June 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

As I Try Desperately to Get Home Again, Not All Children Can. Here’s why it matters.

The news is full of horrific stories of young children being taken away from their families for the sin of wanting to come to a new country to flee the extreme poverty, violence, and whatever else it is that one flees from. There are pictures of babies crying, audio of children wailing and crying out […]

MakerSpace: Rhonna Designs Photo and Collage App Review

Behold, I have found a new photo app! As I mentioned last week, a friend fell into a button maker group and they talk a lot about two things: 1) The Canon Selphy printer, which I reviewed last week and 2) The Rhonna Designs app, which a lot of people in the button making community […]

MakerSpace Tech Review: Canon Selphy 1300 Printer

When I began thinking of creating a Teen MakerSpace, I knew that one of the things I wanted to include was a digital media lab or station. My goal was to teach my Instagram and meme loving teens how to create their own Instagram worthy pics or memes. And given the number of super cool […]

Celebrating 7 Years of TLT: 7 Years, 7 Books Giveaway

Seven years ago today, Teen Librarian Toolbox began. Throughout the past 7 years, I have been humbled, honored, proud and a lot of other amazingly positive things to be able to do this blog. Let me tell you about 7 of them, because it seems like 7 is the appropriate number. 1. Heather Booth, Amanda […]

Sunday Reflections: In Which The Teen Writes a Poem About Sexual Harassment

TRIGGER WARNING: THIS POST TALKS ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT I know it’s been a rough week in a lot of ways for us all between the mix of politics and loss, but it was also a really rough week at the Jensen household because of everyone’s arch nemesis: sexual harassment. On Friday, I received a text […]

MakerSpace: Screenprinting Program Recap

Regular readers know that I have been on a roller coaster journey trying  to learn how to do screen printing in order to host a program at the Teen MakerSpace at my library, The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH). There were tragic fails, epic highs, emotional angsty, and some down right […]

Collecting Comics: June 2018 Edition by Ally Watkins

Check out these June-releasing comics that your tweens and teens will be clamoring for! The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell (Knopf Books for Young Readers, June 5). A neighborhood full of kids use ordinary boxes to create amazing costumes and transform their street into the cardboard kingdom! Come along for the ride this summer as […]

Sunday Reflections: Dear Writers, Women’s Stories Don’t Always Have to Involve Sexual Violence

TRIGGER WARNING: THIS POST INVOLVES A FRANK DISCUSSION ABOUT SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN OUR MEDIA CONSUMPTION The last day of school is a half day. The Teen comes home at Noon. It’s already almost 100 degrees outside and she had two finals on this last day. So she asks me if I want to […]

Mini Book Reviews: What I’ve Been Reading including books by Lauren Oliver, Claire Legrand, Caleb Roehrig, Justina Ireland and more

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, so I wanted to take a moment to share some quick reviews with you. Some of these titles are already out, a few more of them are digital ARCs I have downloaded off of Edelweiss. A few of the titles don’t even come out until October of […]

MakerSpace: Guitar Pick Jewelry

Because this year’s summer reading theme, Libraries Rock!, is music based, we have been trying to find ways to make our various MakerSpace activities music oriented. Luckily for us, we have a guitar pick punch that hasn’t been used very much in our space. Outside of the obvious – you can use it to make […]

Sunday Reflections: Where are the children?

When she was two, The Teen and I were shopping at Sears when Things 2 suddenly disappeared. In a panic, I began running around the store calling for her. Each moment that she was missing the intensity of my panic increased. I ran. I screamed. I shouted. I searched. Soon, recognizing my distress, others joined […]

Summer Reading Chaos: How do we balance the needs of our community with those of our staff?

As my teens are counting down the days left in the school year, I find myself counting down the days until summer reading begin, but with very mixed emotions. This is my 25th year as a YA librarian, which means that it is the 25th summer reading program that I have planned. I have worked […]

Sunday Reflections: This is what happened when the The Teen asked me if .gov websites were trustworthy

I’m sitting in the Teen MakerSpace when my phone beeps and I see I have a text from The Teen: “Are .gov websites trustworthy,” she asks. And before responding, I pause. In the past, I would have said yes without that pause. That’s one of the things I have always taught my teens, one of […]

Proposal: Serving New Adults in Public Libraries

When I began working in a public library to serve young adults, I was truly myself a young adult – the tender age of 20 – so it didn’t seem weird to me at the time that the library called teenagers young adults. As I grew older, however, I began to realize that what libraries […]

YA A to Z: Gaslighting, a guest post by author Anna Hecker

Today as part of the YA A to Z series, TLT is honored to have author Anna Hecker here discussing with us the topic of gaslighting. TRIGGER WARNING: This article discusses emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, including rape. In the 1944 classic film Gaslight, a handsome pianist convinces his young wife to move back to […]

YA A to Z: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things, Historical Novels That Is . . . a guest post by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Zombies – I love them. I have never seen a single episode of Downton Abbey, though I remember how popular it was. And adding zombies to the mix is just the push I need to get me to explore 1920s England. This is not the first book this year to add zombies to a historical […]

MakerSpace: Screen Printing with the Silhouette Cameo – a comparison of processes and cost

Making t-shirts have traditionally been some of my most popular programs throughout the years as a YA/Teen Librarian. T-shirts can be immensely cool and we choose them, often, as a form of self expression. Last year we did an entire series on altering t-shirts and it was popular and fun. One of our programs taught […]

#SVYALit: The Importance of Language in Building a Culture of Consent, or no actually, don’t suggest getting people black out drunk

It is a warm, bright, sunny day just before The Teen is about to start her journey as a high school student. We are taking our dog, Charm, for a walk around the block. It is in this moment that a door of opportunity opens and I begin to talk with her about the rules […]

Sunday Reflections: Helping Our Teens Plan for an Uncertain Future, or, what about jobs?

Yesterday I was driving when they announced on NPR that the unemployment rate had hit a new low of 3.9% and then they followed up that bit of news with the rejoinder that this was in part because many people had simply given up looking for jobs. The trouble is, many people will look at […]

TPiB MakerSpace: Love Your Pets

In our Teen MakerSpace, we have kind of drifted into a model where we have themes to unite our making, which teens can choose to participate in or not. Some teens, we have found, need some type of guidance while others do not. So for the month of February, we wanted to do something that […]