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 #5.

As we know, teens have been a major force behind the success of blogging software. Blogs give teens an audience, a way to keep up with friends, opportunities for feedback, and a means to connect to others. For the same reasons, teachers and librarians have also found merit in blogging. For example, check out Mr. Ahlness’ third grade class blog. Or Mrs. Glatt’s brand new Charger Guys Read blog. Or, check the growing list of Library Blogs for Teen Patrons that are posted on Library Success: A Best Practicies Wiki.

My school’s student newspaper, The Gargoyle, has been published online using WordPress software since last December. Though the students still produce a monthly print edition of the paper, the Online Gargoyle has room for all kinds of extra features and isn’t bound by the monthly deadline. Sports scores and stories are published right after games are played. The online extras include a photo gallery and an art gallery, which are both in brilliant color. Mistakes can (and are!) corrected. The OG has an RSS feed, which allows me to subscribe to the updates in my news aggregator. The front “page” also links to the Principal’s blog and to my library blog, Gargoyles Loose in the Library.

Again, if DOPA is passed, public library teen blogs and blogs supported by schools like mine, Mrs. Glatt’s, and Mr. Ahlness’ may no longer be used by teens and librarians to publish and share information. That also means a lost opportunity to teach teens safe and effective uses of blogs while improving their skills as readers and writers.

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