Library PokeNight


Last night we held our first Library PokeNight and it turned out to be one of my most successful programs! 18 people showed up (22 if you count staff who stopped by), it was a good mix of teens and younger adults. The goal was to capitalize on the fact that we are a Pokemon Go PokeStop and it worked! So, what did Library PokeNight consist of?

  • A PokeWalk around the downtown area where our library is located. You can hit three stops from our library – so we started there (one of my coworkers also dropped lures on all three stops).  This went very well and we picked up some people along the route who just happened to be out and about catching Pokemon.

Our PokeStop.

  • Pokemon button-making. We made team badges and I had a variety of Pokemon art to choose from.

Team Mystic, FTW! 

  • Pokeball cookie decorating. This is a very easy edible craft. You just need sugar cookies, frosting, and mini-marshmallows. My coworker and I divided up all the frosting and supplies beforehand to save time and avoid a clogged line at the cookie table.

Gotta eat ’em all!

In addition to the Library PokeNight event, I’m doing a couple passive activities.

  • Draw your favorite Pokemon on the whiteboard.

Pacmon is pretty sweet.

  • DIY Pikachu & Pokeball. I printed off the Cubeecraft templates and set them out in the Teen Zone with scissors and glue. It’s been pretty popular with patrons of all ages.

Too cute!


What is your library doing to attract Pokemon Go players?


Hunger Games Party

This is my first Summer Reading Program (or as we call it, Summer Library Club) at my new library. The former Teen Services Librarian had transferred to a new position last summer, so the program was very bare bones. Because of that, I may be overcompensating this summer. I have 18 programs planned for over the course of 7 weeks.

We are using the CSLP teen theme, Get in the Game: Read. When I think of teens and games, I think The Hunger Games. So, for our kick-off I threw the teens a Hunger Games Party. Excuse me, a Panem Party (I wasn’t allowed to call it a Hunger Games Party). We made mini bows and arrows, had themed snacks, did a trivia challenge, and had a reaping drawing. There wasn’t a large turn-out, but the attendees had a ton fun.

Here are the PDF files for the food and drink labels:

Feel free to use and share!

Teen Tech Week 2016

I’ve been working on a system-wide passive program for Teen Tech Week. Inspired by Nerd Craft Librarian, I came up with the BINGO card below.


The branch managers are all on board, so now I just need to come up with prizes. For completion prizes, I thought about candy or earbuds. For the grand prize, I want to put together a package of STEM fiction and some techy gifts (flash drive bracelet, etc…).

I’m also planning a retro gaming event for our main library. NES games (finger-crossed that I can find one!), older board games, and pogs. We’ll make some DIY pogs.

Hunger Games Read-Alikes Bookmark

Today I started working on bookmarks to put out in our soon-to-be-finished Teen Zone. First up, a Hunger Games read-alikes bookmark.


Front of bookmark


Back of bookmark

Click here for an unbranded PDF file of the bookmark. Feel free to use it in your library.


John Green Read-Alikes


Made this graphic for the library’s teen social media accounts to help promote a curated ebook list. Really love how it turned out. What’s your go-to recommendation for John Green fans who have finished all of his work?

Teen Read Week – Matching Game

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted about teen services. I took a brief sabbatical from the realm of public libraries to work for a vendor, but now I’m back where I belong! To kick off my new-ish job, I’ve been tasked with running our teen booth at the local book festival. The festival happens to coincide with Teen Read Week, so we’re using Get Away @ Your Library as the theme. For activities, we are going to play Pin the Glasses on John Green (thanks to Sarah Amazing!) and I’ve created the matching game below.


Feel free to use this game at your own library. You can download it as a PDF here.

Book Review – Dumplin’

Willowdean “Will” Dickson is the self-described “fat” daughter of an aging Texan beauty queen. She is intelligent, funny, and confident. When her relationship with her best friend becomes strained and a secret romance with her  drool-worthy coworker goes south, Will’s once solid confidence is shaken to the core. She decides the solution to her problem is to enter the local beauty pageant (run by her critical mother). This single act inspires a trio of misfits to also join and they set off to prove that society’s beauty standards aren’t everything they’re cracked up to be.

