I love my RSS feeds (Again)

OK, I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, but the RSS feeds to which I subscribe continue to be a great resource. I learn interesting things about what’s going on with teens, in the world, and in tech. In the past couple of days the following appeared in my RSS feeds and captured my attention:

  • Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

    – a podcast that talks about what parents need to do in the time of My Space and what the federal government is trying to accomplish with DOPA.

  • The First Annual Top Gaming Colleges Survey – what are the best places to go to study gaming?
  • iRocker – a rocking chair/lounge chair that is made for gaming and iPod listening.
  • The Frappuccino Generation – Salon looks at the world of coffee drinking teens.
  • Schwartz Creates Gossip on CW – a TV version of The Gossip Girls is in the works.

Graphic Novel Suggestions for Librarians

The National Coalition Against Censorship, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and ALA, produced an “informational booklet offering background and reference material about the graphic novel category.” The booklet can be found on the NCAC site as well as ALA. The article with this information can be found here.

Are any libraries highlighting particular graphic novels for Banned Books Week? Any libraries combining information on DOPA with BBW?

Any recently discovered online resources for graphic novels and libraries to share? I like Getting Graphic!which also has a great list of links related to graphic novels and libraries.

Published by Kelly Czarnecki

DOPA Reminder

YALSA president Judy Nelson sent out a DOPA email reminder to various lists and I thought it was important to post it here too. Judy noted in her email that Congress will be back in session next week and it’s very possible that DOPA will be on the Senate’s list of bills to deal with.

Attached to Judy’s email was a Word document that is a reminder of what we can do to help let Senators know what librarians think about DOPA. You can download that file here.

Also, don’t forget about the YALSA wiki that includes DOPA and social networking information.

Program Ideas and Free Time with Movies

Hayao Miyazaki is an amazing storyteller and anime directors. In the eighties he swept Japan by storm with Nausicaä and the Valley of the wind, forming his own Animation Studio with Isao Takahata: Studio Ghibli. Since its creation Miyazaki and Takahata have alternated directed films and also investing in the future animators on projects such as The Cat Returns.

I learned all of this by watching the special features on many Studio Ghibli films I have been watching since I finished my Library Science classes. I didn’t know much about Japanese Anime before I started watching the Studio Ghibli films, but by watching the special features I not only learned more about the voice acting but also about Japanese Animation.

I would highly recommend watching the Studio Ghibli films and special features which each contain a special feature “Behind the Microphone.” If you are unfamiliar with Japanese Anime I would recommend staring with Whisper of the Heart.

The idea of watching movies and special features expands past Japanses Anime. An easy way to immerse yourself into teen culture is to watch what they are watching. Take time while in school to explore how a library might focus on special hobby of yours. Look at the Search Institue’s 40 Developmental Assets and see if the program might be beneficial to teens. Explore how resources for developing a collection on this topic, and e-mail professionals who have similar interests. You may even be able to approach a local library, implement your program, and write an article about the exciting things you are doing before you graduate.

More on Magazines…

Happening Now! Everywhere: A new teen mag for the myspace era?

As teen magazines begin to fold, I think it’s interesting that here is a new one starting up. At the YALSA Teens & Technology Preconference in January 2006, Anthony Bernier talked about young adult literature that is created for teens, by teens, and Happening Now! Everywhere is a perfect example. Happening Now! began as a school newspaper showcasing student art and news, and shifted to an international focus this summer.

The Somerville (MA) based compilation of teen produced and edited content ranges from essays to film and book reviews and include short fiction, photos and line drawings, interviews and the requisite poetry, crammed into 24 pages. The content is slightly remniscient of Merlyn’s Pen, but the schizophrenic design is myspace style -layout changes, random images, varied fonts, all-caps “shouting,” and natural language (though surprisingly few typos). A handful of half-sheet inserts on heavy paper add color and texture.

The quality ranges from mediocre to fantastic, and there is a fairly even balance of fiction and news. The contest is diverse; right next to horror stories and poems about ice-skating, you’ll find lines by William Blake, an ending to Frank Stockton’s classic short story, “The Lady or the Tiger,” and excitement over a film remake of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

Sadly, the website has little additional content, just a quiz and a link to the Museum of Virtual Art. The online layout, though inconsistent, is easier on the eyes than the print version. Switching to a local print distribution and allowing commenting and rating on every online article would be a great way to hook print readers in. Teens need forums to express themselves creatively, and Happening Now! Everywhere provides opportunity in a traditional format.

A second issue is forthcoming, and librarians can get a free sample from the website at http://happeningnoweverywhere.com

Air Baruch

Over the past many months I’ve been thinking alot about how libraries can use text messaging with teens. There are some models in which libraries send various types of notices to patrons via text message, but that never seemed to me to harness the technology in the way that it should be harnessed. Then a couple of weeks ago I heard about Air Baruch, a new service that’s being implemented by Baruch College and I thought to myself, “this is going to be really cool.”

Then, just a few minutes ago in my RSS feed for the search social networking and libraries at Google, I saw a press release on Air Baruch and I thought “this really is cool.” What a great way to get information out to students of any age. What a great way to push information to patrons of any age. Of course many teens are never without their cell phones. (Except when their schools and libraries don’t allow them to use them.) But, this actually points to the need to re-think those bans on cell phones in libraries and classrooms.

Start to think what you might push to the teens you work with if you were able to connect with them where they are – on their phones! The possibilities are pretty incredible. What do readers have in mind?

ALA Nominations

The deadline to be considered by the ALA Nominations Committee as a possible candidate for the 2007 election is Friday, September 1. If you wish to be considered, please complete the form available at this site: https://cs.ala.org/potentialcandidates/

Remember that it is critical that YALSA be fully represented on Council. Please consider becoming involved in this capacity.

C. Allen Nichols
ALA Nominating Committee

Teen magazines

I ran across an article the other day about teen magazines being a dying breed (as we know them). Some of the reasons for this, the article explains are:

  • they lost touch with what youth wanted
  • magazines were unable to adapt to changes in society
  • they are going digital because that’s where the teens are
  • teens can get this information in so many other places
  • ‘adult’ magazines are more popular with teens

What do others think?

A few questions I have:

  • Is this article being alarmist or challenging us to continually find ways to stay relevant with teens?
  • How is the article defining what is a teen magazine? What about gaming magazines?
  • Is this following a similar trend in books as far as ‘adult content’ being more appealing to many teen readers and in that case, we should adjust to how we think about what a teen magazine is?
  • If teens are getting similar information from other places, how can libraries help with that and what are we already doing to help with that?
  • Many teens are finding and creating their own content online. They are defining what is important to them. Again, how can we help with that?

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki