Engaging Teens Online
Ashley had been working in Canada, where an online summer reading program went so well in one province that it expanded to the whole country. Their program went all year, but prizes were only awarded during the summer. Prizes were given for various things over the country’s program; individual libraries also sometimes ran weekly prize draws with prizes donated by local libraries. You’d get an entry to this prize draw just for coming into the library.
Melbourne City Library also has a successful online summer reading program, and two of their librarians had some tips too:
7/11 are very happy to give out lots of slurpee vouchers! You can often get vouchers donated for prizes, and anyway it can’t hurt to ask.
Prizes were given out for a variety of different activities. Adding a review to the website gave you an entry to a big prize draw; signing up and coming in to library got you a slurpee voucher.
okay, these notes make it look like the only way to engage teens online is to bribe them. But that’s just what came up in the session. The take away, i think, is that these guys spent time and money and effort in trying things, and that’s how you do anything successfully.
Another suggestion was to make friends with the people who have your job in a different library system and trade ideas with them – think that one is useful no matter what kind of program you’re running!