“Why would anyone do that?”
“How does anyone have the time?”
The above are questions I hear regularly when talking with librarians about ways that technology is being used by teens, and by adults too. Most recently these are questions I hear when talking about check-in services. For some librarians the idea of checking-in to a location with FourSquare, Gowalla, or Scvngr, or using a site like GetGlue to “check-in” to let others know about current reading or viewing, seems totally off-the-wall.
As I think more and more about the questions I regularly hear, and how some librarians think about the way teens use technology, I realize again how important it is to separate one’s own experience and way of doing things from the development of library services teens need. Continue reading
Over the past couple of years location-based applications have become more and more popular with those using mobile devices. The idea of these apps is that from a mobile device a user can check-in and tell others where he or she is – a movie theatre, a store, a restaurant, a library, and so on. The people behind the location-based services make the check-in worth the user’s time because of the game-like features and virtual and non-virtual incentives integrated into the apps. For example, with brightkite the person with the most check-ins at a particular location gets to be mayor of that location. Establishments that know how brightkite works can offer rewards to mayors. For example, a library might give the brightkite mayor of the institution a discount on copying costs. With FourSquare user rewards come in the form of badges. For example, a FourSquare user can check into a specific Starbucks a certain number of times and earn the barista badge. Mayorships and badges appear in the user’s profile on the service. That means others can learn about the rewards earned. Rewards can also be announced via Twitter and other social networks. As I mentioned in a 2008 blog post, the possibilities for location-based applications in library services to teens are many.
Now there’s a new way to check-in, and that’s application and web-based tools that give users the chance to check-in when participating in an entertainment related activity – reading a book, watching a TV show, viewing a movie, and so on.
One of the things we (the Program Clearinghouse Committee) saw a lot on the ALA Annual conference survey results was a wish that there was a “conference buddy” type program for first time conference attendees and new YALSA members. There is an ALA program in place.
When people register for conference, they are asked if they are first time attendees. If they say yes, they are automatically contacted by an ALA Ambassador, who is a veteran conference attendee. Each Ambassador has three to five contacts to make, which includes sending an welcome email to the attendee to check and see if they have any questions, or if the Ambassador can help in some way to make the conference experience a good one.
Each Ambassador spends at least two hours at either the Membership Pavillion on the Exhibit Floor or at the Registration Desk. Ambassadors wear an ALA Ambassador ribbon on their badges so as to be easily identifiable. There was also a “Text an Ambassador” service for the first time in Chicago.
Information about the program is sent out in email blasts to all conference attendees and is available on the conference wiki.
Later today I’ll be jetting my way to Chicago for what I expect will be a whirlwind week at Annual Conference. There’s a lot that I’m looking forward to. I thought about writing about all of it here, but then thought, readers can find out about all of the great programs on the YALSA wiki. There are, however, a couple of things I want to highlight about Annual Conference 2009, particularly to those that are new to Conference and perhaps to YALSA.
First, if you are new, YALSA Is made up of a great welcoming bunch of people. Continue reading
Animazement is a large anime/manga con that is held each year in the Raleigh area. Last year, the Wake County Libraries had an outreach table where we advertised what the libraries had to offer for anime fans.
This year, Animazement contacted us in early spring to ask if we wanted to sponsor their first ever manga library. Of course, we said yes. This was a great opportunity to continue our outreach to this crowd. As an extra bonus, the con had moved to the Raleigh Convention Center, providing more space for the activities. Continue reading
Explore the Universe of Teen Reading! YALSA’s offering a fantastic full-day preconference before ALA Annual Conference. Come to Genre Galaxy: Explore the Universe of Teen Reading and meet popular YA authors, including Holly Black, Cecil Castelucci, David Lubar, and Dom Testa! Discover new ways to reach teens with books, including literacy activities, program ideas and collection development. Tickets start at $195 for YALSA members and include lunch.’ Interested? Register online (you don’t have to register for ALA Annual to attend this preconference).
Advance Your Career with YALSA! In uncertain economic times, it’s important to think about your professional goals and make sure you’re in a good position to meet them. Join YALSA for the half-day preconference Moving Up the YA Career Ladder, where we’ll discuss career options for young adult librarians, tips for transitioning into management or other careers, writing effective resumes and CVs, and finding your management style. Tickets cost $129 and include refreshments. Interested? Register online (you don’t have to register for ALA Annual to attend this preconference).
After the jump, details on other special YALSA events at ALA Annual Conference, Operation TBD and Support Teen Lit Day, the WrestleMania Reading Challenge winners, the ALA/YALSA Election, and the Great Ideas contest.
The exhibits are open and the 2008 nMidwinter meeting is well underway. Philly greeted us with unseasonably warm weather. While there were a few showers this morning and early this faternoon, the rain cleared up in time for attendees to obtain badges and enter the Exhibit Hall.
Today was also a day for committee meetings. As the deadline for the Youth Media Awards draws close, many of us are involved in discussions, fervent and impassioned, about the nominations for the committee members to consider.
As I got off the bus this evening, I met a fellow Texan. This is her first ALA and she was grinning from ear to ear. It is contagious, I think, this eagerness to see the “show” and to become more involved in our profession. Side conversations all day have centered on everyone’s best estimations of the books whose titles will be announced Monday at the awards presentation. The buzz is audible.
Have you filled out a volunteer form yet? Consider becoming more active in ALA and especially in YALSA. There are literally dozens of ways to contribute. Selection committees are only the tip of the iceberg. YALSA needs you!
Tomorrow YALSA’s leadership and all committee meetings will convene. If you are here, plan to come by and see how you can become a more active member of the YALSA team.
Posted by Teri Lesesne