YALSA Institute 2007

Posted by Linda W. Braun

That’s right we are talking Midwinter 2007. The YALSA Taskforce planning the next technology institute is hard at work developing a program that will give attendees ideas, information, inspiration, and capabilities to bring technology to their libraries and to their teens.

The Taskforce isn’t ready to make any big announcements, yet, but stay tuned. And, start thinking about making your plans to attend on Friday, January 19 in Seattle. YALSA will also host the second annual gaming night that same evening. It’s going to be a great day of learning and playing.

Podcasting

Learn Out Loud has educational audio book and podcast content. Last week, one of their free downloads was an audio tour of Rockerfeller Center and the Diamond District in NYC. Is anyone else offering audio tours of their library?

This would be a great project for teens (especially for that Teen Advisory Board you recruited last week!). Instead of busywork – cutting out story time crafts or dusting shelves – it’s an opportunity to create something of use that will help other patrons.

For a list of other libraries doing podcasting, check out the Library Success: Best Practices Wiki at http://www.libsuccess.org. If your library is doing something cool and replicable, join and contribute! For podcasting, look under Technology.

New to podcasting? Check out the presentations from the Podcast Academy at Boston University last weekend: two days about equipment, marketing, and how-to’s of making your own audio files that can be sent as attachments with RSS. This amazing resource has the video from ALL of the speakers, plus their powerpoint presentations:
http://www.bu.edu/com/podcast

Posted by Beth Gallaway

Huge Voting Increase!

Posted by Amy Alessio

Thank you YALSA Members! From the 15% of membership who voted in last year’s election, you have increased participation to 25%!

Thank you also for passing the dues increase! While that makes me especially happy as your Fiscal Officer, you all will be enjoying the new and regional opportunities we will now be able to support.

YALSA membership also voted to increase the nominating committee from 3 to 5 members and to establish Interest Groups. A few are already getting started, but if you have a group who want to form officially on a teen topic, check out the handbook for the procedure. (YALSA page, under About YALSA, then Handbook)

Speaking of the nominating committee – they strive to offer a slate each year of truly excellent people, which can make voting hard! Thank you to everyone who took a risk in front of their peers and agreed to run for positions which require large time commitments. Many of those people wrote all about themselves on this blog and in other ways for the past 7 months since they were approached before this election. From someone who went through this last year, the process can be nerve racking.

Both the winners and the others who were not chosen represent some of the hardest working and enthusiastic of our members. It is not uncommon in our organization for people who are not elected one year to be chosen in future years. It is certain that YALSA will continue to need their valuable contributions.

MySpace and other changes

I admire those librarians who have a willingness to try something new, but I wanted to tell them:
don’t hesitate to use good ideas. If you don’t ask now, you risk the possibility of worrying about it for sometime. I think it would be better to ask now, explain all the good reasons, and be told no, than to hope for months, doing projects to lead up to its approval, and then be let down after the anticipation.

If your library says no to MySpace, then you can offer to do something less intimidating projects such as start a blog on blogger, which in comparison maybe something the library is willing to do now.

If you want support you can point your library to some of the many Myspace library pages that have over 100 friends. Authors, Teens, College Students, Librarians, and other professionals are on Myspace. If your patrons use it, then why not have a presence there. You could ask the patrons, and use their quotes to convince the administration.

I know change can be scary, but if we do nothing for fear it won’t be accepted, we miss the chance to change things in the future. Talking to your administrators will make them think about how the library needs to change in the future. You would plant a seed for future change, and that could be worth everything.

Lay the groundwork today to have what you want in the future. If you have a well thought out and appropriate reason, then any good administration will help you find a way to meet the needs you observe.

We cannot be silent for our patrons. We may be the only one expressing their interests, especially when we work with teens.

Posted by Jami Schwarzwalder

Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2006

Posted by Linda W. Braun

As some people know, I’ve been trying to figure out what we do about copyright in the world of digital media, portable devices, and instantaneous access. We definitely need a new model of copyright protection and intellectual property regulation. But, what should it look like, how should it work, who should it protect, and how do we help teens understand intellectual property in the downloadable world? Those are all questions I keep asking myself.

I’m asking myself those questions again now that I know a bit more about the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2006. Go Congress for trying to revise an outdated legal document. But, as I read about the proposed changes and revisions to existing copyright protection, I wonder if this is the right way to go. For teens in the early 21st century is the legislation that’s being proposed going to support their needs – both as users and content creators – in the future?

It’s important for teen librarians to read information about the proposed legislation in order to know what is coming, know how intellectual property is currently being thought about by legislators, and so we can advocate for laws that support the needs of libraries and teens and of creators and users.

There is of course flexible licensing available via Creative Commons which I think is a great tool. It allows content creators to provide access to their intellectual property in ways that work for users and the original designer of the content. If you or your teens create content – podcasts, blogs, images, etc. – consider licensing that content with Creative Commons.

Recruiting for your Teen Advisory Board/Group

Posted by Kendra Skellen TAGS Committee member, Gwinnett County Public Library

Recruiting for your Teen Advisory Board/Group
Recruiting teens to be a part of your Teen Advisory Board (Group) can be one of the most maddening yet worthwhile tasks you will have in creating or maintaining a TAB. Being teens it will be a constantly changing group. The teens will become interested in other activities or, gasp, grow older over the years and outgrow the group. However, with good recruitment tools in place you will never lack for those new teens to replace those you have lost.

Open to all or by Invitation

You need to decide what is best for your library. Open recruitment to all interested teens will give you a group with a wide range of interests. It can also give you more teens than you may want in your group. Membership by invitation will be a lot more work, but will limit the number of teens you have to work with. It may also give you a group of teens who are more responsible for they are teens who have been recommended to you by your peers in the community.

Your choice of open recruitment or recruitment by invitation may be determined by what your plans are for the TAG. Will the group be advising you in materials selection? Will they be planning and presenting programs in the library? Will the group be more involved with getting teens into the library for fun activities? What will be their purpose?

Once you have determined the purpose of you TAG, you can then make a determination of how you would like to recruit the members.

Next installment: Open Recruitment

take part in Virtual Library Legislative Day!

On May 1st and 2nd librarians and library workers from all over the country will head to Washington DC for Library Legislative Day. Once there they will meet with elected officials and/or their staff in order to: 1) advocate for adequate library funding, 2) educate decision makers about key issues facing the field of librarianship, 3) raise awareness about the key role that libraries of all types play in a democratic society, and more. For those of you who are unable to make the trip to DC, we ask that you please consider participating virtually. Information on how to do so is here:
http://www.ala.org/ala/washoff/washevents/nlld/vertld.htm

YALSA has put together a quick guide that may be useful as you communicate with decision makers about the needs of teens and issues relating to young adult library services. Please note that these are just a starting point and are not meant to be a comprehensive list or detailed discussion of critical issues. We also recognize that needs can vary from community to community, so no doubt you will have more to add or emphasize.

So, please set aside a few minutes next Monday or Tuesday to email, call or fax your legislators and let them know your concerns about libraries and YA librarianship!
-Beth Yoke

Avatars and Self Image

In today’s society technology allows us to assume different pseudonyms. I think that librarians can sometimes be weary of this because it can be very unfamiliar, so I have composite an animated gif, that displays all of the different images I use to label myself.

Avatars
First I have my favorite webcomic- Dominic Deegan. I have been reading it for years, and become an active participant on the forums. I don’t really wear t-shirts but I have one from Mookie (the creator). Web comics are a part of my day. The first thing I do every morning is check the updates. (some nights I’ve stayed up until 3 am to catch it) In addition to reading the comic I am part of the online community of fans on the forums. We have interesting conversations and activities, the most recent being a caption contest, and before that I held a trivia contest. I will never meet my friends from the forum but to me they are the avatars and the screennames. Its how I would address them in public and online.

