Teens Don’t Get Retro!

In February, I glanced at YALSA’s list of teen programs for Teen Tech Week and became intrigued by the idea of having our library’s Young Adult Council (YAC) host a Retro-Tech Museum.  The advantage of this activity over the others would be that the teens themselves would be in charge of the whole thing.  Hooray, right?

  • Step 1: Get Manager’s approval – check.
  • Step 2: Present the idea to YAC – check
  • Step 3: Get YAC to make a poster to put behind the “display of retro stuff” – check
  •  Step 4: Get YAC members to bring in their retro-technology – UH OH!

Step 4 was where we ran into problems.  At the YAC meeting, teens brought in their “old” i-phones.  Not kidding!  Now that the Retro-Tech Museum was on the books, I needed to get stuff to display FAST.  So, I sent out a bribe to all Teen Volunteers:

In honor of Teen Tech Week, the Library will be putting together a “Retro-Tech Museum.”  For this event to be successful, we need your help.  I will add 4 hours of volunteer time to your timesheet if you bring some sort of OLD electronic equipment to be share and be displayed during the week of March 11-16.  Prizes will be awarded for a variety of categories like oldest, weirdest, most useless, etc.  In order to be eligible for volunteer-time and prizes, you must include your name and phone number somewhere on the electronic device(s) you share, and drop off your device sometime BEFORE Friday, March 8th.  (Note that you will be responsible for collecting your gadget before March 22 or it will be recycled.)  Below is a brief list of examples of old technology that you may be able to find at home or at a local thrift store.  Let the scavenging begin!

Even after this, only TWO teens brought in devices that were worthy to include in the museum: a super large surge protector and an old Nintendo machine.  Thankfully, staff responded by bringing in other stuff, like 8-track tape, slide viewer, rotary phone, etc.  Possible catastrophe avoided.  Continue to Retro-Tech Museum Project Reflections for how I measured my results for this particular project.

Comments, kudos, questions?