forwarded from Don Wood, Intellectual Freedom Office

The following may be helpful in light of DOPA-like bills on the floor in several states. In Virginia this week, the governor signed a law requiring all public libraries to filter “offensive material;” only adults conducting research can have the filters unblocked. Any Virginia librarians care to comment? Other states are sure to follow suit.

Resources on Young People’s Safety on the Internet

Resources on young people’s safety on the Internet, including cyberbullying, can be found here:

* Child Safety on Web 2.0: Who Should Protect Our Kids?
* Cyberbullying and Free Speech
* Cyberbullying
* Bullies and Bullying
* Additional Resources on Bullies and Bullying
* Especially for Young People and Their Parents
* Safety Resources for Young People

See also

March 30: Participate in Stop Cyberbullying Day by Andy Carvin

I had the privilege of presenting a brief workshop in Second Life on Thursday night with library consultant Linda Braun / Lucy Theeuwes who introduced literacy aspects of teen behaviors with a fun poetry with chat lingo exercise, and Technology Education Librarian, Kelly Czarnecki / BlueWings Hayek who introduced the concept of physical and virtual third places for teens and how they foster building developmental assets and healthy relationships for teens. I spoke about how normal brain development impacts teen behavior. The transcript from the session follows the resource list.

Serving Teens: A Second Life Discussion

Some resources from the discussion:
Beth’s Brain Resources:


Elizabeth Birr Moje

Great Good Place

Developmental Assets

Heeger, Paula Brehm. “A Tie for Third Place: Teens need virtual spaces as well as physical ones.” School Library Journal. 7/06.

Lucy Theeuwes: Cerulean will you show us your brain?
Frontal Lobe: affects reasoning, motivation, judgement and decision making
Cerulean: so i’m a YALSA serving the underserved trainer

Cerulean: and I frequently get asked to do workshops
Cerulean: on teen behavior
Cerulean: (or, lack thereof 😉
Cerulean: and one of my strongest arguments is…
Cerulean: they can’t help it!
Cerulean: there are physical things going on during adolescent development
Cerulean: that prevent them from acting like adults… even tho they LOOK like adults
Cerulean: in fact the brain development of a teen rivals that in the toddler years 🙂
Cerulean: no wonder they like to say NO and have mood swings & temper tantrums!

Cerulean: so
Cerulean: I made this 3-d model of a teen brain
Cerulean: to explain the changes that occur.
Myelin Sheath: affects emotional growth, long term memory, organizational skills, attention span, and impulse control
Cerulean: the myelin sheath covering the brain grows 100%
Cerulean: what behaviors might you expect from someone who’s brain is changing?
Cerulean: i’ll cick again so you can get the afffects…
Myelin Sheath: affects emotional growth, long term memory, organizational skills, attention span, and impulse control
Cerulean: (hint : this is the audience participation part…)

Cerulean: 🙂
Cerulean: can you think of a time
ZM: Oh! Heh
Cerulean: when a teen acted emotionally?
Cerulean: forgot something?
Cerulean: like, a rule?
Cerulean: was disorganizes?
Cerulean: had a short attention span?
ZM: I can’t think of a time when I didn’t fit that description.

Cerulean Vesperia is waiting for library examples
NZ: I beleive I still do taht Cerulean 🙂
CU: I’m in a middle school, its life as I know it
Cerulean: CU can you think of a specific?
BlueWings Hayek: I’m sorry I can’t see
Cerulean: s’ok 🙂
Cerulean: when I worked with teens, if we asked one to leave…
CU: Ok, any middle school student’s locker is the picture of disorganization
You: they might forget we’d asked and come back later that same day.

Cerulean: they also forgot the multitude of library rules
ZM laughs
Cerulean: great CU!
Cerulean: they need to be reminded… (gently)
CU: yes and they never emeber their class materials
Cerulean: teaching them about the rules could actually HELP teen brain development!
CU: *remember
Cerulean: it’s entirely possible that because these areas are under construction…
Cerulean: they just can’t be utilized to full potential.

Frontal Lobe: affects reasoning, motivation, judgement and decision making
Cerulean: frontal lobe growth is huge in the teen years
Cerulean: can you think og a time a teen used bad judgement?
TS: so what adults sometimes see as lack of motivation is something else?
Cerulean: made a poor (impulsive) decision?
NZ: Pretty much evertime I got in trouble 🙂
CU: how bout the one that took a swing at the principal today
ZM: Oh, jeez.
Cerulean: yes, TS, it could be a physical manifestion

Cerulean: of the chaos of a developing brain
CU: normally a pretty good kid ,too
Cerulean: yep, i’d call that poor judgement all right CU!
CU: sometimes they just lose it
Cerulean: teens don’t always think ahead to the consequences of actions
Cerulean: they act in the moment, and
Cerulean: sometimes emotion wins over rationality.
ZM: Sounds like your model needs a little thunderstorm or something, Cerulean….
Cerulean: we can help teach them consequences of actions by explaining and enforcing rules

