Pop Culture-Inspired Programs for Tweens, Teens, and Adults

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors
  • Reviews

Let’s have a Pac-Man Party! Or perhaps you’d rather make your own lava lamp or love beads, or just chow down on some nifty ‘50s snacks? The newest book from this unbeatable team of best-selling authors trawls the decades for a super, fabulous, groovy, awesome, and totally rad assortment of programs for patrons of all ages. Complete with programming best practices, age ranges and suggested variations for multigenerational or family events, planning lists, budgeting guidance, and marketing advice, this book will engage your library’s users through

  • toy-centric events that riff on Everything Barbie, Strawberry Shortcake, Cabbage Patch Kids and more;
  • Poodle Totes, Flannel Pillows, Flair Fun, Graffiti Art, and other DIY projects;
  • video screenings such as I Want My MTV, Nostalgia Nickelodeon Night, Cult Movie Fest, and Marvel Madness;
  • programs that incorporate yummy treats like cake pops, Chex mix, Classic Candies by the Decade, and popular microwaveable foods from the 80s; and
  • themed book discussion groups, board game gatherings, trivia contests, and many more fun programs.

Everything old is new again in this delightful collection of programs that will have patrons coming back to your library for more.



  • Chex Mix and More: Nifty Fifties’ Snacks
  • Everything Barbie
  • I Love Lucy
  • The Name Is Bond, James Bond
  • Make Your Own BBQ
  • Model Train Mania
  • ’50s Chic: Poodle Totes


  • 100 Years of Life: Board Game History and Challenges
  • Decoupage Daydream
  • Everything Denim
  • Holy Primetime, Batman! Superheroes on TV
  • Love Beads
  • Not Your Mother’s Book Club: Books That Shocked


  • 100 Years of RC and Model Airplanes
  • Domino Day
  • Erector Set, Tinkertoy, and Lincoln Log Challenges
  • DIY Lava Lamps and Pet Rocks
  • McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys
  • Retro Crafts: Pom-Poms, Macramé, Flower Looms, and More
  • Tie-Dye
  • Y.A., Why Not? The Golden Age of Young Adult Literature


  • ’80s Accessories
  • Attack of the Brat Pack
  • Ghostbusted
  • Graffiti Art
  • I Want My MTV
  • Microwave Mania
  • Pac-Man Party
  • Rubik’s Cube Challenge
  • Strawberry Shortcake, Cabbage Patch Kids, and Other Hot ’80s Toys


  • ’90s Technology and Game Night
  • Flair Fun
  • Flannel Pillows
  • Nickelodeon Nostalgia Night
  • Pop Music: Boy Bands and Girl Power!
  • Riot Grrrl Celebration: Zine and Button Making


  • Cake Pops
  • Collector Con
  • Cult Movie Fest
  • Marvel Madness
  • Reality TV in Real Life
  • Revenge of the Nerds
  • TR-Not-So-L

Pop Culture Review

  • Classic Candies by the Decade
  • Classic Cars
  • Decades of Disney
  • Fashion Trendsetters
  • Games
  • Popular Franchises
  • Reboot Month
  • Treats and Beats by the Decades

About the Authors

Amy J. Alessio

Amy Alessio is an award winning librarian with a black belt in karate. She has co-authored several programming books for ALA Editions, including 50+ Fandom Programs: Planning Festivals and Events for Tweens, Teens, and Adults (ALA Editons, 2017). She has conducted several webinars for the American Library Association on programming. She reviews mysteries and romances for Booklist and has authored and edited several other works of fiction and nonfiction. She is a former board member for YALSA. She foists her passion for vintage food trends and retro crafts at local and national workshops and on her blog. She has over 1000 vintage cookbooks and still owns her 80’s Strawberry Shortcake dolls. Learn more at http://www.amyalessio.com.

Katie LaMantia

Katie LaMantia is a collection development librarian at Baker and Taylor. She previously worked as a teen librarian at the Schaumburg Township District Library in Schaumburg, Illinois and is a former Teen Advisory Board member turned librarian. She is the co-author of the books Pop Culture-Inspired Programs for Tweens, Teens, and Adults (ALA Editions, 2018), 50+ Fandom Programs: Planning Festivals and Events for Tweens, Teens, and Adults (ALA Editions, 2017) and A Year of Programs for Millennials and More (ALA Editions, 2015). She has a personal and professional appreciation and interest in pop culture and has presented at multiple state and national library conferences about libraries, teens, and 20s and 30s programming. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, reading, writing, and extreme adventure activities.

Emily Vinci

Emily Vinci is the fiction manager at the Schaumburg Township District Library in Schaumburg, Illinois. Her professional interests are promoting the acquisition and appreciation of comics and graphic novels in libraries as well as creating programming that targets patrons in their 20s and 30s. She presents frequently about pop culture and niche library programming and coauthored the books A Year of Programs for Millennials and More (ALA Editions, 2015), 50+ Fandom Programs (ALA Editions, 2017), and Pop Culture-Inspired Programs for Tweens, Teens, and Adults (ALA Editions, 2018). A lifelong lover of all things pop culture and an avid collector, currently has more than two hundred copies of the Jurassic Park films on VHS and is always looking for more.

"Each program idea includes preparation time, program length, age-range supplies, crafts where appropriate, and marketing for each age group, making the book as practical as it is inspired. Librarians who specialize in one age group will appreciate the suggestions for outreach to other groups the library serves."
— Booklist

"This book will spark innovation in any staff member who works on public programming. Classroom teachers as well as librarians will probably turn to this book again and again for ideas."