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teen read week 2010: books with beat @ your library, oct. 17-23
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There are a number of ways to interpret this year’s theme, Books with Beat @ your library®! We’ve organized several program ideas by theme and created a timeline to help you plan.

For more great programming ideas or to share your own, visit the Teen Read Week Wiki!



General Programs

Teens’ Top Ten

Start a Teens’ Top Ten book club and have your teens read books that were nominated for the Teens’ Top Ten so they can see if their favorites won when Teen Read Week arrives. Hold a school-wide or library branch vote during Teen Read Week to see if your local teens agree with the winners.

Display Contests

Ask your teens to recommend their favorite Books with Beat, and post their choices on your shelves and in the teen area. Get your teens to create “movie posters” based on books that fall under the Books with Beat theme and display them around your library with the books. You can use the titles on the annotated bibliography to start off with and then have your teens brainstorm some more.

Reward the best displays and posters with a gift certificate to a bookstore.  

Programs with Beat (Music)

Film Festival

Show teen-friendly movies with a beat! There are thousands of movies about music or dancing, from West Side Story to High School Musical, and plenty in between. Have parents sign permission slips to approve PG or PG-13 rated flicks first. Try I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Planet B-Boy, or Step Up and Step Up 2 The Streets. Host a Glee marathon. Create a Read the Book/See the Movie program and feature book/movie combos like Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Be sure to obtain a  Public Performance License before showing any movies at the library.

Music Appreciation Workshop

Work with the music teacher or a local musician or music shop and host a music appreciation workshop, or have a local musician or career counselor give a talk about possible careers in the music industry. Create a related display and reading list.

Literary Battle of the Bands

Highlight books with musicians or bands – you can find titles on the Popular Paperbacks list On That Note… -- and have a literary battle of the bands. Have Like a Dog from Love the Way You Love ( Great Graphic Novels 2009) face off against The Griffsons from  Trollbridge: A Rock n Roll Fairy Tale ( Popular Paperbacks, Magic in the Real World). Which song would rock harder: “Do the Hippogriff” from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ( Popular Paperbacks, Fame and Fortune)  or “Audrey, Wait!” from Audrey, Wait! ( Best Books for Young Adults 2009).The possibilities are endless!

Musical Talent Show

Host a talent show for your teens! Encourage them to perform, whether it’s singing alone or with a band, or even by playing air guitar. Encourage them to be creative.


Highlight Your Audiobooks

Create a display highlighting audiobooks or Playaways in your collection. Look through the ALSC/YALSA Odyssey Award winners or the Amazing Audiobooks lists to find titles.

Host an Audiobook Café!

Create a café society at your library, based on an award-winning program from the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind (read up on the program in Excellence in Library Services to Young Adults [YALSA, 2008]). Convert a room in your library to something more café like, with comfortable chairs and tables. Provide drinks and beverages and play excerpts from your library’s audiobooks. Encourage teens who want to hear more to check out the full book

Poetry/Beat Generation

MP3 Magnetic Poetry

Have teens bring in their MP3 players and have them shuffle their playlists and use song lyrics to create their own poetry. You could even publish them in the school paper or create a teen poetry zine!

Open Mic Night or Poetry Slam

Be it a true open mic night or an event modeled after a poetry slam where contestants are given a score by audience members, this could be a great opportunity for teens to showcase their musical talents. If teens are reluctant to get on stage by themselves, offer an ensemble or group category. Be sure to make clear any limitations you may have on word choice or subject matter when advertising your event. Get local drama and literature teachers involved in promoting your event and even consider asking them to offer extra credit to participants. Learn more about conducting a slam-style open mic at

Poet’s Corner

Make posters with pictures of famous poets or highlight the Beat Generation (Allan Ginsburg, Neal Cassady, William S. Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac, among others). Invite teens to come to the library to see the poster, grab a “hint sheet” and an answer sheet. A teen with the most correct answers will win a prize (like a bookstore gift certificate). This is a good opportunity to contact the head of the English department. in each local high school and issue the challenge. It is a good way to introduce poetry to teens, and it might be a good way to test the waters and find potential participants for a poetry slam.

