Fresh Off the Press: 2015 Sprint OYAN Review!

Check out the Spring OYAN Review!

You will find program ideas on making stop-motion videos, starting a crafting club, and providing early literacy programs for teen parents. Plus insights to letting go of your teen council, meet the new OYEA Award winner Aimee Meuchel, an interview with author of Jackaby, William Ritter, and much more.

Download your copy today!


Bigger on the Inside: Doctor Who at the Library

by Barratt Miller, Crook County Library

Crook County Library’s teens love Doctor Who. Like, a lot. They made up a Weeping Angels game during downtime at a program last fall and debate “who’s the best Doctor?” at pretty much every program. (The answer, according to most of them, is Matt Smith.) So it was pretty much a given that we were going to celebrate the 50th Anniversary Special with a Doctor Who-themed Late Night at the library.

Tardis parked in the Crook County Library

Tardis parked in the Crook County Library

Step 1: Build a TARDIS

The TARDIS may look like an ordinary blue police box, but it’s actually a spaceship/time machine…that’s bigger on the inside. Kristen Dyer, one of our awesome Youth Services Associates, built ours using a refrigerator box donated by a local appliance store. She wrapped the box in blue poster paper, used a Sharpie to trace the panels on the sides, and assembled the other details using construction paper, cardboard, and printouts from Publisher. Our light was a chick feeder filled with battery-powered tea lights. I provided the sound effects by playing a TARDIS ringtone on my phone’s app store.

Protip: Don’t tape down the roof of your TARDIS until it’s in your program location.

We assembled the TARDIS in my office and realized that it was wider than the door after the roof was taped down. (This would not have been a problem if we’d been working with an actual TARDIS. Alas.) I had to rip it apart, transport it to the program location, and frantically reassemble it with paper scraps and packing tape. Make sure you can fold your completed box down for easy transport and storage.

Step 2: Feed them fish fingers and custard

 Our teens insisted on the menu. Matt Smith’s first task as the Eleventh Doctor is to feed his regenerating body, but nothing appeals to his new taste buds except the delightful combination of fish fingers and custard. Our meeting room has a kitchenette with an oven, so we cooked up some fish sticks and whipped up a batch of vanilla pudding. To our surprise, everyone loved the food. (We made sure we had Doritos and Oreos on hand–just in case.)

Step 3: Crafts. Because bow ties are cool

Kristen found a bunch of great crafts for the teens to do after they’d eaten. We settled on:

Duct Tape Bow Ties:

Dalek Cubee Crafts:


 We liked the bow ties and masks because it gives teens who didn’t come dressed as their favorite character a basic costume to wear for Step 4. Our teens are such die-hard fans that almost all of them came in costume, though.

Photo op with the Tardis

Photo op with the Tardis

 Step 4: Photo op

Once everyone had their time-traveler look ready to go, we took them from the meeting room to the main library, where our TARDIS was set up. (Since this is an after-hours program, we had the building to ourselves.) Everybody got two pictures with the TARDIS on either their phone or our digital camera. In a perfect world, we would have either printed the non-phone photos off for them or gotten permission to post them on Facebook so kids could snag the digital versions. Once the individual photos were done, we let them do group shots.

 Step 5: Weeping Angels Tag

 Kristen found a set of rules on Facebook:

 We ended up playing a simpler version that a couple of our teens made up. We turned off the lights in the library, randomly selected a Doctor and two companions, and gave them 60 seconds to hide. Everyone else was a Weeping Angel. As long as the Doctor/companion could see the Weeping Angels, the Angels couldn’t move. If the Doctor/companion blinked, if an Angel snuck up on them, or if one of the Angels hid behind another Angel, the Angel could move and tag the Doctor/companion out. The round ended when the Doctor and both companions had been tagged. The Angels who tagged them out became the Doctor/companions for the next round.

 This went really fast; each round took about 5 minutes. It was nice that everyone got a chance to play, but I’d eliminate the “Angels can move if they’re hidden behind another Angel” rule in the future.

 Step 6: Trivia

Since Weeping Angels Tag went faster than we’d planned, we filled in some time with Doctor Who trivia questions Kristen found online:

 Or you could use some other activities. Teen Librarian’s Toolbox has a Doctor Who post with even more fabulous ideas:

Crook County Library "Doctor Who" event

Crook County Library “Doctor Who” event

And that’s that! Not only was this program super popular with our teens, staff lost track of the number of adults who came up to the counter to ask why there wasn’t a Doctor Who program for them, too. So we added a Doctor Who night to our Adult Summer Reading Program schedule and hid the folded-up TARDIS behind a filing cabinet in my office. I can’t wait to bring it out again in August.

Fall 2013 OYAN Review: Library Lock-Ins

by Taylor Worley, Creswell Library

Lockins 1It’s 4:00 am on Saturday morning. Do you know where your teens are? In the library! Hosting a lock-in is more than a little intimidating; after all, what is scarier than a swarm of teens hopped up on Red Bulls at after midnight? Never fear, lock-ins can be amazing events that increase your teen patronage and provide the teens with a fun and safe environment. Of course, there is no one prescription for a successful program, but hopefully the following pointers can assist in 
creating your own, unique lock-in event. All of the recommendations come from my experience hosting a very successful lock-in earlier this year.

Registration & Transportation Logistics

Be sure that the parents are fully aware of the event and what it entails. Absolutely get guardian(s)’ contact information in case of an emergency or exceptionally bad behavior.
Require that the teens’ method of transportation home in the morning be disclosed upon 
registration. Who is picking them up, are they walking, or are they taking the bus? Only allow that method of transport to change with explicit permission from their guardian.
Be specific. Something that surprised me with our lock-in was that one set of parents thought we were providing blankets and pillows for all the teens. Be sure you list what types of food and entertainment will be provided. Be very specific about the items that the teens are or are not to bring with them. “Plan on sleeping? Be sure to bring your sleeping bag and a pillow!” Let the teens know when they register if they are able to bring their own TVs, games, and game systems.
We left our doors open for two hours before we locked up for the evening, allowing those teens who were not able to stay all night to participate. This was very well received, and after we locked up we just had to do a head count/permission slip check.
Provide a specific window for pick-up in the morning; 6:00-7:00 am seems to work pretty well.

Rules & Activities

Create a list of rules. Display these rules on poster boards or television screens in each area of the library that will be utilized for the event.  Certain rules are the same as for any teen event. Some rules, like “Please Keep Shoes or Slippers on at all Times” or “Please Don’t Color on the 
Carpet” may need a special spotlight for an all-night event. Also, I recommend extra air freshener and the removal of all Sharpies. (In short, make sure your rules address any special 
circumstances that might arise during the event.)
Plan a wide variety of activities.
Create an art table with lots of goodies. Teens get creative in the middle of the night.
Set up a room that is dedicated to movies all night long. We didn’t select specific films in advance, instead we provided them with a stack of movies that fell within our media license and allowed them to choose their video entertainment. Hint: Find all the PG-13 horror movies you can.
Make sure you have plenty of televisions and game systems, as well as board and dice games. A chaperone skilled in teaching games is also recommended.
Karaoke is great around 2:30am, or as I now call it “their second wind”.
Designate specific areas for food and drink, if desired.

Chaperone it up. Way up.

Let’s be honest, you aren’t going to get much sleep; most of the teens won’t sleep at all. But, you can head off the yawns by scheduling your chaperones in shifts of 2-4 hours. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you can be alert, responsible, and retain positive customer service skills all night long. It’s not going to happen.

The number of chaperones is less about how many teens will attend and more about the space. Are all the teens in one big room all night or in multiple rooms/areas? You want eyes on everyone all night long, but without making the teens feel like they are  being watched by Big Brother.

Finally, Enjoy yourself.

Our lock-in was one of the most enjoyable events we’ve produced and it notably increased our teen patronage. This can be an amazing event, especially if you allow yourself to jump in on a game of Smash Bros. or Fluxx. Teaching the teens a new game or guiding them through a craft will create a moment for teaching and connection that you may not get daily. Be 
prepared for some chaos and noise, but it will be fun. I promise.

There is so much more to share! Please feel free to contact me with any questions: youthlib.taylor@

Fall 2013 OYAN Review: LEGO Time

by Teena Nelson, Driftwood Library

LEGO TimeDriftwood Public Library in Lincoln City has created multi-generation LEGO group meetings. What began as a need for rainy day activity in the library (with a generous donation of random LEGO and bionicle parts), soon became a regular Saturday free play, a family night every 3 months, visits to afternoon senior groups, LEGO robotics teams and more.

A great part of a LEGO play date is the visiting teen group who program their LEGO robots for Robotics teams and personal use. They do demonstrations with robotics and computer programming techniques, as well as assist kids in building the ‘challenge of the day’ during LEGO free play.

A LEGO visit to the Dorchester senior living home in Lincoln City, with assistance from our library outreach coordinator, included an interested group of seniors who built and conversed with all ages in cooperative building in the common room of the center. Ideas and creations ranged from mining and logging to homes and house building to demonstrations of how LEGO robotics work with computers and kid power.

Future scheduled LEGO meetings include teens in the Lincoln City Senior Center demonstrating LEGO Robotics, free play at Lakeshore assisted living, Saturday free play and family nights in the library which include all ages.

For more information feel free to contact Teena Nelson: