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

Maybe it is the promise of spring, or perhaps it's the the recent book award announcements, but reading is definitely in the air in teen services. This week's teen-focused Instagram accounts featured a deluge of teen book club posts. Whether simple photos of all the books prior to pick-up by book club members, images of teen involvement, or (of course) photos of the food being offered at meetings, it is clear that teen book clubs did not get buried under a snowy winter.

The school library I work for offers a book club to 7th grade students, which is run by one of my co-workers The kids vote on three books from a pre-prepared list (but can make a case for a personal favorite) and read the books over the course of a few months. Then, the group swaps out for a new round of 7th graders. There are no assignments, and the kids make book trailers with Animoto at the end of their session. Fortunately, the session that ran through the winter saw no decrease in enthusiasm.

What format does your teen book club take? Are there assigned books, or are teens and middle grade kids asked to simply come prepared to talk about ANY book? Do the school vacations influence book club participation at your library (if you are public)? If there are specific books, how are they decided upon? How do you promote and draw kids into your book club? Do you have themed reads? Offer food? Please share in the comments below!

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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.

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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.

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A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform. A new month with a new season approaching can only mean one thing -- new book displays! From fireplaces Catching Fire to snowmen and book trees, these displays were snow cool that we just had to share. What types of displays are you putting together this month? Do your teens have a role is putting everything together?

It's also the time of year for "Best of" book lists. The 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards were recently announced as were Epic Reads' 2014 Shimmy Award Winners. YALSA announced the finalists of both the William C. Morris and Excellence in Nonfiction Awards and School Library Journal presented their list of the 70 best books of 2014. Are you using social media to promote these titles and educate teens about these awards? If so, tell us how in the comments section below.

To view this week's Instagram images, please follow this link: Instagram of the Week - December 8

Have you come across a 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.

A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform. This week we're looking at how libraries can use Instagram as a platform for readers' advisory. An interesting example that popped up this week comes from the UK. In the United States National Bullying Prevention Month takes place during October, but the UK holds Anti-Bullying Month throughout November with National Anti-Bullying Week falling during the third week (November 17-21 this year). As a way to raise awareness and spark discussions about bullying, Sarah Churchill, a bibliophile with a book-focused YouTube channel, started the Anti Bullying Readathon for which participants would read books with bullying themes. A Goodreads group was created and more than 700 members have created a list of 150 books that touch on bullying for a variety of reading levels. Participants engaged in discussions and shared their reading on social media using #AntiBullyReads. Engaging readers in an active discussion, developing themed reading challenges, as well as posting images of recommended books and resources available in the library are excellent ways for libraries to reach patrons on Instagram for readers' advisory.

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A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform. From cupcakes to duct tape and candy sushi to spin art, this week we're looking at how libraries advertise for teen programs, show off what participants made, and recruit new members for TAB and TAG groups. Does your library have an Instagram account specifically your teen population or TAB group? Who decides what gets posted on there?

Secondly, we mustache you... are you doing anything special for MOvember? If yes, please don't shave it for later! We want to see your crafts, displays, and decorations in the comments section below.

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.

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Collecting Marvel and DC Comics for Teens

This October, DC announced its movie lineup through 2020, and Marvel did the same through 2019. Both publishers also have TV shows both on the air and in development.

The surge of adaptations has opened up the world of superhero comics to a whole new audience, as have recent reboots aiming to make these comics more accessible to new readers. (Note that I use the word "comics" as it is my preferred term, but calling them "graphic novels" is also appropriate.) Reboots make collection development easier for librarians who are understandably confused by the intricate histories, unclear chronologies, and intertwining universes of Marvel and DC. Librarian review sources tend to shy away from these publishers, making it even harder for us to know what to collect. Yet Diamond Comics Distributors's industry statistics show that DC and Marvel together make up about 2/3 of the market. (Diamond is the largest comic book distributor in the U.S.)

I collect comics for teens in two public libraries, and I have found that building a solid set of Marvel and DC titles has not only provided patrons with reading materials they want, but has also drawn in some teens who might otherwise not be reading for fun at all. It takes a little time and research to become familiar enough with these comics to build a strong collection, but it's well worth the investment. Here's some info to get you started.

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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.

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“…as far as I can tell, a young adult novel is a regular novel that people actually read.” – Stephen Colbert

A PBS articleteenreadweek over the weekend looked at the growing popularity of young adult fiction with adults. To any librarian with YA experience, this news comes as no surprise. We all know that the amazing quality of good YA literature has broad appeal. There are times when I feel like I am getting away with something because the nature of my work involves promoting this genre. You might get this feeling, too.

Speaking of work, Teen Read Week is nearly upon us! The' AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School-Public Library Collaboration' (SPLC Committee for short) presents this Top Ten list of ways you can promote Teen Read Week. Please note that none of these ideas are uniquely ours, but rather are great ideas we have come across over the years:

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