How I Use Padlet for Teen Programs

The online resource Padlet can be a very useful and creative tool for librarians. Here, a teen librarian shares different ways she uses this platform for her programs.


Padlet is a free online education tool that I’ve found to be very useful and versatile for my library’s teen programs and clubs. Described as a virtual bulletin board, Padlet allows users to share and view all sorts of content. It is interactive so users can communicate and collaborate in real time, and it is easily customizable. Since Padlet is essentially a corkboard with infinite space—and infinite possibilities—there is so much potential for using Padlet with teens in your library.

There are a few ways to customize Padlet to make it work for any need. There are seven Padlet styles to choose from and each Padlet has customizable background images, fonts, colors, and icons. Users can also set up a URL to have a unique link instead of a string of random letters/numbers.

Another customization feature gives options for uploading content. Your Padlet can be a showcase for material that only you can upload, or you can source content from others and permit anyone to add to it. When allowing others to upload, there are settings where you can specify if an upload needs approval before being added to the Padlet, as well as a profanity filter. Even in restricted Padlets, you can allow (or restrict) users to comment on and like, vote, rate, or star a specific post. Padlet is web-based and also has apps for smartphones and tablets.

Padlet is free, though there is a fee option called Padlet Pro which allow for unlimited Padlets. (Free accounts only allow three Padlets to be used at once.) Padlet Pro costs $8 a month. If you don’t want to pay the fee, you can stick with a free account and delete old Padlets when you reach your limit and want to create new ones.

I have used Padlet in multiple ways in my library. I recently used it during a manga-drawing class for teens and tweens, led by a teen volunteer. Since these classes were virtual, the instructor couldn’t see the student’s work unless they held it up to the screen, which isn’t the most effective way to evaluate drawings. I created a Padlet for the class to upload their works-in-progress and final pieces. This way, the instructor could see and comment on the artwork. The students could also see each other’s work. Padlet connected the students and the instructor and made this virtual art class feel a little less distant. The instructor also uploaded reference pieces for the students to draw from, which turned out to be much easier than uploading and downloading files through Zoom. Using Padlet in this way also ended up preserving a beautiful art gallery and snapshots of this art class that the students can revisit anytime.

Another way we have used Padlet is for the library’s teen clubs. We have created Padlets for club members to post photos and snippets of text to describe what they’ve done. It’s a wonderful and simple way to share ideas among members, showcase club initiatives, and preserve memories that might otherwise be forgotten. Last year, to encourage kids to stay physically active during lockdown, we created an Activity Club and a Padlet to go along with it. We encouraged the kids to submit photos, videos, or text to describe what they’ve been doing to hit 30 minutes of daily physical activity. 

Diversify Kitchen Padlet example

The library’s teen-led Multicultural Club collected recipes from around the world to create a mini cookbook that represented their heritage. I uploaded the recipes in PDF format and compiled them on a Padlet for future reference. Clicking on a specific recipe expands it and makes it downloadable. One of the members created a cover for the print version of their recipe book and I included that image as well.

Since our teen clubs have been meeting virtually for the past year, club leaders often have slideshow presentations. Padlet provides another way to distribute the slides used during the meeting. Members can refer back to the slides later, and this is also helpful for members who may have missed a meeting. Members often contribute ideas and resources during meetings. Padlet an excellent way to capture items, such as a link to a specific website or YouTube video that someone referred to. Zoom chats disappear, but Padlet can capture information and enables users to view the information again.

I’ve also started to use Padlet is to keep track of the books I’ve been reading. My library teens love book recommendations and enjoy checking out my selections. I upload the cover image, paste in the book summary, and include the book’s call number so they can find it in the library. I also include links to the catalog, and any ebook or audiobook access if those are available through our digital libraries. I now have a link to my reading Padlet in my email signature.

Padlet is a great way to brainstorm ideas among club members, capture memories of teen programs, jot down notes to revisit later, record experiences, share information, and keep material centrally located. The versatility of what you can upload to Padlet, as well as the web-based and app access, means there are endless options for Padlet in your library.

Jenna K. Ingham is the teen and youth services librarian at East Brunswick (NJ) Public Library. She is also a blogger at Teen Services Underground.

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