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The Tweens are Alright: Tween Programs in Teams

The Tweens are Alright: Tween Programs in Teams

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The Tweens are Alright: Tween Programs in Teams

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  1. The Tweens are Alright:Tween Programs in Teams Presented by Matt Kirschner Tween Librarian South Brunswick Public Library 732-329-4000 x.7285 Follow me @mattkirschner

  2. Introduction ...or, "Allow myself to introduce... myself." • Write down your definition of "tween". • "Storytimes", teen programs... & everything in between? • Hired at SBPL as a "Tween Librarian". • Primary purpose: Bring in the "middle to upper elementary kids" • Job description: As read above, storytime & "other duties as assigned".

  3. The Gap ...or, "What's to be done with these ragamuffins?" • Serious gap in programming for kids in 4th-7th grade. • "Tweens" • Important to retain these kids through late elementary school & middle school. • "Living in Idaho" (an analogy) • Hired specifically for the purpose of drawing these 4th-7th grade patrons in.

  4. The Tween Collection ...or, "Setting the Stage" • "Juvenile Fiction" • Requesting a "Tween" item category from LMxAC • Not necessary, but helpful for statistics • Defining a "tween book" • A prevailing trend/obstacle • Journals, Graded lists, & own knowledge • Sort, sticker, catalog, rinse, repeat • Upkeep

  5. Programming: Chess Club ...or, "Am I smarter than a fourth grader?" • Learned quickly: Tweens love to compete. • Chess Club initially our only program for 3rd grade & up. • Very successful, well attended. Especially for tween boys. • Problems: • Very narrow range of programming. • Tween boys severely over-represented. • Tween girls under-represented.

  6. Boys Club & Girls Club ...or, "Get Them Here... Do Something Different" • Fixing the representation problem by offering two separate groups. • What should I do? • ANYTHING! • Cater to their interests • Games, Wii, movies, popular series... just invite them. • Creating an informal advisory council • Like YAC, but less organized. • Statistics

  7. Summertime ...or, "Get Them Together... Do Anything" • Grouping them together out of necessity. • Busy summer desk... ever have that problem? • Get them interacting more before middle school & beyond. • Most of these early programs looked like a middle school dance... that's normal. • Format • Girls wanted "Boys vs. Girls" than boys did! • Finding the right balance

  8. Team Play ...or, "Building Skills Together" • During summer programs, certain tasks required tweens to work as part of a team. • Awful Tower • Scrambled States of America • Team Scavenger Hunt • Gives the developing tweens opportunity outside the classroom to... • ...develop leadership (and teamwork) skills. • ...develop listening skills. • ...develop teaching skills. • ...develop problem-solving skills. • ...develop peer mediation skills.

  9. Anything You Can Do... ...or, "Keeping it Simple" • Examples: • Popular book programs • Percy Jackson, Wimpy Kid, Harry Potter • "Minute to Win It" games • Scavenger hunts • "Extreme Closeup" • "Threading the Needle" • Super Stacks • Wii games • Board/card games • Origami

  10. Defining "Tween" ...or, "Fine Lines & How to Walk All Over Them" • Your definition(s) • Discussions with administration followed to determine which children we’re actually aiming our services toward. • Trying not to overreach. • Taking on more than you can chew. • Stepping on toes of other departments. • Reasons for settling on 4th-7th grade.

  11. Branding Team Tween ...or, "Tween Tuesdays" • Need an identifiable name/night to go with tween programs. • Their idea: Team Tween Tuesdays • My reaction: "EVERY Tuesday?!" • The solution: Team Tween Silver Screen • Helps during off weeks for programming. • Little planning/set-up required. • Still draws the kids into the library. • Can do anything: take-home crafts, after school club, open game night.

  12. Summertime, Revisited ...or, "Stomping on Fine Lines, Part Two" • Tween Summer Reading Program • Offers older kids opportunity for bigger prizes. • Using donated books (in good condition) as prizes. • Helps promote Team Tween programs. • Redefining "tween" • Team Tween programs are 4th-7th grade. • Problem with 6th & 7th graders. • YA summer reading & statistics. • Solution & Statistics

  13. The Remaining Gap ...or, "What's the Deal With 3rd Graders?" • 3rd grade less represented than older & younger kids. • "Middle elementary"... too old for storytime, but not as comfortable w/ upper elementary group yet. • Gap of one grade/year is better than gap of five years before. But how to get everyone? • Bringing them back: • Chess • Art Discovery/Workshop • Lego Club • Family Craft Night • Special Programs

  14. Making Team Tween Work For You ...literally • Volunteer opportunities in the library • Ideas: • "Team Tween Goes Green" (recycling) • Creating a "Tween Garden" • Decorating a "Tween Lounge" • Coordinating with YA services and leading kids into teen programs, YAC, etc. • Introducing growing tweens to teen programs/services.

  15. The End. ...or, "The Slide Without a Catchy Subtitle" South Brunswick Public Library: 732-329-4000 x.7285 email: Twitter: Follow @mattkirschner Questions?