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 November 14 - November 20 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.

Tweets of the Week-November 14, 2014 (*Note: the format for this week's Tweets is a link to Storify some technical difficulties are being resolved.)

So you've figured out how to prioritize your work, be an awesome team member and lead from wherever you are in your organization. Now you're ready to be in charge of something. There are a lot of things to coordinate in the library -- managing a small purchase from your Friends of the Library group, spending some grant funds, chairing an internal committee or pulling off a larger project.

You may not have a lot of experience in the area you're newly in charge of, but often that's the best place to start -- your experience and preconceived notions won't get in your way. Here are some places to start when you're put in charge of something:

Read More →

This is a guest post from Trevor Calvert, a member of the Local Arrangements Committee for Annual 2015 in San Francisco.

San Francisco in the summer is beautiful. Clear, warm days and cool (okay, sometimes windy and cold) evenings make is a perfect city for the contemporary flaneur. Some may recall the "coldest winter was summer in S.F." quote often attributed to Samuel Clemens, and while the authority control on that is in doubt, the sentiment is not. Make sure to pack light-yet-warm clothes that you can stuff into a knapsack during the day, and later don at night. it's a gorgeous city, and you'll want to walk it. Luckily, it's not terribly large!

San Francisco is only seven by seven miles, but that area includes Gold Rush-era architecture, beautiful Victorians, breathtaking parks, pleasing urban parks , and lots of hills to trolley or walk. If you want to spend money here, it's really easy--but if you like to travel a little lighter, and perhaps see the city as many of its residents do, then read on for a list of inexpensive and free activities in San Francisco (culled from an informal Facebook survey to ensure authenticity and from this writer's experiences). Read More →

As teen services people we are passionate about advocating for teens in our libraries. We strive for equality of service and resources and understand on an instinctive level how even the most non-traditional program/activity is library appropriate for teens. We are the people that smile when twenty-five teens walk through the door. Sometimes our colleagues don't "get us" and we certainly don't get them when they see teens as problems just by virtue of them being teens.

Our teen service passion coupled with the less-than-teen friendly attitudes of our colleagues can lead to conflict. In addition to being advocates for teens, we also have to be good team players and diplomats at work - and help our colleagues understand the importance of teen services. Teen services people can employ soft skills to better communicate the teen services message to colleagues in a way that is productive, effective - and makes the library environment better for everyone.

YALSA members are invited to a free webinar Soft Serve: using soft skills to enhance communication with colleagues & improve service to teens.

The webinar will include information about:

  • Tips for speaking with colleagues and administrators about teen services
  • Strategies for breaking down barriers to effective customer service to teens
  • Building a positive in-house attitude towards teens/ teen services

The 60 minute webinar is Thursday, November 20th at 2 p.m. Eastern. It's free for all YALSA members. For more information and to register visit: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/onlinelearning/webinar

Do you have an experience to share about teen-resistant colleagues? I'd appreciate hearing about it in comments to this post.

softserv

The fall season is a favorite season for many-warm sweaters, fall leaves, pumpkins and apple cider. Autumn is also a time to reflect on the year's bounty and to say thank you. November brings Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving-three days we can extend a special thanks to our troops and veterans and to acknowledge the children and teens also affected by military life.

In my rural community, many young people are impacted by military deployment. The statistics show that many of the teens in your town may be as well. According to the Department of Defense, 1.8 million children and teens in the United States have family members who are currently serving in the military, and 85% of those teens attend public schools and most likely use public libraries (National Military Family Association).

Even if a teen doesn't have a parent in active service, he or she may have a brother, sister, aunt, uncle, or cousin serving. Studies have shown that "rates of anxiety among military children - as well as emotional and behavioral difficulties - are higher than the national averages" (NMFA), but families cope better with deployment when they receive community support. The best way to help teens manage the stress of deployment is to acknowledge their experience by showing that you know who they are and that you are available to talk (NMFA). Read More →

As you've dug into the report, you may have felt like it's too big of a leap for you and your library to tackle all at once. Highlighted below are five small ways you can begin to #act4teens that can snowball into big impact.

  1. Begin to share appealing aspects of the report with other library or school staff. This is a great way to do a temperature check to see how people feel about different aspects of the report. It's also a way to get people thinking about existing services and how they can be improved. You can do this by:
    • Sending weekly emails about teen or school library services and creating a section for report information. Ask staff for comments and feedback.
    • Sharing parts of the report at regular staff meetings.
    • Hosting brown bag discussions about school library or teen services that are framed around the report.
    • Creating engaging polls to see what parts of the report staff are most comfortable with and to solicit their ideas and feedback.

    Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

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

Tweets of the Week-November 7 2014 (*Note: the format for this week's Tweets is a link to Storify as they are working through some glitches with their software).

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 →