Teen Librarian Toolbox
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Cindy Crushes Programming: Animal Crossing and the Virtual Library, by Cindy Shutts

Animal Crossing New Horizon is already one of the most popular games ever released. It is super popular with teens and adults. I bought a Switch during Quarantine to play and I have spent over 400 hours playing since. It is a game where you move on to an island and have to build it up along with your house. You will befriend different animal characters who have personality types such as snooty, sisterly, jock and many others. This game  is played much like the Sims but no one dies.  I knew I wanted to do programming around it.

Playing the Game:

One type of programming is playing the game with teens. I got advice from Krista Hutley from the  Wilmette Public Library who told me that using Zoom is the best way to post dodo code. This will prevent people who are not signed up from attending. We had sign-up online and we emailed everyone the zoom link. We wanted to keep our program just teen also to keep everyone safe. I collected recipes in the game and extra items and placed them on my island. I built a mini library on my island so I could pretend to do Storytime and also give RA.

I did have some issues with the program. The library internet could not handle this program. I had tested it before even at work, but I had someone who was my friend come to my island. I did not realize our internet at work was Nat Type D when you need Nat Type A or B. Also one teen had internet issues. Even with the issues the teens had a lot of fun and we were able to talk about how much we all loved animal crossing. With our virtual programming we try to have two librarians attend one to run the program and one to make sure everyone is behaving.

I made a Take and Make Necklace kit using the DIY Recipe Bottle. This was a fun kit and I am enclosing the instructions. This craft looks like it is going quickly.

Take and Make Craft DIY Recipe Bottle


  • Jump Ring
  • Mini Bottles that contain Metal Eye Hooks
  • Necklaces
  • Mini Recipe card. I found this online. I just printed them off and sized them to fit in the bottle.


1. Take the cork out of the bottle and then place a DIY Recipe Card in the bottle.  Put the cork back in the bottle.

2. Screw the metal hook eye in the center of the cork by hand.

3. You can use your figure scissors or pliers to move to open and close the jump ring. Open the jump ring and place on the metal eye hook.

4. Then take the necklace  in the middle and place it in the jump ring.

5. Close the jump ring.  You now have a necklace!

6. Be careful, the Bottle are made of glass!

Escape Room

I also made an Animal Crossing Escape room. I used google forms to create it. I wrote a story in google docs first. I made it a chose your own adventure. I wrote about 18 pages of text. I had to write the script for every choice they made. This was a lot of fun. I love working on it. I then put it in google forms. I had different pages for different answers. I did realize I had to make the final pages be submit pages so I could record the data of how many people did the escape room. I used this video to help me create the formatting in google forms.


Here is the link to try it out. It is being released today!

Cindy Shutts, MLIS


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.

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