Kevin & Sarah:

Thanks for all your great answers to the many questions posted so far! Just a few more:

What advice would you offer a Director for supporting someone wanting to work with YALSA? If Directors cannot afford to send staff to conferences, what are other ideas for encouraging staff to be involved in YALSA? Can you offer any examples – current or any time during your career, when your Director or administration was particularly helpful in supporting your involvement in YALSA?

And speaking of conferences and involvement, this brings me to a question current YALSA President, Judy Nelson, asked last year’s Presidential candidates:

Now that you’ve decided to commit yourself to YALSA for the next three years, what won’t you be doing in your spare time?

Henry Jenkins posted a two-part interview with Anne Collier on his blog.

Collier is the co-author (with Larry Magid) of MySpace Unraveled. She is an advocate for teen use of social networking and for educating teens (and their families) about social networking – how it works, why it’s important in teen lives, etc.
The interview is worth reading for many reasons which include:

  • The opportunity to better understand why parents and other adults fear social networking so strongly
  • The opportunity to get ideas on how to help parents better understand the positive and negative aspects of web 2.0
  • The opportunity to find out how to articulate for legislators (and other adults) the reasons why legislation like DOPA Jr. won’t work.

Take time to read the two-part interview. It will certainly help prepare you for the educating you have ahead of you when it comes to parents, legislators, and social networking.

Publishers Weekly picks up on the panels for librarians at this past weekend’s conference. According to PW, 400 librarians registered for the con, and experts such as Robin Brenner, Kat Kan and lots of other librarians were panelists listed here.
Check out the podcasts from the con and please comment or post if you attended and have some things to share. They’re already planning for next year’s event to be held April 18-20, 2008! Library Journal article here.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Be part of history with the YALSA 50th Anniversary Quilt! If you can sew two straight seams of 6 inches each, you can make a YALSA quilt block. How does this work?

1. Send $5 to Amy Alessio, Schaumburg Twp. Dist. Library, 130 S. Roselle Rd., Schaumburg, IL 60193 by March 25. That donation will cover mailing and supply costs. Anything left over will be put into the YALSA Friends account. (This is how ALA Auctions are handled for each Annual Conference Auction as well.)

2. You will receive three strips to sew into a quilt square of 6 inches. On the middle, silver, strip, you will write in permanent blue ink your name and the title of a favorite YA book. Directions will also be provided with the materials.

3. You will send the block back in the provided envelope to Amy by April 15.

4. The quilt pictures and raffle information will be posted on the YALSA website by May 15. Raffle tickets will be $10 and only a limited number will be sold, to increase chances of winning! All proceeds from tickets will go into the Friends of YALSA account to help fund program and member initiatives.

5. The winner will be announced at the Annual Conference, but the winner need not be present at the conference to win .

The finished lap quilt will be red, blue and silver with a simple zig-zag strip pattern.

Questions? Please contact Amy Alessio at aalessio@stdl.org

What better to do in Second Life on the InfoIsland (http://www.infoisland.org) sim (island with library services) than to celebrate the first Teen Tech Week? You can take part in the events below in Second Life or participate by listening to the audio of each event by going to http://www.opal-online.org/.

If you need to create an avatar, go to: www.secondlife.com and create a basic account (it’s free!). To find where to go, choose the search button at the bottom of your screen, search for ‘BlueWings Hayek’ under ‘people’, and she can transport you to the meetings. Feel free to IM Eiseldora Reisman or Cerulean Vesperia as well.

Monday March 5, 1pm PST/4pm EST
Teens, Publishing, and Technology

Facilitator-Carlie Webber, Young Adult Services Coordinator, Bergen County Cooperative Library System, Hackensack, New Jersey

Panelists- Jason Wells, Publishing representative from Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Lauren Myracle, Author, Anastasia Goodstein Author and YPulse blogger.
They will be using OPAL and will be streamed into outdoor auditorium at Info Island I.
Organized by YALSA. To register for this free event, send an email to yalsa@ala.org and put “TTW virtual event” in the subject line.

