ALA Social Networking Wiki

ALA has created a wiki on the topic of online social networking. On the front page of the wiki it says:

The online environment has become an important and growing part of economic, cultural, civic, and social life, and the use of new Internet-based applications for collaboration and learning – so called “social networking” sites – is becoming increasingly prevalent. Learning to use today’s Internet, and specifically social networking sites, effectively and safely is now an essential component of education, as these learning and social environments are promoted more and more. The development of information literacy skills requires that young people be able to safely and effectively use these important new collaborative tools.

The wiki includes links to the resources YALSA created on social networking, along with links to ALA’s statement on DOPA and Beth Yoke’s testimony in front of the House about DOPA.

This should prove to be a great resource to learn about social networking resources and to find tools to use when trying to educate the community, colleagues, and administrators about the importance of social networking in teen lives.

Check out the wiki, let others know it’s there, and don’t forget DOPA is going to be before the Senate very soon. Make sure your voice is heard by contacting your Senators and letting them know what you think about the proposed legislation. You’ll find links for how to do that on the new wiki.

Movies online

Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, announced yesterday their plan to make available over 75 full length films online through the company’s iTunes store and be able to view them on an iPod, computer screen, or stream them to a tv. The iTV which is due out in 2007 will sell for about $300 will allow people to watch movies purchased online and other digital content stored on a computer. Video game downloads will also be available through the iTunes store.

Also last week, Amazon announced their ‘Unboxed’ movie download service where movies will be sold for $8-$15 (comparable to Apple).

What do people think? What are we already doing as libraries in relation to the availability of movies online? How can we as libraries tap into iTunes and what are we already doing?

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Idea generator

In the workroom in my library, we keep ongoing lists to generate ideas for programs. It’s kind of a catch all for those moments we think, wouldn’t that be great if. . . .but we can’t do it right now. Instead of just sending the idea away to never be heard from again, we keep it alive by writing it down (and of course with the ladder of youth participation underneath the lists). While this might not be very web 2.0, it works for us right now. What about sharing a list of ideas for social networking programs at your library-especially for teens to teach? Even if you’ve just read about a new software you want to try out but haven’t been able to, sometimes putting it on the list of programs to do, will encourage one to learn how to use the technology. Generating program ideas about connecting people can be a bit contagious. . .and fun. 🙂

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Free Online Legislative Advocacy Course

ALA’s Washington Office has just announced a free online course on legislative advocacy. You can read about the details here. “Messaging and Talking with Congress” guides users through the process of developing messages, teaches users to communicate effectively with Members of Congress and other elected officials, and offers strategies on building lasting relationships with Congressional staff. Users may navigate the course at their own pace and download and print helpful worksheets.
-Posted by Beth Yoke

Military recruiters in libraries

Dear Librarians:
Do military recruiters leave literature in your libraries and/or ask to use your library as a space for recruitment? If so, how do you feel about this? Have any of you tried to balance the materials by placing literature from other nonmilitary related agencies (e.g. Peace Corps)? Have you found any particularly useful materials in that regard that you recommend? What kinds of rules have your schools imposed on recruiters in the face of the No Child Left Behind law (which requires schools to be as open to military recruiters as they are to college recruiters)? Please send your responses to: Joan Oleck, SLJ at
-Posted by Beth Yoke

Young Adult Literature Conference in Illinois

Attention Illinois area folks: Join Anderson’s Bookstores on Sept. 30th at the Holiday Inn Select in Naperville, IL for a conference on YA lit. This year, in an encore presentation of their Readers Theatre, Sharon Creech, Avi, Sarah Weeks, and a fourth author TBA will be astounding us with performances of their novels. Also joining us will be Jordan Sonnenblick, author of Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie, and authors Alan Lawrence Sitomer, Laura Ruby and Andy Behrens. Mark your calendars now for this event! To register, call 1-800-728-0708. For more information go here.

-posted by Beth Yoke

Web Phones and Teens

In conversations about Web 2.0 I haven’t heard much about the use of the Internet on cell phones, but that doesn’t mean that our teen patrons don’t use it.

Recently I talked with a teen who does not have Internet at home. He used the library computer to access his e-mail and Myspace page before they were filtered, and now does not use the library at all. He does however have a cell phone, and on his cell phone is Internet access. He showed me his pre-stored web links, and the google search feature. I was able to look up different web sites to see that the format is extremely simple, and in many cases stretched to multiple pages. The phone can only reach about 15 characters across, and every line is wrapped around. When the library has dozens of navigation links pages are taken up by the list of links, so it takes a few clicks to even get to content.

