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Saturday, June 29, 2013

ALA 2013: 20 Programs Under 20 Dollars

This is the first of many reports from ALA 2013.  Those that are for a specific program, such as this post, will begin with a link to the program page featuring a description of the program and a link to the handouts. Click on the title of the program in the body of the post to access that information.

It's going to be a busy day today as I am doing all programs today.  Tomorrow and Monday's posts will be a mix of programs and exhibits.  So let's get started.

20 Programs Under $20

Report: Before I begin, Pamela went into a lot of detail about how to pull off these programs. She has links to videos, pictures, and all of the nitty gritty of pulling this off all posted here.  My report

  • Pamela Jayne from the Boone County Public Library
  • Program geared toward teens.


  1. Rube Goldberg: a machine that completes a simple task in a more complicated fashion. Lots of building with trial and error. Use  what you have.
  2. Cupcake Fondue: Buy cheap cupcakes.  She put up the recipe.  They made the
  3. Pi Day: March 14, 2013. Did Pi inspired jewelry--gave a color to each number 1-9 and made a bracelet to go with the numbers.  Also served Pi
  4. Gross Out: Halloween programs for teens do not get a good audience.  So instead did gross out.  How to make snot.  How the digestive system works. Carrot fingers! One of these programs actually made one of her teens gag. Awesome
  5. Mario Party: crafts to make Mario scenes; very cool!  They made art that looked like a video game screen.  Also one time just played Marion Party 9; made a Mario memory game.  Another program they earned play coins based on how well they did on the mini-games.  They could turn coins in for prizes. The memory game cost to play and you could earn more money or lose all of your play coins.  Making choices with play money.
  6. Picture It: set out props and scenes and kids posed and they took pictures and emailed them to their parents.
  7. Candy Casino: buy a lot of candy and play blackjack and poker.
  8. Spy Society: This one has a lot of details, but very cool.  Go to handouts. Laser hallway was cool. 
  9. Teen Spa Night: Asked staff if they had massage pad for chairs to donate for the night.  Do it after finals. 
  10. Freezer Tees: Ask teens to bring a t-shirt but have a few extra on hand just in case. Supplies listed on handout, but doing a search for your image with silhouette is best.  So dog silhouette will get a good image.
  11. So, You wanna Be a...: ask the teens what they are interested in being when they grow up and then go out and find people in the community who do those jobs and ask them to come in.  She had a police officer, someone who owns an MMA gym and a radio producer.  They came for free. She had them talk about how much money they made when they started, what kind of education they needed, how they moved up.
  12. Tall Paintings: part of art afternoons series.  Showed examples of Holton Rower's works and replicated it.  She began by gluing the wood block together ahead of time. Kids poured paint over them, let them dry overnight. I like this idea because it was art appreciation; learned about an artist and then did a version of his or her work.  Becky's thought: you could do something like list for lots of artists.
  13. Minecraft 
  14. Bottle Cap Mosaic: They collected for months, different sizes.  Together they made the library logo and put it outside on display. Teens liked doing it and loved seeing it on display for everyone to see. 
  15. Excavation: clay pots, and decorated them, and then break them, fill kiddie pool with sand and hide pit pieces and other objects in sand.  Have  talk about how archeologists work and systematically grid and search a site.  When they find, they catalog them.  At end try to piece pots together.
  16. Animal Ears
  17. Life on Mars: Mars garden. Mars Creature: she took extra craft supplies she had and uv beads; kids created a creature and then had to present it to the group.
  18. Marshmallow Wars: make your own pvc mini-marshmallow shooters; had them make them at a smaller branch. Too much with a bigger group.  They made poppers and catapults with a larger group. Make targets for kids. Keeps them busy.  They even came back to tell her that they decorated their pvc shooters with paint at home and were still using them.
  19. Nail Art: She had suggestions for making the tools to do it.  Real easy to do, and she admitted that she is not the best at it and it worked.
  20. Star Wars: Light Saber craft (pool noodles and duct tape). Star Wars Shrinky Dink jewelry. Print out templates online and use the blank ones.  Use any toaster oven to bake them.


Post Program Thoughts:

I am always looking for ways to get people into the library, especially in the 15-40 age range. Once I get them into my building, I will find a way to make them want to return, so if we can have cheap but interesting programs that bring in reluctant users, then I am 100% on board.

Pamela was obviously very well versed in providing teen programming that the teens like and doesn't cost her much money.  I appreciated the numerous links she provided here. I will definitely try some of these out on the BPL teens.

I could see using some of these programs to attract some younger adults too.  Our adult programming skews older, but maybe Rube Goldberg, Freezer Tees, or Candy Casino might draw in the 20-somethings.

My colleague, Magan, said this about the program: "Anything that teens can make themselves and then take home will be popular.  Also any chance you  give them to make fools of themselves with picture evidence will work."  See  Picture It above.


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