Smackdown Round-Up, December 2015

Welcome to our YA Smackdown Round-Up! For those of you who haven’t heard about it, YA Smackdown is an informal, guerrilla-style idea-sharing activity for teen library service professionals. It’s always fun, and there’s something to learn for everyone.

You can join in on a Smackdown at various professional events, start your own with our handy downloadable kit, or join in on a TSU-hosted challenge on social media every Wednesday! (Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.)

After each month, we’ll post a collection of some of the more noteworthy responses. We hope you’ll all join in every week!

Have you ever had an overnight program? Was it successful? What were some pitfalls?

“Yup. It’s a lot of work and requires extra staffing. So. Worth. It. ” – Ellen J.

“When I started we did a few overnight programs. The biggest problem, and the reason we don’t do them anymore is staffing. Especially with dwindling full time staff the scheduling gymnastics that must be done to cover an all night program is nightmarish. Plus few non-teen librarians want to spend their entire night with teens (it’s difficult for teen librarians too). Half of them will fall asleep, half of them will get more wired as the night goes on. These programs were always very well attended though and I do miss them, but I also like sleeping at night.” – Joe M.

“I did a Hunger Games-themed once several years ago where I only accepted the first 24 “tributes” to register. When I got to the library around 8:30am on the day registration opened, there were actually people camped outside the main entrance with blankets, lawn chairs, and coolers, waiting for us to open so they could register. They’d been there since 6am! It was great but required planning for 10 or so hours worth of programming (some of the kids stayed up all night; others slept for just a couple of hours).” – Tanvi R.

“The biggest issue with my lock-in programs (which I don’t do anymore) is having staff/co-worker helpers who don’t follow my rules and directions. I have behavioral rules for the teens (the teens can recite them!) and when my staff helpers don’t enforce or even follow those rules themselves, there is a serious problem. Lack of staff help who will respect my decisions and follow my directions has led to a lot of issues and me not doing overnight programs anymore!” – Eden G.

“We’ve done several but the last time we did it a staff member got lice. Now we just do 6-9 p.m. lock-ins every 8 weeks. This way no one’s pillows and blankets are hanging around the building. The trade-off for the teens has been that even though we no longer do overnights, they get a lot more lock-ins. When it was overnight we only had one per year. Now we do 5 during the school year and one over the summer.” – Anna H.


What new teen fad or slang drives you completely bonkers?

“This is dated but when something is ‘so random'” – Xavier D.

“4/20, They say it all the time as if I don’t know or couldn’t look up the meaning… squint emoticon” – Rachel E.

“BAE. Ignites violent feelings, on which I will not act.” – Frieda T.

“Squad. On fleek.” – Jennifer H.

“This may be the English major in me, but I can’t stand when they turn nouns into verbs. “I can’t even food right now.” Huh? The biggest offender? My husband, who works in higher ed and picks up these habits every day!” – Lisa U.

“One time I described someone to a teen as being very “chill” and they were all “Why are you trying to sound cool? That’s OUR word!” and I had to explain to them that the slang form of “chill” was older than me.” – Evan M.

I must be destined to be a YA librarian because I say/do a lot of this stuff all the time.” – Tiffany H.


” How this thread is making me feel:

– Joe M.

DEATHMATCH: 3D Printing or Knitting?

“The 3D printers are forever breaking. Knitting needles are always available!” – Marcey J.

“You could knit 3D printer cozies for a 2-in-1 program.” – John R.

“Neither! Perler beads 4 LYFE!” – Emily F.

Printing! Knitting is great but there’s so much more you can do with the 3D printer” – Katy K.

“Crochet or arm knitting!!” – Anjanette H.

I’m going to take a stand for 3D printers, not because it’s techy or trendy, but because it’s the better example of library’s true nature of collectivism and democratization. There’s little to no hurdle for individuals to knit or crochet or even use perler heads on their own, but 3D printers are a serious investment that are far beyond most people. By providing these tools for public use, we create access where there otherwise wasn’t any. That gives it a leg up over the other things discussed.” – Evan M.

“Your argument is valid and well expressed, but I think so much of this depends on your service area for a myriad of different reasons.” – Rachel T.

“As I think through this, I think there is a LOT of barriers for knitting. Learning on your own is really, really hard, but also there is a lot of investment in needles as you start to make more complicated things. I’ve spent a couple hundred alone on needles…let not even talk about yarn! BUT it does go back to your community liked Rachel and Beth said.” – Andrea S.

“They are both take “string” and create a 3D object from them. They both have a most welcome place in my library. I think that a huge problem with the current maker movement is that it tends to disregard hand crafts as somehow lesser than things made with circuits/machines/technology. Both use science and math and there are a lot of ways to incorporate technology as well. I understand that a head to head battle is the nature of the Smackdown but I feel that the two things together make a pretty awesome team – a tag team perhaps?…I’ve done yarn bobbins, stitch markers and cable needles on a 3D printer. My electric spinning wheel had 3D printed bobbins. I use 3D printed drop spindles. It’s all good.” – Becca B.

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