Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Cindy Crushes Programming: Make and Take Crafts Including Dice Bags and Magical Lanterns

Dice Bags

This craft my coworker Linden Galloway came up with. It turned out so well. It was one of the fastest Take and Makes we ever had. My branch had theirs go within a day.

Supplies:

Felt cut into a 10 inches in diameter circle with marks 5/8 inch long each, and it must be 1/4 inch away from the edge. This should be put in the kit like this. The teen will make the cuts themselves.  Total of 24 cuts!

  • 20 inch ribbon use a thinner ribbon to make it thread easily.
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie

Instructions for Teens:

All you need is a sharp pair of scissors!

(Fabric scissors preferred)

1. Cut the circle out if not already cut out.

2) Hold the circle in front of you with the lined side facing away from you

3) Fold one edge over slightly so you can see half of one of the lines

4) Snip with the tip of your scissors in the middle of the line, but don’t cut to the edge of the fabric!

5) Unfold, and use the hole you created to cut to the ends of the line

6) Repeat steps 2-5 for all of the lines

7) Take the ribbon and weave it between the holes you created

8) Pull the ends of the ribbon to close your dice bag, tie in a bow, and enjoy! No-Sew Dice Bag

Magical Lanterns

These lanterns were done by my co-worker Faith Healy. We used our cameo Silhouette machine. You could use a cricut machine also. This is an extremely popular craft but does take a lot of prep time to cut all of the patterns. Faith found the patterns she used online.

Supplies:

  • Tissue Paper
  • Cardstock
  • Tea light

Librarian instructions: Find a lantern pattern online and print it out using either the cameo or Cricut machine.

Teen Instructions:

  1. Warning: Be gentle when assembling tissue paper and parts of the lantern are delicate and if you use too much force  it may tear.
  2. Fold along the folding lines. This will make it easier to assemble later.
  3. Use a glue stick (Any glue will do, but glue stick is the easiest and least messy) and glue the back of the lantern.
  4. Trim the tissue paper to the correct size and place the tissue paper firmly on glue side. You may also trim after gluing tissue.
  5. Fold the lantern this time and glue the tabs in place. Place glue on them and press firmly to help stick. There is one side tab and three tabs on the bottom.
  6. Place light in your lantern and Enjoy!

Teen Winter Care Kits

Our teens did not have finals so we gave them winter care kits instead. We included a hot cocoa bag, a candy cane, red and white pipe cleaners to make a pipe cleaner candy and printable snowflake kits. We found the snowflake online. This one does not take much work for the teens but it was a lot of counting and sorting. I did 45 kits. This one you could do with any season like spring you could use paper animal kits like origami, you could do peeps as candy. Find ways to make it fun and find out what your teens want and are interested in it. You could do a kindness rock if you have leftover rock. This is a great take and make to use leftover supplies.

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.

Cindy Crushes Programming: Random Fandom, a Conversation with Linden Galloway, by Teen Librarian Cindy Shutts

Hello All, I am here with my coworker Linden Galloway. We are going to talk about a fun program Linden came up with called Random Fandom.

We did not have a lot of people the first time but the teens who came were so excited that we want to do this program again!

Cindy: Linden, how did you come up with the idea?

Linden: Everyone has a fandom soapbox to stand on, and I think teens don’t get the chance to share their thoughts often enough. I came up with questions like “What’s your favorite fandom trope?” and “Which character would you most like to cosplay?” to start conversations on fandom with the teens and encourage them to speak their minds. My fellow teen librarian came up with the title Random Fandom for my program idea, and from there I thought it would be fun to randomize the questions by rolling a 20-sided die.

Cindy: I loved how many conversations were started during this program.  I really love talking fandoms with the teens. What fandoms did you think our teens were most interested in?

Linden: Before the program, I thought the teens would be into a lot of fantasy books and shows, since I know the teens at my branch love Dungeons and Dragons. As it turns out, the teens who attended LOVE anime, which is awesome because we have tons of upcoming anime programs that we got to tell them about!

Cindy: My favorite question was what fandom shaped your morals. What were your favorite questions we asked the teens?

Linden: When I asked “What or who got you into fandom?” It was really funny because the teens who attended were siblings, and both claimed to have gotten the other started on anime! I was really excited to ask them “What’s the most underrated/overhyped fandom?” because a lot of people have strong opinions on that topic.

Cindy: What Tips would you give to librarians trying this program?

Linden: Attendance has not been high for most of our programs on Zoom, so if I did this program again I would definitely market it in a more targeted way. There are plenty of places teens who are into fandom might go in person and see a flier, so for a virtual program I would think about virtual spaces where teens might like to find information on Random Fandom.

Cindy: That is so true. It is hard to get teens to zoom. We know there is zoom burnout happening. Thank you Linden for chatting with me.

Program overview: Use a 20 sided dice and answer the fandom based that corresponds with the number on the dice. We had twenty premade questions ready to go. This is a discussion based program.

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.

Cindy Crushes Programming: Talking Virtual Teen Trivia with Faith Healy, by Teen Librarian Cindy Shutts

Teen Trivia with Faith Healy

One of the most successful teen programs we are running virtually at the White Oak Library District is monthly Trivia. My co-worker Faith Healy has been running it since we started. I asked Faith to explain how we do trivia at the library.

Interview with Faith Healy

Hello Faith, Welcome back. Today we are talking about Trivia with teens. At White Oak Library District we do trivia once a month. How do you pick the theme for trivia?

It varies from month to month on how I pick. The first time we did trivia virtually I did a fandom event which combined a bunch of different questions from different popular fandoms. My secret goal of this event was to gather intel on what fandoms the teens got most correct and filed it for future use. We also collect feedback from our teens in what they would like to do such as Percy Jackson Trivia which we did recently and it was a huge success. Teens really loved it. Other times I pick themes that I am into such as Anime Trivia, which did OK. Not a huge turn out, but those who played loved it, or Hamilton Trivia, another hugely popular one that we had to do a second event as some teens were sad that couldn’t attend on our original date!  I try to stay on top of what teens like and how to make that into a fun trivia event while throwing in a few things I love. I find it easier to make up questions when you love the topic you are working on. I did struggle writing the Percy Jackson Trivia as I only read Trials of Apollo and Heroes of Olympus and not the OG series, but luckily I had an amazing co-worker who had my back and came up with great questions! Trivia topics we have coming up are Broadway, Star Wars, and Animals! We are also considering doing a Witches and Wizards trivia as well in the future.

We use Kahoot. How do you create trivia on Kahoot? What are the pros and cons of using Kahoot?

So Kahoot is great for virtual trivia! We tried a virtual trivia without Kahoot as our first one and ran into issues such as a teen’s sound not working properly, or we couldn’t hear their answers. Kahoot allows them to answer without talking. It lets you do multiple choice answers and true and false, at least for the basic. For the free version it does limit you to max of 10 players as well as the types of questions you have access to. I would love to guess the photo round where it shows a part of the image and increases as time goes on, but that is only in the paid option. So far I had made fun trivia questions with the free option so that is what my library will be using in the future. I would say play around with it and consider if the free version works for you or if you need to shell out the money. Another thing is once Kahoot is playing I don’t have control over the scoring. We had some teens click the right answer, but it did not translate to their score. We did find a work around by giving a free hint for any question they have trouble with to help up their score.

We also use zoom. How does using zoom work along with Kahoot?

Using zoom and kahoot is easy enough, you simply get it ready on your computer and share your screen on zoom. We do have a problem of the teen’s losing connection and needing to pop back in, but we always have 2-3 teen librarians present so someone can run the Kahoot and someone can let teens in when need be. We also experience some lag in which the teens don’t see the questions as fast as they appear. To get around this I have been reading the questions aloud. Other than those issues, teens have been having a fun time using kahoot and zoom. Plus we have been using the chat function to share upcoming events and give out hints.