All of this will be completely familiar to Web designers, but many libraries do not have the luxury of these experts. I hope that as teens move into wireless technology libraries will be there to offer services such as catalog search, text reminders, and even web sites for teens to access when they are on the go.

New research on Teen Brain Development

My friend Kelly sent me an article on teen brain development last week; a British scientist just did a study on teen brain in areas such as empathy and decision-making. And today I got an email from a psych student who found some old handouts of mine and had questions about behavior and brain development.

What is the link? It turns out that even though those tall gangly young adults LOOK grown up, teen brain development rivals that of the toddler years, and the activity creates a lot of “noise” in their heads. Recall the terrible twos: temper tantrums, challenging authority, sleep deprivation derived crankiness…

Are these concepts intriguing to you? Space is still available in Pain in the Brain: Adolescent Development and Library Behavior, a YALSA online CE workshop that runs from Oct 2-30, 2006. Find out exactly why teens act the way they do and learn how librarians can address patron behavior issues in a way that will develop relationships with young adults. By the end of this class, participants will:
1) Understand the physical development of the adolescent brain and how it manifests into physical and emotional behaviors,
2) Examine the developmental needs and assets of adolescents, and the role libraries must play in helping teens grow into healthy adults,
3) Discuss how to apply newly acquired knowledge and techniques to improve library services to teens in ways that meet developmental needs and build developmental assets.

Ok, that was blatant and shamless self-promotion – I’m the facilitator. But YALSA delivers LOTS of great CE right to your desktop! Several other additional courses will be offered in October, including a re-run of the very popular New Technologies and New Literacies for Teens with Linda Braun, and OutReaching Teens with Angela Pfiel.

To be a successful student in a YALSA Online CE course, you need:
* Regular unlimited access to a computer (Pentium II-based PC or a G3 PowerMac machine, using Netscape 4.7 or higher, Internet Explorer 5 or higher, or current versions of Mozilla or Opera)
*Reliable Internet connection (high-speed Internet access like cable, DSL, or LAN-networked T1 lines preferred)

I personally recommend 2 hours a week to dedicate to readings, activities, and responses.

Registration for YALSA’s fall session of e-courses runs through Sept. 25. The courses are meant to be the equivalent of a full day workshop.

The cost is $135 for YALSA members, $175 for ALA members, and $195 for non members. Register online today!

The Power Of Technology

Last Thursday, September 7, Will Richardson (author of Weblogg-Ed and Blogs, Podcasts, Wikis, and other Powerful Tools for the Classroom) was interviewed on the Brian Lehrer Show about technology in childrens and teen’s lives, with a short side discussion on DOPA.

In the interview there were two ideas that were repeated over and over again.

  • Educators (teachers and librarians) need to learn about the technology in order to help students of all ages use the technology successfully. At one point Brian Leher said to Richardson something like, “But won’t teens who use My Space go somewhere else once they find their parents and teachers using the site?” Richardson replied something like, “That doesn’t matter. It’s not where teens are but what they are doing with technology that’s important.” In other words it’s not the actual sites that are important to know about it’s what one can do with the sites. Of course that doesn’t mean we don’t need to look at and use My Space. But it does mean we need to think beyond what teens are doing on My Space now and consider the site, the technology, and the use in a larger context.
  • Parents have to be brought into the picture. A father called into the show and talked about creating his own My Space space and how that helped him connect to his child and his child’s friends. Exactly.

An MP3 download of the interview is available.

Lonelygirl15 – telling a story

Lonelygirl15 calls herself ‘Bree’ and has been leaving posts on YouTube since May to share different things about her life with viewers such as complaining about her parents or talking about her relationship with Daniel. Recently, tracking software set up by fans of lonelygirl15 found that the posts might have been part of a marketing campaign and ‘Bree’ wasn’t really who she pretended to be.

Turns out the marketing campaign was really a group of friends that wanted to tell a story-“A story that could only be told using the medium of video blogs and the distribution power of the Internet. A story that is interactive and constantly evolving with the audience.”

What about promoting programs through YouTube in a way that is a lead-in to something that might not be expected at your library? Keep them guessing and intrigued. Have teens create short videos to post on YouTube and create an interest in story telling and encourage interaction. What might that look like? Music in lonelygirl15’s videos alerted viewers of a local band that happened to be in town or ‘Bree’ would respond to viewers posts by making cookies they suggested. Great potential for promoting Teen Read Week or Teen Tech Week this way. Or even promoting storytelling and interactivity.

These ideas remind me of the article written by Erin Helmrich of Ann Arbor Public Library-
“What Teens Want: What Libraries Can Learn From MTV”, Young Adult Library Services (Spring 2004): 11-13 which is about learning how to integrate pop culture into publicity and promotions to teens.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki