Just four or five years ago, I would send out postcards to remind teens of our monthly Teen Advisory Board meeting but today this method of communication would be completely foreign and unfruitful for my purposes.

Today, the library, like many other components of a community, is largely an intangible presence existing entirely as mobile communication. Today, I can save the postage and send out a Vine or Instagram to engage my teens up-to-the-hour of a library event. Today, I’m seeing many more new faces at my library events because of my digital presence as a librarian.

As Facebook and Twitter intersect with more instantaneous rivals, such as Snapchat, that offer more content options, such as Tumblr, it can be a fun challenge for librarians to keep up with the nomadic sprawl across various platforms of mobile teen connectivity.

We learn as we go, break new grounds, we talk with our teens and remember to never reinvent the wheel.

Here are my top three Vines, Instagrams and Tumblrs that worked as kick starters for my own YA librarianship in 2013:


1. Metropolitan Library in Oklahoma County describes their vine as “your inviting innovation link to the world,” and gives us insight into their teen programming, services and displays.

2. Sherri, a School Librarian in Indiana, shares her classroom’s entertaining highlights while they are learning together.

3. Justin Hoenke, Teen Librarian at the Chattanooga Public Library is eager to showcase his library’s amazing teen services including their terrific Makerspace.


1. If you are planning to showcase your YA department to a broader audience in the New Year while specifically connecting with teens, check out the Brookline Teen Librarian for some terrific ideas.

2. To learn how to flawlessly drop memes, reference and programming reminders, I suggest clicking the library to the CMC Library Teen Zone tumblr.

3. Do your teens like to offer content to your library’s online presence? Do you like to initiative conversations with polls? See what the YA Space @ Rosenberg Library offers teens to give them a voice.


1. Bonniebethsbooks

Bonnie’s account is a good resource for book themed event ideas and instant reader’s advisory for popular YA lit.

2. Orangerful

If you are looking for some fun pop culture themed crafts and game ideas for your teens, check out Orangerful’s pics of their creative library programs.

3. MHicking

Look at inspiring pics during the prep, event and take down process to help you brainstorm events, book talks and tasty treats.

About Samantha Helmick

Samantha serves her Iowa community in the capacity of UX & Outreach Librarian for Burlington Public Library. She received her MLIS from University of Illinois, where she designed a sustainability internship with DigitalLearn.org through PLA. Samantha volunteers as chair of the Iowa Library Association's Public Library Forum and YALSA's Division and Membership Promotion Committee, regularly contributes to LiTTech, and edReach, and is writing a textbook for the Library Tech Essentials series on “Mobile Social Marketing for Libraries” which will be published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2015.

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