There have been a flurry of high profile stories lately about teen hackers. There’s of course the unlocked iphone, internet porn filter, and AjaxLife-a web based client for Second Life.

In a recent article by USA Today, many teens cited learning about computers because “it is exciting and challenging” as their main motives for hacking.

While that doesn’t excuse illegal behavior, not all hacking is illegal and hacking itself often has a very negative connotation. Library consultant Linda Braun pointed out, why not consider what ‘hacking’ could be as a library program. What a great opportunity to talk about issues such as the digital millennium copyright act that George Hotz points out after unlocking the iPhone. If your library has done a similar program, share your comments. Why not approach a store like Radio Shack that also offers online classes and see if someone will come to the library and teach a program about modifying devices. Throw out a contest or a problem and ask teens to fix it. Share your best practices on the LibSuccess wiki, check out previous blog posts, add your links like Makezine to the YALSA page. Encourage teens to blog about their legal hacks (check out hackzine.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

About Kelly Czarnecki

Kelly Czarnecki is a Teen Librarian at ImaginOn with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. She is a member of the YALSA blog advisory board.

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