YA Smackdown Roundup, July 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 current library trend do you hate?


“3D printers being the all powerful.” – Cindy S.

“Dedicated Maker Space. I simply don’t have the budget and being part-time makes this a no go. You can still make without the space!” – Val B.

“100% Maker Space — isn’t the entire library already one big maker space? And in this giant push for all things science, aren’t we losing focus on literacy?” – Brittany G.

“This is more of a school trend but I really hate how summer reading lists do not update. What’s worse is when I see a summer reading list with titles such as “Go ask Alice” which we know in 2016 to be false and outdated. Every time I look at my shelf I want to rip it off but I can’t because it’s still circulating.” – Marissa R.

“This is more of a school trend that affects how libraries do RA but Lexile Levels and AR. I loathe it so much. Hey, let’s tell kids they can’t read stuff based on some poorly created vocabulary test, that’ll grow a love of reading.” – Heather S.


What is your favorite new science fiction book for teens?

“It’s a tie between a Super Smash Brothers Brawl tournament and a throwback Thursday Super Nintendo game night.” – Emily H.

“How do you run a Super Smash program? Do you do brackets or something?” – Shanni K.

“We do 12 teens with two sets of brackets: champions and underdogs. The 6 winners of the first round move on to fight each other and the 6 losers of the first round duke it among themselves. 2nd place champion fights 1st place underdog and winner goes on to fight the 1st place champion. This way, everybody gets to play at least twice.” – Kristin M.

“We are doing just a weekly video game afternoon for the summer and its been very consistent. Fibbage and Drawful have turned out to be HUGE hits” – Celadon J.


What is your favorite new fantasy book for teens?


You all went kind of nuts over this, but the most popular in the fray were The Wrath and the Dawn, Red Queen, A Court of Mist and Fury, An  Ember in the Ashes, Steeplejack, The Story of Owen, Star Touched Queen, Six of Crows, The Impostor Queen, and Truthwitch.

“Printing the whole damn thing. If THIS isn’t a booklist waiting to happen, I don’t know WHAT is!!!” – Dianne P.


How do you handle an enthusiastic teen overzealously dominating a program?


“Busy work! Make them a “program helper” and always have things to fetch, or write, or set up. I get this in my Dungeons and Dragons program all the time, kids want to make their own playlists or show geeky videos during the game. Finding a way to redirect that energy to something that doesn’t distract but also doesn’t put the kids off showing up can be difficult…That is going to depend on the program since you don’t want to make it so they can’t participate. For D&D if I have something for them to color or put together (a lego dragon or painting a mini) keeps their hands busy but they can still shout out spells. For coding, they need their hands but if they get it quicker than the others, having them come up and help me write out certain codes on the white board or if they are the right personality, helping other kids with copy and pasting.” – Katy K.

“Take them aside after the program and before the next one to talk about how they need to let other people speak.” – Sarah S.

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