A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

May the fourth be with you. Today is May 4 and that can only mean one thing -- it's Star Wars Day! A nod to the phrase "May the force be with you" from the movies, today is a day for fans to celebrate their favorite franchise. Not to be confused with Star Wars Reads Day which has been held in October (October 6 in 2012, October 5 in 2013, and October 11 in 2014) to celebrate reading, Star Wars Day grew out of a grassroots movement started by fans and gained the support of Lucasfilm Ltd. With the release of the newest film Episode VII: The Force Awakens debuting in December, the excitement surrounding the Star Wars saga is on the rise. Over the past week, many libraries have been preparing for today, sharing Instagram sneak peeks of displays and programs. Enjoy your Star Wars Day celebrations, but beware of the Revenge of the Fifth tomorrow...

In addition, this past Saturday, May 2 was Free Comic Book Day (FCBD). Held on the first Saturday of May since 2002, FCBD is a single-day celebration of comics during which participating shops, libraries, and schools distribute free comic books. From hosting library Comic Cons to crafting with recycled comic book pages, this year's participating libraries offered a variety of activities in addition to free comics.

Did you hold an event for Star Wars day or participate in Free Comic Book Day? We want to hear from you! How did you spotlight your Star Wars collection for your teens and which programs did you offer? For FCBD, how did you obtain your comic books? How did you get the word out to your community?


For more information about Star Wars Day and the upcoming movie release, visit the official Star Wars website at: http://www.starwars.com/

For more information about Free Comic Book Day, visit the official website at: http://www.freecomicbookday.com

 

Read More →

A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

It's that time of year when public, school, and academic libraries start to feel the madness -- the book madness, that is!  To coincide with the March Madness basketball tournament, many libraries are hosting their own tournament with brackets of books. Frequently called Literary March Madness or Book Madness, librarians pit books against one another and ask library users to vote for their favorite titles. The sky is the limit when it comes to organizing brackets as the examples below spotlight different genres or categories (teen books vs. banned books, humor vs. local writers), sports books in general, staff picks, or pit popular characters against each other. When it comes to the voting process, there is also a bit of variation with some libraries opting for traditional handwritten bracket sheets and others heading online via social media, Google forms, or Survey Monkey.

Is you library participating in the big book dance and hosting a literary tournament? We want to hear from you! How do you go about choosing which books to include? Do you set up the pairings yourself or are you a fan of an online bracket generator?  Which method of submitting votes have you found works best for your teens? Do you change your categories from year to year to keep it interesting?

Read More →

Pizza Rolls not Gender Roles

Last week to celebrate Woman’s History Month several Youtube personalities created videos  highlighting some of the issues with America’s gender norms.

One of the vloggers, Kristina Horner, created a video about how YA literature has become gendered. From different covers to how we label genre’s there are many ways subtle clues are sent to potential readers about what books they are meant to read.

Read More →

Snapchat in the media center?  Isn’t it just another photo messaging app that has filters and picture enhancements?  After all, Snapchat pictures disappear after ten seconds.  At least with Instagram, the images are saved for long term viewing.  So why should media specialists even consider it as a way to reach their students?

Spontaneity.  Simple glimpses into the daily life of users.  This is what has helped Snapchat become one of the fastest growing photo messaging apps since its release in 2011.  “Snaps” come off as unprepared and candid which can make the images even more engaging knowing that they are simply a snapshot of a moment in someone’s life.  What is daily life like in your media center?  Document it with Snapchat.  Images of a student nestled up with a good book in the stacks, a group of students engaged in research, or ideas at work in a makerspace.  All of these images are opportunities for media specialists to showcase their media center in a format that teens have quickly adopted.  Snapchat also offers a Story feature now that allows multiple images to be displayed for up to 24 hours.  Media specialists can highlight a whole day’s activities during a special event, such as Teen Tech Week.

IMG_0285IMG_0287IMG_0288 (2)

One of the biggest appeals to using Snapchat as a way to reach students is the group safety features that the app has in place. When an image is sent to multiple users, the message still appears as an individual message to each user.  There is no record of every user that the image was sent to.  A media specialist can send a “snap” to multiple users, but the users will not have access to the other users’ information.

Of course, every picture messaging app has its drawbacks.  Teens were quick to jump on the bandwagon of this social media tool, and Snapchat quickly earned a bad reputation as a “sexting” app since users assumed risque pictures “vanished” after ten seconds. Users learned that images can be screenshot and saved for long past the mere seconds that Snapchat offers.  In response to concerns, Snapchat recently created the Snapchat Safety Center and released a safety guide on Feb. 23, 2015 titled “A Parent’s Guide to Snapchat”.  Media specialists could also use the Safety Center information and the guide as part of their digital citizenship and technology safety program with students.

Media specialists are always looking for new ways to reach their students.  Snapchat is used by 42% of teenage mobile users, according to Statista.com.  If the students are using it, then media specialists should at least give Snapchat a chance.  It is easy to add users, just “snap” the ghost icon on a user’s Profile screen.  So set up an account today and start sending “snaps” to give your students a glimpse into the daily life of your media center.

A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

Happy New Year! For many, the changing year brings with it a list of resolutions. What can we do for those who have made it a goal to read more books? For starters, we can share reading challenges with our teen patrons or create our own for our communities. The 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge has users set a goal of a specific number of titles to read, but other sources like Popsugar, Book Riot, and the TBR (To Be Read) Jar Challenge give category guidelines in which readers select a title of their choice.  Others, like Epic Reads' 365 Days of YA reading calendar and YALSA's 2015 Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge (which counts toward the upcoming 2015 Hub Reading Challenge), ask participants to read a number of books from a provided list. Either way, these reading challenge avenues provide inspiration for creating your own reading challenge for your teens. Check out Random House of Canada's year-long Reading Bingo Challenge (one general card and one specific to YA) -- fun and motivating!

Another way to engage teens in a discussion of their reading is through book photo challenges. Offered monthly, these challenges ask users to take a book-related photo a day and post it on social media with the corresponding hashtags. The sky is the limit when it comes to daily photo tasks! Engaging library users in this type of discussion can provide clues to collection development and potential programming.

Read More →

A conversation about Online Harassment.

For many teens, online is one of their 3rd places where they can find community and celebrate their various interests. These were safe places where they could find support outside of their physical community, especially if they were being harassed by peers.

Lately though many female content creators have been sharing their experiences which aren't positive. Female YouTube personalities have sexually suggestive comments posted. Many women in the gaming industry have come under attack, with their personal information being released publicly, forcing at least 3 to have to leave their homes. A female researcher's survey about sexism was corrupted by false data .We must also not forget the hundreds of celebrity photos that were released earlier this year.

Read More →

A short list of tweets from the past week of interest to teens and the library staff that work with them.

Do you have a favorite Tweet from the past week? If so add it in the comments for this post. Or, if you read a Twitter post between October 17 – October 23 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.
Read More →

A brief look at ‘grams of interest to engage teens and librarians' navigating' this social media platform. This week we're all about those book displays! Are your displays getting patrons in the fall spirit, providing inspiration for costumes and pumpkin carvings, or taking' the opportunity to spotlight horror novels? What's the coolest non-holiday display you've put together? Share with us in the comments section. We liked these ones a latte.

In honor of Teen Read Week which kicked off yesterday, October 12 and runs through October 18, we're highlighting a few 'grams of programs in the works and a few ideas from last year.

Have you come across a related Instagram post this week, or has your library posted something similar? Have a topic you'd like to see in the next installment of Instagram of the Week? Share it in the comments section of this post.

Read More →