Crime Beat

Q&A with a Local Detective

Check with your local police station to see if an actual police detective can come visit to talk about the ins and outs of crime scene investigation, and set up a library crime scene to see if any of your teens can figure out whodunit using what they learn.

Teen Murder Mystery

Hold a Teen Murder Mystery to go along with the cop beat theme. You can use one of the many Murder Mystery games out there or create your own based on a teen thriller or mystery (see the nominations for the 2011 Popular Paperbacks list “ Crime Scene” for ideas). Perhaps your Teen Advisory Group can work on writing the script and help get friends involved

Check Your Heart Beat

Make a Doctor’s Appointment

See if a local doctor or med student would be willing to come in to talk with teens about the medical world, what sort of different specialties there are in medicine, and what it takes to become a doctor. Create related booklists or display.  

Get Healthy @ your library

Hold a “Taking Care of You” program for teens that combines a little heath knowledge with some beauty tips for an afternoon of relaxing fun that will get their heart beats in working order. Invite a nutritionist, dietician, or personal trainer to speak about health and nutrition. Hand out a list of information on common misconceptions about nutrition (How healthy is your cafe mocha or fruit smoothie? Do you really need three servings of fruit a day?) Be sure to include a display of books about nutrition, fitness and cooking and provide healthy snacks.

Beat ’em (Sports)

Page Race

See who can read the most pages over the course of Teen Read Week. Teens can register with you and give you their daily “page total.” You can keep track of their progress on a bulletin board, using stick figures to represent them as they race along to the finish line.

Book Bracketology

Set up a March Madness-style tournament this summer or in the month leading up to Teen Read Week. Have teens choose their favorite books that will help them read beyond reality, and have them vote each week for a winner of each match up. Find books using the downloadable recommended reading pamphlet from ALA Graphics or the Teens' Top Ten nominations

Hall of Fame

Highlight books about athletes or sports at your library (use the Popular Paperbacks list Anyone Can Play for ideas). Invite a local basketball/football/baseball star to make a guest appearance. The local star can talk about books and share his or her thoughts on the most important moments in his or her games.


Teen Read Week Planning Timeline

  • Register to participate at
  • Check out the Teens’ Top Ten nominations and work with your Teen Advisory Group (TAG) to come up with ideas to ensure that teens are reading the nominations all summer so they are ready to vote for their favorites.
  • Order Teens’ Top Ten nominees not already in your collection, so they will be available for check out in time for summer reading
  • Work with your TAG to create book talks (digital, audio, live) for the Teens’ Top Ten nominees
  • Visit teens in schools, community centers, etc. and book talk the Teens’ Top Ten books
  • Meet with your TAG to decide how best to celebrate Teen Read Week (TRW) in your library
  • Based on your TAG meeting(s), write up a proposal and budget to share with your supervisor
  • Communicate your plans to the library staff and get any TRW events on the library and community calendars
  • Promote the Teens’ Top Ten nominees with your summer reading program
  • Read the summer issue of Young Adult Library Services for TRW ideas and resources
  • Continue planning with your TAG. Think about what area organizations might be good to partner with.  Once you know what your plans are, share them on the Teen Read Week Wiki.
  • Order supplies and promotional materials.  ALA Graphics has official posters, bookmarks, digital downloads, and more. 
  • Continue to promote the Teens’ Top Ten nominees along with your summer reading program
  • Contact & confirm presenters or speakers for your TRW events
  • Send VIPs invitations to attend TRW events
  • Work with your TAG to identify ways to market TRW events then create marketing materials
  • Market TRW events to area teens
  • Invite local press and media to TRW events (use the publicity tools on our website)
  • Find volunteers to be photographers or videographers for your TRW events
  • Work with your TAG to finalize plans
  • Update and prepare library staff for TRW
  • Work with your TAG to create a TRW display in the library, school, or community center.
  • Contact local press and media to confirm attendance at events
  • Contact VIPs to remind them of the events
  • Work with your TAG to implement events
  • Encourage teens to vote online for their Teens’ Top Ten favorites
  • Evaluate your efforts
  • Send thank yous to volunteers, press, VIPs
  • Send press wrap up press release, photos, and any other post-event publicity material.