Laser Tag in the Library

This last Friday my co-worker Ryan and I hosted a Laser Tag in the Libray program for teens. Our library is closed on Fridays so Ryan and I hustled over after our other jobs to get things set up. This was our second time hosting this program so we were able to get set up done much quicker.

A couple of months ago while on vacation another co-worker of ours stopped by the library in that area (as library workers naturally do) and brought up back a program brochure for their system. They had so many awesome programs and we naturally latched on the Laser Tag program, because you know Laser Tag. While researching we came across a website from another library system which broke down their programs by cost and how they ran the program. Low and Behold they had a Laser Tag program on there.

This page recommend a geat company called Laser Tag Source (http://lasertagsource.com/) where you can rent laser tag guns. Last time we did this program we had 24 sign ups and 16 teens show up. We wanted to ensure we would get more teens so this time around we allowed 30 sign ups and had 24 teens show up. We rented 20 of the Hornet guns at $12 a gun. It is an easy to use website and easy process once the guns are rented (if you have any question we recommend calling them as their emailing system is slow to get back). They ship them to you about 2 days before your event with the guns, exra batteries, and a small screwdriver. Then the day after your program you slap on the shipping label (which is included) and drop it off at the closest UPS.  I would suggest buying your own package of batteries as well. For the 20 guns we ordered they gave us about 30 batteries, but each gun needs 6 batteries.

The Hornet

We didn’t play around with the guns this time around and unfortunately many of them could have used batteries right away. We found that quite a few where on their last battery leg the night of.

We had 24 teens (or ages 8-18  I should say). We ordered pizza from Little Caesars, had water and soda, and put out our board games in the “wait area”. For the library area we put several tables on their sides as barricades, but other than that the library was already ready for the game.

We had a blast! We played several team games and then 2 rounds of solo play in the 2 hours we ran the program. This group was rather different from our first group. The first group we had was great. Respectful of one another and there to have fun. They made sure to thank us for the program. One grandmother noted that her granddaughter was hugging people goodbye who she has just met.

The second group was slightly different. I’m not sure if it was because of the number or the gun issues, but we did have several kids turning their guns off and on again when they died and a couple who just did not want to listen (or were just way too hyped up). They weren’t bad, but I think next time we’ll aim for a smaller group again.

We had some prizes they could chose from as well. Ryan and I donate items we do not want from subscription boxes to a prize box we share for any programs we need prizes for (this I would change. Too many geek and horror movie prizes). I was able to freshen it up with several book themed prizes and Disney prizes, but I still think we need more variety.

The cost of the program was around $380. The guns came to $320, $50 for 10 pizzas, and $20 for drinks.

Overall it was a successful program once again and I think the kids had a great time. Even with the gun malfunctions this is something that we do not have in this area and is something new they can do. We had several returners who are already ready for the next Laser Tag night and many new kids who said they can’t wait to come back.

This is a video from the last time we did this program.

Gingerbread Houses Program FTW!

After month’s of unsuccessful programs I finally hit one out out of the park.

In December I ran a Gingerbread House Decorating programs for children and had a whopping 65 people show up. I only had 3 sign-ups and was expecting maybe 20. My co-worker make a joke that as long as they weren’t lined up again the glass like at the Lego Club I should be fine. 5 minutes there they were lined up at the glass. I needed an emergency powered sugar run which was the only downfall.

Other than that it was great. I heard a couple children say they had never decorated a gingerbread house before which was awesome and for some of those children we known their financial situation which made their comment that much better. I made about 55 gingerbread houses with the milk cartons we saved over summer and I had about 4 leftover. Definitely work the hours it took to make them.

Overall it was a successful program and put some wind in my somewhat flagging sails.

Teen Advisory Group

One of my co-workers recently asked me to take over the Teen Advisory Group at our library. They weren’t getting anyone and she would rather focus on the computer classes she was teaching. I had no problems taking it on. I found during my MILS that I knew I wanted to work with kids and after a while I realized that working with teens would be fun. At my other job I was in charge of the Teen Advisory Council so I have some experience running this type of group.

My TAC group was 10 people strong when I took over last year (I was able to get some new people) and when I finished last week I was at 2 1/2. I knew what I wanted to do with the group, but I wasn’t able to get there.

I’m currently working on a different approach for this group that will involve less asking for opinions and hoping they want to be involved and more putting the group in their hands. Letting them plan programs and be active in that planning and working the programs. I have the ideas I just need them to run with them and make some of their own.

I’m hoping that I can get teens to come in to the meeting first off and second that I can work with them to get the group to where I know it can. I’ve seen enough examples from other libraries to see successful teen advisory groups that continue to grow and are active in planing and attending library programs and that they want to be a part of this group.

My meeting is next week. Hopefully I get a couple teens to even show up.

Lair of Dream Book Review

dreams

I finished Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray last week and let me tell you that is hefty book. It’s a darker story taking place in New York in the 1920’s and follows a special group of people called Diviners who have special powers to fight an evil taking over the city known as the sleeping sickness. It’s a little dark and there is a lot going on, but it was good. There are a number of characters to remember and I struggled to remember what happened to them in the first novel, but Libba Bray is a very good author and I was easily caught up in the book and what was happening to the city and the characters.

I am a big fan of the Gemma Doyle Trilogy and my favorite part was Evie and Sam seeing Gemma, even if it was just in passing.

Overall it was good and a book I would recommend. I can’t wait for the next one to be released.

Class Visit

I have been given charge of a class visit for 8th graders later this April.

This is quiet scary.

Kids I can do. Reading about Leonardo or Hilda or Pigeon or Mr. McGreely and the bunnies I can do. 8th graders are a whole ‘nother ball park. I’m trying to make a plan, but when I try and think of how to make this entertaining I am at a loss. Talking about the library and what we have should be okay (should I not panic and forget everything), but making it entertaining is key because if they are into what I’m talking about the visit will be for nothing. That is an important part I need to work on.

This is going to be interesting to try and work out.