November 21, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

TPiB: Emoji Fortune Tellers

Sometimes an amazing craft idea has to change direction to make it work. That’s what happened with this project, for a few reasons. First, the inspiration: How cool is that?! A DIY Magic 8 Ball is something my coworker and I stumbled upon while preparing for our superstition-filled Friday The 13th escape room, and it […]

TPiB: Soldering with teens: just like hot glue, but metal

Before I did it, soldering seemed like some kind of Super Advanced Tech Stuff that was way out of my league for teen programming. The only soldering I’d done was using a wide tipped soldering iron in stained glass work which, a friend observed, was more like using a bulldozer than the garden trowel required […]

The Intersection of #Ownvoices, Genre Fiction, and Empathy: Guest post by Shaila Patel

In a recent ruling by a Virginia court, five teens (described as two whites and three minorities) were sentenced to read one book a month for an entire year as punishment for defacing a historic black schoolhouse with racist and anti-Semitic graffiti. The books assigned were mostly works of literary fiction with diverse characters and/or racial […]

TPiB: 3 cheap and easy after school programs

I’m always looking for small program ideas that don’t take a lot of planning time, are inexpensive, are flexible, and appeal widely. Here are three to try. Sci-Fi Stitches – or – Embroidered notecards You can be silly or serious with this one. I did both and both were fun. For the “sci-fi stitches” I […]

“Nevertheless, She Persisted” A Take 5 List, plus 1

Last night, Senator Elizabeth Warren was warned, then given an explanation, but nevertheless, she persisted in reading the words of another woman who was warned, given an explanation, and persisted: Coretta Scott King. In honor and in recognition of these and other women who, despite warning and explanation, persist in their efforts, we offer you this […]

Sunday Reflections: Greater words than ours

This week, TLT is taking a break from its usual Sunday Reflections. Instead of reading our words, please take a moment reading or listening to words from The Honorable John Lewis’s long career. Here is his  “Speech at the March on Washington” from August 28, 1963 when he was 23 years old. You can view the speech […]

Sassy is gone forever, but lucky you, there’s Teen Vogue

Women of  a certain age are still lamenting the early demise of Sassy magazine. To those of you who are nodding your heads right now, I implore you: give Teen Vogue a chance, and while you’re at it, gift a subscription to a young woman in your life. While Sassy was pivotal… Helmed by Jane Pratt, Sassy provided a marked […]

Screening The 13th: Questions to ask yourself #SJYALit

I recently heard about how “video visits” were growing in popularity with prisons. As the details unfolded, my initial impression of interest (“Oh that’s nice – families could maybe see their incarcerated loved ones more often or from greater distances.”) turned to revulsion. The strategy is being used largely by local jails as a way to […]

My Teen Daughter Gave Me Permission to Write about her Eating Disorder, ARFID By Stephanie Elliot

My daughter has an eating disorder and it’s unlike the usual suspects. Everyone is familiar with bulimia and anorexia nervosa, but what my daughter has is called ARFID, which stands for Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. ARFID, simply put, is the fear of eating – extreme picky eating; the fear that if you try something new, […]

Embracing Content Creation Queries – Guest post by Lynette Pitrak

“I want to design a Gandalf figure to print on the 3D printer.” “How do I insert text over my video in iMovie?” “I want to take pictures of the fall leaves on the trees in my neighborhood… but it’s really cloudy today.” I’m paraphrasing here, but all three of the above are questions I’ve […]

Take 5 Community Reads for YA

Thinking about doing a community-wide read for teens? You could create a list of companion books for teens inspired by an adult selection like the St. Joseph County Public Libraries did, you could select a book specifically for your teens, or you could encourage the whole community to dive into teen lit by selecting a YA […]

Mirrors and Windows

Last year, my second grader came home one day and started telling me about Malala. Her teacher had used a biography of the recent Nobel Prize winner as the example book at the beginning of their biography unit. This week, my now third grader came home with assignment inspired by The Ballad of Mulan by Song […]

Sunday Reflections: Where’d you go, VOYA?

Some awful things are being said by an organization that I idolized. I first discovered VOYA in the LIS Library at the University of Illinois in 2001 and reported back to my Young Adult Literature Class as if I’d just struck California gold. Did you know? I asked, Did you know there’s a journal called Voice of Youth Advocates […]

Celebrating the Peculiar: Program Ideas in Advance of “Miss Peregrine” Film

Not sure what to do to celebrate the arrival of the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children film adaption? “Teen Librarian Toolbox” blogger Heather Booth has some suggestions!

TPiB: Locked in the Library! Hosting an escape room program at your library

Puzzles, mystery, a darkened library, a time limit, and the ominous feeling that a ghost just might be looking over your shoulder? Yes, please! My library is this gorgeous 80+ year old building that’s been expanded thoughtfully so that the original building–a one-room stone space with tall windows, a fireplace, and impressive oak doors–has been […]

No room for a Makerspace? Try circulating tech tools

I work in a beautiful stone building with historic significance, much beloved in the community. But, like anyone who works in an older building will tell you, the beauty and ambiance come at a definite price: space, connectivity, and quirks. My library doesn’t have a Makerspace, and chances are, we won’t have one anytime in the […]

On Keeping Secrets and the Power of Stories: a guest post by Michele Bacon

At 17, I was madly in love with a clever, playful, adorable boy. I loved him fiercely. And—to my utter surprise—he loved me. Together, Michael and I did theater, marching band, and speech team. Over three (mostly) blissful years, we shared everything: our most cherished dreams, our ugliest failures, our triumphs, and our personal insecurities. […]

Enough: A #MHYALIT guest post by Katie H.

    TLT is honored to present the following personal essay submission to the #MHYALIT series by Katie, a guest contributor and senior in high school. On some days, when I feel inadequate, I write on my wrist in small letters, “enough,” reminding myself that I need not be any different than who I am […]

Take 5: Memoirs on writing to hand to aspiring teen authors

“How do you become an author?” We’ve heard teens ask that question every time they meet an author – published, famous, or neither. And we’ve all heard the answer too: read. Read everything. Read more. No, even more than that. Reading is essential. But more than novels, teens who are firmly dedicated to the writing life […]

Take 5: Ways to combat summer fatigue

My summer newsletter items are due in a matter of days, and I’m already exhausted. Anyone else? This year should be easier for me. We finally have a part time position tasked with serving tweens, so the pressure to plan for grades 5-12 all together has been lifted and I can just focus on teenaged teens… […]