NBC Learns From Firefox

Posted by Linda W. Braun

A few weeks ago I heard about a promotion from Firefox. The open source browser software asked fans/users to create a video ad for the software. The response and promotions were said to be very good. When I heard two Firefox employees talk about the project, they mentioned that when they presented this marketing technique at a conference other companies bombarded them with questions about how they could do it too.

One of the highlights of what I heard from the Firefox employees was that the fans showed great loyalty to the product through their videos and interest in the project. There was the sense that because Firefox was a model in the open source community fans were willing to create the promos because of the open nature of the product.

Now it’s happening in a larger context and I wonder if fandom and altruism continues to play a role. NBC has started just such a campaign on YouTube for The Office. Fans of the show are invited to create 20 second promotions with the winning videos appearing on the NBC website.

What’s this got to do with teens and libraries? Well, first it’s pretty cool that anyone – including a teen – can make a promo for a favorite product or TV show. Second, it shows, once again, the power of teen technology use. My Space and YouTube are popular sites of teens. Once that popularity is discovered media comes a-knocking. In other words don’t forget that the teens in your community have a lot of power in making things happen.

From a developmental asset approach, this power is a really good thing. Teens need to know they have important roles to play in the community and the world. They need to feel like they have a positive future. They need to know that others listen to them.

Is there a negative to this use of teen-led media by advertisers? Does it make a difference if teens are able to continue to use the tools as they were before the marketers arrived? Does the marketing actually give teens the chance to see how advertising works and provide opportunities for analysis and reflection? Do teens benefit as much as marketers since the teens actually get to define the use of the technology to interested businesses? Don’t adults need to realize that teens actually do understand about advertising and marketing and realize teens know when their technology has been taken over?

I don’t have answers at the moment but I’m thinking.

New Issue of YALS

Posted by Linda W. Braun

In my mail yesterday I had my new issue of Young Adult Library Services (YALS) – the official publication of YALSA. The theme of the issue is get active @ your library (which is the Teen Read Week theme this year.)

Inside is an array of articles that demonstrate some things librarians and teens are doing together – ways in which teens and librarians are being active. Included as demonstrations of activity are:

  • DDR playing
  • Technology integration
  • GLBTQ programs and services
  • Volunteer opportunities

Take a look at your copy to discover ways you can become active with the teens in your library and community.

Net Neutrality

Posted by Linda W. Braun

There has been lots of discussion lately about net neutrality and what it means. C|NET has a good list of resources on the topic. The page on the C|NET site starts off with:

Network operators want to charge Internet content providers for enhanced IP services, while Net neutrality proponents say regulations are needed to prevent abuse by the Net’s gatekeepers.

Sides seem to be polarized on the issue of Net Neutrality, with some saying this legal provision is the only way to protect the consumer while others are saying that the government shouldn’t get into the realm of legislating access in this way. It’s a complicated topic with some surprising twists and turns.

If you haven’t heard about net neutrality or are interested in learning more, the C|NET resource is worth a look. You’ll want to know what the federal government is talking about in relation to Internet access and consider how a legal decision on net neutrality could impact the library and the teens with whom you work.

Your input needed for DOPA hearings

YALSA members & leaders,

ALA’s Washington Office has asked YALSA to testify at the Congressional hearings for the proposed DOPA legislation (if passed this would require schools & libraries receiving the e-rate to block all “social networking” sites). As per YALSA’s Board of Directors’ discussion at their meeting, YALSA opposes DOPA. The hearings are Tuesday July 11th.

I’m working with the ALA Washington office on an official statement, but I can fold in comments and personal stories from YALSA members and/or their teens. If you or your teens have any compelling stories about how MySpace and other social networking sites have made a positive impact on your library and/or your patrons, please send them to me ASAP. Thank you for your efforts to protect teens’ access to information.
-Beth Yoke

YALSA President’s Program, ALA annual 2006

It took me a whole week to sort through my thoughts and notes for the YALSA President’s Program! Here they are at last.

The YALSA President’s Program kicked off Monday afternoon June 26 with Pam Spencer Holly and Beth Yoke delivering highlights from the past year (did you know YALSA is the fastest growing division in ALA? 😉 It’s really amazing that not only has membership increased by 10%, but 25% of YALSA members are student members. Could a student interest group be in the works?

The President’s 2005-2006 Report was well-organized and reflects accomplishments that align with the YALSA Strategic Plan.

