App of the Week: Next Issue

Name: Next Issue
Platform: Andriod 3+ and iPad 5.01+
Price: $9.99 or 14.99 per month

next_issue_logoOK, I hope you kept reading after seeing the price tag of the Next Issue app. If you did I think I can help you see why you, or a teen or a teen’s parents will find forking over $10 to $15 per month is worthwhile.

Imagine that a teen, or a library, or a library staff member has easy access to favorite magazines on their device every month or week (depending on the publication schedule). A new issue of People is available on newsstands and it’s also available on a device via this app. Continue reading

30 Days of Innovation #16.5 (bonus post!): E-readers as supplements

Can we finally put the argument to rest? E-readers are not killing reading, nor are they killing books. As research shows, people who own e-readers not only read more than people who don’t, but they read both e-books and print books. Not to mention, there are plenty of populations, from prison inmates to seniors, who will need print books for a long time coming. Neither one is going away.

That’s not to say that they’re the same, though. Far from it. In my experience, e-readers attract different types of readers than print books, and they’re also engaging more people who were previously non-readers. Anybody who thinks that’s not great, well… There are also scads of e-reading apps available for phones, tablets, and computers, so e-content is available to more than just people with Nooks and Kindles. People use e-readers for a variety of reasons, from pleasure reading to research, so it’s good to consider how many bases you can cover. The Pew Research Center released a report on reading, readers, and e-readers recently, and ALA of course responded. While Pew’s data is encouraging (among other statistics released, the study found that people who use e-readers read more books per year than people who only read in print), ALA pointed out that the stats of who reads at all, and who reads in what format, are also related to education and income level. So what can you do about it? Continue reading

Tell Time How Your Library Helps Offset the Summer Slide

This week, Time published “The Case Against Summer Vacation,” a cover story on summer learning loss for children and teens. Author David von Drehle’  focused on how students, particularly those in low-income areas, lose important reading and learning skills over the summer due to a lack of intellectual activity. He highlighted a number of camps, academies, and community programs with fun, engaging activities for kids and teens that encourage achievement and get youth interested in reading, writing, drama, math, science, and other academic areas.

In the article, von Drehle laments that these camps and academies have tuition costs and waiting lists, and those lists don’t even take into account the overworked or disengaged parents who haven’t even thought how they can prevent their kids from suffering from isolation, boredom and inactivity over the summer. And then he worries that Americans have no hope in offsetting the summer slide other than a ragtag coalition of volunteers, entrepreneurs, and camp counselors.

Of course, we know one other group that can make a huge difference when it comes to the summer slide. And that’s librarians. Libraries offer free programs year-round that do exactly what von Drehle calls for and they’re nearly absent from the article, save for a mention of ALA’s homepage as a place to find book recommendations.

As you are finishing your summer reading program — which, as a recent IMLS-funded Dominican University study shows, can make a huge difference in the achievement gap — please take a minute and let Time know about the programs your library offers, how they encourage children and teens to become better, more engaged readers — and how anyone, of any background and from any region, can be a part of it for free at your library.

Time has shut down comments for this article online, unfortunately, but you can still send a letter to letters@time.com.

In the News

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about writing a post on the world of newspaper and magazine publishing, and its impact on teens and libraries. Then, last night, I read that the daily newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, will be entirely electronic starting in April.’  That put me over the edge and forced me to finally write this post.

What started my recent musing on this topic was the news that Cosmo Girl is going to cease publication.’  The final issue of the magazine is scheduled for December, after that subscribers will receive Seventeen in place of Cosmo Girl.’  I thought of two things as I read the news about Cosmo Girl. First I remembered that it’s not that long ago that Teen People ceased publication.’  Then I remembered how much fanfare there was when Teen People, Cosmo Girl, and other magazines of this type started to pop up. It was an exciting new market for the parent publications, People, Cosmo, etc.’  But, obviously, the demise of these publications demonstrates that the trend has changes and publishers are looking elsewhere for a hot market. Continue reading

Teen Magazines

Magazines are becoming a thing of the past as many article focused publications move online. However this leaves out the teens who want to come into the library to browse, it becomes time to submit our requests for next years magazines. At my library no one before me focused a lot of energy on the Teen magazine collection, which has made my job this year to diversify the topics and weed out the under used magazines.’  My deadline for turning in requests is August 1st, and while I’m putting the finishing touches on my order I thought I’d share the resources I used to help me select my magazines this coming year: Continue reading

The Hip-Hop Chronicle Enriches Teen Lives Through Reading & Hip Hop… For Free at Your Library!

A recent press release clued me into the mission of the Hip Hop Chronicle, a newsletter designed to bring teens and literacy together through hip hop. Along with hip hop news, reviews, and some exclusive interviews, The Hip Hop Chronicle presents teens with intriguing information life, literature, and other important topics that will carry teens through to adulthood.

When I noticed that The Hip Hop Chronicle was available for free to partnering public schools, I called to ask if libraries also could tap into this new resource. In response, founder DeNea R. Conner developed a set of partnership guidelines by which you can make The Hip Hop Chronicle available at your library.

A sample issue is available at this link. If you like what you see, you can download the Hip Hop Chronicle Library Partnership Form and fax the completed form to DeNea Conner at 1-866-810-8524. The Hip Hop Chronicle is a quarterly publication, with the next issue coming out this month.

Teen magazines

I ran across an article the other day about teen magazines being a dying breed (as we know them). Some of the reasons for this, the article explains are:

  • they lost touch with what youth wanted
  • magazines were unable to adapt to changes in society
  • they are going digital because that’s where the teens are
  • teens can get this information in so many other places
  • ‘adult’ magazines are more popular with teens

What do others think?

A few questions I have:

  • Is this article being alarmist or challenging us to continually find ways to stay relevant with teens?
  • How is the article defining what is a teen magazine? What about gaming magazines?
  • Is this following a similar trend in books as far as ‘adult content’ being more appealing to many teen readers and in that case, we should adjust to how we think about what a teen magazine is?
  • If teens are getting similar information from other places, how can libraries help with that and what are we already doing to help with that?
  • Many teens are finding and creating their own content online. They are defining what is important to them. Again, how can we help with that?

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki