Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

TPiB (Programs)

Teen programming is an important part of what we do as teen librarians. It can also be a time consuming part of what we do, it takes a little bit of time, love and tenderness (wait, is that a song?) to find and put a program together for our teens (and tweens).  One of the regular features here at TLT is TPiB. Here are some prepackaged programs (that are easily adaptable) for you to use.  If you do use a program, or part of a program, please consider taking some pictures and dropping us a line to let us know. See also Tech Talk.

Book Based Programs

Based on specific books, adaptable for general programs

Feed Their Hunger for the Hunger Games (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, survival)

Share it! Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Olympians Week (Rick Riordan’s Olympians series)

It’s a Dead Man’s Party (Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry, zombies, monsters)

Paranormal Crafts – Angels (Angel fiction, Embrace by Jessica Shirvington)

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand (horror)

Food Fight (based on The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski, food activities)

Retro Reading (based on Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt)

The Fairy Garden (inspired by Return to Me by Justina Chen)

Leaving Kansas for Oz (inspired by The Wizard of Oz)

The Mortal Instruments

Tales from Lovecraft Middle School (Halloween, monsters and zombies)

Divergent Programming

Divergent Truth or Dare

Divergent Rainbow Loom Faction Bracelets with Bottle Cap charms

Be a Changemaker Workshops

Book Review and Program Ideas: Playing with Surface Design by Courtney Cerruti

Craft Programs

More Crafts Then You Have Time For

Flashback Fridays (retro)

Send Them Back to School with Style (back to school crafts)

Pageturners! Save My Spot! (a variety of bookmarks)

Turn Your Instagram Photos into Photobooth Strip Bookmarks

Picture It: 30 Days of Art Activities part 1

Art Through the Ages (Picture It: 30 Days of Art Activities part 2)

Picture It: 30 Days of Art Activities part 3

Picture It: 30 Days of Art Activities part 4

Monster Fest (great for Halloween)

Once Upon a Time (twisted fairy tales, fantasy)

All the World’s a Stage (performing arts)

Meme ALL the Shirts (t-shirt crafts, memes)

Project Fashion

Project Fashion, part 2

Tales from the Crib: Babysitting 101 (Don’t Sit on the Baby from Zest Books)

Retro Movies with Reel Culture (Reel Culture from Zest Books)

87 Killer Programs from 87 Ways to Throw a Killer Party (87 Ways to Throw a Killer Party from Zest Books)

Spatacular (spa activities, based on books from Zest Books)

We’ve Only Got This One Earth: 47 Things You Can Do for the Environment (Earth Day, going green, based on 47 Things You Can Do for the Environment from Zest Books)

Guitar Pick Jewelry (featuring Guitar Notes by Mary Amato)

Duct Tape Crafts and Duct Tape Crafts Part 2  

Duct Tape Tips

Origami Resources

Poster Frenzy: Transparency Film + Dry Erase Markers = Posters 

Story Terrariums

Renovate Your Room (with more Duct tape crafts)

Instagram crafts

Poetry Crafts, take 2 

Art Journals/Memoirs

10 Things to Do with a Blank Canvas part 1 and part 2.

Sugar Skulls for Dia de los Muertos

When Books Inspire Art

To Rainbow Loom or Not To Rainbow Loom

STEM Programming using Quirk’s Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab.

Crafting with Quirk

I am SHERlocked

Sharpie tie-dyed Ts

Washi: The kinder, gentler tape

Five Zero Cost, Raid the Cabinet programs

Shark Week!

