Over the past week or so I’ve seen or read interesting content that relates to libraries and teen services, not necessarily do these items relate directly but definitely indirectly:

  • Justine Ezarik captured her 300 page AT&T iPhone bill in a very funny video. Why was the bill 300 pages? Because Justine sent and received approximately 30,000 text messages in the month. In a blog post related to the video, Justine talks about how she uses text messaging instead of voice or email communication. Justine isn’t a teen, but she is probably in her 20s and her communication style demonstrates that of many young people around the world. Teen librarians should take note of Justine as an example of how at least some of the teens in library communities choose to communicate – the teens who would rather text than email, visit a web site, or use voice communication.
  • The New York Times published a story last week about how bands are connecting with fans via text messaging. In the article a 14-year-old says, “Having your cellphone everywhere is important for everybody now.” Bands are demonstrating the power of making connections and marketing via cell phones. Teen librarians might take a look at what the bands are doing. They might then consider ways to connect and market to teens using some of the same techniques proven successful by musicians.
  • Jupiter Research released a report on August 2nd with findings from a survey about favorite online brands. Google was at the top of the findings with 36% and Yahoo! was not far behind with 32%. According to The New York Times, a slightly larger percentage of men favored Google while a slightly larger percentage of women favored Yahoo! Younger people (18 to 24 year olds) favored MySpace. What if you were to survey teens in your community about their favorite web-brands? What would you find out? (It’s always good to test assumptions.)
  • There are more and more vodcasts recorded literally in people’s homes, living rooms or home studios. They include Life on the Left Coast from Ben Patrick Johnson and comedian Tom Green who really does record in his living room. While Johnson records in a fairly hi-tech studio, these vodcasts demonstrate that anyone can produce and record content almost anywhere. What if you asked your teens about what they might record while they hang out in the library? Who might they interview? What would they talk about?
  • On the JetSetShow there was a segment about Starring You. With this web-based tool you can put your face on dancing characters and embed the movie you make, of these characters, on web sites, blogs, etc. It’s silly but what would your teens create with something like this?
  • Chocolate Rain is a video on YouTube that’s getting lots of hits and lots of buzz. (Check out the interview with Chocolate Rain singer Tay Zonday on Jimmy Kimmel.) The video actually spurred an array of fan-produced videos from a Darth Vader remix to a McGruff the Crime Dog version. The Chocolate Rain phenomenon could be a great way to start discussion with teens about what makes a YouTube hit. It could also lead to talking about writing fan fiction, creating fan art, and producing fan video.

There are lots of things I read and view on a daily basis that are not specifically related to libraries, or even directly related to teens, but without too much of a thinking stretch I find that I can draw connections that help me consider how to enhance teen library services. Anything you’ve read lately that’s not library/teen specific but that has a connection?

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President, the YALSA CE Consultant, and a learning consultant/project management coordinator at LEO: Librarians & Educators Online.

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