Celebrate YALSA’s TeenTober initiative with new resources

For Immediate Release
Fri, 09/25/2020


Anna Lam

Communications Specialist

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)


CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) invites libraries and teens to celebrate its new teen initiative, TeenTober this October with the release of a digital poster, bookmark, and toolkit.

“The planned release of the TeenTober toolkit and its upcoming activities provides a flexibility and focus that is vital to this moment that will become history, at a time when libraries and library staff must continually reflect on their work and pivot so that they may reach all teens, especially those with the greatest needs,” said YALSA President Amanda Barnhart.

TeenTober replaces YALSA’s previous Teen Read Week and Teen Tech Week celebrations to allow libraries the flexibility to celebrate all types of literacies according to their library and teen patrons’ schedule anytime during the month of October. It aims to celebrate teens, promote year-round teen services and the innovative ways teen services helps teens learn new skills, and fuel their passions in and outside the library. Library staff are also encouraged to utilize this new celebration to advocate for and raise awareness of the importance of year-round teen services in libraries.

To help libraries plan programming for TeenTober, YALSA has developed a list of suggested weekly themes for October. Libraries are encouraged to adapt and alter the schedule to fit its library and teen patrons’ needs.

  • Week 1: Literacies (e.g. hosting a book drive, information literacy program, digital literacy program)
  • Week 2: Writing (e.g. resume and cover letter writing workshops, author talks, writing competition)
  • Week 3: Technology & Gaming (e.g. virtual game night, coding workshop, 3D Printing)
  • Week 4: Art & Music (e.g. virtual poetry slam, open mic, Instagram art showcase)

Members from the TeenTober Interest Group also shared a few program ideas and suggestions for each week. During week one, The Seminole County Public Library plans to post a fun emoji reader's advisory questionnaire to their library's Teen Instagram account – teens send in an emoji/genre and a book they may like is recommended to them. For the other weeks, The Lake Park High School suggests inviting professional writers to speak about writing or hosting virtual painting parties and zoom jam sessions.

Share your celebration plans with @yalsa and join the conversation online with the hashtag #TeenTober. Find more helpful resources related to planning, advocacy, and programs in the TeenTober toolkit. Free marketing graphics such as a logo and social media graphics are also available. Find and share more program ideas on our Teen Programming HQ database.

YALSA would like to thank the following groups and its members for their contributions to the toolkit:

2019-2020 TeenTober Taskforce: Kelsey Socha (chair), Tegan Beese, Meaghan Darling, Megan Edwards, Shelley Ann Mastalerz, Jodi Silverman, and Kimberly Vasquez.

2020 TeenTober Interest Group: Dana Fontaine, Sarah Swiderski, Rachel McDevitt, Sonya Harsha, Erica Ruscio, Katharine Fintak, Kristine Kreidler, Holly Bowman, Rena Gibson, and Ellie O’Keefe.

The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to www.ala.org/yalsa, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail: yalsa@ala.org.