It’s not very often that I fall in love with a book from the very first sentence, but Dumplin’ charmed me from the get-go. This book has it all: Dolly Parton, female friendships, body positivity, and drag queens (!). Julie Murphy has penned an important novel that every teen girl should read. Dumplin’ is fun, has tons of heart, and drives home a good message without being didactic. I recommend this title to all YA fans.

We Mustache You to Read – Recommended Reading List



I just finished up the recommended reading list for next month’s teen winter reading program. I tried represent each genre listed on the BINGO card, so it’s a little lengthy. For some reason, I had a hard time coming up with humorous YA titles. Anyway, here’s the reading list.

We Mustache You to Read – Teen Winter Reading Program

Mustache DisplayThis Teen Librarian Toolbox post inspired my first library display last year (see photo) and now it is inspiring my first ever teen winter reading program.

Our teens requested that we host a winter reading program this year, they also requested that we use BINGO cards (I made BINGO cards for summer reading and they loved them). So, I went with the theme “We Mustache You to Read” and made a simple, bookish BINGO card. Basically they check off each type of book they read to make a BINGO, completed cards get entered into a raffle. I’ll also make a recommended reading list, in case they need help finding titles.  I’m not sure what I’m going to give out as a prize yet. At a previous trivia event, the prize was a mustache tote and the teens loved that. I’ll probably get another one of those and stuff it with books and delightfully geeky things.Winter Reading BINGO

I wanted to keep the program passive, so we aren’t having any big activities at the library outside of our regular clubs. The winter weather in West Virginia is just too unpredictable to expect teens to make it to events. I’m just glad to know that they enjoy the programs I plan and are requesting more. Unfortunately, since my official position requires most of my attention, I can’t always give them the amount of programs they want.

Here is a PDF of the BINGO card. Feel free to swipe it for your own use.

How to Host a Teen Trivia Program

How to Host a Teen Trivia ProgramRecently, an out-of-state librarian contacted me about our monthly teen trivia program. She had questions about how we run the program, where to get questions, attendance, etc… I replied with all the requested info and she was very grateful.  This has inspired me to share how we host our teen trivia program with all of you.

1. Pick the questions. The internet has made trivia so accessible that it can be daunting to decide what questions to ask. I found it easier to choose 4-5 categories and then select interesting tidbits to use as questions. Seasonal categories are always great. If you are able to project a PowerPoint presentation of your trivia questions, I’ve found that teens love picture categories. Past categories I’ve used were: celebrity yearbook photos, name that cheese, and famous places.

2. Decide how participants will answer. Will each teen answer a different question? Will you have buzzers or let whoever raises their hand first answer? I made small whiteboards out of laminated poster board. I give each teen a board, a dry erase marker, and a wipe. I ask the question, then the teens write their answer, after an allotted amount of time everyone shows their answers. This method is similar to Final Jeopardy and allows everyone an equal opportunity to earn points.

3. Give out an awesome prize. The best way to ensure teens come to your trivia program is to give out a sweet prize. I typically make grab bags with candy, books, comics, or novelty items. The winner gets to choose a random bag. They don’t know what the prize is until they open the bag, which adds to the fun. One of the most popular prizes I’ve given away were zombie rubber ducks. The prizes don’t have to be expensive, they just need to be fun and appealing.

4. Publicize. Promote your program on social media. Put up fliers in the library. Share pictures of the prize bags. This may seem pretty basic, but it’s something that can easily be overlooked. Since I do this every month, I figured my regular attendees would just remember it was trivia night and that I didn’t need to publicize every event. WRONG. The one time I didn’t promote the event, I only had two teens show up. So promote, promote, promote.

Below you’ll find some examples of trivia questions I’ve used for past programs and their answers. Feel free to use any of these for your own programs.