February Eureka Moments

Congratulations! You’ve almost made it through February. If you’re struggling to find ideas for programs or just want to know what’s out there in the research world, maybe this will help.

  • Are your newer patrons the kind who wonder why librarians are relevant and useful? Just tell them that Beyoncé recently hired a personal librarian to archive and catalog her life.
  • A new study in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking looks at what influences teens’ decisions to disclose personal information to commercial websites. The researchers found that these decisions were linked to frequency of Internet use and social benefits of disclosing that information. It might be time to do a program on Internet security with your teens.
    Wannes Heirman, Michel Walrave, and Koen Ponnet. Predicting Adolescents’ Disclosure of Personal Information in Exchange for Commercial Incentives: An Application of an Extended Theory of Planned Behavior. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. February 2013, 16(2): 81-87. doi:10.1089/cyber.2012.0041.
  • The Journal of Early Adolescence reported on the connections between race, ethnicity, and SES on growing BMI in children and adolescents. For girls, they found that low SES and high birth weight were big predictors of heavy weight gain, while African American and Asian American boys in higher SES brackets were more prone to obesity. It might bear looking at the full article in conjunction with the demographics of your library’s neighborhood or patron base next time you are preparing a book display on health and active lifestyles or when updating your collection, to make sure that you are showcasing materials that might hit the right age groups and cultural backgrounds so as to be extra relevant.
    Fred W. Danner and Michael D. Toland. The Interactive Role of Socioeconomic Status, Race/Ethnicity, and Birth Weight on Trajectories of Body Mass Index Growth in Children and Adolescents. The Journal of Early Adolescence. February 2013, 33(3): 293-314. Continue reading
  • October Eureka Moments

    Thoroughly in the swing of things now? Already bored with what’s going on? Happy but ready to add more programming and interest to your services? Whatever the case, maybe some of these innovations, research publications, and other cool tidbits will inspire you.

  • You know your patrons like games. And you may already know of some of the social justice gaming websites and programs out there, like Games for Change or Spent. Now it might interest you to know that there’s a new game out there designed specifically to target your ethics, not just to make you live in someone else’s shoes or support a cause. Quandary is its name, and it was designed by The Learning Network, a collaboration between MIT and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Take a look at the game here, and then consider if your gaming club might attract new members with an interest in social justice, or if your volunteer group might like to try some gaming. Now that so many teens are so savvy at programming, you might be able to get a group together to create a game that tackles a local issue that they find important.
  • Continue reading

    App of the Week: Zombies, Run!

    Title: Zombies, Run!

    Cost: $7.99

    Platform:’ Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later.


    I frequently say that I would not run unless being chased by a _____. The thing chasing me varies widely based on my mood, but recently I have been saying, “Not unless chased by zombies.” My husband came home from work a few weeks ago, happily handed me my iPod Touch, and told me to go for a run. Continue reading

    Fit: Body & Mind

    As a new YALSA blogger I should begin my first post with a short introduction. My name is Kim Anderson and I’m the Library Media Specialist at Jefferson Middle School in Champaign, Illinois. I’m a two-time graduate of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois (MLS, CAS), and I received my National Board Certification in 2008. I’ve been in education for fifteen years, seven in the classroom and six in the library. I was thirty-something when I finally found my calling in the library and have not looked back once. I love my work. ‘ Love it. ‘ When I’m not working, reading or thinking about the library I enjoy doing yoga, P90, Insanity’ Asylum, and gardening. ‘ I recently decided I wanted to learn French and to play guitar. ‘ Wish me luck. ‘ Anyway, it is my love of talking and thinking about the library that lead me to start blogging here at YALSA.

    At the beginning of each year our administration takes the JMS staff off campus for a retreat. I always arrive a bit early so I can walk out onto the docks and enjoy the peace of the lake while I think about where I want the school year to lead. ‘ The solitude is’ short-lived though’ since the peacefulness doesn’t last long once the rest of the staff arrives. The day is always full of lively discussion, laughter and inspiration. This year our discussion centered around the research of Dr. Charles Hillman of the University of Illinois. Everyone was inspired by the idea that getting students moving could improve their academic gains. (You can check out “A Fit Body Means a Fit Mind” ‘ if you want to read more). ‘ The question is, how can I, the school librarian, help increase student fitness? ‘ Last week the answer came in the form of two exercise bikes. In just under one hour we had two stationary bikes assembled in a corner of the library. They are battery operated (so no chords) and the wheels are completely silent.

    The student interest was immediate. Now teachers just have to send their students to the library with a pass to read and ride. For now, the kids are enjoying a new place to move and I am happy to support a building-wide initiative.