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!
What is your favorite new Alex Award-like pick? (Adult book with high teen interest.)
“New like most recently published? If so, I’d go with Between the World and Me. If new to me, The Casual Vacancy, but it’d have to be the right teen – there’re some scandalous parts!” – Trixie D.
“Romeo and/or Juliet by Ryan North” – Pamela P.
“I just read Queen of Tearling, it’s newish but it’s a trilogy and the third one is coming out this month.” – Heather S.
“Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson.” – Eti B.
Snacks at programs, or no snacks at programs?
“Big money eater. I can provide good programming and snacks. Unfortunately not having snacks doesn’t draw in the teens like I would prefer.” – Angelica T.
“If you feed them, they will come. Cheap party mixes you can do in bulk, minor rationing, and bulk lemonade powder. Saves me every time. Special snacks at holiday time of punch made from Hawaiian Punch and clear soda. Mix In Equal parts. Makes a lot and doesn’t cost a lot.” – Janelle M.
“SNACKS! We have a great program at our library where people can buy used books with a snack food item. The snacks then go to our after school teens.” – Katie J.
“Snacks! Many of my teens come straight from school & they’re hungry” – Mellissa E.
“Does anyone have the problem of teens coming to the program just for the snack? They come into the program room, stay while eating the snack, and then leave.” – Kelsey J.
“We go through phases, where we will have a group that does that, but then they age out and we are fine for a while. I count them in my numbers if they do anything else while they are there. And, I never let them take the food and leave with it. We have a no eating policy in the library so that is a great excuse.” – Beckly F.
“Timing can be a factor. After school programs probably need snacks. For regular ongoing programs, if the teens get messy, no Snacks the next time and explain why. Usually gets the point across. Give a serving to each teen, rather than sitting out big bowls or baskets. Some will stuff themselves and some have grubby hands. Be aware of allergies.” – RoseMary L.
“In theory,…snacks. But I’m leaning towards Tickets in the future. Like instituting a system where attending a program earns you a ticket toward a food party at a later date. Only because I was getting a LOT of teens who would only attend things if there was food, and they’d eat and leave without finishing or really participating. I’m hoping this will help get some to attend anyway and let them kind of “earn” the food? I don’ t know. I’m just trying something new. LOL” – Regina T.