Looking for a way to engage our teens and sneak in a conversation about books without scaring them off, our fabulous Teen Librarian Jessica has started introducing a "Book Tasting" before the actual food tasting. It's a great filler for a short program and would be perfect for a passive program to offer whenever in your teen space.
We have five programming tables set up in our teen space. Twenty-five randomly selected books (not so randomly to be honest - we definitely try to pick out books that would appeal to the crowd registered for the program) are scattered on the tables. Each teen is given a menu and instructed to find two books (sometimes more depending on time) that they find interesting. When their menus are filled out they are able to make their snack and devour it. Yes. The Book Tasting has actually led to teens checking out books! Kind of exciting!
Some teens are resistant to chatting with librarians (both public and school) about books. They might be shy or just hesitant to let there friends know that they enjoy the quiet past time. Others might just like the idea of finding a book on there own. Book Tasting gives them that freedom. It's a no fuss passive program that any library can offer at any time (at any age level). And it's quite the sneak way to bring books into a program with teens that aren't your everyday readers.