Second I have my name. In all definitions this is also a representation of me. When I publish, fill out a form, or introducing myself, I am representing who I am with random syllables and letters essentially. It is one of the conventions we accept in all cultures, some change to reflect the person while others are given with an ideal in mind(whether the memory of a loved one or story character, or a verb/noun that represents something wanted for the child)

Third is a picture of my husband and I. He has his arms around me in a loving embrace. The picture was taken at our anniversary. I am smiling (something I tend to do frequently).

Fourth is the word “is”. Such a powerful word. Is can link words together to describe poetically, hatefully, or simply. It can be anywhere, but it is the word that links all the other words of a sentence.

Avatars

Eiseldora Next we have my gnome. Isn’t she cute? My husband drooled and waited for almost a year to get World of Warcraft, and guess what happens. I take it over after my finals on Christmas break to create a level 33 fire mage in about 17 days. I am an officer in the “Little League” Guild, and caretaker of noobs. My two best friends are Zwws a Chinese grad student from Canada, and Ihalfaman a Australian master’s student who programs computers. This may seem odd to people who don’t play but for me its a whole different world where I can meet people, work together to finish goals, and have fun. The lag is terrible, but I kept returning because I love what I can be there. I think this is a big appeal to teens.

Next we have Eiseldora II. I loved playing World of Warcraft so much that I kept the name for Second Life. I joined after hearing the announcement that there was going to be a library in the game. I wanted to be able to go in and see what the plans were. I started out with a normal looking avatar, but I didn’t like it. I tried to get dark blue hair with two little buns like my gnome, but while playing I found I could add any texture to my hair, so I did. I thought the Flag looked very funny so I took it as far as I could go-spikes, length, volume. Now I look like a crazed Yu-gi-oh, but I like the expression of creativity involved.

Salafy is a Naroom Magi who specializes in regenerating creatures. She is excellent with baby furoks(another avatar I use often), eebits, and rabbage. She is from the 2i game Magi-Nation. A CCG that is now sold to a different company that is taking it in a different direction. The game was more than just collecting card and making decks. I was a member of a league when I was dating my husband. I made many friends, and was able to mentor a 12 year old girl. I would spend weeks building deck, and succeeded in getting a killer combination with Ninx and a Ritual Spear. My husband loved the story’s written about the cards, and the fan base who lived on insiider. Like Dominic Deegan I have a t-shirt with Salafy on the back.

Avatars

Next I placed my username. The one I use most often is kittykat813. I have since I first used the Internet. I love cats, and I wanted something unique and nice sounding. 813 stands for my birthday-August 13th. About a year and a half ago I started to do publish my professional work on the net. I was taking an independent study reading children’s literature which I abbreviated childlit and 2004 for the year. I liked it and the account I used so I’ve been childlit2004, childlit, and childlit513, ironic since I want to be a teen librarian. The 513 stands for my anniversary May 13th.

Now you can see my adorable cat-Frisky. She has been with me since I was in 7th grade. She is very vocal, and precious. I used to write stories about her and to her. She is a great listener, and still loves to play. My whole life she has competed for my attention from books. Now she is content because my husband loves her as much as I do. (He is the only male she has ever even liked) I used pictures of her for my first avatars. She was something that was important to me, and didn’t really identify me.

The smiley face represents many things to me. The eyes are the way my friend Tracy would write smilies. Smiles also represent instant messengers. I have been using ICQ for 8 years. I met a good friend who had the same username, school, and age as my husband. Smilies also represent for me happiness and joy, something I like to enjoy often.

Lastly we have a book. Books have helped me my entire life. When my mother was ill I escaped into books, when I was sad I would write books, when I went to 8th grade I found a profound joy in reading books, in college I found a joy in sharing books, now I enjoy listening to books while I play. I am a library science student, and love technology, but its books that I will always credit for helping me through my life.

This has been a rather lengthy divulge into my online life. I know most people don’t see deep into avatars, and there is no real reason to. Its just that for a whole generation we identify with these self made images that show the world who we are, what we care about, and what we want to do. I encourage librarians to make an avatar or a username that represents them and use it online when doing virtual reference, blogging, or as links on your library’s webpage.

Posted by Jami Schwarzwalder