Back to School Crafts 

Brushbots Part 1 and Part 2 


Bottle Wrapping 

Zip Ties

Comic Book Creations

Playing with Surface Design by Courtney Cerruti

Postcards from France, programs, books and more for a France themed day

Programming with Straws

DIY Magnetic Duct Tape Instagram Photo Frames

Herbal Bath Sachets (aka Tub Teas)

Mexican Sugar Skulls Made Out of Clay (with links to a few other multicultural crafts)

Food Based Programs

Food Fight (based on The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski, food activities)

Marshmallow Madness

Tiny Food Party

On a Stick


Interactive Programs

Live Angry Birds (by Heather Booth)

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Prom Spectacular (by Steve Moser)

Poetically Speaking (poetry activities)

Post It Note art (by Stacey Costabile)

Follow the Evidence (CSI activities)

Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover (book speed dating)

Feeding Frenzy (Food allergy awareness as it appeared in VOYA, February 2012)

The Slurpee Challenge (by Heather Booth)

Creating a Babysitting Toolkit

Extreme Gingerbread Challenge

Reality TV inspired programming ideas: Project Runway, Fear Factor, Cupcake Wars, Craft Wars

In a galaxy not so far away (Star Wars programming)

Valentine’s Day/Anti-Valentine’s Day Programming (based on Crushed, Dumped, Kiss and The Date Book by Zest Books)

Cycling and Health Programs (with a tie in to Holy Spokes by Rob Coppolillo)

Teen Tech Week: Check in at the Library

Steampunk in the Library


Doctor Who 

Teens, Tech and Programming 

Hosting a Coding Club 

Free Comic Book Day programming

Minecraft After Hours

Squishy Circuits

Nontraditional Programs

Teen Volunteers

It’s In the Bag: Creating a babysitting toolkit (also good for a teen mom class)

Draw It! Teen Summer Reading Club Art Contest

Library Bootcamp (library training)

Expect the Unexpected: Lock-Ins (by Christie Gibrich)

Library Lock-In Outline

Exam Cram

Mock Printz

Reel Teens: Hosting a teen film festival (inspired by Andrew Jenks)

Geek Out Your Library: How to host a mini-con at your library

5 Things to Do with Post It Notes in Your Library

One School, One Book

Self Directed Displays for the Last Minute

Self Directed Displays in Action

Making Art Inspired by Books

Self Directed Game Day Contest

International Gaming Day

Makerspace @ Your Library

Doctor Who: Making a Tardis T-Shirt for Dummies

Doctor Who: Making Doctor Who Minimalist Shadow Art 

Book Quotation Celebration 

Teen Tech Week on a Shoestring Budget

Book Fight

Start a Coding Club

Creating a Life Hacks Workshop

Bookish Nails 

Make Your Own (Simple) Photo Booth with Props

Making .gifs with a SmartPhone and Legos

Self Directed & Free Range Programming Ideas: 3 World Booktalk, 6 Second Booktalks, Scratch Off Tickets, Book Jar and Book Speed Dating 

Career Conversations (programming for older teens by Heather Booth)

Touch Screen Gloves (from the Robot Test Kitchen)

Strawbees, a great tool for Makerspaces

Career Conversations, programming for older teens

Heather Booth and The Robot Test Kitchen

As part of her ILeadUSA experience, Heather Booth has been blogging about her experiences incorporating more tech into her library teen programming. Take a look at her posts here:

Take 5: The Robot Test Kitchen Reading List

What’s Your Library’s Story? A Robot Test Kitchen Guest Post

Review: Squishy Circuits

True Confessions: My STEM program failed and it was not fun (but I still learned something)

Review: Racing Robot Learn to Solder Kit 

True Confessions: I Want This to be Easier

Touch Screen Gloves (from the Robot Test Kitchen)

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Instructions

We’re Not Faking It, We’re Making It

Check out more at the Robot Test Kitchen:

“We are the Techno Whats, a group of Youth Services and Teen librarians. We believe that when imaginations play, learning happens. We aim to use simple robotics as a means to expand our learning experience for other new technologies. Our goal is to provide an entry point of simple robotics in a way Youth and Teen Librarians can understand.”

Follow the Robot Test Kitchen @RobotTestKitchn (https://twitter.com/RobotTestKitchn)
Contact the Robot Test Kitchen:  RobotTestKitchen [at] gmail.com
Sometimes we Tumbl too: http://techno-whats.tumblr.com/