I think Pam was so eager to pass over her presidential gavel to incoming president Judy Nelson that she forgot to mention an item on the agenda – Friends of YALSA. The website shows that YALSA only has 18 friends! I slipped a form to my boss, and I think I can get my mom to contribute too – who can YOU ask?

2007 sounds like it will be as busy as 2006! Tons of events are in the works as YALSA turns 50, Teen Tech Week lauches, and much, much more.

Judy Nelson announced a return to our roots with the theme of her presidency, “Still Reading After All These Years,” a focus on the wonderful rich and diverse world of our beloved YA literature. Very fitting, and smart, in light of the recent misconceptions of YA novels as fluff and nonsense.

Appropriately, the program that followed the membership meeting was all about the Renaissance of YA Literature, and a sequel to a program 10 years ago on the same topic: What’s so Adult about Young Adult? The afternoon was a celebration of crossover titles including the likes of Weetzie Bat (the original crossover novel) Perks of Being a Wallflower, and more. I missed the names of some of the speakers, so thanks in advance for any corrections you guys who attended can contribute.

Author and YA lit critic Michael Cart (Booklist’s “Carte Blanche” column, My Father’s Scar, and editor of Rush Hour, who convened the original program on this topic, gave a brief history of crossover novels, lamenting that titles so appropriate for teens are published as adult for (mostly) economic reasons, and commenting on the lack of adult recognition of the value of YA lit, stated of those who think that YA lit is “the stuff of Sweet Valley High, more the fools, they.”

What makes a crossover title? They share several traits:

  • first novels
  • young authors
  • coming of age theme (teen protagonist)
  • incorporate the mysterious, puzzling, and enigmatic

Next, a publisher spoke (missed her name!), sharing the stat that of the top 50 bestselling juvenile titles, 9 are (currently YA titles), and explaining a little about why editors publish young adult books under adult imprints.

Author Aidan Chambers (This is All, Postcards from No Man’s Land) offered the British perspective with humor and aplomb, quoting Shakespeare, poking fun at himself and explaining his position on the “life follows art” theory.

Author Greg Galloway (As Simple as Snow) followed, and discussed literature as types of glass – the transparent “windex” kind popularized by the likes of Dan Brown, and the more complex stained glass kind in which literary greats such as Flannery O’Connor and Raymond Chandler delight in use of language.

Sheila (Scofield? sorry Sheila!) provided the librarian in the field point of view, speaking about the gamut of authors and formats and genres teens ask for. She recommended promoting adult titles to young adults and young adult titles to adults by incorporating them into displays and booklists recommending YA titles to librarians serving adults, and asking the adult services librarians to recommend crossovers.” Promoting teen lit IS advocacy for teens, she said; her top suggestions are

Pretties/Uglies/Specials by Scott Westerfield
I is Someone Else by Patrick Cooper
titles by Marcus Zusak
Feed by M.T. Anderson

She concluded by reminding us that authors tell stories; they don’t write for a selected audience, and quoted Ranganathan: “Every reader has his or her book; Every book has its reader.” The concept was followed up in the Q&A period when one of the panelists reminded us that the readership of a book is one (the original Long Tail?).

Three excellent booklists distributed at this program are online at http://www.ala.org/ala/yalsa/annual.htm

~posted by Beth Gallaway

10 Things to Do Now that You’re Home from the ALA Conference:

1. If you want to serve on one of YALSA’s Selection Committees, like Great Graphic Novels or the Alex Awards, you need to be appointed by Paula Brehm-Heeger, YALSA’s President-Elect. To be considered for appointment, fill out YALSA’s Committee Volunteer Form . Process Committee appointments aren’t made until the spring. Be sure to indicate which committee you’re really interested in-saying “anywhere” isn’t always helpful.

2. If you’d like to participate in one of YALSA’s Discussion or Interest Groups, contact the convener and let him or her know. Click here for contact information.

3. Follow up with any colleagues you met at the conference.

4. Share something you learned at the conference with coworkers or colleagues.

5. For purposes of documenting your professional development, mark which programs you attended in the conference program and save it for future reference.

6. Follow up with any questions about YALSA that may have come up during the conference with the YALSA Office at yalsa@ala.org or 1.800.545.2433 x4390.

7. Look for your summer issue of Young Adult Library Services (YALS) in the mail.

8. Start planning your Teen Read Week celebration (October 15-21). For more information and/or to register, go to the TRW site .

