Engage Programs

Engage! was piloted in summer 2010 in eight Chicago Public Library branches and the YOUmedia center at Harold Washington Public Library; in fall 2010 by Arlington Heights (Ill.) Memorial Library; and in fall 2010 and spring 2011 at Evanston (Ill.) Public Library. Links to images and program models from many of these sites can be found in the navigation on the right.

All of the participating libraries began planning with the program format template provided below and adapted to best work in for their teens. Many project directors layered questions with background information and asked teens to create their own questions, bring in other media, present the images to their peers, or view and react to all the images from a theme in a gallery-style display before discussion. Check out the pilot site pages to see how project directors adapted the program model to fit the needs of their teen participants.


Pilot project directors constructed their own discussion sessions based on the program format template below:

Total program time: 90 minutes–2 hours

Elements you may want to include: welcome, purpose of project, goals, role as pilot library, presentation of project idea(s) or brainstorming of project ideas.

Build your discussion theme by selecting an image (or images), working with project resources:

  • Opener/icebreaker
  • Image background information
  • Looking questions
  • Additional questions and activity ideas
  • Poems, quotations or other media (from planning session pre-work, project website, your own research and/or that of teen participants)
  • Other thematic questions that you and/or project participants draft
  • Plan for project activities

Close with book talks, evaluation forms, plans for the next session, and any between-session project work information. Use this format consistently so that participants will know what to expect at the conclusion of every session.

Image Display
PowerPoint, web-based, color copies displayed gallery-style, handouts.

Related Materials
Use book displays, book talks, recommended sites, reading, viewing and listening.