Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

STEM/STEAM Programming for Teens (an Infopeople webinar) (TPiB)

Yesterday I had the honor of doing my first webinar for Infopeople. The subject was STEM and STEAM programming for teens. Infopeople webinars are free and it looks like you can access the webinar in the archive by filling out a little form.

STEM and STEAM Programming for Teens at Infopeople

In this webinar I talk a little bit about STEM programming and the benefits for both libraries and teens, but a bulk of the discussion is on STEAM programming. I admit, as the wife of an art major I am a huge believer in the benefits of the arts. My goal was to share a variety of ways that art can be combined with technology to create a multi-discipline approach to teen programming that not only allow teens to develop tech skills but allows them to engage in creative exploration and self expression. I break it down into visual arts, motion picture arts, and the musical arts. I then share a variety of ways that you can use tech to provide some additional types of book discussions. The best part of being a part of webinars like this as that other participants can share their own experiences and program ideas.

Infopeople has a large archive of additional webinars you can access on a wide variety of topics. And here’s a link to their training and webinar calendar for upcoming training events. You can find out more about Infopeople here.

90-Second Newbery Film Festival

The Newbery Medal presented by ALA
Next Monday, the 27th of January, the Youth Media Awards will be presented.  These awards highlight the best literature of 2013 as chosen by various committees of librarians. Among those awards presented will be the John Newbery Medal for children’s literature.  The Newbery Medal is awarded to books that go through age 14 and can cover just about anything. I was ecstatic last year when Katherine Applegate won the Newbery for The One and Only Ivan.  Below is information about the upcoming 90-Second Newbery Film Festival.  Here, kids and teens make movies that tell the stories of Newbery winning books in – you guessed it – 90 seconds or less.  Very cool.
With Newbery season upon us, it’s also time for the 3rd annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival. It’s a video contest in which kid filmmakers create movies that tell the stories of Newbery award-winning books in 90 seconds or less. These movies are funny, ingenious, and impressive!

(Curious? We’ve gathered 25 of some of the best entries here, from a shadow-puppet version of Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon to a full-scale musical of William Pene du Bois’ The Twenty-One Balloons.)

The film festival has had sold-out shows from the start, with crowds of hundreds, including the young filmmakers themselves — who often get to meet the author whose book they filmed! These FREE screenings are in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Portland, and Tacoma, co-hosted by festival founder and author James Kennedy (The Order of Odd-Fish) and superstar children’s authors such as Jon Scieszka, Kate DiCamillo, Rebecca Stead, Blue Balliett, and more.

This year James is honored to have as co-hosts authors Libba Bray, Katherine Applegate, Jenni Holm, Keir Graff, and others.

Below are the screening dates, co-hosts, and links to reserve your seat (since this free event is popular, it often “sells out”).

February 1, 2014 Screening in CHICAGO at the Vittum Theatre (1012 N. Noble, Chicago). With co-host Keir Graff. 3-5 pm. Reserve a seat.

February 8, 2014 Screening in OAKLAND, CA at the Rockridge branch of the Oakland Public Library (5366 College Ave, Oakland). With co-host triple Newbery Honor winner Jenni Holm. 12 pm – 1:15 pm.

February 8, 2014 Screening in SAN FRANCISCO at the San Francisco Public Library main branch (100 Larkin St.). With co-host Newbery Medal winner Katherine Applegate. 4-5:30 pm. Reserve a seat.

March 1, 2014 Screening in TACOMA, WA at the Tacoma Library Main Branch (1102 Tacoma Avenue South). 3-5 pm.

March 2, 2014 Screening in PORTLAND, OR at da Vinci Arts Middle School (2508 NE Everett Street, Portland). 3-5 pm. Reserve a seat.

March 22, 2014 Screening in NEW YORK CITY at the New York Public Library main branch (476 5th Ave, New York, NY) in the Bartos Forum. With co-host Printz Medal winner Libba Bray. 3-5 pm. Reserve a seat.