What are some things you wish you know about running trivia in the beginning of the pandemic?

I wish I know about Kahoot sooner, it does make things easier. Plus when teens like a subject but don’t know an answer it is multiple choice upping their chances of getting it correct. I know I plan to continue to use Kahoot for in person as well as virtual. It is also ok for themes to fail it helps you know what your teens like or dislike. Also that while theme baskets might be fun to make, a gift card appeals more to teens, plus is more cost effective.

What types of trivia work best?

Definitely popular themes work best, Percy Jackson and Hamilton were such popular trivia. We definitely plan to do an all new Percy Jackson in the future given its popularity and Hamilton is why we are trying out a broadway edition which is fun! I also tend to avoid the boring trivia questions like what year did this come out in favor of fun trivia rounds. For example, Percy Jackson, we did Claim the Camper, They had to figure out who was the camper’s godly parent, Guess the God, they are given a vague characteristic of god and had to guess who it describes, Where’s that from? Where we named a plot point and they had to quess if it was from the Olympians, Heroes of Olympus, Trials of Apollo, or the Movie. (Yes it is bad, but some teens might like it). Name that Tune, listen to 20 seconds of Percy Jackson Musical Song and quess the name, turns out not a lot of kids have listen to the musical), and Finish the Prophecy which is self explanatory. Teens have more fun with these rounds and really enjoyed them.

What input are the teens giving about trivia?

They are vocal about what theme’s they want us to try out. The Percy Jackson Trivia attendants even asked to be in an email list for when we do another one. Getting feedback from teens is the best. Also when you make an answer wrong they will call you out on it.

Thank you and Stay safe. Any final tips or tricks?

Don’t be afraid to try new things or themes! Also Kahoot allows sharing of trivia games. After we play a round of trivia, I tend to make mine public for everyone to see. They are a bunch of games already created for you to try, I just really like to make my own. I also add in bonus questions for fun like what is my personal favorite Hamilton songs and for the options I make them all correct. It helps the teens get more points and they get to know you!

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.

Cindy Crushes Programming: Three Make and Take Programs for Teens, by teen librarian Cindy Shutts

Today Teen Librarian extraordinaire Cindy Shutts has three fun make and take program ideas that would be fun for tweens and teens.

Shrinky Dinks

This is a classic craft. I used to do them all the time pre pandemic but now I realize it is an easy take and make. I am doing fandom Shrinky Dinks. I am including different coloring pages they can trace to make their image.

Supplies:

  • Shrinky Art Paper Kit
  • Sharpies
  • Coloring pages
  • Toaster oven or oven
  • Oven Mitt
  • Scissors
  • Optional: hole punch

Industructions:

  1. Trace your image from the coloring page with a sharpie on the Shrinky Dink page and color it in as needed.
  2. Cut your image from the Shrinky Dink page
  3. Use a hole punch if  you want to make your image a charm.
  4. Turn the oven on to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Please do this craft with parental or guardian supervision. Make sure you have an oven mitt to take the image in and out of the toaster oven.
  5. Place the image on a tray in the oven. Make sure your tray is for oven use. Please use an oven mitt.
  6. Watch the oven for 1-2 images. It should shrink. If  it curls and looks like it will not uncurl, remove the tray with the oven mitt and use the scissors to press down the image.
  7. Please wait to touch this Shrinky Dink until it has cooled.

Bottle Cap Pins

We had Riverdale comics in because we had already ordered comics before free comics book day. So our Crest Hill Branch teen librarian Faith Healy came up with doing a Bottlecap Riverdale Pin to help give the comics away.

Supplies Needed:

  • Bottle Caps               
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • Character Sheet        
  • 2.2 in cloth pins
  • Hole punch for preparing the bottle cap

Here are Faith instruction’s

1. Make your own set of Riverdale Pins or Archie Comics Pins or mix and match. Choose your favorite eight characters to make your pins and cut them out to fit on the bottle caps.

