The Problem with Cool

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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Dollars and Sense #23 : Your In-House Specialists

Some of your best program leaders may already be attending your programs. They’re sitting there, watching you struggle to cut the snow flake from the recycled printer paper, thinking the whole time about the really awesome program they want to run. Yes, one way to enhance your programming during lean times is to involve your teens as workshops leaders.

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The YALSA Update: Back to School

YALSA’s Online Courses Cooler temperatures, falling leaves … why not complete the picture by signing up for one of YALSA’s Online Courses this fall? YALSA is offering three courses’  (including two brand-new ones!): AIMing at Tweens: Advising, Involving, Motivating (taught by Teri Lesesne); Graphic Novels and Teen Readers: The Basics and Beyond (taught by Francisca Goldsmith) and Reaching Teens with Gaming (taught by Beth Gallaway). Read descriptions and register at YALSA’s Online Courses page.

Bundled Registration Open If you’re planning to attend both ALA conferences this year (Midwinter Meeting in Boston, Jan. 15-19 and Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 24-29) , take advantage of bundled registration and save 20% off of advanced registration for each conference separately. You’ll be able to register for hotels now, too. Starting Oct. 1, you can add registration for YALSA’s Midwinter Institute, “Libraries 3.0: Teen Edition” and YALSA’s Midwinter Social Event, “Games, Gadgets & Gurus.”

After the jump, learn how you can propose a program or paper for the 2010 YA Lit Symposium, see how you can preorder YALSA’s newest book, tell YALSA your opinion on future continuing education topics, and find out deadlines for the Teens’ Top Ten and Teen Read Week.

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Teen’s Top Ten Nominees: Wherever Nina Lies

Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten is a compelling book that captivates you from the very beginning. The book’s main character Ellie has a sister that disappeared mysteriously and she tries everything and anything in her power to find her. Ellie’s friends and family think she should just stop obsessing over her sister’s disappearance and let the past be forgotten. Ellie finds a clue that renews her spirit in finding her sister, so she continues her quest for Nina, though it could cost her dearly. Continue reading

Mentoring Teens All The Time

When I was in junior high there was a small local restaurant my friends and I liked to go to. It served good sandwiches and it was a place we all went with our families. The thing was, when we were at the restaurant with our families, we received great service. When we went as a group of friends, the service wasn’t so great. We knew without a doubt that the adult employees didn’t like us at all. Eventually we stopped going.

I’ve been thinking about this experience as I’ve recently been reminded how sometimes adults don’t treat teens very well. I think, in many instances, adults don’t do this on purpose, they don’t intentionally treat teens badly. Continue reading

Facebook & Privacy

A couple of recent blog articles about Facebook privacy settings got me thinking, once again, about the importance of informing parents, and other adults who live and work with teens, about how to setup social networking accounts to maximize privacy.

The first post I saw is on the Read Write Web blog. The article has a title that says it all, How to Friend Mom, Dad, and the Boss on Facebook…Safely. In the text readers find a clear rundown of how to use the various privacy settings on Facebook to decide what profile information to make available to specific users. Continue reading

28 Days of Advocacy #5 – Why Get Teens Involved

Getting teens involved in advocacy efforts can be a great way to not only gain support for the library and teen services, but also support teen development. Teens acting as advocates fits perfectly with the 40 developmental assets as defined by the Search Institute. For example:

  • Teens will feel empowered if they have a chance to help make change and garner support for their own library services. Imagine a group of teens getting together and developing a campaign for getting the word out to the community about why they need library services. Imagine how empowered they will feel by having their ideas discussed by movers and shakers where they live.’  Continue reading

Fair Division

It seems like a little thing, but little things can still make a big difference.

Today, at my library’s weekly Game On!, an open video gaming event, we figured out how to divide the snacks so no one feels shortchanged.

Game On! started with a PlayStation 2 and a small, dedicated group of teens. It has since morphed into a multi-console gaming extravaganza. Every Thursday, we have an Xbox 360, a PlayStation 3, and a Wii, running respectively on two tvs and a projector. Not to mention the Rock Band drum kit, batteries for Wii-motes, a notebook full of cheat codes, Game Cube controllers that one of our regulars is kind enough to bring from home, and 20-30 teens attending each week. Continue reading