28 Days of Advocacy – #28: A Newbie’s Refections on Legislative Day

Let me begin my blog on Legislative Day, but saying that two months ago, I had no intention of attending Legislative Day.  I just learned what it was a couple of months before that.  For those of you who don’t know, library Legislative Day is when delegates (librarians, library staff, and library supporters) from all over a given state travel to the state capital to meet with state senators and representatives to discuss issues affecting libraries.  Often, delegates advocate for certain funding or policy initiatives that they hope the legislators will support.  I knew there were tons of reason that I should go, like the fact that I really believe in championing the cause of libraries or that I conveniently live in the state capital, but the whole idea seemed too overwhelming.  I haven’t even graduated library school — what was I going to say to a state senator?

Flash forward and I find my local library facing major cuts and budget issues.  Everywhere you go, all you hear is “Recession. Recession. Recession.”  If there was any time to quit being a wimp and speak up about library issues, the time was now.  It was time to take the plunge. Continue reading

On-line Texting Sites

At ALA’s Mid-Winter Conference in January a teen services librarian asked members of the Teen Tech Week committee if we could recommend any Internet sites that allow users to send text messages to cell phones. The teens at her library had asked if they could receive event reminders via text messages sent to their cell phones rather than by standard e-mail. She was trying to find a way to accommodate their request that would be inexpensive and not too labor intensive. Since this was not the first time this question had been posed to members of the committee, I volunteered to do some research and see what’s out there. Continue reading

Twilight Movie Licensing

Many of you YA librarians probably know that the movie version of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight will be released on March 21, 2009. And lots of you are probably planning on hosting Teen Movie Night screenings of the film. If you’re responsible for organizing the event at your library, here’s a piece of information to consider. Twilight was produced by Summit Entertainment, a fledgling studio which is NOT covered by many (probably any) of the blanket public performance licenses most of us hold. Continue reading

28 Days of Advocacy #27 – Librarian DNA: We Are More Alike Than Different

There are a number of issues that seem to be “type of library” issues. But when given more than a cursory glance, it turns out that they are simply library issues. One example is the SKILLS Act introduced in the last Congress. Its purpose was to assure that every K-12 school would have a library with a state-certified school library media specialist. Or to put that another way, that every school would provide its students with the vital educational resources that research has shown contribute to student achievement. Isn’t that what No Child Left Behind was supposed to do—promote and cultivate student achievement?
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IMLS Webwise Conference: Digital Debates

I am in DC for the Webwise Conference sponsored by IMLS, The Wolfsonian, the Florida Center Library Association, and MacArthur. It has really been a fabulous conference, and I’ve seen many of the projects sponsored by IMLS grants connected to digital media learning environments. I want to tell you that futuristic learning looks incredible and is going on right now–not a decade from now. Continue reading

28 Days of Advocacy #26 – Educating Your Staff

Teens walk into the library with friends and attitude.  They ignore the rules, they want to do things their own way, and they want adults to leave them alone.  Library staff respond with hostility, superiority, and a demand to follow rules that are not necessarily enforced for other age groups.  How to change that?  Educate your staff about the psychology of adolescence, help them see that the behavior they are objecting to is perfectly normal for adolescents.  In addition, educate your staff about applying rules equally across age ranges.  If teens have to work quietly, then so do the man with the cell phone who yells at the person he’s talking to, the senior citizens who forgot their hearing aids, and the mother with the screaming, hysterical infant or toddler.  Continue reading

The YALSA Update: Teen Tech Week PSAs & More!

Teen Tech Week PSAs Teen Tech Week is less than two weeks away! Drum up interest @ your library by playing one of our six new public service announcements featuring SpongeBob SquarePants’ Tom Kenny! All are available in mp3 format and are perfect for playing during school announcements, over your library’s loudspeakers or for giving to your local radio station. Our thanks to Galaxy Press, a 2009 Teen Tech Week Promotional Partner, for providing us with the PSAs.

Tell Us What You’re Doing! We know you have amazing things planned for Teen Tech Week.  Let us know! Add your events to the 2009 Teen Tech Week wiki. You can also see what the 2009 Teen Tech Week Mini Grant winners have planned for their winning celebrations.

After the jump: Annual Early Bird deadline, the ongoing Member Drive (you could win a Flip Video camera!), and the Great Ideas contest!

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