Two articles in yesterday’s New York Times got me thinking about how teen librarians connect teens to authors, books, and programs and services in general.

  • The article, The Author Will Take Q’s Now, focuses on how authors are using blogs as a new way to promote their books. Authors go on blog tours instead of or in conjunction with book tours. What’s a blog tour? Instead of traveling from city to city to sell a book, the author posts, writes comments, answers questions, participates in podcasts, and so on all via blogs that relate to his/her writing. This is such a great idea for teen librarians who might not be able to afford to bring an author to his/her community to speak to teens. If authors and publishers are up for participating in blogs, than library blogs should be on publisher’s lists as those that are worth getting on in order to sell books and authors. The librarian and teens might interview the author via questions on the blog or on a podcast. The author would converse with the library’s teen community via the blog.
  • The essay A Space for Us looks at how MySpace provides opportunities for authors to not only market their books but also connect with readers. The author of the essay, Pagan Kennedy, writes, “But for authors and readers, MySpace offers something entirely new: a forum where we can finally meet and get to know one another…” We’ve posted on this blog before about MySpace being a place for teens to meet authors and for authors to meet teens. A component of this that comes up in the essay is that authors are incredibly isolated when they write. Do teens realize that? Do teens realize what an impact their connection with an author on MySpace might have on the author’s process and final product? MySpace gives teens the chance to actually interact with authors as they are writing and not just as fans after a book is published and read. That’s certainly something empowering to teens and something that’s worth promoting in the library.

Promoting blogs, MySpace, etc. as a way to connect readers and writers is one way to help adults in the community understand why social networking is worthwhile for teens. These two New York Times articles can help in that promotion.

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.

One Thought on “Literary Social Networking

  1. Miss Jenn [Visitor] on September 5, 2007 at 5:10 pm said:

    Thank you supporting MySpace and teens. I’m using MySpace to teach Web 2.0 to the teens at my library. Personally, I think MySpace is great tool to teach teens how to blog, use a calendar, upload photos/videos, and etc. This summer, I was helping some teen girls (14-16 yrs. old) change their background and was shocked when they didn’t know how to right click! Hence my program!

    Thanks~Miss Jenn
    Teen Librarian in South Florida

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