YALSA Podcast #48 – Teen Tech Week Song Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winner and finalists of the Teen Tech Week Best promotional song contest! Our teen contestants created songs promoting Teen Tech Week and the technology resources that the library has to offer. Songs were judged on creativity, lyrical construction, effectives of promoting technologies in libraries, and overall craftsmanship. The submissions were all very creative, drawing from a wide spectrum of musical talent and style.

Michelle Visent, a student at Felix Varela Senior High School in Miami, Florida, is the winner of the 2008 Teen Tech Week Song Contest! Check out her winning song, “The Library”!

Second place went to Bryan Aguilar, also a student at Felix Varela Senior High School in Miami, Florida, for his song, “You’re a Handy One.”

Leon Moskatel, Anne McGrath, and Sarah Brandon of North Hollywood, California, came in third with “I Find It at the Library.”

Fourth place goes to Ben Heston and Josh Mattison, Longview, Washington, for “Overloading the Outlet: Library Song”
Stay tuned for Teen Tech Week 2009! Have a contest idea? Submit it to Stephanie Iser, committee chair for the 2009 celebration. stephanie.iser@gmail.com.

Virtual World Resources

I added two new resources to the YALSA wiki: Virtual Worlds: A Teen Tech Week Guide. Download yourself a free copy of the Blue Book: A Consumer Guide to Virtual Worlds published by the Association of Virtual Worlds. It lists over 250 virtual worlds, their age appropriateness, and what kind of environment they are. Also, check out the Second Skin site. It is a documentary on virtual worlds through the lens of seven gamers.

Tomorrow from 5-6pm EST, Young Adult Author John Green will be in Second Life (*note this is the main grid of SL which is for those 18 and over). He will be presenting in audio. There are a few other ways you can listen to his presentation if you don’t have access to SL or don’t have time to fiddle with it. Visit the Bookosphere Radio here or go to the Library Loft web site here where streamed video and audio of the presentation will be available.

Writing, Technology, Teens

Pew Internet in American Life logoToday the Pew Internet in American Life Project released a new report titled Writing, Technology, and Teens. The opening paragraph of the report states:

Teenagers’ lives are filled with writing. All teens write for school, and 93% of teens say they write for their own pleasure. Most notably, the vast majority of teens have eagerly embraced written communication with their peers as they share messages on their social network pages, in emails and instant messages online, and through fast-paced thumb choreography on their cell phones. Parents believe that their children write more as teens than they did at that age.

The core of the report focuses on what teens have to say about their own writing practices. The findings in the report span teen writing practices in and out of school and look at what mode teens use to write – long-hand or computer, the most common types of writing, and the impact of technology on teen writing behaviors.

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Urban Myths

Here is how it started. A librarian discovered that emails sent via Google Docs, asking teachers and students to collaborate on projects, were being filtered by the school. When the librarian asked the school technician about this she was told that use of Google Docs, and like services, was not allowed in the school because of a recent ruling by a state judicial body. She was further informed that the ruling stated that schools needed to archive locally all materials created by students and teachers, so using something like Google Docs – which is not local storage – would go against that ruling.

The librarian tweeted this discovery which started a discussion about whether this ruling could prohibit schools from using web-based collaboration tools. Emails and Twitter messages went back and forth and librarians working for the state’s law library system were asked if they knew anything about the ruling and its impact on schools.

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In the Know

Teen librarians that want to keep up on what’s going on with legislation related to social networking in schools and libraries, what the digital TV transition really means, and copyright in a world full of downloading might want to check out the following podcasts:

  • Episode 105 of The Real Deal podcast covered the digital TV transition in a way that makes the whole thing understandable. I know lots of teens, teachers, and parents have questions about what the transition means for them and their TV viewing. This Real Deal episode could be just the thing to give them the info. they need.
  • One week later, in episode 106, The Real Deal covered the topic of copyright. Again, in clear straightforward language the hosts of the show, along with copyright lawyer Colette Vogele, covered what’s legal, what’s not legal, and what’s up for grabs in the download age. Listen to know how to answer questions from teens. Have teens listen so they can gain a clear sense of what’s really up when it comes to copying, downloading, and licensing.
  • Not quite as recent as the discussions on The Real Deal, but earlier this month Buzz Out Loud reported that Virginia is the first state to pass an Internet Safey law. The law requires schools in the state to teach Internet Safety in the classroom.

Video and audio podcasts continue to be a really useful way of keeping up on the latest news on laws, trends, and technology that have an impact on teen services in libraries. Check out these three and maybe start subscribing as a way to keep up and be in the know.

Music Is Alive and Kickin’ When It Comes to Information Sharing

Long before the book (and way longer than cell phones), information was shared through music. Chuck D’s now-famous statement that hip hop is the “CNN of the streets” takes its cue from ancient texts like the Samaveda and the epics of Homer.

A recent New York Times story showcased how teens are carrying this forward at the annual convention for the Organization of American Historians. Teens used dance and singing to communicate the history of their communities, as well as their place within that history. Another recent story featured the teens at the Howland Public Library, who engaged in “creative conversation” through a teen drumming circle.

When libraries sponsor drum circles, online music collaboration (through sites such as eJamming, Kompoz, and Indaba), or showcases where teens have an opportunity to perform songs about their favorite book, they give teens the tools to carry the creative conversation into song–a place where public knowledge has existed for millennia.

Maltese Falcon Meets Teen Tech Week (now w/ video!)

Even though Teen Tech Week was in March, our library used that time to promote something new (for us, anyway) – a teen video contest. One of the challenges we face as a medium-sized library system is keeping our programming lean and focused, so we combined two ideas to make this program work:

1) our Central Library wanted to have a teen video contest this spring

2) we needed high school involvement to fulfill a Big Read grant in April/May

The combination of the programming was great, as it allowed us to use contacts we’d made with Kansas City Public Television and TimeWarner Cable. We were also able to reach out to school districts in a different way through broadcast media classes. In addition to giving the contest a tight focus, we were also able to encourage teens to experience The Maltese Falcon, our Big Read pick.

We’re nearly ready to announce the winner – and we’ve had a lot of fun with this initiative. Check out the demo video that the KCPT interns made for us below, and try a video contest yourself – you won’t regret it!

more e. lockhart! fly on the wall

fly on the wall  by e. lockhart fly on the wall is a three part story about Gretchen Yee’s sudden insight into the actions of boys. How? She’s turned into a fly on the boy’s locker room, of course. :3

And who uses the guys’ locker room? Why her crush, OF COURSE. And those other guys. The jocks/stoners. And some more guys. Like the gay ones. Well. She gets more than she bargained for, but it all comes together. Continue reading

YALSA Podcast Update

Check out the latest YALSA podcasts in honor of last week’s Teen Literature Day. Victoria Vogel,Teen Librarian at the Rocky River Public Library is interviewed by Gerry Vogel, about ways to serve homebound teens. She gives a great list of titles that are going to be hits with many teens-homebound or not.

The other podcast is with Stacy Whitman, Editor for Mirrorstone Books who talks about how the organization contributes to the larger community as well as some great up and coming fantasy titles. She also mentions a contest that teens might be interested in!

Listen in here or subscribe to the podcast feed.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Being on the Cutting Edge with a Cellphone

In today’s New York Times there is a short article about the use of cellphones as a coupon delivery mechanism. What an interesting idea. And, what an even more interesting idea, when put within the lens of a library and serving teens within the library. For example, what if via their cellphones teens could access a coupon for:

  • A percentage off on making photocopies, or even a waiver on paying for copying?
  • A percentage off on their fines, or even a waiver of their fines?
  • An invitation to be one of the first people to be able to checkout a new book of a favorite author? (Or a new CD from a favorite musician, a new DVD with a favorite actor, a new game within a favorite genre, etc.)
  • The opportunity to be one of the first to try out a new program or service at the library? Do you want to know if teens are interested in something? Send them a coupon invite, via their cellphones, to try something out and let the redemption of the coupons fill you in on what their interests are.

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