2. Put down a light layer of Elmer’s glue on top of a bottle cap, place your chosen character on the bottlecap. Then place a light layer of glue on top of the character and on the sides. This layer will give the pin a sealing layer to stay nicer longer. Leave them to dry. Anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours.

3. Each bottle cap should have two holes punched in it. Open a safety pin and slide in the two holes.

4. Wear the pins, place them on your backpacks. Trade and share with friends.

Fairy Jars

This is a craft I have done many times. In fact last year I was doing one to two jar crafts a month. I loved doing fairy tale images and all different types of fandoms images. Hamilton images were very popular. You can do a theme. I think that works best.

Supplies:

  • Jar
  • Tissue Paper light colors work best
  • Image printed and cut out ot using the silhouette Cameo Machine
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Accent pieces such as ribbons and buttons and fake flowers
  • Glitter Glue (Optional)
  • Glue Brush
  • LED Tea light

Instructions:

  1. Place your image inside the jar. You can tape or glue the image inside the jar
  2. Place a layer of glue around the jar and then gently place the tissue paper around the jar. Trim off any extra. I am very careful about making sure the silhouette in the jar is not covered by the over fold of the tissue paper. You also want to create a very small part where there are two layers of tissue paper.
  3. Add another layer of glue on top of the tissue paper.
  4. Wait for it to dry
  5. You can use a layer of glitter glue on top if you want.
  6. Add accent pieces. I like to add my accent pieces to the top of the jar. I open the jar so I can see how it will be when I need to replace the light inside or turn it back on.
  7. Turn on the light and place it in the jar.

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: Virtual Programs You Can Do Right Now, Part 4, by teen librarian Cindy Shutts

Teen programming looks a little different for public libraries right now because getting together in groups just isn’t safe so everyone has turned to virtual programming. You can see our previous discussions on virtual programming hereherehere, here and here. Today we have even more virtual programming ideas for you.

Virtual Pet Show

This is a program we are going to do next week. We are excited about this because teen librarians can show off their pets and talk about what makes them special. Patrons do not even need a pet, they can talk about their favorite type of animal if they don’t.

Virtual Price is Right

Earlier this year, I wrote a social distancing version of the Price is Right. We made it a virtual program with a few tweaks and it worked out well. We even were able to use a virtual plinko game my co-worker Faith found. This was one of our more popular programs that we have done.

Virtual Field Trips

This is something I have started to see libraries partner with museums. This helps get more people interested in the museum. This is something I want to try.

Virtual Test Prep

Naperville Public library has been doing virtual ACT and SAT prep. They have hired a local college prep company. This had been one of their more popular in person programs.

An Example from Geneva Public Library District: http://gpld.org/event/4395067

YouTube Tutorials

A lot of librarians are showing off their skills on YouTube from cooking to O’Neal Public Library who are doing a weekly series of Ukulele Tutorials. These videos are super fun to watch.

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.

Cindy Crushes Programming: Make and Take Kits for Pandemic Programming, by Teen Librarian Cindy Shutts

Today teen librarian Cindy Shutts is sharing with us some Make and Take Kits for pandemic programming.

Oatmeal Foot Scrub

My Co-worker Ariel Nelson and I just did this craft  as a joint take and made sure our whole library district was able to have Take and Make kits. This was a cheaper craft. The price was about  $20 per 60 kits. We did have some of the supplies beforehand. Ariel found the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons bath salt
  • 2 teaspoons oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2-3 tablespoons water

Directions

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and make a paste.

Apply the paste to your feet and scrub for 10 minutes.

Wash scrub off feet and follow it up with a moisturizer.

The coarse texture of oatmeal, allows for it to be a great exfoliator. It softens the skin of the feet and can even soothe minor rashes and itching. The added ingredients of epsom salt and baking soda enhances the exfoliating effects!

Instructions and other DIY Foot Scrubs found on: https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/diy-foot-scrub/

Here is a video we made https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DRfOHujuz8&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0pM30qNnq6szDW2KJSjTrXttROflSq9qZl7N2D2VTgAkSpJdEi358CpjY

Shoe Box Dioramas

This is a great craft to get rid of extra supplies. Ellen Quinn at Rockford Public Library came up with this idea. It is a great way to use shoe boxes and any leftover craft supplies. At Rockford they are sending tweens home with a shoe box and a baggie of craft supplies. When the tweens finish their family can post their diorama and tag the library online. I love this so much. If you wanted to do this in October for teens it would be fun to have a spooky theme like zombies or vampire.

Paracord Bracelets

My Coworker Faith Healy worked on creating 60 kits for our library. Each branch got 20 kits. This one is a really popular craft.  Faith did an amazing job!

Supplies: This is for 60 kits

  • ½ Buckles
  • 12 colors of 50 feet paracord Size 95

Cost: 44.85 per 60 kits not including bags

Here is a PDF of the instructions Faith put together:

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

Morgan’s Mumbles: 15 Journals to Keep by teen contributor Morgan Randall

In last week’s post, I talked about keeping journals, and I wanted to share a list of ideas of journals to keep to spark ideas of something new for you to start right now. Feel free to mix up any of these in ways that work best for you, as journaling is a super individual practice and should be a very unique experience for each person. (I have inserted pictures of my notebooks, however, know that mine definitely aren’t the “prettiest” ones of these journals, they are practical applications in my life that work. Know that yours can be more creative than mine or far more simplistic, do whatever works best for you.)

Commonplace Book

Commonplace books (or journals) are a collection of quotes you hear, ideas, and random bursts of inspiration. These were mostly kept during the renaissance, but I think that is a thing a lot of people tend to subconsciously compile, be it through notes in our phones or random sticky notes. I personally enjoy keeping quotes that inspire me (and random bursts of inspiration) in its own area so that I always have something to look at when I need inspiration.

Bullet Journal

Bullet Journals can often be intimidating by the large community that surrounds them, personally I love the practice of having one place to collect ideas and create a planner that works for my schedule depending on the week. I have made complicated ones before, but currently, my process is rather simple. I only use a black pen and a few thin markers to color code. I create a calendar (for the year, month, and then weekly setups) along with habit, sleep, and anxiety trackers. This works for me, but feel free to add to it as much as you want.

Diary

I personally do not keep a journal, however, I plan on starting one soon, I know it is something a lot of people benefit from having and enjoy the process every day of having somewhere to reflect on their emotions and the daily events. I also think it is really cool to have a record of your life so that you can always have something to reflect back on to see exactly what was happening in your life (be it mentally or physically)

Dream Journal

This is another one I plan on starting soon because I oftentimes have really strange dreams and I like to look back on them to get ideas or try to decipher what they meant. This kind of journal would be somewhere where you write down your dreams every night (or whenever you have a dream that sparks your interest), and it would help you remember your dreams as well as be able to reflect on them (if that is something you are interested in).

Art Journal

Art journals come in all different forms (as do most journals) some people keep it more as a sketchbook, whereas others use it more as a collection of collages. I do both, depending on my mood, it is an easy way to create without the pressure of impressing anyone else because it is an art just for yourself. Below is a pencil sketch that normally I would have lost the paper to, but having it in a journal allows me to look back on it in case I decide one day to make it into an actual painting.

Travel Journal

This is NOT a journal you should currently be keeping, because you shouldn’t be traveling. But once the world opens back up, and you can safely travel I recommend you log those travel times in a journal where you collect records of events that happened on that trip, ticket stubs, and pictures. This will allow you to have a record of your vacations and be able to easily remember them all. This is also a great place to keep packing lists!

