A few years back I bought a chess board for our library, the kind with a magnetic board that makes it a bit portable, and one where I hoped students wouldn't lose pieces too easily. I placed it on a spare student-sized desk near the library's entrance with two nice chairs on either side. Teachers and students began sitting down or huddling deep into a game while waiting for a class to end or during a free period. I placed our few books about chess next to our game and hoped the board would help welcome in more library users. Then the school year ended.

When the new school year began, I put the chess board back on its desk. Three days into that school year, a handwritten notice was found under the board: Read More →

I started out this post by titling it “Libraries are not Cool.” But then, the more I wrote, the more I realized I don't really agree with that statement. For some people, they really are. And it's important for librarians to talk up their libraries, find out ways to make them more appealing to all age groups, and allow for the library to approach levels of coolness — by lifting food and cell phone bans, bringing in video games, and talking in normal voices, for a start.

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cynthia Children's and Young Adult Author, Cynthia Leitich Smith will stop by Teen Second Life on Tuesday, February 24 at 1pm PST to discuss her newly released book, Eternal. Leitich describes Eternal as a gothic fantasy. She has decided to get involved in Second Life since it's a 'very contemporary and very 'now' space' as are her books. Check out her

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I shot a quick video of my library's presence in SmallWorlds as an example of the web 2.0 tools that can be added to this virtual world that runs in a web browser.

The latest version of Flash is needed to run SmallWorlds. It'll be interesting to see whether tweens, teens, or both find the site interesting, if they do at all. Many might enjoy what are called 'missions' or tasks to level up and earn points so that they can decorate their space and earn a title that clearly shows their status as someone more familiar with the program. As I mention in the video, be sure to check out the SmallWorlds library!

Representative Bradley Daw has recently introduced HB 139 for those providing wireless access to prevent a minor from accessing harmful material and to use a method such as a credit card to determine the users age. The penalty for not complying could be a fine of up to $1,000.
Read Andy Carvin's blog post for more information.

As a recent post on the YALSA blog about social networking legislation asked, if there are any educators/librarians/teens living in the area where this bill would effect, reading this post, please share your comments.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

In the January/Februrary 2008 issue of American Libraries, Meredith Farkas in What Friends Are For writes about social technologies such as Twitter and Facebook which can be used as professional development tools. Farkas' concluding paragraph is, "The next time you see a colleague logged into Twitter or Facebook while at work, don't assume he or she is playing on the job. Your co-worker may just be learning something that will benefit your library and its patrons."

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Being on the island in Teen Second Life when I took this snapshot in the sandbox reminded me of the article. The teen with the virtual cup of coffee in front of the DNA structure he was creating said he was doing this to help him with his bio test for tomorrow in school. Of course. The next time a teen is on RuneScape or MySpace at the library, maybe they are using it to help with their school work. Maybe they would be interested in knowing how other teens use similar tools for professional development something directly tied to a homework assignment if they hadn't thought if it that way before.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us February 12, 2008 is the 5th annual Safer Internet Day, organized by Insafe, the European Internet Safety network. The United States is one of many participating countries. National hotline numbers as well as safety and the Internet is discussed in all its facets including gaming, mobile phones, and file sharing.

As a reminder, the Illinois Library Association and MySpace teemed up to create Internet safety bookmarks. In honor of Safer Internet Day, this might be a great time to purchase a set. YALSA also has resources for librarians about online social networking here.

Share your projects on helping to address safety and the Internet.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki