Monday, September 26, 2011

Banned Books Week Passive Programming

It is Banned Books Week!!
I don't know why I get so excited about BBW each year.  I think it has something to do with the rebel in me. LOL  Something about sharing things with people that for whatever reason, someone else has deemed inappropriate for the rest of the world, gives me a rush.  This year, my greatest kick came out of telling people that "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" had been challenged at one point.
Most of my FB friends and younger patrons were completely taken aback by this news and it sparked an outstanding discussion about the other books people have challenged in the past.  My Facebook discussion lasted about three hours actually, and garnered great comments from friends who had no idea how passionate they were or could become about the subject..  Take THAT, Social Media critics!  

As for my actual library, I have to admit that I was unsure where to begin in sharing Banned Books Week with my teens.  I mean, I post about eight fliers and posters in our teen room every two weeks and they still don't even see those.  I even have a flyer posted ON the inside of the tv case.  So in trying to find an effective way to get them interested in BBW, I was coming up empty.  
Through talking with other libarians recently, I have a renewed appreciation for our teen room.  Having a space where teens come each day, is a godsend and a great advantage.  Through our room, we gain about 10-15 teens EACH DAY, that we can build programs around, question, and serve.  Meanwhile, other librarians can't even get this age demographic in their buildings.
I am grateful.
But regardless of my gratitude, I couldn't figure out how to actively engage them in the Banned Books discussion.

Our library has a table at our village Farmer's Market, and this month, our department was represented by the above spinning trivia wheel for Banned Books Week.  After the Farmer's Market, the wheel has sat waiting for Banned Books Week to begin but has gotten TONS of inquiries from tweens and teens who've spotted it sitting behind the desk.  This only reassured me that there was definite appeal in wonder.

A while back, I read an article in School Library Journal about "Passive Programming".   The premise was that you don't have to host an actual "program" to be effectively programming.  I had this in mind as I researched other Banned Books Week ideas, and finally decided that the best way to reach my teens would be to engage their curiosity and rebelliousness.

So, I grabbed a few banned titles from our shelves and wrapped them in black paper. On the covers, I placed stickers that highlighted the various reasons for each title to have been challenged or banned.  I placed this nifty little display directly beside the television. LOL

Within the first ten minutes of placing the display in the room, I had patrons wanting to unwrap the books!  They were reading the reasons on each cover and telling me that they couldn't believe that people had the nerve to question and consider banning books at all, let alone some of the titles I'd wrapped.  One girl was convinced that each wrapped book was Twilight! LOL

To kickoff BBW as well as my new Friday teen movie program, I selected Easy A as last week's movie.  Easy A  is based loosely on The Scarlet Letter.  I got close to 12 teens, (which could be based on the movie itself or the fact that I provide popcorn), all of whom were greatly impressed with the display and intrigued about other movies that might be based on banned books.

As the week goes on, I'm going to take note of any further occurrences having to do with our minimal but interesting display, and I'll be sure to share it here!  If you're doing ANYTHING to share the importance of banned books week with your students/patrons/kids, please do share with me!!

2 people wrote some stuff:

Stephsco said...

What a cool idea to wrap the books - nice job! That would work on me too, I woud be so curious.

Mrs.Tiye said...

Thanks Steph! I am running full speed with the curiosity appeal lately. LOL It has gotten me a few book club memberships and all!

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