This is my feature that will look at programs for YA being held in Canadian and American libraries.
For the most part, when I search for innovated and fun YA programs I come up empty. Most libraries are doing the same things – Wii night, learn to draw animee, etc. Not that these are horrible ideas, but it’s not very inspiring, and it seems too standardized to actually represent teen interests in the community. The ones that get me very excited are when I see libraries encouraging teens to make and contribute their own content.
Arlington Public Library in Texas has two regular teen programs that encourage teens to participate and create.
1) Write a Review, Get a Free Book : Write a 1-3 paragraph review of your favourite book and send it to the Ninja! If your review is used in the blog we will give you a free book! Go to the teen’s Library Ninja Blog and click on the ‘Email Us’ link at the top to email your review. Anyone in grades 7-12 is eligible. Limited to one free book per month, per teen.
2) Online Teen Zine: Teens submit your original art, photographs, movies, music, writings, and more to the Library’s online Teen Zine – The Gallery. This is a great opportunity to display your talent! Visit The Gallery online to read submission rules and remember to take advantage of all the professional software the Studio has to offer!
I think these are great ideas! It gets teens thinking critically about what they are reading, creating community discussion, and encouraging teens to write and create their own materials and validating that they have something worth saying and expressing.