It’s been exciting reading about all of the technology projects and programs going on in libraries during Teen Tech Week. Teen Tech Week is a great way to highlight teen use of technology and to demonstrate how libraries can support teen technology use. The end of Teen Tech Week might be the perfect time to think about how to continue to integrate technology into your library’s programs and services on a regular basis, and how to keep connecting with teens on topics related to their technology interests and use.
Some technologies to think about as you continue technology integration in your library include:
- Flip Video – this camera is inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to use. Have one or two of these in your library for teens to record interviews with each other and/or community members and to record programs and TAG meetings. The videos can be easily uploaded to YouTube or another service and then you can visually let the community know what’s going on with teens in your library. To get an idea of what video taken with the Flip Video looks like check out Kelly Czarnecki’s interviews from the 2007 ALA Midwinter Meeting.
- Ustream.tv – hook up a webcam to your computer (or maybe your computer has a webcam already built-in) and you can start streaming video from your library. Having a TAG meeting or book discussion group next week? Broadcast it to the community with Ustream. Is an author coming to speak with teens? Make that visit available to a larger community with Ustream. Ustream.tv is incredibly easy to setup. Tech-oriented teens in your community will be able to do it with no problem. Setup your channel once and you can stream from there whenever you have something that’s worth broadcasting. The broadcasts can be archived so once it’s recorded, it’s viewable over and over again.
- Talkshoe is like Ustream but instead of broadcasting video you broadcast audio. If you don’t have a webcam but have a microphone you can use with a library computer, setup a Talkshoe account and then broadcast audio over the web. Just like with Ustream, once you set-up a Talkshoe channel, you can easily go back and record a new program and you can archive past recordings.
The possibilities for getting out to the community at large, and to the teens in your community, with some of these easy-to-use audio and video technologies is really exciting. Pick one to start with and see what happens. Who knows, you might end up having community members clambering to access the library teen video (or audio) channel.