There’s this closet at work that I’m starting to clean out because it needs it. It’s been kind of funny tracking down where things came from in the first place as one person invariably leads me to and there’s usually a humorous story attached to it at the end. We’re also busy at work spring cleaning in a sense in the way we think about using things-particularly technology equipment. We’re taking into consideration how teens use it and what our own processes are in order to make some changes.

For example, we have a Mac in one area in the building that gets used a lot by kids and teens to play games. Nothing wrong with that. However, at the other end of the building we have that same model Mac computer getting used, with GarageBand, so heavily by teens that they would line up up outside the door to sign up for it if they could. It only makes sense to combine proximity of the two computers if we can.

I think this is how librarians look at our book collections sometimes and decide if something should be catalogued differently, particularly if it’s not being checked out in one area but would fly off the shelf like hotcakes in another area.

Another example is using flash drives to install programs for our classes and workshops for teens. Instead of having to wait until IT installs a program on our networked computers, we have a portable program that can move around the space. Game Maker, Alice, and SketchUp are a few of the (*free*) programs we have installed.

Last week, one of the librarians used a computer that we have a webcam, iPhoto, and PhotoBooth on. She incorporated this into her storytime by projecting just snapped photos onto a large screen for the audience to watch and participate with. While this wasn’t a teen program, I am already thinking of the many ways our teen volunteers in the summer might be interested in using the technology in fun and different ways. Different perhaps for a library or different from how we had been using it before.

If you have any spring cleaning stories to share about using tech in new ways, please feel free!

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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