Reading Journal

This is another idea for logging what you are reading, collecting quotes, and writing reviews of books. If you enjoy annotating while you read, this might also provide you with more space to write all your thoughts and ideas out while you read. This can collect your opinions on books, and noteworthy points so if you want to look back to remember your opinion (or maybe an important quote) it is easy to access. This is my reading log (that I started in June), I haven’t updated it but I think it is a good layout if you need an idea for a log.

Writing Journal

If you are an aspiring author, or maybe you just have a lot of ideas and short bursts of inspiration. I recommend keeping a journal of your writings. I have a poetry journal, and one for book ideas. These can include plot structures, studies, character creation, and even actual writing. Let it flow natural and collect important things for your current or future self, while writing.

Gratitude Journal

I keep my gratitude reflection to a line each day in my bullet journal, but if gratitude is something you are consciously trying to work on maybe keeping a journal for it would be best. For some ideas of things to include, I would recommend a daily “Gratitude Log” where you write down the thing you were most grateful about each day, a running list of things that you are grateful for that sometimes you take for granted (maybe this is family, good books, morning coffee, or even just waking up), and (if this is something you can do) just write down everything that happens that you are grateful for. Let this book act as a reminder, when you have hard days, months, or even years that there is always something to be grateful for even if it’s hard to see.

Brain Dump Journal

This journal is exactly what it sounds like, a place to collect notes, ideas, lists, and anything else that doesn’t normally have a place. Let it grow organically and just be a space to get things out of your mind and onto paper.

Time Capsule Journal

My version of this is more of a junk journal. I collect random things from daily life that when put together into my journal form a “Time Capsule” of my life. Personally, my current journal is overflowing. It has random sketches, pictures, receipts, scraps of paper, and random notes given to me by people. This is all “junk” in theory, but I put it in a journal that I can always flip through and remember each moment for each item and lets me be able to easily look back on specific moments.

Food Journal

For me, this is a collection of recipes I have tried (or would like to try) and other random food-related things. These “random things” are nutrition facts, substitutes for items, grocery lists, and even notes about what I am eating and how it makes me feel. I recently went vegetarian and am in the process of going vegan (or at least completely cutting out dairy and only using farm-fresh/locally sourced eggs), so this allows me space to consciously keep track of foods I enjoy and new restrictions I am placing on my diet.

Music Journal

Similar to a reading journal, this is a space to create spreads/collages of songs, albums, and artists. If you enjoy listening to and dissecting music, I recommend keeping a journal like this to create a space for you to reflect on new songs and albums. And allow you to rate them, mark down what you liked and didn’t like, and even how it made you feel. If you enjoy creating music, take this a step farther and include things you enjoy in music and would like to try, along with lyrics that you think of or composition ideas.

Inspiration Journal

This is probably the vaguest, but I recommend keeping a journal of something that specifically inspires you. I have a few journals like this. One is a collection of historical figures that inspire me (and that I wasn’t taught about in school), one is a workout plan/log, and one on sustainability. Create a journal full of things that inspire you.

Philosophy and Theology Journal

This one is slightly more targeted at people who enjoy studying thought processes and ideologies. Create a place where you can collect notes on major philosophers and their thought processes. And if you are religious/spiritual, or enjoy studying those things, extend this into theological beliefs and study the differences between religions and how they have evolved over time. If you are religious/spiritual, you can extend this into a prayer or meditation journal if you are comfortable with it.

Here are some additional TLT posts that you may find helpful in your journaling journey.

Morgan RandallTeen Contributor

Morgan recently graduated high school and is currently enrolled to attend college in the fall getting her BA in Theatre and Dance with an emphasis on Design and Technology. She loves theatre, writing, reading, and learning. But something that has always been important to her is being a voice for those who feel like they don’t have one, and being a catalyst for change in any way possible.

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

Supplies

  • 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.

Instructions

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.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfSoPUWk82aVrBkxGSGxa7d3hSKiZ5XuOhnKc1HHDLlOZfVrA/viewform?usp=sf_link

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

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.

