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Beginning Street Art was an active companion program to Banksy Booked @KHPCL, the theme for a number of active and passive programs to coincide with a six-week exhibit of Banksy’s "Haight Street Rat" street art.
We created an escape room with a Harry Potter theme for teens and adults. Participants signed up for a half-hour slot, with four people to a time slot. We read them a short introduction, and then they had 30 minutes to solve all the puzzles we created in the room. This included finding keys, figuring out codes, translating runes and searching for clues with a black light wand.
Just over a year ago, my branch of Baltimore County Public Library started doing monthly outreach visits at the Charles Hickey School at the Maryland Juvenile Detention Center for Boys. We do regular outreach to all the other schools in our area, we thought; why not bring library-led reading and discussion to this one, too?
PRISM is a monthly program aimed toward LGBTQ+ teens and straight allies in our county with the goals of providing a safe place for all. Our young adults are given the opportunity to create their own supportive, inclusive community in an area which often denies such.
PRISM allows teens, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity, to connect and discuss issues that are relevant to their lives in a relaxing, social setting; the program empowers teens to advocate for LGBTQ+ equality and justice.
Passive programs can be a great way to regularly attract students into the library without having planned, specific events. Pick a corner of the library that can be designated for these drop-by activities, set out the supplies and some instructions, and let it go! Here are a few of my go-to passive programs.
You've waited all these years to finally be an adult — no one to tell you to do your homework, clean your room, what time to be home or to eat your peas. Now what?
Adulting 101 is your go-to program to learn the basics of being a responsible grown-up. Monthly programs begin in February and run through the summer. We kicked off the series with a program called Bare Essential Cooking.
Teen Tech Tutors is a hands-on monthly program in which local teens help others (mostly older adults) with technology questions. Patrons bring their own devices to the library where teens are available to answer questions and give one-on-one tech advice, training and support. This is a drop-in program; registration is not required.
Inspired by the idea that loving and caring for oneself is essential to well-being, the Brooklyn Heights Library Youth Council presented a self-love event called I’m Perfect. The event was held at the nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park in May 2017, and featured music, arts and crafts, food and guided meditation.
This year’s Teen Tech Week (TTW) theme is Libraries are for Creating, with events taking place March 4 to 10, 2018. Teen Tech Week was created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), and this year's theme is aimed at encouraging teens to take advantage of “digital tools offered through the library to become content creators, and to leverage library resources to share out their creations.”
The Highland Park Public Library envisioned forming one robotics team that would meet weekly to participate in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL). FLL is a robotics program that gives elementary and middle-school students the opportunity to work and create together to solve a common problem using robots and research.
I believe in the value of public programming, and I derive great satisfaction from both attending and planning them. Therefore, I was excited to be asked to speak at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference about “Creating Dynamic Programs and Events at Your Academic Library.” When an unavoidable conflict took away this opportunity, I opted to share my firsthand knowledge via the secondhand means of a video, available here.