February 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

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… […]

View from Behind the Lens: It’s a Wrap! a guest post by Lynette Pitrak

My previous post detailed the first half of View from Behind the Lens, an eight-week advanced photography workshop for middle school and high school students.  In the first few weeks of class, Downers Grove-based instructor Mike Taylor and I worked on teaching the students camera basics, various types of photography shoots, and working with both […]

Teen lives in documentaries

Teens live amazing lives. We know that, but we don’t always see it. These eight documentaries peek into the complicated, emotional, thought provoking lives of teens. Magic Camp It looks a little like Hogworts, and the greatest magicians of our time have emerged from its doors. It’s Tannen’s, a summer camp for aspiring magicians. Maidentrip […]

Sunday Reflections:

We lost Harper Lee last week, and for anyone who read the book, it really does feel like we is the correct pronoun. It feels personal. It feels like a part of her belonged to us. To Kill a Mockingbird was a story that moved us, that motivated us to pay attention to social injustice, to the […]

Evy’s First Impressions

What prompts a teen to pick up one book instead of another? Evy dug through Heather’s big old box-o-books and picked four to take home. What did she pick and why? This TLT Teen Advisory Board member is an avid YouTube fan, so she decided to tell you in a video. Thanks Evy! Books discussed: […]

Weeding Blind

I love weeding. I love diving into stats sheets, pulling the cruddy books out of circulation, finding those battered favorites that need to be replaced, and winding up with beautifully shiny shelves with plenty of space for displays. But my method is all in disarray now! I used to start by running a report on anything […]

View from Behind the Lens: Advanced Photography for Teens, a Guest Post by Lynette Pitrak

In the fall and winter of 2014, I had an amazing experience coordinating a filmmaking workshop for high school students called View from the Director’s Chair.  To highlight a different aspect of our library’s Media Lab this year, our IT Department Manager and I created a similarly-structured workshop called View from Behind the Lens. View […]

Saying goodbye to a successful program

Last month I hosted another Career Conversation event at my library. I really enjoy these evenings. I’ve learned interesting things at every single one of them, even when the jobs that the panelists hold are nothing like the kind of work that suits me. The same has seemed to be true of the teens who attended. Those who […]

In “Book Club For Kids” Podcasts, Tween Talk Is Front and Center

Kitty Felde’s podcasts feature middle schoolers talking about books by authors from Roald Dahl to Laurie Halse Anderson. Each episode also features a celebrity reading, background about the title, and often an author interview.

Sunday Reflections: My NaNoWriMo Month

It’s official: I just validated my word count and am now a 2015 NaNoWriMo winner. And you know what? It was hard. Especially this time of year, when the holidays are ramping up and my kids were getting sick and my work schedule got all wonky. But I did it. And after validating my novel, I realized […]

Flex time

It’s Sunday and my family is at my nephew’s first birthday party without me. I’m at work. When the library closes and my family goes home full of cake and baby snuggles, I’m going to the coffee shop down the street, where three or four teens will be waiting for me. I’ll treat them to […]

Guest Post: A New Author’s Take on a New Con

  As a writer, my very favorite thing is talking to teen readers. I find a lot of energy in hanging out with passionate people, especially when they’re passionate about books. NerdCon: Stories was 2,500 (mostly young) people inspired by stories; it was heaven.   Cons are like camp: you can form a genuine, lasting […]

Team Blanket Making—Intergenerational programming for teens… and adults

Heather Booth discovers a new way to bring an intergenerational maker program—and benefit the community—to the Thomas Ford Memorial Library in Western Springs, IL.

Spooktacular Halloween Library Programs for Kids, Tweens, and Teens

“Teen Librarian Toolbox” blogger Heather Booth suggests ways librarians can offer fiendishly fun Halloween programming for kids of all ages.

Be a leader. Be a troop leader.

I’ve said it on Twitter a number of times, but I really do mean it, so I’m going to say it here again, firmly: become a scout leader. If you are interested in becoming a YS or YA librarian, or are seeking your first YS or YA librarian job, or think maybe becoming a YS or […]

Relearning reluctant readers

As a librarian, I’ve always tried to champion the reluctant readers. I’ve strived to provide a wide variety of reading material in my collection development ranges – everything from high interest low level books, to compelling nonfiction, to fiction told by and about diverse voices, to comics, image heavy browsing books, and more. When parents […]

Why so many cancer stories? #every3minutes

Though the term “tween” didn’t exist at the time, that’s what I was when I first knew a young person who died from cancer. In fact, this was the first person I knew who had died at all. His name was Michael. He was younger than me, and was buried in the Ghostbusters costume he had […]

Teen craft cabinet essentials

When I began hosting craft programs at the library, I wondered how people could possibly talk about crafts as an inexpensive activity. Everything cost money! Even many “cheap” crafts don’t come cheap if you don’t have any supplies stored up. Case in point: Poetry Month favorite, blackout poetry. Use your damaged and discarded books and newspapers and […]