by Clair Segal

As Teen Tech Week 2013 draws to a close, we hope you (and your teens) have had a great time celebrating technology's place in the library. And like Kip mentioned, this week is more than just a week. The work you've done will continue to be important all year round; increasing your teen's awareness of technology, and helping them to associate the library with tech. Just as you're the go-to when they need a good manga, or an easy beach read, you can be the guru when they aren't sure how to get this massive file from their computer to their smartphone or find an app that lets them walk and text without running into people.

A few thoughts as you wrap up:
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by Kip Odell

As we near the end of Teen Tech Week, librarians will begin to evaluate their programs. Experiencing and learning about library programs in action during this week is always a great reminder about how important technological literacy is for teens and how beneficial hands-on experiences can be for them. This year three things have stood out to me during TTW:

  • While it has been said before, it is worth saying again, that Tech Week is really a year-round event. The programs we create during TTW are great to bring awareness to library technology and information, but they are also jumping-off points for teen services librarians to continue similar programs for the rest of the year.
  • Collaboration is more important than ever. As technology moves forward and evolves, learning from each other helps everyone create relevant and necessary programs for teens. Luckily, there are numerous sources to keep you up-to-date, including great information from YALSA.
  • Speaking of change, the move to provide active, hands-on learning experiences is upon us! This has really always been our charge, but it has been accelerated with the focus on things like maker spaces and the emphasis on mentoring teens as they become digital creators, not just media consumers.

I hope everyone's Teen Tech Week was amazing and look forward to a year of new and exciting things to learn!

by Donna Block

Ideally, tech programs in our libraries aren't confined to one week in March. Two different programs I attended recently have filled me with hope and ideas for hosting hands-on tech programs throughout the year.

The first program was YALSA's' Maker Spaces 101' webinar on February 7, featuring Hillary Kolos of' the' DreamYard Project' in the Bronx. The' second was LACONI's Participatory Spaces workshop' held at Oak Park Public Library on February 22, featuring Steve Teeri of the' HYPE Teen Center' in Detroit.' HYPE offers programs ranging from bicycle maintenance to electronics and robots. DreamYard offers training in graphic and web design, digital photo and video, music and audio production in addition to more traditional crafts. Read More →

by Kip Odell

Not every library has a ton of technology to use during Teen Tech Week, but there are many low-tech programs perfect for TTW. One good idea is a Take It Apart program, a chance for teens to strip old and broken tech that can range from phones to computers to fax machines. It's a great way to expose teens to older equipment, to let them figure out how they work, and to discover what this stuff looks like on the inside. Of course, the teens just love digging into hardware and tearing it apart!

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by Clair Segal

If Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest have taught us anything, it's that teens like viewing, changing, and sharing content with each other. They're not content to just consume the internet, they want to contribute to it-- to be part of the culture and the conversation. And what better way to celebrate Teen Tech Week than helping them do that?

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But let's say you're not a master remixer-- in fact, let's assume the only thing you've ever mashed up is potatoes. What can you do to help your kids shine?

The internet has got you covered! Read More →

by Donna Block

My library is in the midst of a renovation project that makes planning Teen Tech Week programs difficult -- mainly because we're never sure whether we'll have access to a room where we can hold events. Our current office space is located in what used to be a prime study area.

As a substitute to our traditional tech programs, we devised a QR Code Scavenger Hunt that can take place anywhere in the library, anytime we are open.

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One of the pretty QR Code posters designed by our graphic artist. The bit.ly link appears in orange.


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It's that time of year again! With Teen Tech Week (TTW) on the horizon March 10-16th, it's time to dust off your digital literacy lesson plans, pull out the video game consoles, and prep your hard drives.

But for many of us, it's not that simple. TTW can be a lot of fun, but coming up with programming that you have the ' space, energy, and time & know-how to execute can seem a daunting task.

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So where can you turn when you're in need of a good programming idea, or just someone to bounce ideas off? The Teen Tech Week Committee has got you covered. This Friday (2/22) at 2 PM Eastern, the committee will be hosting a Tweet-up in preparation for Teen Tech Week 2013, Check in @ Your Library. Log into Twitter' and join the conversation using the hashtag #ttw13.

We'll be talking about how to celebrate TTW in your library, whether its academic, public, or inside a school. Join in with programming suggestions and questions, share your experiences with past TTW celebrations, and connect with other librarians.

And if you can't join in this Friday, don't worry. The ' Teen Tech Week Ning' is a great tech resource all year round, with forums and posts from librarians around the country.

Are you at Midwinter and do you want to win some fabulous prizes? Then take part in the Teen Tech Week scavenger hunt, by following the QR code clues throughout the conference and online. If you reach the end and enter your name on the secret raffle page, you'll have a chance to' win a fabulous prize package from YALSA and our TTW sponsors, including' a copy of the 50th anniversary edition of The Phantom' Tollbooth' (signed by both Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer!), and a t-shirt from Figment.com!

Head over to the TTW 2012 website to begin the hunt, and good luck! Thanks so much to our TTW sponsors for making this all possible.

Going to Midwinter in Dallas?

Win a fabulous YALSA prize package by being the first to complete the Teen Tech Week QR Code Scavenger Hunt! Participants will visit locations both in person and online throughout ALA Midwinter. Solve the clues, find the codes, and scan them into your phone's QR code reader (visit this page for recommended apps for various platforms).

If you can scan all the codes, you may win an assortment of YALSA goodies. To participate, visit the Teen Tech Week website starting Friday, January 20th. (For more information on QR codes, visit the Wikipedia page on the subject).

Thanks to the Teen Tech Week sponsors for helping make the scavenger hunt possible. Good luck!