YALSAblog Tweets of the Week – April 4, 2014

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 April 4 and April 10 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.
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Self-Directed Programs: Scavenger Hunts

An amazing way to get your tweens and teens to know the “unfamiliar” bits of your library is to do self-directed scavenger hunts. You know that your “kids” tend to congregate to one particular area- whether it’s your teen space, a place with the most comfortable chairs or a low table for card gaming, or the place furthest away from the supervising eyes of the non-teen people at the desk. And while they’ll know where to find the YA books, MAD Magazine and Alternative Press, and manga, do they know where to find non-fiction books for reports? Or how to operate one of the databases? If you become devious and take a little time out of your day, you can take a theme and turn a lesson in the library world into a creative self-directed program that will make them want to participate.

Scavenger hunts can be as intricate or as simple as you want them to be. Think about your current teens and the browsers that you have. What do they like, what things grab them? Do you have a program coming up that you could use this program as a gateway, like a Lego or Rainbow Loom makerspace? Are your teens gearing up for state tests or are you starting to build up for summer? Are you celebrating Free Comic Book Day or Star Wars Day or any of the newer movie releases? Take any of those and create silhouettes or in-house graphics to place around the library- depending on the length you decide your program will be (a day, a week) they can be printed on normal printer paper or card-stock, but they don’t have to last long.

Or, like I did for Teen Tech Week this year, take a page from Gwyneth Jones (http://www.thedaringlibrarian.com/2012/05/qr-code-quest-scavenger-hunt-part-deux.html), The Daring Librarian, and go with a QR scavenger hunt! Instead of characters and pictures, make your hunt virtual and hide QR codes around the library for teens to scan and learn. I used ours to introduce our new Ipad and tablets to our tweens and teens.QR Code hunt

Once you have your theme, decide on the length of the hunt. I typically have used 8-10, depending on the size of the library, but you may want to go larger or smaller. Remember your audience- you don’t want them to completely zone out, but you don’t want them to think it’s a “baby” thing, either. Questions I’ve used before have been:

  • Nicely, introduce yourself to a staff member you’ve never met before, and get their initials. (with a picture of the Mad Hatter Tea Party on the reference desk)
  • Horror is a sub-genre of our fiction section, and Carrie is based on a book by this author. Find the author and the book and find your next clue.

So get creative and then sit back and watch the fun!

Submitted by Christie Gibrich

YALSAblog Tweets of the Week – March 28, 2014

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 March 28 and April 3 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.
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Maker March: I Craft, Therefore I Make

If a self-proclaimed Crafter (no I am not talking about Minecraft here) and a self-proclaimed Maker were put opposite each other in a cage fight, who would win? Are they equals? The same thing? What makes them different? Either way, they would certainly have the coolest wrestling masks ever! But I digress. Crafting and making are the essentially the same thing. They share the same basic DIY tenet, as well as the sharing ideas and how to’s, reusing, “up-cycling” or repurposing anything and everything. And both are made all the better if you can create using low cost, free or scavenged materials. Continue reading

TTW: Start with What You’ve Got

Feel less than tech savvy? Concerned that you are not techie enough to pull off a Teen Tech week program? Well, don’t be! While it is fantastic to have the double bonus of offering coding or robotics during Teen Tech Week (March 9-15) the reality is that many of us do not have the skills, budgets, the time or the passion to learn them.  Remember the foundation of Teen Tech Week is to promote our library’s digital offerings. Additionally it is more than likely that you have more digital skills than you give yourself credit for. And if you don’t have those skills you can probably get a teen to help you work out some of the kinks.   Continue reading

Maker March: Are You Already Making @ Your Library?

Everyone is talking about Makerspaces. When I say “Makerspace” do you immediately think of a room filled with laser cutters, 3D printers, and teens creating giant programmable robots capable of restacking meeting room chairs? Probably, although the robots may just be me.

The reality for most libraries is that we don’t have a dedicated space in which to make stuff. But we do have the capability to encourage making at our libraries. Making means learning through trial and error, through practical application, and through hands-on experience. Making means giving access to communities to grow and create something better. Continue reading

YALSAblog Tweets of the Week – February 21, 2014

A weekly short list of tweets that librarians and the teens that they serve may find interesting.

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 February 21 and February 27 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.
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YALSAblog Tweets of the Week – February 14, 2014

A weekly short list of tweets that librarians and the teens that they serve may find interesting.

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 February 14 and February 20 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.
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Virtual Road Trip: Idaho

The Idaho Commission for Libraries developed a pilot project in early 2013 to implement makerspaces in public libraries across Idaho and had a successful and exciting first year.idaho2 We worked with five libraries including Ada Community Library, Community Library Network, Gooding Public Library, Meridian District Library, and Snake River School Community Library to embrace “making” and push the boundaries of programming with tweens and teens.Idaho Each library exceeded every expectation, and demonstrated innovation, creativity, and drive in the implementation of the project. These successes made us even more excited to open up the opportunity to libraries for a second year.

We were overwhelmed to receive eleven applications representing libraries from many regions across the state. After careful review, we are pleased to announce that the following libraries have been invited to participate in the second year of the project:

* Aberdeen District Library
* Buhl Public Library
* East Bonner County District Library
* Jerome Public Library
* Portneuf District Library
* Twin Falls Public Library

Each of the libraries has committed two staff to participate in the year-long project. The first workshop will take place on February 24-25 at the Commission, and will focus on developing a foundational understanding of the maker culture and the design process. Participants will also develop skills in building with FischerTechnik™ manipulatives to explore construction, simple machines, engineering, and architecture. A second two-day training in May will focus on Robotics, and a final two-and-a-half day training in November will cover 3d design, 3D printing, and e-textiles.

Libraries from the first year of the project have also committed one new staff member to participate in the second year of the project in order to broaden their base of support and expand programming in their libraries. We are excited to welcome all of the libraries and new staff to the project and look forward to watching the learning, the making, and the creativity start to happen.

If you would like to read more about what we are doing in Idaho, please visit us at: http://libraries.idaho.gov/make-it-at-the-library.
To follow our progress please *LIKE* our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MakeItIdaho.

This project has been made possible through funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.imls

Submitted by Erica Compton, Idaho Commission for Libraries

YALSAblog Tweets of the Week – February 7, 2014

A weekly short list of tweets that librarians and the teens that they serve may find interesting.

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 February 7 and February 13 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.
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