October can be a busy time for teens, so planning a social program isn’t always easy to do! A lot of us are looking at grim budgets or cut hours, as well. You can still make Teen Read Week special with a few of these activities.
1. Reserve a display case to feature your Teen Advisory Board or Volunteens and their activities with photos of meetings, programs, activities, and props to go with the theme.
2. Conduct a survey of the teens that visit the library. Ask questions about the programs they’ve attended, what kind of programs they would like to have. Or focus on collection development. Ask what kinds of materials they like to use at the library, what they would like to see more of.
3. Host a Teen Read Week Giveaway. Every teen that visits the library receives a giveaway prize and any handouts you may have, such as a newsletter or flyer that tells about teen events and services. Try asking area businesses for coupons and gift cards, collect books, posters and other items at conferences to use for the giveaways.
4. Hold a Teen Read Week Drawing for a larger prize if you have one available. A bag of school supplies or a series of books in paperback or a larger amount gift card are all nice prizes that won’t set you back too badly.
5. Create a display of books written by teens with books that help teens write. Create a bookmark with addresses of web sites where teens can get published.
6. Leave drawing materials with books that match the TRW theme on a table in the YA room. Post a sign that asks them to turn in their work to a librarian. Display the teens’ work. You can then have a box for teens to vote for their favorite art work. A nice prize would be some art supplies or a gift card to an art supply store.
7. Teens can vote for favorite books, favorite movies, favorite stars, favorite music, favorite musicians, favorite video games, favorite brand clothing, favorite snacks…. Use the results to help with collection development, program ideas, prize ideas. Be sure to post the results.
8. Offer Fine Free Week or Fine Free Month to teens only. Or print a coupon in the teen’s newsletter for a free replacement library card, or an amount off fines for teens only.
9. Place a suggestion box in the YA room. Print forms asking for suggestions for specific things rather than general questions. Each week you can focus on different areas for suggestions.
10. Set a goal to learn the names of 3-5 teens you don’t know well every day of Teen Read Week. Be sure to greet them by name the next time you see them.
©2012, 2005. RoseMary Honnold.