For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, YA Smackdown is an informal sharing session for teen librarians similar to Guerrilla Storytime. I put some challenges in a bucket and asked the audience for volunteers to choose one. They then read the challenge and answered it, then anyone else in the room could also contribute a response.
Although I was a little nervous at first about how talkative the group would be (I brought Hershey Kisses to bribe them with just in case), the conversation quickly got rolling and I ended up able to share all of the awesome responses here:
What horror movies are your teens currently into?
- The Visit
- Children of the Corn
- The Ring
- The Grudge
What would you do if a teen monopolizes your time just chatting at the desk? (I'm paraphrasing these):
- I would let the teen know that I have a job to do and that they are part of the atmosphere here and they should go be part of it.
- It depends on what's going on that day. If it's not busy, I let them hang out.
- I'll ask them to help me with a task to keep them busy.
- I'll show them the new books to pore over to occupy them.
Favorite way you’ve recycled program supplies.
- Donate to Goodwill
- Put them in the recycle bin!
- Email other staff in the system to share
- Throw everything on a table and have an open-ended crafting program
- Host a Bad Art Night - Ask teens to make the worst looking art they can!
- Use them as prizes
- I used leftover glow sticks to make light saber bookmarks
- I had all of these leftover Goldfish crackers and licorice I would try to put out and no one would eat. When I hosted a program, I named these same snacks something to go with the program theme and they tore through them! Naming the food something clever enticed them to eat it.
What is your favorite teen book that deals with issues of body image?
- Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
- Butter by Erin Jade Lange
- Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel
- Paperweight by Meg Haston
- Bruiser by Neal Shusterman
- The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter
- Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
What would you do if a non-teen came to a program? Does it make a difference if they’re too young or too old?
- I would tell them that this is a time just for the teens
- If the parents want to stay, I try to encourage them to wait just outside of the room
- I tell the adult that wants to participate that we can talk to the Adult Librarian to see if we can offer a separate program on the same topic for adults
- I try to have the program in a separate blocked off area to discourage just anyone from coming in
- I have multi-age programs where it won't become an issue, like a board game night for teens and adults
- If it's someone younger, I explain about the program being developmentally inappropriate. If it's someone older, I explain that this is a space for teens to be able to be themselves with other teens.
What is your favorite readers’ advisory resource?
- Barnes & Noble bestseller and other lists
- Book Riot
- Fantastic Fiction
- We Need Diverse Books
What board games are popular with your teens?
- Pie Face - We had a tournament to go along with March Madness
- Dungeons & Dragons
- Apples to Apples
- Just regular playing cards
Audience Question: Does anyone have a mobile makerspace in your library? If so, what does it look like?
- We store stuff in a cabinet and rotate the equipment out. We have basic things like Sphero and K'nex. People can sign up to use the equipment for 15 minutes at a time.
Audience Question: How do you engage teens after school with severe lack of space and a security guard that intimidates them from staying?
- Unfortunately, this question was asked at the very end of the session so we didn't have time to get responses. If any readers have a solution, please share in the comments!
If there are any needed edits to responses, or if anyone has a good response to add, please comment below!