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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

Useful Programming Ideas

From Amy Alesio and Kim Paton

When I told you all about Google Lit Trips one of you wrote that you were pleased to get concrete information you could use — and that stuck with me, because my own personal bent (as you all know) is to the big picture and the big ideas. Well I have something for all of you who want something a bit more useful and concrete: A Year of Programming for Teens2 (here is a link to the old first edition) — Amy describes the book this way: "There are chapters on pursuing teen interests with clubs – like art, photography, money, drama. We have booklists, puzzles, reading promotion tips, then a calendar year of program ideas. I have a mystery script in there for an event, Kim has a program on geocaching. Stuff we’ve done and tips on how to avoid issues we’ve had."

I don’t generally promote books here — this is not a review blog. But this is a tool that you professionals might find useful so I thought it worth mentioning. Amy and I are also working on a project for YALSA to study how teenagers actually use NF in their libraries — what they like, dislike, check out, would like to see more of. I’ll tell you more about that when I know more.

FYI — back to our earlier discussion of the tragic in history — David Brooks has an excellent column on the tangled story of Hannukah today that fits perfectly: Hannukah presents problems for Jews like me — on the one hand we want a handy "light in the dark plus presents" holiday at this time of year to keep our kids’ minds off of santa and trees. On the other hand, the actual story of Hannukah has many disturbing echoes with beliefs and ideas we do not share today. The problem is that holiday as fun and history as tragic do not fit neatly together. Or at least not until your kids are old enough to weigh this out with them — maybe that would be best — a holiday whose complexity we explore together.