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Summer Smoothie Smash

August 10, 2016
Audience
Young Adult
Budget
$1-50
Advance Planning

This program was part of our 2016 summer reading program; our theme was "Get in the Game," with an emphasis on games, sports and fitness. We knew that the smoothie bike component would be very appealing to the teens — to see how it worked — so we reached out to LSU, and they were very easy to work with. Our goals for this program were: to get teens in the door, to make sure they had fun, to highlight our libraries' growing young adult nonfiction collection with teen cookbooks, and to educate them on how to make healthy and delicious smoothies.

Marketing

The only tricky part about marketing this program was that we were hosting this program at multiple branches, but the LSU blender bike was not available for all dates; therefore, we could not advertise the event on a system-wide level. This was disappointing, but we overcame it by advertising the blender bike just in the programming calendars of those branches that were able to host the bike.

The one branch that did not have the bike still had a great turnout. They simply used a regular blender instead, so the program is still a wonderful draw even without the blender bike. 

Budget Details

We spent about $30 per branch on yogurt and fresh and frozen fruit. We also bought smoothie tumblers from Dollar Tree for the winning teams at each branch. To cut costs, you could eliminate the prizes, as the teens had fun and drinking the smoothies is really treat enough.

Day-of-event Activity

The day of the event, time will be needed off the desk to go shopping for the fresh ingredients. If you are lucky enough to secure a blender bike, you will need a strong staff member to assist you in getting it from the parking lot to the meeting room.

Program Execution

At start time, we welcomed everyone and gave a brief talk about upcoming programs. We introduced the staff and special guests, then explained the order of the program. Some of our programs had an educational presentation; if so, the presenter spoke next.

Then we divided the group into teams and stationed them at tables. Each team chose up to six ingredients to make their smoothie creation. They named their smoothie, then took turns blending it, either with the blender bike or with a regular blender. When the first team finished its smoothie, staff poured it into portion-sized cups, enough for everyone to have a taste for the judging. Once the first team finished and everyone had completed their judging, the next team went. The program continued this way until all judging was completed. 

Once all teams had created a smoothie, the librarian tallied the winner, announced the winning team and awarded the prizes (a smoothie cup to each of the winning team members). We reminded everyone of upcoming programs, thanked our presenter once again, if applicable, and asked everyone to complete a program evaluation.

Advice

This program is a lot of fun, even without the blender bike. Reach out to your local university to see if they have access to one, but if they don't, don't let that stop you from hosting this wonderful program.

Short Title
Summer Smoothie Smash

We partnered with the nutrition department at Louisiana State University (LSU) to bring in a blender bike for a fun and educational program. Teens ages 12 to 18 worked in groups to create one-of-a-kind smoothies and then judged each others' smoothies based on nutrition, color, texture and overall tastiness. The winning team received bragging rights and smoothie tumblers.

Job Functions
Collaborations
  • The smoothie making station
    The smoothie making station
  • Participant on the smoothie blender bike
    Participant on the smoothie blender bike
  • The winning team with their prizes
    The winning team with their prizes
Summary

Smoothies, fun and learning were all blended in this Louisiana library's teen summer reading program. 

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