I'm planning to have roughly one teen program per month. I tried to form a teen advisory board when I first started working at the library - one teen came, once, forcibly escorted by her mother. Not a success. I tried some teen programs last summer - a Twilight program, teen pizza party, etc. Middling to blah. So, I'm trying again.
I'm doing one teen crafty program and two bookclubs this fall. So far, no one has signed up for the book club *gloomy face*. But I had 7 kids at our teen program this evening. Of course...only one was actually a teen. Basically it was a group of 6 middle schoolers and 5th graders that like to hang out at the library after school. They sometimes get bored and horse around, but mostly they behave and I like them. We had some mixed candy left over from the summer reading program, which was a big draw, and we made Artist Trading Cards - everyone really liked playing with paint. The one teen felt she was too old for most of the kids, but she had finished her homework so she hung out anyways.
Ideally, of course, we'd like to have teens at our programs. But I'm perfectly happy with tweens - I think middle schoolers are fun, if occasionally needing squashing! Which brings me to a related thought....I'm looking forward to seeing how our Read Off Your Fines for Teen Read Week program goes and doing something similar for tweens. It drives me crazy how many of the kids who spend hours at the library every day don't have functional library cards. They forget them (you can check out once with id and then you have to have a library card), they lose them - repeatedly (the cost of replacing a library card increases every time you lose one). They forget to return books and have massive overdue fines, less frequently they lose materials or they get damaged....and no more library card. Of course, this rarely stops them from using the computer. They just trade cards around or "borrow" them from siblings. I have a sneaking suspicion that the ones that really like to read are "borrowing" books without checking them out as well. But it drives me crazy when I have a program and a kid is interested in a book...but can't check it out.
How do you handle this at your library? Suggestions? Solutions?