Category Archives: Activities

Goth Girl Rising by Barry Lyga

The brilliant Barry Lyga is running a competition ahead of the release of his new book Goth Girl Rising. You have to create a video trailer for one of his books, upload it onto Youtube, Myspace Video or anywhere you can host a video and send him the link.

Full competition details are here

This is worth promoting to any Teens who frequent the Library where you work, it could even be good for a Teen Group Library Project! Be quick you only have until the end of August!

It is easy – and to prove this I have entered the competition. My trailer is below!

ToshoCON

In Japanese the word for ‘Library’ is Toshokan.

In the UK over the past few years interest in manga and anime has grown (and grown and grown). The number of events and conventions around the country, including Kitacon, the MCM Expos in London and the Midlands, Auchinawa, EirtaKon and Fuyucon. This list is not exhaustive but just to illustrate that there are Conventions occurring all over the UK and now is the perfect time for Libraries to start thinking about staging an event or series of events.

Due to the fact that we are dispersed across the country it will be next to impossible to gather us all in one or two locations my idea is for as many libraries as possible to run events over several days and hopefully link up over the internet with videocasting of events and online chats. This can raise the profile of Libraries as places that run events that appeal to young people (and not so young people judging by the wide range of ages I have seen at other conventions).

All ideas welcome via e-mail or comments

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Read the full-text of Coraline online (including Dave McKean’s illustrations).

A discussion guide for Coraline is available here if you would like to discuss it in a reading group.

Tintin at 80

Tintin & Snowy

Tintin & Snowy

This Saturday the 10th January marks the 80th anniversary of Tintin‘s first appearance in Le Petit Vingtième.

Tintin has remained consistently popular with children, teens and adults for the past 80 years. The 80th anniversary comes amidst news that the long-awaited Tintin film (to be directed by Steven Spielberg and a script written by Doctor Who scribe Steven Moffat) is due to be released in 2010.

While the filming is only due to start in February, the film once released may be used as a taster of Tintin to get reluctant readers interested in trying the books themselves.

Teen Group Activity Ideas

Origami

This is an ideal workshop as all you need are squares of paper and some origami designs  there are a number of books available in most libraries and a number of the designs are simple enough to pick up and are still challenging enough to prove interesting.

The story of Sadako Sasaki and the 1000 Paper Cranes makes a good topic for discussion for more information visit the Sadako website here.

Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl was, and still is one of the popular writers for children and adults. He has written about Revolting Rhymes, Fantastic Foxes, Marvellous Medicines and more. There is a wide range of subjects that can be adapted for a reading group session. A successful idea is to hold a play reading event (Fantastic Mr Fox is good) normally just one of the acts is long enough for then to become acquainted with the words and read it out.Chocolate Eating Competition

You will need a plate, slab of chocolate, gloves, hat, scarf, dice, knife and fork.

How it works: the group sits round a table, they each take turns in throwing the dice the first one to roll a 6 has to put on the gloves, hat and scarf then open the chocolate and cut off a block using the knife and fork and then eat it. While this is happening the other members will be throwing the dice, the next person to throw a 6 will then get to take the hat, gloves and scarf from the previous person and proceed to try and eat the chocolate in the same way. This goes on until all the chocolate has been eaten.

Dragons & Fortune Tellers

This is an ideal workshop for the Chinese New Year or the designs can be used for the Origami workshop. Designs of folding dragons and fortunetellers are readily available on the Internet.

Paper Aeroplanes

This can also be used for an Origami session although it is more fun to hold it as a separate event. Looking at different types of paper ‘planes that can be folded as well as making them is great fun. Holding a flying competition to see whose plane flies longest and furthest can take quite a bit of time. There are many different types of paper aeroplanes that can be folded: from darts to aerobatic planes, the possibilities are many and varied.

Mummy Wrap

Finding out how mummies were made can be a fascinating (and slightly disgusting) process. Learning about how the Egyptians used to preserve their royalty can be educational and fun! Making ones friend into a mummy (without removing their organs) can also be an enjoyable experience. All you need are some rolls of toilet paper, sticky-tape and teams of two people  a wrapper and a wrappee.

Word Searches

These are usually best when used in conjunction with another main event but at a pinch are good for an event on their own. Tie them in with a book or series of books depending on what words are being sought.

Real Life Careers

Invite someone with an interesting career to come talk about his or her job.

Possibilities: The police officer who trains sniffer dogs or administers lie detector tests, a fire fighter who investigates how a fire starts, an EMT, the undercover security at a department store, or a funeral director. Provide a display of career related books and resources.

Scrap Books

Help teens make their own scrap book from scratch. Have them to bring photos and mementos and provide supplies for them to create their book. Invite teens to display their finished books in the library. Or give the program a creative writing angle. Help teens make or decorate their own journal or diary.

Another diary-based idea is to approach banks in January and ask them to donate a few diaries that they give out to customers to the group to give to the members to use during the year.

Photo Essay

Buy a pack of disposable cameras and distribute to teens. Have them take pictures of their everyday life, and then turn the cameras in. Process the photos then invite all teens to a program to create a “real life photo mural”. Enhance the program with a display of books on photography and famous photographers.

Reviews

Invite members of your Teen Group to write non-fiction book, music and/or film reviews to post on the library web site, blog, or newsletter. Help teens create and film book-talks to air at the library or at local schools.

Films from Books

Create a display of books that have been turned into movies. Have teens vote on the book they would most like to read. After they have read the book, host a screening of one of the movies, then lead a discussion comparing the book versus the movie. Serve popcorn, drinks, and give out bookmarks that list other books that have been made into movies.

Music and books

Partner with an English or literature teacher and have teens prepare a soundtrack to their favourite book. They can play the music while they talk about their book and explain their musical choices

Stop the Press!

Read news articles to teens – some true, some false and have teens decide which one is which! You can use articles from The Onion or a tabloid and the local paper. Then offer a creative writing class where teens create their own library tabloid.

Creative Writing

Get the group interested in writing short stories, prose, poetry with a view to publication in a library newsletter or booklet, this session idea could tie in to Urban Legends or Get Real or Get Fake.

Urban Myths

This could be a tie-in to the creative writing or just a general discussion of urban legends and creating some for the group itself.

Webs and blogs

With the advent of IT in libraries there is more scope for working with the youth and computers. Introducing the kids to website and blog creation. Creating a site or blog specifically for the reading group is one possibility.

Script-reading

Take a scene from a Harry Potter film and use the group members as part of the cast. The number of attendees would be important in choosing which scene you decide to read from.

T-Shirt design

Provide t-shirts and printer friendly iron-on transfer paper let the group members design their own pictures on the computer, then print them onto the transfer pages and iron them on to the t-shirts.

TRG X-Factor

A take-off of the television show, get the kids in to take part with singing, dancing or performing. Maybe make it book-themed with a reading from a favourite book, play or poem.

The week that was

I received two interesting e-mails this past week (more than two actually – but these were the only two that will be of interest to Librarians and blog readers – hopefully) – the first was about a library activity called ‘Library Trolley Dash’ it will be run with a group of young offenders. It sounds really cool (I can never rember if one is still allowed to use that word as it amy be uncool) and I can’t wait to hear how it went. The how-to follows below:

– Library trolley dash –

Find as many books as you can from this list.

Write the title and Dewey number underneath:

A true story of a sports person’s life written by a biographer

An award-winning story

A book you read at primary school or at home

A guide on a sport of your choice

A 2006 Dance CD

A DVD you would recommend

A guide to speaking a European language

An autobiography of a famous person of your choice


The group will be divided into two teams. The winner will have the most books and Dewey numbers on their sheet and will receive a small prize.

The second e-mail concerned the creation of a new discussion list that has been created for the discussion of Graphic Novels in UK Libraries – it is based upon the GNLIB list in the USA but will have a UK bias.

To join the list go to: GNLIBUK – it will be an invaluable resource as so much of what is available has an American bias, it would be good to get an idea of the state of GN reading in UK Libraries.