Every year, beginning sometime in December, media outlets, bloggers, and others publish articles on the best and worst of the past 12 months.’  When I read these I automatically start to think about what’s been going on with teens and libraries over the past year. One way I find that out is to look at a year’s worth of YALSA blog posts. Here’s some of what I found when I did that:

  • Over the past twelve months video production became a real-live possibility for librarians and the teens that they serve. For a couple of years now this blog has included posts describing how teens and libraries are using YouTube (and related web tools) to post video. This year, the ease of video production with inexpensive tools like Flip video cameras, turned the tide to make it even more possible for lots of videos to be produced by librarians and teens.
  • Social networking hasn’t gone anywhere. Every day, week, month there are new tools to check-out in order to figure out how to use social networking effectively with and for teens.’  Librarians continue to work on how to use sites like Facebook to connect with teens and are also starting to venture out into newer venues with tools such as widgets.
  • Legislation that strives to limit access to resources and technology for teens in schools and libraries has not disappeared. Over the past 12 months bloggers have written about legislation related to cyberbullying, access to virtual worlds, and access to social networking in schools and libraries. It’s clear that librarians working with teens need to continue to pay attention to what is happening locally, regionally, and nationally in order to make sure they can act proactively in order to help guarantee access to resources for teens.
  • Research about teens and the world in which they live is being published on a regular basis.’  Over the past year books including Grand Theft Childhood and Grown Up Digital along with reports on the impact of gaming on civic engagement, the impact of technology on learning, and the impact of technology on teen writing were all released.’  These publications provide material teen librarians can use in order to successfully gain support for teen services in their libraries and communities.
  • The challenges of what is termed millenial librarianship continue to be on the minds of new and experienced librarians.’  Working together to provide high-quality services for teens is not always easy and librarians working with teens are still trying to figure out how to work together and mentor each other in order to provide the service that teens want and need.

These are just some of the highlights and trends that I’ve noticed over the past year. What’s on your 2008 list of top news and trends related to teens and libraries?

Over the past year the YALSA bloggers posted information about a wide-range of topics. Sometimes they challenged readers to think perhaps a bit differently about the world around them (and around the teens they serve). They always provided extremely useful, interesting, and practical information about library services to teens.’  YALSA bloggers have once again done a great job keeping readers up-to-date and informed. Thank you to them for all of their work.

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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