None of them had played, so it died.  Literally.  And then they teased the littler kids that it really was a dead body, and I had to reassure a parent that no, there wasn’t a murder in the library, it was just connected to our summer reading program.  *sigh*  So I really like take low tech/no tech games and having a gaming afternoon and getting them involved.


  1. You're not alone, Teen Tech Week crept up on me too, so thanks for this post. I like you're checking in at the library stamp idea. We already know that for whatever we do, we want to raffle off iTunes gift cards, I'd love if you could e-mail me the layout so we can create one. Also wondering with the gaming programs were there many games being played at one time, or did you just do one of the ones listed. my e-mail is kpowe@westhavenlibrary.org looking forward to hearing from you.

  2. Hi Kym!
    Check your inbox because I sent you a question about formats…. As for gaming, it depends on how many teens I have and the type of program I'm trying to do. If I want to have different stations, and the games are ones that they are familiar with, then what I'll do is set up different round tables, and set every game up with speed rules so that a round/turn can have a determined winner within a set amount of time. Then we rotate around like a giant marching band scatter drill and they go to other games. Other times, if I want everyone together, we set up one giant table, and break everyone into teams (if it's set for a low number of players) or everyone on their own and let it loose. Like Monopoly: technically you can only have 6 (8?) players, but we've played with as many as 24- you just have groups of 3 for each token, and they have to agree to what they're going to do for each move.

    🙂 christie

  3. That sounds like a lot of fun. We'll have to look into it 🙂

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