DIY@Your Library for Teens: Make Your Own GIFs

Tired of my frantic posting rate yet? Well, have no fear, as this is my last programming post before I’m all caught up.

My library has one full-service location, and one mini location that is located in what used to be a classroom in a community center. The community center has some positives (on a different side of town than the main library, three different sized programming spaces, a Makerspace!) and some downsides (not a lot of foot traffic, sometimes the spaces are hard to book, it can be echo-y, and the building is pretty strange from a facilities standpoint).

Maaaaaybe

In an effort to add some teen programming and get some publicity for the Makerspace, I wanted to add some regular maker programming. The main problem with that is that, well, most people don’t really understand what Maker programming is, and teens probably aren’t going to haul themselves to another location for something they don’t understand. So, I decided to piggyback off a popular adult program called DIY at Your Library, and voila! DIY@Your Library for Teens was born.

hark, a baby!

My hope is that DIY@Your Library for Teens can feature a local expert on a topic each month. I’m hopeful that this program will eventually enjoy some good success, as a number of teens responded to our survey saying that they wanted more classes on specific topics. I’m trying to stay away from typical crafty-craft stuff (although I think that is really fun!), and focus on technology and art more.

For my first session, I decided to be the local expert. Because, well, why not.Im-kind-of-a-big-dealI decided a short course on making your own GIFs from pictures or YouTube videos would be fun, and set about creating a short handout (if you’re interested, you can download it here: Make Your Own GIFs Cheat Sheet) and practicing creating GIFs. Here’s one I made of our library turtle noping right out:

Shelly SwimmingOn the day of, I fired up a few of our laptops and put out some iPads for teens to take their own pictures to GIF-ify. I printed plenty of handouts, so teens self-direct if they preferred.

How’d it go? Despite tons of publicity (I got interviewed on the radio!), only two teens registered for this event, and neither of them showed up.

sad panda

Oh well. I’ll definitely do more in-house promotion and encourage some of our regulars to sign up next time. The dangerous work of rebuilding a teen program from the ground up! We’ll definitely give the program through summer, and then re-evaluate if we need to kill it.

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5 thoughts on “DIY@Your Library for Teens: Make Your Own GIFs

  1. We did this program but I opened it to tweens and that got a lot more of them. I think older teens know how to make GIFs or feel they can probably learn, so the younger set was definitely more interested. They did like the option of using their own recordings to make a meme as well.

    1. Yes! I’m thinking this would be a cool thing to do even in a school aged program. I think late elementary schoolers would love making Dr Who GIFs or GIFs of themselves hopping around.

  2. Thanks so much for this (and all of your posts – love your passive programming ideas)! I’m trying to build a teen program at my library, so I’m going to test this out with my son (he’s always my test audience), and try it myself. I’ll keep you posted!

    I have similar problems with my teens, btw. I put together an anime/manga program for teens, figuring this would be a home run. Nada. Zip. And I had a speaker coming in to talk to the kids, which led to me grabbing any warm body in the room to give this poor guy an audience.

  3. Reblogged this on Mom Read It and commented:
    This is such a great idea! I’m going to try and get this program up and running for the teens at my library; I’ll be practicing for a few weeks to get it down – I’ll post any good ones I make.

    1. I think this could be a fun way to generate some teen-created content for your library’s Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr/whatever! Especially if the teens make GIFs of fandoms, which you can then use in blog posts about the library’s readalikes or watchalikes or whatever.

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