Have Some Doodles, by Teen Contributor Riley Jensen

During this pandemic a lot of people have an excessive amount of free time. It can be hard to find things to do that will fill all that time, so here are some simple doodles that could take up some time. Also, this is an easy programming idea to share because you don’t need a lot of supplies.

Basic Banner:

  1. Draw two squiggly lines with some space between. These lines should be parallel to each other and horizontal.
  2. Connect the two lines at both sides.
  3. At two corners that are diagonal from each other draw a small swirl, but don’t connect the swirl to the line.
  4. The swirls will be connected to the squiggly lines with two straight lines. One at the point where the swirl stops and one where the swirl curves in.
  5. This is the point where you can trace over the banner with a black pen.
  6. Now, you will need two colors that are close to each other. One will be the color of the banner and the other will be the color of the shadow. Color the main part of the banner and the outside of the swirl the lighter color. Color the inside of the swirl the darker color, so it looks like a shadow.

Color Gradient Words:

  1. Get two colors that are close to each other so you can achieve the gradient.
  2. With the lighter color, write out whatever word you want. You may want to make the word a fairly large size.
  3. With the darker color, go about halfway down each letter and go over the bottom half.
  4. Now, you can either leave the word the way it is or you can trace the word however you want.

Separated doodle:

  1. Draw two semi-circles with a good amount of distance between them.
  2. Fill in the semi-circles with the same color that they were drawn with.
  3. Trace the flat parts of the semi-circles with a black pen.
  4. In the space between the two semi-circles write whatever word you want.
  5. Once you have your word you can do whatever you want to it to add flare.

Here are some more doodle examples:

Also, here are some great books about doodling and lettering:

Riley, Teen Reviewer

I am a senior in high school and an avid reader. I have been reviewing books on this blog since 2012. I love musical theatre and listen to show tunes a lot. I also love murder books (both fiction and nonfiction), and she wants to go to college to be a forensic scientist after high school. Reading is one of my favorite things to do, so I must put that hobby to good use for my mom.

Cindy Crushes Programming: Virtual Programming Failures, Tech Issues and Tips, by Cindy Shutts

Since I started doing virtual programming for teens during the pandemic, I have wanted to talk about failure. I think in a lot of ways we are holding ourselves to pandemic numbers. I could have a very full program and it would work perfectly. Now, even if I have people attend there could be technological issues.

It is okay to have a no show program

This is as true before as it is today. Sometimes you just do not get anyone to come. We had a virtual book club and no one showed. It was our first try at having a virtual program. I knew we have to realize we are building a completely different patron base. We have to have teens who have time and access to the internet. I also realized that maybe for our teens virtual book club felt like work. It is hard to want to do anything work at is related right now.

Check your tech equipment where you are running your program

You have to make sure everything works where you run your program because you do not know what the internet capabilities are. This was an issue with my Animal Crossing Program. I had been able to use a dodo code to let people on my island before but our wi fi at work was different than that at my house. 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 make sure you can kick out someone if they break patron policy.

Your teen’s internet may be a problem

This issue also happened during our Animal Crossing Program. We had the teens get kicked off the island and we had no idea why. We then realized one of the teens did not have a strong internet connection and the was the cause. It was hard to tell the teen that was the issue.

Give yourself time

We have had two programs with zero people attending. It is okay. We are building back the patron base. They are not going to come back right away. You have to keep trying different programs and see what works. I learned that even though the Animal Crossing program had issues teens wanted to come. I am working on a virtual Animal Crossing escape room and a make and take craft.

Try all different programs

This is the one big thing we have learned about our patron base is that they want to do something fun. It is a stressful time and the programs that have done the best are programs where they did not have to think about work or what is going on in the real world. All library patrons might not want all the same type of programs.

You can see our previous discussions on virtual programming herehereherehere and here.

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.