If you want to see what previous screenings have been like, here are write-ups of previous shows at the New York Public Library (with co-host Jon Scieszka and special guest Rebecca Stead), Chicago Public Library, and Multnomah County Public Library (with Laini Taylor) in Portland, OR.

It’s never too early to get started on your 90-Second Newbery for next year! All the details about the film festival, including details of the screenings, rules, and a few of the best videos I’ve received, can be found here: http://www.90secondnewbery.com

Thanks! Hope to see you at the movies!

TPiB: Hosting a Teen Film Festival, inspired by Andrew Jenks, My Adventures as a Young Filmmaker


Earlier today, we reviewed (and recommended) Andrew Jenks, My Adventures as a Young FilmmakerOf course, there are all kinds of programming potential tie-ins for the book.  You can go little, hosting a movie viewing party, or go big, inviting teens to create their own short films and hosting a local teen film festival.  So many people are doing amazing things these days with smartphones and computers, it is a great way to tap into that creativity with your local teens.

Hosting a Teen Film Festival
Today is a time of great creative renaissance for teens.  Now, more than ever, they have the tools at their disposal to make their own movies.  You can see amazing examples on YouTube and hitRECORD.org.  For a great look at young people dabbling in the word of film, watch the movie Super 8.  Tap into this zeitgeist moment and ask your teens to participate in a local teen film festival put on by you, their favorite librarian.

Hot Tips
Put together an awesome prize package.  It could include things like gift cards, local movie theater passes, or even something like a digital camera, iPod touch, etc.  You can ask local stores to donate and give them sponsorship credit.

Network with your local schools to get submissions, especially the art departments.  Sometimes they will even offer extra credit if you prompt them.

Getting Your Promotional Materials Organized

1.  Decide how you want to organize your teen film festival.  Will it be an open theme or will you ask teens to shoot on a specific theme?  If you want to do book related, you could ask teens to create their own booktrailers (see this post for more info).  Or, you could ask teens to make creative videos promoting the library.  But to spark true creativity, just leave it open.

2.  You’ll want to set some specific guidelines.  You’ll definitely want to address in your submission guidelines any rules you might have about language and content.  I’ve heard libraries say it had to be something you could sit and watch with the adults in your life, including teachers and parents.  That seems like a good guidelines.  You’ll always want to address length, etc.

3.  Create a way for teens to submit their videos.  You can set up a dummy email account using a free service such as gmail and asked teens to submit them via e-mail.  By using a dedicated account, you can make the e-mail address film festival related and easy to remember for teens and have an easy way to access all the submitted videos with your inbox being flooded with other correspondence.

5.  You’ll want to set up a YouTube channel to upload the videos to and have an online gallery.  You can upload the videos all at once or do several a day for a week.

6.  Create a voting mechanism to allow teens to vote on a winner.  If your library has a teen website, you can easily insert a poll feature to allow for voting.  FB also has an easy to use poll feature.

Showing The Work
If you have a way in-house, stream the videos in your teen area or at your check out desk.  You can use laptops or digital photo frames to do this.  I have also visited some libraries recently that had iPads attached to end caps, which would be ideal for this as well.

Have a film festival event where you actually show the videos in-house.  You can use a laptop and projector to do this.  Be sure and have refreshments. You might also want to consider contacting your local TV station personalities to come and host the event.

Depending on the number of submissions you receive, you may want to ask the top vote getting teens to talk a little bit about their piece as an introduction to showing them.

Award prizes and voila – you have hosted your own mini, local teen film festival.

Other Film Related Programs

We recently outlined a variety of movie related programming ideas based on the book Reel Culture by Zest Books, so you may want to check it out for some additional ideas.

Want to make a movie? There’s an app for that of course.  Here’s more on iMovie. 
Here’s some information on making book trailers. 
Here’s a YouTube clip on making a Short Film
Clipcanvas on How to Make a Short Movie
Top 5 Online Tools to Make a Online for Free
How to Use Windwos Movie Maker 
Don’t forget about Vine and Snapchat

See Also:
See also: Lights, Camera, Action: 5 YA Titles about teen filmmakers