Teen Tech Week Kickoff

Wow, what a crowd. The room was setup for 150 people and almost every seat was taken. Obviously this was an event of big interest to teen librarians. The kickoff program included:

  • Teen Tech Week Task Force members Jami Schwarzwalder and Stephanie Iser telling about program ideas for librarians to sponsor during Teen Tech Week.
  • Rachel Johnson from ALA Graphics showed the products that are available for Teen Tech Week. Rachel also announced a display contest being hosted by ALA graphics. The contest is to see what librarians do with TTW products in a library display. More information on the contest is forthcoming.
  • Jason Wells from Abrams Publishing highlighted Lauren Myracle’s books and announced that they are hosting a contest (details to come) in honor of TTW and the winning library will get a visit from Lauren Myracle to their library.
  • Rob Cullin from E•vanced Solutions (who is providing the registration technology for Teen Tech Week) talked about their product and how they are supporting TTW.
  • Roger Rosen and Miriam Gilbert from Rosen Publishing discussed their commitment to TTW and teen services and announced the launch of their new Health and Wellness database for teens. Rosen Publishing will be giving away a one-year subscription to the Teen Health and Wellness database to one of the libraries registered for TTW. (More details will be forthcoming.)
  • George Cigale from Tutor.com was the last speaker of the morning. Cigale talked about Tutor.com’s support of TTW. The company is going to give away a one-month subscription to the Tutor.com service to one TTW registered library. (More details will be forthcoming.)

Obviously there are a lot of good projects in the works for TTW. Keep tuned to the blog and the TTW website and wiki for more information as it becomes available.

And, don’t forget to register for TTW in order to become eligible for lots of great prizes.

Positive Use of Social Networking #25 – Freedom to Choose

During October a small group of YALSA bloggers are posting ideas and information about positive uses of social networking tools in schools and libraries. Here’s positive use #25.

Social networking technologies often allow for people to express their own opinions. A teen can set up their own blog in less than five minutes, post a comment on a forums board, or share what materials they are reading through LibraryThing. Check out SLJs recent article and podcast on LibraryThing here.

People who read and contribute to blogs, forums boards, wikis, etc. are being given the choice to be exposed to information that they might not otherwise come across as readily. Is it not slightly ironic, that DOPA targets school and public libraries, which are places that historically protect the freedom to access information?

It is my opinion that there are many parallels between Banned Books and freedom in the digital world. Making connections between the two, as well as being familiar with sites such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation might help us understand why DOPA is not the beginning and is not going to be the end of legislation affecting the digital world. It might help us to want to inform the teens we work with who use these technolgies of what the bigger picture is and not just be reactive or hope it will go away.

I wonder if Teen Tech Week might be one of many places to continue the dialogue of freedoms in the digital world and why/how it is just as important as protecting our freedom to read books.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Lonelygirl15 – telling a story

Lonelygirl15 calls herself ‘Bree’ and has been leaving posts on YouTube since May to share different things about her life with viewers such as complaining about her parents or talking about her relationship with Daniel. Recently, tracking software set up by fans of lonelygirl15 found that the posts might have been part of a marketing campaign and ‘Bree’ wasn’t really who she pretended to be.

Turns out the marketing campaign was really a group of friends that wanted to tell a story-“A story that could only be told using the medium of video blogs and the distribution power of the Internet. A story that is interactive and constantly evolving with the audience.”

What about promoting programs through YouTube in a way that is a lead-in to something that might not be expected at your library? Keep them guessing and intrigued. Have teens create short videos to post on YouTube and create an interest in story telling and encourage interaction. What might that look like? Music in lonelygirl15’s videos alerted viewers of a local band that happened to be in town or ‘Bree’ would respond to viewers posts by making cookies they suggested. Great potential for promoting Teen Read Week or Teen Tech Week this way. Or even promoting storytelling and interactivity.

These ideas remind me of the article written by Erin Helmrich of Ann Arbor Public Library-
“What Teens Want: What Libraries Can Learn From MTV”, Young Adult Library Services (Spring 2004): 11-13 which is about learning how to integrate pop culture into publicity and promotions to teens.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki