Young Adult Programs Chapter
By Michele Gorman
Young Adult Reading Club Theme: Get Wild…Read!
Get Wild…Read! With the simple change from “Go” to “Get,” the theme taps into the idea that young adults need opportunities to “get a little wild” as they explore themselves and their world. The activities in this chapter are related to writing, self-discovery, identity and self-awareness, survival and team building, and travel and exploration. All of the programs in this chapter take into account the seven developmental needs of teens: physical activity, competence and achievement, self-definition, creative expression, positive social interaction with peers and adults, structure and clear limits, and meaningful participation. Additional information about the developmental needs of teens is available on on the ALA Web site at www.ala.org/ala/yalsa/yalsamemonly/yalsamounder/yalsamotopics/programming.pdf and on pages 20-26 of Connecting Young Adults and Libraries: A How to do it Manual by Patrick Jones, Michele Gorman, and Tricia Suellentrop, Neal-Schuman, 2004.
Target Age Group
This chapter has been developed for library staff working with preteens and teens in grades seven through twelve. Some programs lend themselves to the active participation of younger students while older students lead activities and exercises.
Planning and Preparation
It is of paramount importance to involve teens in the planning and implementation of the programs. When teens are asked to help develop programs, their subsequent ownership leads to increased participation. More importantly, teens know what they want to do and are often willing to share their ideas with you. All you have to do is ask, and then listen. Librarians who work with teens know that food is a vital component in programming with this age group. Although theme-related refreshments have been listed where appropriate, the provision of general snacks such as soda, chips, or pizza will suffice for all teen programs.
As with the planning and implementation of the programs in this chapter, it is important to allow participating teens to be directly involved in the promotion of the programs. Word of mouth among teens is the best advertising for upcoming events for teens.
Goals, Prizes, and Incentives
Suggestions for individual and group prizes are included with each program.
- Get to Know Your Inner Cosmic Being
- Wild Wear!
- Wild About the Written Word!
- Wild About Symbols and Signs
- Into the Wilderness: Survival of the Fittest
- Explore Your Wild World!
- Crack the Code
- Joker’s Wild