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How to Fix Your Programming F’ ups #alaac14

One of the best sessions of ALA 2014 (I happened to be a presenter) was We F’d up but we Fixed it. This program was designed to help you accept your teen programming failures and turn them into successes. Tips: 1.  Take risks even if there is a possibility of failure. 2.  Understand that Makerspaces will most likely fail.  Instead of offering a specific project such as coding, have a variety of things going on and make coding a class within your Makerspace. Also, have a consistent time and day for your Makerspace. 3. Include other staff in the planning process. Other people can find flaws and give great ideas. 4.  If you have a monthly or quarterly program, make small changes such as time, day, location, activity, or PR until you get the numbers you want. The overall takeaway is that failure will happen. Learn from your mistakes to…

ALA Annual 2014

Reenergize Your Teen Advisory Group #alaac14

It’s tough thinking of things to do every month with your TAG. I know that’s why I ended my TAG 2 years ago. But I’ve been inspired to give it a second go after visiting the Harry Potter Alliance booth in the exhibit hall. The HP Alliance provides community service opportunities for teens through  book donations (Accio Books), voting campaigns, civil rights, hunger, and much more. You can start a chapter at your school or library and if your teens are not into Harry Potter, your group can campaign under the Hunger Games or other groups. For more info on The Harry Potter Alliance, visit www.thehpalliance.org

ALA Annual 2014

The Jeff Kinney of the 80’s #alaac14

While ALA has MANY popular youth & teen authors signing at booths and listening to your fangirl stories, popular authors of the 80’s also make appearances. Ann M. Martin, Babysitters Club, and Judy Blume were among those popular authors. As I walk around the exhibit hall with my Wimpy Kid fan that says, “Millions of kids are readers because of this book,” I remember the days when this was said about Judy Blume. If you hadn’t read Are You There God, It’s Me  Margaret, you would get crazy looks from your friends. Kids would read this book so that they wouldn’t get left out of the conversation at lunch-even boys. One of my ALA goals was to meet Judy because I was that kid who read EVERYTHING by her (including Forever when I was in the 6th grade). I was that kid who had to be strongly encouraged to try…

ALA Annual 2014

Speed Dating With Authors! #alaac14

How does one speed date with YA & children’s authors? 3.5 minutes at a time, that’s how. I met about 15 authors and listened to amazing stories about their writing journeys. Kat Spears, author of Sway, told us about her story if being a high school dropout to becoming a published author. Elly MacKay, Shadow Chasers, showed us her beautiful illustration technique. Jonathan Maberry, Rot & Ruin, shared his excitement of turning Rot & Ruin into a major motion film.