Friday, May 6, 2016

Library GrabBag: Tickle Your Tastebuds with a Book Tasting

If you've worked in a teen space for any particular time...or if you know a are probably familiar with the age old saying "If you feed them, they will come."  Teens and food go together like peanut butter and jelly.  My library has been offering "Treat Yo Self" foodie programs for teens for the last few years, and they are, by far, some of our most popular programs.  But here's the thing - in an effort to make the cooking portion of the activity accessible in a room without a kitchen we choose easy food programs that only take 10-15 minutes to complete.  According to my math, that leaves forty-five minutes of down time in our hour long programs.

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.

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea! I'd love to give this a shot - do you have additional suggestions for easy to create treats that don't require a microwave or oven? Thanks!


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