Category Archives: teens

Game On–YA summer reading display


photoI LOVE post-it art!  I thought that this year’s summer reading theme (Get in the Game–READ) was a perfect opportunity to try my hand at another project.


Tween/teen STEAM program–Glow Painting Party!


lsb 4Thanks to a generous grant from LSTA, my library is able to do some really cool STEAM programming (if I do say so myself!) this fall that I’m SO excited about!  Last night we had a glow in the dark painting party for tweens/teens ages 10-14.  The event was free of charge but we did require registration (we kept the number down to 10 just to make sure everything worked out okay).  Slots filled up so quickly that we are already planning another one for tweens and maybe even one for adults!  All we needed to pull this off was four blacklights, some neon paint, paintbrushes, and canvases.  The program took place at 6:00 p.m., so we did have to close the blinds and put cloth over the windows and door to make it as dark as possible inside the room.  In the future I might advise attendees to wear white or neon and maybe give away glow in the dark bracelets or necklaces.  It would also be fun to use neon food coloring to color icing and make glow cookies.

Now I’m trying to think of other things we can do with our cool new blacklights!  I’m sort of wanting to make bouncy balls and get some florescent duct tape…

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I Read a Latte Display


i read a latte 1We have a new YA display!  I love a good pun, so when I noticed this display on Pinterest, I knew we had to have one too.







i read a latte 2I made the cups by drawing a cup shape on a large piece of white paper and cutting brown construction paper to fit as a cup sleeve.  You can’t really see it in this picture, but I even ran it through my paper crimper to give it some texture.  I did a Google search for Starbucks logo maker and found one that didn’t have words on it.  I copied and pasted it into Word and used white stickers to spell out “READ BOOKS” on it.  The cup and saucer is a coloring page.

Spy Science for Tweens


Our summer reading program is officially over, but now that things are a little quieter I’m going to go back and detail some of the activities we did.  One of our tween events was spy science.  It was so fun!

case fileinside case file







Each participant received a case file.  The first thing we did was to get our spy names.  To do this, I put colors on slips of paper in one bag, and animals on slips of paper in another bag.  They took a piece of paper from each, and that was their code name.  Mine was Magenta Dragon.  Once we had our code names, we made ourselves ID badges.  I got the template here.  (Lots of awesome spy ideas there, by the way).  I used my laminating machine to laminate them while they were working on the other stuff in the case file.

Next, we uncovered a message written in invisible ink.  The message was going to reveal where we needed to search for the bad guys.  I used a mix of baking soda and water to write on thicker weight paper.  Then we applied grape juice with paint brushes to reveal that the bad guys were “in the library.”  Shocker, I know!

Finally, we put together a Caesar cipher and decoded the identities of the bad guys we were looking for in the library.  You can get the printable cipher I used here.  I chose the letter that they would set their cipher to (M) and then made a message for them to decode.  For the bad guys, I chose four villains from children’s literature: Captain Hook, Cruella de Vil, The Wicked Witch of the West, and the Grinch.

code sheet










hunt wicked witchOnce they decoded the names, they went into the library to place their “trackers” (star stickers) on the bad guys so that we could place them under surveillance.  This fantastic idea came from the always amazing Bryce Don’t Play.









disguise popsAfter such a dangerous mission, our spies needed to go undercover with a disguise pop.  I got the idea here but used that fake fur stuff instead of foam.  It.was.awesome.









For more spy ideas, check out Future Librarian Superhero’s post here.




Life Size Candyland


photo(4)We did a Life Size Candyland event in December at our Oakland and Leesburg branches, and it was SO FUN!  Before I go any further I have to mention that these events would not have been possible without the hard work of my teen volunteers!  They colored, cut, painted, and brainstormed ideas, in addition to preparing their own costumes!  This community is very lucky to have such caring and enthusiastic young people.

Another “thank you” goes to everyone who had a Candyland event at their library and/or a Candyland birthday party.  I really think I looked at every single Candyland thing on the internet in preparation for this event (I even made a Pinterest page).  Special thanks goes to Miss Mollie at What Happens in Storytime for her writeup, which I found extremely helpful.


candyland crafts

When each player entered, Miss Gingerbread helped them to decorate a paper lunch bag with a gingerbread house coloring page glued to the front.  We did three crafts as part of the game (a lollipop with Lolly, a pipe cleaner candy cane with Ms. Mint, and a pipe cleaner snowflake with Princess Frostine).  The bag gave the kids a place to store their goodies while they played the game.

candyland game piecesLike Mollie, I decided to use a spinner for the kids to advance through the game.  I used the one that Mollie linked to in her post (see above).  I also used most of the text from her “How to Play”.  The spinner was printed onto cardstock and colored with markers, then cut out and laminated.  The arrow is black chipboard and is attached with a brad.  I used clip art to make my own “pink space” cards.  All of this was placed into a quart sized ziploc bag.

girl playingThe spaces were pieces of construction paper taped onto the floor with scotch tape.  Before the event, I was very concerned (like, waking up at night) about having to replace paper during the game, but it turned out that it wasn’t that big of an issue.  I even reused most of the paper on the second day.  For the pink spaces, I just used the same clip art that I used for the cards and glued it onto a pink piece of construction paper.

For me, what made this event so much fun was the teen volunteers who dressed up in character and interacted with the kids as they made their way through the game.  Gramma Nutt (yes she was actually knitting!  Adorbs, right?) handed out toothbrushes generously donated by Dental Partners of Southwest Georgia.

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princess frostineMost of the decorations were fabric we had on hand, crepe paper streamers, cardboard, paint, paper plates, cellophane, and balloons.

photo(16)At the end of the game, the kids reached Candy Castle!  The Lee County High School Drama Department graciously loaned us this amazing castle, which we decorated with “candy”.  The peppermints are paper plates colored with red Sharpie.  The hard candies are colored paper plates wrapped in cellophane.  The gingerbread men were cut from cardboard and painted with puffy paint.  The gumdrops are flowerpots that were painted and glittered.  The Hershey kisses are aluminum foil stuffed with plastic grocery bags.  My favorite is the gumball machine, which I made from cardboard, aluminum foil, and a clear garbage bag full of balloons.  Each player also received a candy cane, donated by our Friends of the Library.  A couple of the teen volunteers also did face painting, which the kids loved!  They had a “menu” of candy-themed designs for the kids to choose from, including gingerbread man, candy cane, and ice cream.

photo(5)All in all I’d say that our first Life Size Candyland was a huge success!  Thanks again to Lee County Chamber of Commerce, Friends of Lee County Library, Dental Partners of Southwest Georgia, Lee County High School Drama Department, Lexi Anthony, Patsy Shirley, and the Lee County Youth Council for helping to make this event possible.  And as always, THANK YOU to the families who make the library part of your holidays and “everydays”.

Tweens and teens–orphaned rocks. You can help.


024Tweens and teens, this is a sad story.  But it is also a story of hope.  As I write this, dozens of rocks are orphaned.  Plain.  Undecorated.  Unloved.  But you can help!  Come to our Pet Rock creation station on Tuesday, June 11 at 4:00 p.m. at the Oakland Library.  You can take a poor, sad, lonely rock and make it yours.  Take pictures of it in goofy places and you’ll earn yourself an entry to win an itunes gift card or a free pass to All American Fun Park for each photo.  Plus, pictures of rocks decorated with wiggly eyes are funny.  Trust me.





Meet Katniss Everread.















Need I say more?  Please help.  Adopt a rock.  They’re pretty quiet.






Dig Into Reading–Week 2


DIG into Reading LogoWhat a great first week of summer reading!  I really appreciate everyone coming out and enjoying our programs at all four of our branches!  Here’s what’s coming up next week (June 10-14).

Monday, 6/10 at Leesburg Library Rubber Ducky Club [10:00 a.m.]

Tuesday, 6/11 at Leesburg Library Chehaw for Daycare groups [10:00 a.m.]

Tuesday, 6/11 at Leesburg Library Chehaw for General Audience [11:00 a.m.]

Tuesday, 6/11 at Leesburg Library Writer’s Workshop [immediately following Chehaw]

Tuesday, 6/11 at Oakland Library Teen poetry collage [4:00 p.m.]

Wednesday, 6/12 at Smithville Library Dino Camp [3:30 pm.]

Thursday, 6/13 at Oakland Library Dino Camp [10:00 a.m.]

Thursday, 6/13 at Redbone Library Chehaw Presents [3:00 p.m.]

Thursday, 6/13 at Redbone Library Writer’s Workshop [immediately following Chehaw]

Friday, 6/14 at Oakland Library Rubber Ducky Club [10:00 a.m.]

Also remember to pick up your reading logs.  Rubber Ducky Club and Dig Into Reading participants who turn in a reading log before July 13 will get to choose a prize from the treasure chest at our Pyramid Party and will receive a coupon for a free cup of TCBY yogurt.  Those who attend the Pyramid Party will be eligible to win our awesome door prizes, which include a free pass to Wilder’s World 4 Kids and a 4-activity pass to All American Fun Park ($20 value).

For our teens we have a 4-activities pass to All American Fun Park ($20 value) or a $10 itunes gift card.  Teens will receive an entry for the prize of their choice for each time they turn in a reading log turned in, attend a teen event, and/or submit a pet rock photo.

All summer reading activities are sponsored by the Lee County Library and are free and open to the public.  We thank our sponsors TCBY, All American Fun Park, and Wilder’s World 4 Kids for their support.

YA Blind Date with a Book Display


003Come check out our new “Blind Date with a Book” display at the Leesburg Library!  Simply take one of our mystery books (no peeking!) and check it out.







011Give it a try–who knows?  You just might fall in love with this mysterious stranger!  If not–no biggie.  Just bring it back and we won’t tell a soul.

What a Peach! Georgia Peach Award for Teen Readers


Teens, here is another chance to vote for your favorite books!  You can view a complete list of the current nominees for the 2012-13 Georgia Peach Award for Teen Readers at www.georgiapeachaward.orgVoting is open now and will extend into March 2013; winners will be announced in April.

Want to see some book trailers?  Me too!  Here goes:

Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins

Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys

Divergent, by Veronica Roth

The False Princess, by Eilis O’Neal

Glow, by Amy Kathleen Ryan

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot

Jump, by Elisa Carbone

The Mockingbirds, by Daisy Whitney

The Name of the Star, by Maureen Johnson

Notes from the Blender, by Trisha Cook & Brendan Halpin

Now is the Time for Running, by Michael Williams

Please Ignore Vera Dietz, by A. S. King

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

The Running Dream, by Wendelin Van Draanan

The Sky is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson

Stupid Fast, by Geoff Herbach

Expand your world with World Book Web!


Did you know that the Lee County Library has a new research tool?  It’s called World Book Web, and it has something for everyone!  You can access this resource from any of the library computers or from home with your library card.  Just go to and click on the World Book Web icon at the top of the page.


World Book Web has several divisions.  On the left side of the page you will see World Book Online for Kids, World Book Online Info Finder, and World Book Online Reference Center.  On the right side of the page you will see Early World of Learning.  In the center, there is a link to the Spanish encyclopedia.

Early World of Learning:  This site is designed for the youngest students.  It includes three segments: Trek’s Travels, Welcome to Reading, and Know ItTrek’s Travels (my personal favorite!) covers time, shapes, size, opposites and more with interactive games, narrated stories, and videos.  Welcome to Reading features read-a-long stories, nursery rhymes and songs, along with games and printable worksheets.  Know It is a child’s first online encyclopedia, which covers topics such as plants, animals, the human body, and weather.

World Book Online for Kids:  This site has a search window, but also has buttons on different topics for browsing.  These topics include people, places, sports & hobbies, history & government, arts, world religions, plants & animals, and science & mathematics.  On the right side are special tabs for science project ideas, games, interactive maps, dictionary, and important people.  The dictionary has a search window for looking up terms, but it also has links on the left side for lessons on grammar, parts of speech, pronunciation, and more.  The “important people” button has several different searching options: you can “Find!” someone by using the scroll down menu to choose job, country, time period, and gender of the person; you can “Search!” by entering terms into the search window, or you can “Choose!” a person by selecting a classification such as inventors, world leaders, athletes, or authors.

If you need help navigating any of these sites, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Online Tutorial” or ask a library staff member for assistance.  Check it out and see what this valuable resource has to offer!