Drop In and Hang Out: DIY to Go

Okay, so here’s a newsflash to absolutely nobody: getting butts in seats is a lot harder for teen programming than it is for toddlers. The teens in our community are not only super cool, they’re busy as all get out – with school, jobs, and extra-circulars. We’ve got a little bit of reoccurring teen programming, but not as much as I’d like. It’s a total chicken-and-egg situation, though, because it’s hard to justify the time and expense of lots of programming without attendees, and you’ll never get attendees if you don’t invest some time and money!

You guys know that passive programs are my favorite, right? RIGHT! So why not take my school-aged programming success with passive programs last year during summer and make it into a year-long success with teens! I’m marketing this program in the teen calendar as “Drop In and Hang Out”, since “Passive Programs 4 Teenz” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

My first order of business, of course, was to totally rip off an idea I saw on Pinterest (which, by the way, I thought was called Pintrest until last week. I’ve got 5,000 pins and I don’t know the name of the website. Sigh.) I saw a great pin from Christy {Hearts} Pinterest that highlighted a program called DIY To Go. She stuck some supplies in a bag, threw up a sign, and viola – an awesome program!

I loved this idea so much that I immediately ran to Joann to grab some supplies. On my way to the embroidery area, though, I spotted some rainbow loom bracelets on sale for cheeeeeeap. So, of course, I picked up a couple of kits, and a few extra sets of bands. I also grabbed some tiny craft bags, because my new library lets me spend money on stuff (SWEET).

I divvied up the bands into the tiny bags, designed a quick sign, and printed some stickers to seal each bag. Then I put out the materials, plus a couple of looms and hooks, in the teen area. I’m not designating a particular area for this program, because I want to get teens who are already sitting on our couches and booths to feel like it’s a program for them!

I stashed extra supplies on my desk and let everyone on staff know where they were, so they can help me replenish. I counted how many bags I made before I put any out, so I can easily keep track of how many teens engage.

That’s it! It’s pretty basic, but I’m pretty excited to get the ball rolling on passive programming for teens. Hopefully the teens who already visit the library will begin to see that we’ve got a ton to offer besides books (although books are cool, too!), and occasional visitor will see that we welcome teens, even if they just want to hang out.


6 thoughts on “Drop In and Hang Out: DIY to Go

  1. Yay! Passive programs (the powers that be make me say “Self Directed Programs”) are the best! Such an easy way to get quick stats. Thanks for linking back to my blog and I hope your teens loved the craft to go.

    1. I think they loved it – the supplies keep disappearing 🙂 I’m definitely gonna rip this off on a monthly basis. Thank you for sharing your awesome idea via your blog – librarians are the best at knowing sharing is caring.

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