Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bookend Decorating [Library Programming]

My library has a very small teen area. There isn't a whole lot of space to work with, just lots of shelves with awesome books. I drool when I see beautifully designed teen spaces with comfortable furniture, the latest technology, and teenagers actually utilizing the space. In an effort to make our teen area have a more teen feel to it, I started to search for "quick fixes" that could improve the space using materials we already had (read: cheap!).

I stumbled upon this post from Three Turtles and Their Pet Librarian's blog (which has now migrated to A Mom's Spare Time). Bookend decorating? Oh, yes! We had plenty of bookends, magazines, and craft supplies to get creative with! This was a totally doable program based on our budget ($0), time, and resources.

Here's what I did for this program:

I publicized the program for all teenagers to attend. I encouraged teens to bring any art supplies they might want to use for decorating (except glitter - I have a no glitter policy for my craft programs). I collected teen magazines and any other cool-looking magazines that teens might like to find inspiration from. And, of course, I gathered an assortment of bookends that we could use to decorate with (and I got permission from my manager to "deface" the bookends). 

Other materials to have on hand include glue, scissors, paint, permanent markers, Mod Podge, and anything else you can think of that would turn boring bookends into bookends with sass. Also, have plenty of space for teens to spread out while they work. 

Once their creations are made, I left them out to dry overnight. When they were set, I trimmed the edges so nothing hung over and added a layer of Mod Podge to seal everything. Here are some of the bookends that were created during the program (click to enlarge).

I invited the teens back to replace the boring bookends with their newly designed ones. This gave them a sense of ownership of the teen area, and the bookends added some much needed personality to our teen area. I definitely recommend this for any youth librarian who is looking for a fun, low- to no-cost program for teens. 

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