Wednesday, March 7 at 6:00 pm PST/9:00 pm EST
Connecting Schools and Libraries with Teens and Technology

Audience: Librarians/Teachers
Facilitator-Lisa Perez, Area Library Coordinator, Co-Facilitator-Jennifer Ragan-Fore, General Membership Program Director, ISTE
Panelists-Christie Thomas, University of Chicago eCUIP Program, Angela Semifero, Marshall District Library, Kelly Czarnecki, Technology Education Librarian and co-leader of Eye4You Alliance Island, Peggy Sheehy, Suffern Middle School and leader of Rampo Islands on Teen Second Life.

Organized by Chicago Public Schools Department of Libraries & Information Service
Possibly using OPAL but will be present in Cybrary City Open Air Arena

Thursday, March 8, 4pm PST/7pm EST
Game Design
Audience: Teens
Facilitator-Jami Schwarzwalder, MLS Graduate, Gamer, Second Life instructor and volunteer

Panelists-Craig Davis, Youth Digital Arts CyberSchool and Jake Theis, Assistant Brand Manager, Wizards of the Coast
Using OPAL and will be streamed in to outdoor auditorium at InfoIsland
Organized by YALSA. To register for this free event, send an email to yalsa@ala.org and put “TTW virtual event” in the subject line.

Will teens be heard from too? Yes! A program for TTW on the Teen grid of Second Life in partnership with Global Kids,which works to bring a model of leadership development of teens to Second Life, and Eye4You Alliance which is an Island and partnership with SirsiDynix, the Alliance Library System, and the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Stay tuned for more info.!

Plus: Kelly Czarnecki will interview Anastasia Goodstein – from Ypulse – on March 8 and post it to the YALSA blog as a podcast. Look for that soon.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

The presidential candidates (at least some of them) are using social networking technologies in order to connect with potential voters. Candidates have MySpace spaces, Facebook pages, Flickr feeds, and blogs. They are finding social networking to be a good way to get their message out and hear from those who agree (and those who don’t) with their political positions. In the 2004 election presidential candidates honed in on how to use the web as a campaign tool. For the 2008 election the candidates are figuring out how to use social networking.

The web site techPresident has the full details on the candidate’s use of web 2.0 technologies in campaigning. The site provides a fascinating look at how social networking is changing and enhancing the political process. techPresident helps to demonstrate that social networking can be used positively to supply information, connect with others, and provide learning and thinking opportunities.

If the presidential candidates are using social networking to get their word out, it seems hard to believe that federal and state governments don’t see that positive aspects of these technologies exist. As you work to educate your community about social networking and how it can enhance and improve learning by teens, don’t forget to point out how politicians are already using the technologies. If online social networking is legislated so that these technologies are not available in schools and public libraries, teens will lose some opportunities to learn about the political process and to discuss that process with peers, teachers, and librarians.

In the last month, I’ve visited libraries in CA, MA, and WA in my workshop travels. Everywhere I go, I make a point of checking out the teen area. What does it mean when your teen area is located remotely–in the back corner, say–and there are no signs to indicate where is it?

At one library that is a unique public and academic building on the campus of a university, I looked on three floors for the YA area. Finally, I went to one of several information desks and asked (much like a regular patron, I hate to admit helplessness).

“Where is the young adult area?” I inquired.

“Oh, the teen area?” clarified the staff member behind the desk.
“Yes!” I said.
“Hm. I’m not sure…” responded the man. At my look of incredulity, the staff person explained that he was a university librarian.
“Maybe it says on the website?” he suggested, and opened the library’s homepage.

The fancy spin-around monitor revealed a link for teens on the webpage (note: if you don’t have a link to information about teen services on your webpage, this is another message that they don’t matter–your webspace is an extension of your facilities) but nothing about the space. I thanked him and went to the children’s room. Of course, the staff there knew where the teen area is. Once I found it, it was a nice space, if small (compared to the footprint of the whole library, and compared proportionally to the children’s room) and unstaffed. A sign indicated patrons should to go to the reference desk for assistance, which is fine, but again… another message that teens are not important enough to warrant a full time staff member – or even one dedicated to their space in the afterschool hours.

Do you have a YA space? How easy is it for teens to locate? Is there a web presence for teens?

Please share links to photos or websites in the comments field!

