YA Smackdown Roundup, April 2016

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 comic or graphic novel pick for teens?

We had numerous comments on this one, but the ten most popular comics & graphic novels among the group were:

  • Batgirl of Burnside
  • Gotham Academy
  • Lumberjanes
  • Ms. Marvel
  • Nimona
  • One Punch Man
  • Super Mutant Magic Academy
  • Through the Woods
  • Tokyo Ghoul
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

Other beloved titles were Archie, Food Wars, Giant Days, Grayson, Jem and the Holograms, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, My Neighbor Seki, So Cute it Hurts, and Star Wars.


What are your favorite icebreakers?

 “My teens love the blanket game!” – Tinna M.
“Favorite ice breaker that our teens love is Presidents and Assassins. One teen is picked to be the President and another has to be the bodyguard and it is up to the other teens who are the assassins to try and get the president via throwing a ball at the president. It is loads of fun and it gets the teens talking and laughing.” – Amanda K.
There was also an amazing, non-YA Smackdown inspired conversation on this same topic a few weeks ago with more great ideas that you can find here.


What are your most successful methods for marketing and promoting your teen services?

“Word of mouth! I have a group of regulars that hang in the teen space and come to events, and I encourage them to bring friends (they do). When a parent comes in to get a book or a rec, I let them know that in addition to books and movies, we also offer programming. I also try to visit schools a couple times a year to talk to kids about what we have going on.” – Jessica H.

I agree with Word of Mouth!! We have postcards with our events on them as well as posters for the schools. I do something called “take 5”. TAB members literally “take 5″ posters or (more likely postcards) and distribute them. The postcards are really a way to remember a bit of word of mouth marketing. For every 5 they distribute they get a bit of candy or small trinket. It works wonders!! The only downfall, I have one grade that is SUPER good at it so when my 2018 kids graduate I’m going to be hurting! lol I’m trying to get them to encourage the middle schoolers to do more.” – Tinna M.

“Right now, the list of teen volunteer emails but trying to build up the word of mouth! I also use remind to stay in touch with my teens and remind them about things (pun intended). I put up a bunch of flyers at restaurants across from local high schools (they have open lunch for upperclassmen) for an event this Friday, so I am hoping that will bring some new faces it!” – Kim N.

“I have been on live radio 3 times this year. My community loves local radio, so its fast becoming the most effective method.” – Tiffany F.

“Have your events announced on the morning announcements at middle school, summer reading visits with smallish groups (2-3 classes max at a time)” – Keri A.

“Posting on local schools’ Facebook groups. Great access to teens and parents! Just remember to message the admins to ask if you can join first.” – Jessica B.



What is your favorite way to incorporate comics or graphic novels into teen programming?

“TRIVIA!!!!!! It was a huge hit at our library. We did it Jeopardy style (without the awkward answer in the form of a question thing) I also did an entire summer reading program with manga and graphic novels. The teens got one book a week for three months. They loved it.” – Jenelle H.

“The majority of my TAC are fans, so it feels central for me. We are having a Comic Con event. I mention comics I’m reading when we do book talks. We have a monthly comics club. I have a good relationship with a local comics shop and try to go to them when I need prizes.” – Lisa R.

I’d also recommend programs on making comics, too. I had a really successful one that I wrote a post about a few months back.

And from our Tumblr (you guys are following us on there, right? RIGHT?!?!?)

“During the comic book & graphic novel programs, we use the worn-out ones from the collection and let the teens decoupage them onto bookends for keeps!” – ChehalisLibraryFriends


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