Seasonal Passive Programming for YA

We do a lot of passive programming in our teen department. Most of it is themed and seasonal. Some of it follows special library events such as Banned Books Week. The most popular at our library is anything that involves art or drawing. I have a really creative group of kids that like to leave drawings around the library. We have a bulletin board in the department and I try to display as much as I can so the teens feel at home. Here are some ideas from our fall and winter displays. All of these ideas can created using die cuts.


Fall: Graffiti your Gourd 

The clever title was a suggestion from a post I made in Teen Services Underground. Thanks Jeretta! I think the pumpkins turned out amazing! I didn’t want to take them down for winter!



Winter: Do you want to design a snowman? 

This one came from one of my teens. She sings this particular snowman song all year long and very loudly. I did have to toss a few snowmen due to carrots in inappropriate places. Other than that, they kept it clean! The snowman wearing the Led Zepplin shirt is my favorite!



Passive Winter Prompt: Caption this Pet edition

This one is always entertaining. I love the this prompt. The “Caption this” idea came from Sherry at our Brentwood branch! We do this a few times a year at different branches with silly pictures or geeky movie stills.  I use post-it’s for the captions to cut down on the stuff I have to erase for being inappropriate. I also only put out pencils!

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As you can tell it’s finals week, so a few of my teens are pretty stressed out!


Do you do passives in your teen area? What are your most popular prompts? I would love to hear about them. As always feel free to steal these ideas! If you use the photos, please be sure to credit the source.

Roar into reading

I often plot new bulletin boards on my lunch break. Since I don’t work on the same days as my librarian I leave my ideas for her in our super secret library notebook. (it’s really not that secret, it’s just fun to pretend that it is!) She reviews my ideas and leaves post-it comments. I am really lucky that she lets me try pretty much anything I want as long as it’s age appropriate.

We put this display up around the time when they were releasing Jurassic Park in 3-D. Lots of the kids were excited to see the movie which was a total reality check for me. I remember seeing it when it came out for the first time. Talk about feeling really old!

I decided to make a friendly dinosaur so the Kindergarten kids would not freak out. I used one of our drawing books to create the T-Rex. This is my thought sheet and the note from my awesome Librarian.


We ended up running out of time to do volcano book pages before Spring break. I am not overly thrilled with the volcano and I wish I had more time and paper to add some trees. This is what happens when you only work two days a week at one school and one day at another. There is never enough time!! I saved the dinosaur so I can use him again. I highly recommend saving things to use in future displays. Why recreate when you can recycle?!


A welcome back to school display

This year we decided to go big with our welcome back display. We thought that a giant sun with shades would be really fun for our students. Instead of using butcher paper I decided to use cardboard supplied by a dear friend expecting a baby. She was super happy to get the boxes out of her garage and I was thrilled to have free giant pieces of cardboard.

I drew a big circle and filled it in with various shades of orange and yellow acrylic paint. It was so much fun swirling paint and layering on the color with crumpled paper towels. The sun was missing some “bling” so I used a feather duster and slapped on some orange glitter paint! That was incredibly messy and fun. I am sure if the custodian had come in he would have had a heart attack!

The start of the sun. Swirled it with yellow and added orange with crumpled paper towels.

Unfortunately, my good box cutter got legs over the summer and decided to disappear. All I had was this tiny 2 inch mini blade to cut through thick cardboard. Not fun kids… I really need locks on my drawers. My cutter will be coming home with me from now on!

Next I added sun rays and sunglasses. I decided to give him a smile to make him seem more friendly to the littlest patrons. The worst part of the whole ordeal was hanging the finished sun on the wall. We have a weird heating/cooling system and everything likes to pop off the walls when the temperatures change. I tried duct tape but the sun was on the floor the next morning. So I punched holes in the top of the sun and hung it from the ceiling with heavy duty fishing line. So far, my sun has stayed up for 4 weeks!

Our finished board!

Our finished board!


I added my swirly clouds that are super easy to make and a clever saying. The kids fill out surfboards with books that they read and liked over the summer. This is one of my favorite displays. The sun will be making more appearances in the future.