Download YA Smackdown Kit


What is YA Smackdown?

YA Smackdown is a grassroots meet-up and idea generation tool for anyone providing library services to teens. Participants pass a cup or hat or receptacle of some sort, and pull out different challenges related to teen services.It is fun, informal, and a clear ripoff not at all reminiscent of the fantastic Guerrilla Storytime.

Challenges are divided into categories:

  • Favorites (“Favorite pizza topping” or “Favorite icebreaker”)
  • Readers Advisory (“New sci-fi recommendation” or “Book with LGBTQ themes”)
  • Successes (“Most successful community partnership” or “Most successful gaming program”)
  • This vs. That (“Harry Potter vs. Hunger Games” or “Cardigans vs. no cardigans”)
  • “What would you do?” situations (“…if a teen is having a loud argument with a parent in the teen space?” or “…if a non-teen came to a program?”
  • Other miscellaneous challenges (“What YA book is totally overrated?” or “How do you make sure your programs are open and inclusive?”)

Smackdowns often show up at large professional conferences, but can also erupt at library staff meetings, at social gatherings over drinks or coffee, or even during long car rides. Further down the page, you can find a YA Smackdown to attend, download your own YA Smackdown Kit, share your ideas for additional Smackdown challenges (we’ll be updating regularly), and even find notes from past Smackdowns.

Where can I attend a Smackdown?

Find upcoming Smackdowns on the map and list. If you plan on hosting a Smackdown, share the details (time, date, location) with us at [email protected]. Please take notes and send them along, too, so we can share the great ideas from your session with everyone else on the Underground!


How do I host my own YA Smackdown?

First thing you’ll need is a group of people with an interest in providing library services to teens. Then, you’ll need some challenges and a receptacle in which to keep them. (This can be anything – a cup, a bucket, the hollowed skull of your rival, etc.) As long as you gather the group of people and receptacle, you can download and print up the most updated challenges with our YA Smackdown Kit, and you’ll be ready to go!

I have ideas for future Smackdown challenges!

Awesome! We try to update the YA Smackdown Kit every month. Just submit it here:

What happened at previous YA Smackdowns?

Find notes from past YA Smackdown sessions below. If you host a session, please send the notes to [email protected].