Battle of the Books

In this corner, weighing in at 592 pages, The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves.‘ In the other corner, at 224 pages, we have Ways to Live Forever. In the judge’s chair, we have Roger Sutton, reading, reading, reading, getting ready to deliver the Opinion in Round 1 of School Library Journal’s Battle of the Books!

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Strategies for Digital Natives

I’m at Computers in Libraries this week, and this morning I attended Helene Blowers‘s talk on digital natives. It was awesome. Helene is a great advocate for children and teens using technology. Here are some selected notes from her talk:

Identity—For teens, their online identity is the same as their in-person identity; they explore to see if a space is safe; their social identity is very important to them

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I’m Reading Again

To be honest, I never stopped reading. However, as some people know, for quite awhile I’ve been talking about how my reading habits have changed. I spend my days reading quite a bit – blogs, web sites, web-based newspaper articles, Twitter and Facebook messages, email, text messages, and so on. But, for the most part, for several years, I’ve had little or no interest in reading physical books. As a matter of fact, whenever I started reading a physical book I found that it took me forever to finish it. (Even if I was really interested in it.) Obviously my reading habits and interests changed. And, I had no problem with that. I liked the reading I was doing. I was keeping up and learning more than ever. Continue reading

What Does That Have to Do With Libraries?

I get asked this question a lot. Sometimes it comes right after the “Oh, you have to go to school for that?” moment–you know, from someone who thinks a Master’s in library sciences means Basic Shushing 101 and Advanced Glaring Techniques.

Sometimes it comes up when I’m carrying around a couple of Guitar Hero controllers (or my new DDR pads–huzzah!) and I have to explain–again–why one line of my business card reads “Library Gaming Advocate.”

…Or sometimes it comes when I’ve just gotten back from an event with a swag bag that looks more like it came from a gay pride event than an educational conference. Continue reading

The YALSA Update: YALSA at ALA Annual, Support Teen Lit Day and more!

Explore the Universe of Teen Reading! YALSA’s offering a fantastic full-day preconference before ALA Annual Conference. Come to Genre Galaxy: Explore the Universe of Teen Reading and meet popular YA authors, including Holly Black, Cecil Castelucci, David Lubar, and Dom Testa! Discover new ways to reach teens with books, including literacy activities, program ideas and collection development. Tickets start at $195 for YALSA members and include lunch.’  Interested? Register online (you don’t have to register for ALA Annual to attend this preconference).

Advance Your Career with YALSA! In uncertain economic times, it’s important to think about your professional goals and make sure you’re in a good position to meet them. Join YALSA for the half-day preconference Moving Up the YA Career Ladder, where we’ll discuss career options for young adult librarians, tips for transitioning into management or other careers, writing effective resumes and CVs, and finding your management style. Tickets cost $129 and include refreshments. Interested? Register online (you don’t have to register for ALA Annual to attend this preconference).

After the jump, details on other special YALSA events at ALA Annual Conference, Operation TBD and Support Teen Lit Day, the WrestleMania Reading Challenge winners, the ALA/YALSA Election, and the Great Ideas contest.

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Smoking Smarties: News Report

Once again, I heard an item during the a.m. news that involves teens and a new trend.’  The trend is performing a smoking ritual with the candy known as Smarties.’  You take a plastic tube of Smarties, crush the candy up until it’s powdery, and pull on it with your mouth like it’s a cigarette.’  You don’t light the candy, and you’re not supposed to inhale.’  Users puff the candy out of their mouth and it looks like smoke.’  This hit the news because a number of teens have posted videos of themselves on Youtube teaching how to “smoke Smarties.”‘  In Frisco, Colorado, a middle school principal has made possession of Smarties a punishable offense. Continue reading

Making Change Happen Now-A Call to Action

Many of you already know or heard of the CPSIA of 2008.’  For those of you who don’t know or haven’t heard, this is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act that has been a thorn in librarians’ sides since the emails and bulletins started circulating in early January.’  It was originally meant to regulate lead and phtalates in age 12 and under children’s toys.’  However, it was misinterpreted to include books, which has lead to a paniac amongst all librarians across the U.S.’  At first, it was supposed to take effect this February 10, but a stay was issued until next year.

However, something important has happened! Continue reading

Learning While Doing

Today at the jail where I do outreach we worked with Publisher software. The group is designing a flyer that will be posted in the facility to let people know about a project they are working on. By using Publisher they learned how to focus the message of their project in an attractive way and to match the images to their topic. Once we got past the clip art search for ‘girls’ we were well on our way to having a product that could be posted. When a group of observers came to visit the library they were impressed with the guys ability to navigate the software. Continue reading