February Eureka Moments

Congratulations! You’ve almost made it through February. If you’re struggling to find ideas for programs or just want to know what’s out there in the research world, maybe this will help.

  • Are your newer patrons the kind who wonder why librarians are relevant and useful? Just tell them that Beyoncé recently hired a personal librarian to archive and catalog her life.
  • A new study in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking looks at what influences teens’ decisions to disclose personal information to commercial websites. The researchers found that these decisions were linked to frequency of Internet use and social benefits of disclosing that information. It might be time to do a program on Internet security with your teens.
    Wannes Heirman, Michel Walrave, and Koen Ponnet. Predicting Adolescents’ Disclosure of Personal Information in Exchange for Commercial Incentives: An Application of an Extended Theory of Planned Behavior. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. February 2013, 16(2): 81-87. doi:10.1089/cyber.2012.0041.
  • The Journal of Early Adolescence reported on the connections between race, ethnicity, and SES on growing BMI in children and adolescents. For girls, they found that low SES and high birth weight were big predictors of heavy weight gain, while African American and Asian American boys in higher SES brackets were more prone to obesity. It might bear looking at the full article in conjunction with the demographics of your library’s neighborhood or patron base next time you are preparing a book display on health and active lifestyles or when updating your collection, to make sure that you are showcasing materials that might hit the right age groups and cultural backgrounds so as to be extra relevant.
    Fred W. Danner and Michael D. Toland. The Interactive Role of Socioeconomic Status, Race/Ethnicity, and Birth Weight on Trajectories of Body Mass Index Growth in Children and Adolescents. The Journal of Early Adolescence. February 2013, 33(3): 293-314.
  • The blog and activist center Native Appropriations is celebrating three years of ensuring that offensive portrayals of Native Americans in the media and popular culture, appropriations of native art for commercial gains, and college and university use of native images as mascots, party themes, and more do not go unnoticed. The blog is run by a graduate student and runs on the contributions of links, news items, and opinions from its public. It is definitely worth a look, because it might surprise you to know just how common it is to misrepresent indigenous people.
  • Young adults of today are less likely to have a family member who is in the military. Does this mean that Americans on average are less in touch with what it means to be at war, and what it means to be deployed? Perhaps. This report at Sociological Images definitely made me rethink how I go about my life in blissful ignorance. What about your teens?
  • You’ll be reading this with the knowledge of who wins the 85th Academy Awards, but I am writing before that fact. That said, it’s always worth looking at the past. If you find that your teens are gabbing about the winners all week, consider this article, written before last year’s awards, that breaks down the sad racial and ethnic statistics of nominees in Oscar history. Did you know that in the past decade (meaning, in this article, 2002-2011), not a single Latin@, Asian American, or Native American actor has won an award in any acting category? (That fact, by the way, was not upset in the 2012 awards.) This might make for an interesting discussion at your next teen advisory meeting.
  • Read any good research or editorials lately? Have some plans for innovative programming based on current events?

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