ToS – Who Needs Them? Who Reads Them?

Terms of Service (ToS) are something lots of us encounter every day.’  Probably, few people actually read what these agreements actually say before signing up for a web site or installing a new piece of software.’  But, because of what happened last week, I’m wondering if perhaps we need to be more aware of what these agreements say and also converse with teens a bit about what it means when they agree to ToS for a web site or piece of software.

The reason that this became something to consider over the past week, is because of the verdict turned in in the Megan Meier cyberbullying case. As readers might know, Continue reading

Living & Learning With New Media

The MacArthur Foundation just released a new report titled Living and Learning with New Media: Findings from the Digital Youth Project. Every librarian working with teens should download a copy of this report and read it. Why? Because the data presented provides librarians with much needed information to help them, and others, understand why teen use of social media is key to successful youth development.’  It’s clear from the findings and recommendations in the report that teen use of online social media has many benefits, and that as adults it is our responsibility to support teens in their use of this media. Continue reading

The Amazing Power of Facebook

I’ve been on Facebook for a little while now–maybe three years? When I was at my last job, in a school library, I didn’t friend any of my students, because there was too much personal information on my Facebook page…and it would be, I think, crossing a line. But I use it to keep in touch with friends. It’s probably the number one way I communicate with people these days, and I also use it as my photo management tool.

So now that I’m here in my new position, in my new community, I decided to use Facebook as a way to reach out to teens. I set up my new Facebook account at the end of the summer, with one picture and some rudimentary information on it, like my name, where I work, and some innocuous “personal information” that I thought might appeal to teens. (My favorite TV shows, for example–and this isn’t made up, they really are my favorites: Gossip Girl, House, Friday Night Lights, Project Runway, The Office.)

I also set up a fan page for my library. For information on how to create a fan page on FB, read this.

And I waited.

Continue reading

Making News Social

Today is definitely a big news day in the United States. So big that there have been several articles and blog posts about how to keep up on election news and specifically live election coverage. (Check out one of the blog posts on the topic at NewTeeVee.)

As I’ve been thinking about how to consume the news today, I’ve also been thinking about how teens find out about news and how librarians might help them to be more successful at news gathering.’  What I’m realizing is that Social Median might be the perfect web 2.0 site to use for this purpose. Continue reading

National Politics

As you all’  probably know there is an election this November, and this year’s election process seems to be quite different from previous years. More candidates have made an effort to create social networks and be visible online. This has made it feel like the voters are closer to the candidates than previous races, and caused many individuals of all ages to try to spread the word about the various candidates in places that aren’t the best for sharing this information.’  I’ve witnessed an increase in debates recently’  at work, on the radio and even on one of YALSA’s listservs.

As librarians it’s our job to provide information about all sides of all issues along with information about registering to vote.’  What we sometimes forget is that since our society is a democracy, we must let everyone make decisions about a candidate on their own, which when you feel passionately about something can be hard to do. While it can be difficult, we can’t share our personal convictions with others because we have to have faith in the system and the people to make the decision that is best for them. Imagine how hard it must be for teens who do not get a chance to vote in this year’s election to keep their opinions about which candidate is best fit for a position. While we want to encourage them to be interested in the election process, we also can help them find healthy places to talk about the candidates. Continue reading

Mashing Up the Library

Since so many teen librarians are making the case for social networking still, I thought this OCLC session on Library Mashups would be of interest. I noticed they were taping; the session will probably be online soon at http://www.oclc.org/.
“Mashups on web are on the verge of replacing the PC as the dominant computing platform”
~Andrew K. Pace, OCLC

Andrew K. Pace defined mashup as something remixed to improve functionality and innovation as response to change under circumstance “hacking!”‘  He stressed that change is inevitable, and quoted Darwin reminding us that the successful species are the most adaptable ones. Pace referenced the 10 Dangerous Ideas presentation from PLA presentation , and invited attendees to jot down on notecards provided, their greatest resource and greatest challenge as we continued our discussion of innovation. Continue reading

Your Brain on DOPA

Yesterday morning the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsored a session titled Your Brain on DOPA.’  The program was designed to give attendees an opportunity to find out:

  • What is happening with federal and state legislation related to social networking (and with technology in general).’  John Morris, General Counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology presented this part of the program.
  • What current research says about child and teen use of online tools in the areas of cyberbullying and predation. Dr. Michele Ybarra, President of Internet Solutions for Kids presented on this topic.
  • How libraries can educate their communities about the positive impact of social networking. This was the portion of the session that I presented.

Continue reading

Getting Involved = Being in the Know

This AM when I opened my email I found a message from a student who wondered how I keep up with the world of books and the world of technology.’  This is a question I get asked a lot, but today as I prepare to spend a week in Anaheim for ALA Annual, I realized how much the connections I’ve made through YALSA help me with that keeping up.’  As I’ve served on committees and task forces, I’ve had the chance to get to know a variety of people who I know I can turn to if I have a question or want to brainstorm an idea.

To be honest, when I went to library school I thought I would never want to get involved in local or national organizations. It seemed to me that all I really wanted, and needed, was to serve the community in which I worked. Taking part in outside activities didn’t fit my plans. But, then I started to see that if I participated in local organizations I was even more a part of the community, and I found out things that other people didn’t know. I was in the know.’  I had information that helped me to do my job better. I had information that I could exchange with other people. Continue reading

brightkite: What’s It Good For?

Recently librarians started to take notice of brightkite, a web-based service that calls itself a “location-based social network.” The idea of brightkite is that you sign-up for an account, add friends, and then using the web, IM or text-messaging check-in at brightkite to let those in your network know where you are and what you are doing. For example, type in the zip code 02115 and brightkite sends out a notice to all of your friends on the network (that they can read on a mobile device or on the web) letting them know you are in Boston, MA. The message also includes a link or display (depending on the device used to read the meassage) of a map showing where that zip code is in Boston. It’s also possible to post photos of that location and post notes about what’s going on there.
Continue reading

The Social Graph, Google Friend Connect, & Libraries

My brain has been spinning for days thinking about the library’s role in the social graph. It started when on a recent TWIT podcast Kevin Rose, of Digg, mentioned the social graph. I’ve heard that term bandied about before, but when Rose said it this time I wondered if I really knew what it meant. A Google search led me to information on the social graph and the confirmation that this graph is really another way of talking about six degrees of separation. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, is often quoted when people write about the social graph. For example, “Zuckerberg attributed the power of Facebook to the ‘social graph,’ the network of connections and relationships between people on the service. He said, ‘It’s the reason Facebook works.'”
Continue reading