Here’s the announcement of the organization’s new blog:

The National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance now has a news blog up and running to share news that may be of interest to everyone and anyone who cares about kids, reading, writing, books, libraries, and art. Not only do we want to share news from across the USA, but news and information from around the world as well. And we need your help to do that!

Please feel free to send a blog item to me at mbbarrett@aol.com to be posted on our NCBLA Blog. We ask that:

1. The news, information, and/or item of interest be edited and ready to post.
2. The information be nonpartisan in nature.
3. You recommend great reads, great quotes, great web sites, great events, great places for adults and children!– as well anything you think might be of interest.
4. You please include your name and email address-for our information only in case we need to contact you- it will not be published on the blog unless you request that it be published.

Today I had an email forwarded to me that told about the Illinois legislator sponsoring the social networking bill, Matt Murphy, hosting an online chat to talk about social networking. The chat will take place via his blog tonight from 5:30 to 6:30 PM. Now, think about this. He’s hosting a discussion about the legislation using the technology that he’s trying to ban from schools and libraries. What if a teacher wanted students to participate in order to learn about the legislative process and the only place the student could access the technology to participate is in the library? Ooops, if the bill were passed the teen wouldn’t be able to finish his homework.

And, isn’t it simply ironic that someone who is trying to ban social networking is using social networking to talk about the issues? Seems to me this is an example of how the technology is a good way to network with others, find out what people are thinking, and answer questions. Maybe this online chat will help the legislator figure that out.

BTW, the email forwarded to me was originally sent by the Illinois Library Association. Within the message there was a great list of talking tips for talking to legislators about social networking. Here’s what they are: (Thanks to ILA for permission to post.)

Talking Points
ILA supports the goal of protecting children from online predators. One of the primary concerns of the library community is the safety of children. We know that the best way to protect children is to teach them to guard their privacy and make wise choices. To this end, libraries across the state offer instruction on safe Internet use.

1) Education, not laws blocking access, is the key to safe use of the Internet. Libraries and schools are places where kids learn essential information literacy skills that go far beyond computer instruction and Web searching. Indeed, Senate Bill (SB) 1682 would block usage of these sites in the very environments where librarians and teachers can instruct students on how to use all kinds of applications safely and effectively and where kids can learn to report and avoid unsafe sites.

2) Limiting access to social networking sites in schools and libraries will have little impact on the overall problem since young people access these collaborative sites from many locations and over a period of time. If children are going to get into trouble online, chances are it won’t be at school or at the library. They’ll be home, they’ll be at a friend’s house, or they could even be using their mobile phones completely apart from adult supervision. Schools and libraries are relatively protected environments where adults are never far away and, for the most part, computers are in public locations that make it difficult for users to hide what they’re doing.

3) While seeking to protect children from predators, Senate Bill (SB) 1682 would impact a wide range of social networking sites that are used daily by millions of Americans. Senate Bill (SB) 1682 is much too broad. It proposes to block access to beneficial
collaborative Web applications and resources.

4) Senate Bill (SB) 1682 ignores the value of interactive Web application. New Internet-based applications for collaboration, business, and learning are becoming increasingly important, and young people must be prepared to thrive in a work environment where meetings take place online, and where online networks are essential communication tools.

5) Local decision making — not state law — is the way to solve the problems addressed by Senate Bill (SB) 1682.

6) Senate Bill (SB) 1682 would restrict access to technology in the communities that need public access most. Senate Bill (SB) 1682 denies the students and library users in schools and libraries in the poorest communities from accessing appropriate content and from learning how best to safely manage their own Internet access in consultation with librarians and teachers.

7) School officials note they are faced with a new problem of monitoring students’ and teachers’ use of the Internet on personal laptops on school grounds.

8) Libraries do need help to accelerate their efforts to provide Internet and information literacy education and safety programs for kids, teens, parents, and caregivers. If people were more well informed about social networking sites and knew and used basic Internet safety tips, the cloud of fear may decline and that success rate for sexual predators will be dramatically reduced. We need your help, Senator Matt Murphy, in funding an educational campaign now. Will you support us?

ILA also published DOPA and the Participation Gap which is a useful read.