Amplified: Going Digital and Social With Your Advocacy

european cyclist's federation creative commons photo of a microphone. Often when people talk about advocating for teen services the focus is on face-to-face activities. But, using social tools such as Twitter and Tumblr gives you a great opportunity to reach more people with your advocacy efforts. It also gives you the chance to start advocacy conversations that might not be possible face-to-face. Here are four ideas to get you started:

  • Twitter I have to begine by saying that YALSA does a great job at using Twitter as an advocacy tool and anyone that is looking for ideas on how to be a social media/digital advocate will do well to check out the association’s Twitter feed. Why do I say this? Because YALSA mixes it up a bit. The association retweets what other organizations with goals similar to YALSA’s tweets. I don’t doubt that these other groups notice YALSA’s tweets and as a result notice the association and what they are about. Continue reading

Teen Tech Week/Library 2.0 Community Night

To celebrate Teen Tech Week the Brewster Ladies Library partnered with the Lighthouse Charter School of Cape Cod for a Library 2.0 Community Night designed and staffed by teens. The project was conceived in December 2007 during a brainstorming session with a Language Arts teacher at the charter school. We wanted to encourage teens to come to the library and learn more about its resources and ultimately decided to offer a “Library 2.0” seminar for students. (Each semester, the charter school offers elective seminars in addition to the normal curriculum, covering topics of interest selected by the instructors.) We put together a course description and to our delight, the class filled immediately.

Beginning in January twelve students and their teacher came to the library on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for 90-minute sessions. Since this was a new undertaking, we decided to let the kids set the agenda-for the most part. Not surprisingly, they chose to pursue projects using social networking technologies. They picked some of their favorite applications and a few new ones and set out to become “experts.” Working with Blogger, Flickr, Del.icio.us, LibraryThing, Project Playlist, and YouTube they mapped out the basics of each tool.

The teens created a blog called Interesting Teen Books to discuss their favorite reads, which will be linked to the teen section of our website. Each student learned how to use LibraryThing and created a personal page. They also made suggestions for the Library’s LibraryThing page of new teen titles. Using Project Playlist each teen created a playlist of songs for a favorite book and burned the songs onto CDs (after legally purchasing them). Our traditional list of links to homework help and cool websites is being retooled using Del.icio.us. The students mastered the site and can now make suggestions for adding additional links to our BLL Teens Del.icio.us page. To spice up our website the kids wanted better pictures and decided Flickr was the way to go. The library’s new Teen Gallery will be available to the public on Flickr as soon as they all hand in their photo release formsJ You Tube was the biggest challenge since the group wanted to write, shoot, and edit their own PSA about using the library. Armed with two brand new video cameras, purchased with funds from our LSTA Serving Tweens and Teens grant, they shot footage in and around the library and downloaded it to the library’s new iMacs. Editing with iMovie, the teens are crafting their take what it means to use the library.

Everything came together on the final day of the seminar, which coincided with Teen Tech Week. The library opened its doors to community to let the kids show off their stuff. The library auditorium provided the venue for most of the “stations.” With laptops in hand, students acted as teachers and tour guides and helped family, friends, and community members set up their own accounts with various social networking tools. They had all practiced with a particular application and were ready to go. Videos rolled, CDs played, pictures snapped, and there was even a session of Guitar Hero on the library’s new Wii to keep the party going. Refreshments were donated by local merchants and the evening was a total success. The best part of all? The teens in the seminar asked if we could offer “Library 2.0, Part 2” next semester so they could continue with their projects!

Kathleen Mahoney, Youth Services, Brewster Ladies Library

Positive Use of Social Networking #4 – Flicktion


During October a small group of YALSA bloggers will post ideas and information about positive uses of social networking tools in schools and libraries. Here’s positive use #4.


Many of you might have heard the term ‘Flicktion’ before and might even have used it in your school or library as a story starter. If so, please share! If not, do a search on Flickr for the tag ‘flicktion’ (or a Google search if you don’t have a Flickr account). The description underneath the pictures tell a story from the viewer of the photo. They can then share this with other viewers, which will allow for more comments and read/write activity.


If you are already using Flickr at your library to post photos of programs, consider creating a set of Flicktion photos with teens, and see how they respond. If teens have a writing club, online newsletter or participate in a bookclub at a jail, consider using this tool to engage them.


Pictures of their avatar, completed quest, or any high action scene in their favorite video game often have photo enabled tools within the online environment, they can quickly take a snapshot of and post to Flickr and let the stories begin.


If your’e still not sold on using this photo sharing site for story starters, check out ALAs TechSource post by Michael Stephens. He has a lot to say about the positive uses of Flickr.


Once again, if DOPA is passed sites like Flickr won’t be available in schools and public libraries. That also means that librarians won’t have the opportunity to help teens navigate responsibly through such sites as Flickr.


Posted by Kelly Czarnecki