9. Check out the Conference section of YALSA’s blog for a synopsis and musings on any programs you may have missed.

10. Visit YALSA’s web site for handouts from some of YALSA’s programs at the conference.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the YALSA Office at yalsa@ala.org or 1.800.545.2433 x4390. We’re looking forward to seeing you in Seattle for ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, Jan. 19-24, 2007! YALSA will have special events to kick off our 50th anniversary and launch Teen Tech Week (Mar. 4-10, 2007). On Friday Jan. 19th we’ll also be hosting an institute about reaching wired teens, and since last year’s Gaming Night was so popular, we’ll be offering it again.

Posted by Beth Yoke

Teen Spaces

For one of my classes I wanted to feature teen online spaces.
In the 2000 census, it was reported that 80,473,265 or 28.6% of the population was 19 or under.

According to Pew Internet and American Life Report in 2005, 87% of 12 to 17 year olds use the Internet. If you read the Perceptions of Libraries OCLC released last December, you know that teens do not visit our websites, even though 50% are aware that we do have a site.

With the large number of teens online, and the number of teens visiting our sites I feel like we may want to examine whether our websites truly are meeting the needs of our teen patrons

I was listening to Stephen Abram at ALA, and I realized that librarians might not understand the preferences of teens who use their web pages. If you aren’t familiar with Stephen Abrams check out his article in Library Journal Born with a Chip

Compare your teen page (or library website if you don’t have a teen page) with these examples of well-designed teen pages, and commercial cites popular with teens.

Library Pages

Minuteman Library Network

Watertown Public library Teen Page

Springfield Public Library teen Page

North State Cooperative Library System Teen Page

New York Public Library Teen Page

Ann Arbor Public Library

My Own Cafe

Denver Public Library’s Myspace Page

Library Loft

Seattle Public Library’s Teen Page

Haverhill Public Library’s Teen Page

Teen Spaces

Deviant Art


Yahoo Music



Live Journal



World of Warcraft



How does your library compare?

posted by Jami Schwarzwalder

Up and Coming

Posted by Linda W. Braun

More and more I’m hearing about ways for ordinay people (like me) to create and edit video easily. The other day I learned about a new online tool that is YouTube plus. EyeSpot is a site that allows users to upload and edit videos. That’s right, you can edit online the video content you create online and it doesn’t cost a thing. Lots of people have the ability to create video – via a cell phone, webcam, or some such thing – but no way to edit the video. Now they do.

Eyespot is really easy to use, and what’s really cool is that if someone uploads a video on the site that person, through that upload, gives other users permission to use that video in some way. So, teens can take a bunch of videos from other users and mash them together to make a movie. Music and narration can be added and voila – a film is born.

Perhaps a teen doesn’t have the exact right shot he/she wants or needs in order to finish a video project. Maybe there’s a clip on Eyespot. Or, maybe you want to do a program or class on visual literacy. Why not have teens search Eyespot for videos on a certain theme and then mash them together to make something new?

The site is fairly new so the collection is still small. But think Flickr and YouTube for what the future will bring.

Volunteer for a YALSA Committee

Posted by Paula Brehm-Heeger:

Hopefully some of you had a chance to attend YALSA 101 at conference and hear all about how YALSA members are appointed to committees, but if not (or if you just need a little reminder), now is the time to fill out your committee volunteer form. As YALSA Vice-President/President-Elect, I’m the person who will be making the appointments this year.

This is especially important for anyone interested in serving on a “selection” committee (BBYA, PPYA or Quick Picks to name a few), as these appointments will be made this fall. If you’re looking to serve on a “process” committee (examples include Youth Participation and Division and Membership Promotion) fill out your volunteer form now, even though those appointments won’t happen until the spring.

If you filled a form out in 2005 it is still vital that you fill one out again this year in order to be considered for the new round of appointments. If you turned in a form in 2006, that works for the upcoming round of appointments. Please be sure your contact information is correct. If anything has changed, please submit a new form!

Not sure what your options are for committees? Check the Committee, Task Force and Discussion Group Description page – you’ll find all the information you need!

Don’t hesitate – get involved!

Still Things to Do

Even if you do not serve on a committee, did you know there are ways to become involved in their work? Nominating books for Quick Picks, BBYA, and other lists is one way you can contribute to the work of these committees. Instead of bemoaning the fact that your favorite book was overlooked (something I admit readily to doing in the past), fill out an online form and nominate it for the committee’s consideration. Field nominations are welcome because committee members do not always see the latest books.

It is not too late to volunteer for service down the road, either. Be active and make YALSA even stronger by your participation.

Posted by Teri Lesesne