With Teen Tech Week winding down many of us have already held our program(s) and we are packing up our supplies and putting all TTW related thoughts and ideas on the back burner until next year, but before you do this here are a few thoughts to keep with you throughout the year.

Teen Tech Week is about ensuring, “…that teens are competent and ethical users of technologies, especially those that are offered through libraries such as DVDs, databases, audiobooks, and videogames. Teen Tech Week encourages teens to use libraries’ nonprint resources for education and recreation, and to recognize that librarians are qualified, trusted professionals in the field of information technology. “ (YALSA, 2011)

Naturally TTW is a great time to advocate for teens and technology, but as librarians our job is never really done. It is important that we keep TTW alive throughout the year for a number of reasons, but what it really comes down to is this: teens don’t just use technology during TTW, and we don’t want teens to just use the library during TTW. Here are some ideas for staying connected with your teens and keeping TTW alive throughout the year:

  1. Enter contests with your teens that promote the use of technology, reading, the library etc… The YALSA web site and the YALSA blog are great places to find out about contests. If you are looking for a contest right now check out ALA’s Why I Need My Library Teen Video Contest.
  2. Make sure your teens know about new additions to your collection as soon as you get them. Post signs, update your website, highlight hot new stuff on your Facebook page. This ensures the teens don’t forget you are there and, of course, it let’s teens know that the library is not only a great place to go to get the newest books, but also the newest CDs, DVDs and video games.
  3. Integrate technology into your other programs and initiatives. Maybe you have teens write book reviews for your teen blog or for part of your summer reading program – why not give teens the option to create a book trailer or a playlist for a book they have read. Maybe you could have a program to teach teens how to create book trailers.
  4. Last, but certainly not least, keep track of ideas. We all come across great programming ideas on listservs, in professional literature, talking with other professionals and through spontaneous moments of inspiration, so grab a piece of paper, your smartphone or computer and write these ideas down.

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