Cerulean: and prompting them to think about outcomes of behaviors
Cerulean: ZM, can you script one ? *g*
ZM: About what age range are you talking about here?
ZM: Heh, not me 🙂
Hippocampus: dopamine receptors in the Hippocampus affect volume control
Cerulean: this is the most interesting to me…
BlueWings Hayek: I know some teens that could
Cerulean: dopamine spikes in teen years
Cerulean: ZM, 13-16 mostly

Cerulean: things settle down around 16-17
ZM: Just wondered — I work mostly with college freshmen and the worst they do is nod off at me, usually.
Cerulean: so, does anyone know any LOUD teens? 🙂
BlueWings Hayek: yes and they usually sing off key
NZ: Yes! My cousins ahve too volumes: Loud and Louder.
ZM: That explains why they like that rock and roll music that seems to be so popular.
CU: try passing period in the hallways, you need earplugs
Cerulean: really?! I didn’t know about the off key part…I have read there are sound tunes that only thos under age 30 can hear, very high pitched ones
Cerulean: CU, yep!

Cerulean: and you ask them to quiet down… and they do
Cerulean: and then the noise escalates
Cerulean: they get excited and talk over one another
CU: yes, its a cycle
NZ: Cerulean, there was a sound that most peopel over 30 can’t use, and the police utilized it to great effect at controlling crowds of teens.
Cerulean: I think they are trying to talk over the “noise” in their changing brain
NZ: *Cna’t hear
Cerulean: just like elderly patrons and toddlers might get loud…
Cerulean: and can’t HELP it

Cerulean: neither can teens.
Cerulean: we need to recognize it and give them spaces where they can be loud.
Pituitary Gland: hormonal fluctuations cause moodiness, agression and mate seeking behaviors
Cerulean: ah, hormones… most behavior gets blamed on this
Cerulean: but it only plays a small part
Cerulean: know any moody teens?
Cerulean: show-off teens?
Cerulean: flirty teens?
NZ: That properly describes almost all of them.

Cerulean: yep! can’t fight biology.
AZ: In our library the whole front is the “loud” area…we’ve had students call down the librarians.
CU: the mating behavior is particularly strong now that spring has sprung
Cerulean: the kid who used to throw pencils at the cute girls in my public library
Cerulean: was exhibiting mate seeking behavior 🙂
ZM: I gotta wonder if that ever worked.
NZ whisltes innocently
Cerulean: Cyndi, I don’t doubt those things are cyclical too!
Cerulean: Lol @ ZM

Cerulean: put your pencil away Mr M.
Cerulean: one more…
Cerulean: the pinel gland
Teen Brain: secretes melatonin, controlling sleep/wake cycles
Cerulean: what does sleep have to do with behavior?
Cerulean: anyone?
NZ: less sleep = more irritability?
ZM: Oh, I know it affects mine if I don’t get enough….
HS: My kids are extremely grumpy or distracted when they don’t get enough sleep

Cerulean: right!
Cerulean: what time do they go to bed, on average?
CU: sleep waking cycle effects behvaior sleeping in first hour, wild in 6th
Cerulean: and,
Cerulean: when does school start?
BlueWings Hayek: early
You: /they are biologically programmed to stay up late…
CU: they don’t wake up til about lunch
Cerulean: harkens back to hunter gatherer days

Cerulean: fittest memeber of the tribe played guard!
TS: At my sons school they start at 7:20 torture!
Cerulean: and got to sleep in.
Cerulean: the average teen needs 9.25 hours of sleep a night for their brain to develop!
ZM: Jeez, an uncomfortable amount of this description fits me….
Cerulean: and they get about 6…maybe 7
Cerulean: *l*
Cerulean: and how do you all feel on lack of sleep?
Cerulean: someone mentioned irritable…

HVX Silverstar: spaced
NZ: ZM, I commiserate wit hyou, I’m the sameway
TS: miserable and cranky
Cerulean: makes sense the decision making gets sloppy and behavior is snappish 🙂
Cerulean: so
Cerulean: in short
Cerulean: MANY teen behavoirs are physical manifestations
Cerulean: of brain development
Cerulean: and are NORMAL behaviors

Cerulean: and we can offer support and guidance
Cerulean: with a little tolerance
Cerulean: if you click the bottom of the brain
Cerulean: you’ll get a notecard
Hippocampus: dopamine receptors in the Hippocampus affect volume control
Cerulean: with behavior tips and resources
Cerulean: and you should be able to copy the brain if you want your own 😉
Cerulean: thanks!
Cerulean: I’m way over time

Cerulean: can take ??? at the end
NZ: If I only had a brain.. 🙂
CU: thanks so much
Cerulean: ty!
TS: Thanks
NZ: Thank you for the presentation Cerulean: )
BlueWings Hayek: that was wonderful
ZM: Cool, thanks, Ceru! 🙂
BlueWings Hayek: thank you!

Cerulean: stick around, we’ve got more!
ZM: I had no idea you were so multitalented.
Cerulean Vesperia blushes lilac
Lucy Theeuwes: OK
Lucy Theeuwes: I’m next
Lucy Theeuwes: my focus is on the way teens use technology to read and write and what that means for
Lucy Theeuwes: library behaviors.
Lucy Theeuwes: I wanted to start with a favorite quote.
Lucy Theeuwes: Most linguists believe that after 10,000 years no traces of a language remain in its descendants.

Lucy Theeuwes: Languages are perpetuated by the children who learn them. When linguists see a language spoken only by adults they know it’s doomed.
AZ: good talke Cerulean
Lucy Theeuwes: When I read that I think of teens and technology
Lucy Theeuwes: Anybody else
Lucy Theeuwes: Any examples of how teens use new literacy skills when it comes to tech?
Cerulean: IM!
BlueWings Hayek: it reminds me of article I read about teens using IM in papers
Lucy Theeuwes: Tell us more
BlueWings Hayek: and it’s disparaged by many

BlueWings Hayek: adults
BlueWings Hayek: not all-
BlueWings Hayek: but it was by many in the article
Lucy Theeuwes: can you imagine what English might be in another generation if what the quote says is true?
Cerulean: no more vowels? *g*
Cyndi Uriza: IM is really a new writing genre
Lucy Theeuwes: Will we be reading and writing differently – will it be the language of teens and children that was created by teens and children
BlueWings Hayek: I use a lot more IM the more I’m hree in my everyday emails
Cerulean: and more speaking acronyms… like, saying I less than 3 you

Cerulean: <3
Lucy Theeuwes: I also think that technology lets us be more creative in writing because of the way things are described.
GN: I hope that’s a heart
Lucy Theeuwes: So I’d like to have you guys try something out.
Lucy Theeuwes: Are you game?
CU: Of course we will be reading and writing differently, language always changes over time and technology will only accelerate that
You: <3 = heart
CU: sure

GN: 😉
Lucy Theeuwes: Here’s the plan
Lucy Theeuwes: I have some notecards I’m going to give to each person.
Lucy Theeuwes: On each notecard is either a set of initialisms and acronyms
Lucy Theeuwes: Or a set of tags from Library Thing.
NZ: brb in just as ec all sorry .. cat need sto come in
Lucy Theeuwes: Your job is to come up with a poem that uses the initialisms or tags
CU: cool
Lucy Theeuwes: You can add words but you have to use all of whats on the card.

Lucy Theeuwes: Here goes.
TS: Ok
NZ: bb in a second everyone.. sorry 🙁
ZM: I’ll need to excuse myself, folks. Thanks for having me 🙂
ZM waves
BlueWings Hayek: bye ZM
Cerulean: night ZM!
Lucy Theeuwes: If you didn’t get one let me nkow.
AZ: I need to go too 🙂 Verrry tired tonight.

Lucy Theeuwes: Does it make sense what you are supposed ot do?
AZ: take care everyone!
BlueWings Hayek: goodnight AZ and good luck at ACRL!
Cerulean: i didn’t get one…
AZ: thank you!
Lucy Theeuwes gave you poem 2.
BlueWings Hayek: yes I’m not good at instant poeming
Cerulean: IP?
HS: ha

JJ: I don’t really understand the card – I don’t think I got one.
JJ: thanks
Lucy Theeuwes: Don’t try to hard
Lucy Theeuwes: When you are done save the card and give it back to me.
TS: Ok, I saved mine, but where did it go?
Lucy Theeuwes: Ahhh, look in your inventory at the bottom right.
Lucy Theeuwes: OK here’s Cindy’s
TS: Ok, Now how do i get it back to you
Lucy Theeuwes: SC, my friend LI BC the future is now DIKU or is this blur we call reality an illusion.

Lucy Theeuwes: That’s a great example of using the new language in real ways.
CU: that was fun
BlueWings Hayek: okay here’s some bad poetry coming your way
Lucy Theeuwes: Here’s TS’s:
Lucy Theeuwes: An Urban Paranormal Fantasy… Romance with Vampires… Twilight…
Lucy Theeuwes: And here’s BlueWings
Lucy Theeuwes: DIKU my flower? I imagine you are LI, BC I am nothing. SC.
Lucy Theeuwes: Anyone else take the plunge?
HS: Lucy, do we give them to you?

Lucy Theeuwes: Yup.
CU: I like the way BlueWing and I did totally different things with the same set of terms
Lucy Theeuwes: Here’s HS’s:
Lucy Theeuwes: RUOK and DUR it? AISI no OK GGN
Lucy Theeuwes: OK, so can you guys read these?
Lucy Theeuwes: What does it take to read the poetry you created?
HS: with your help
Cerulean: well, I don’t know all these acros!
CU: knowledge of the terms

Cerulean: i need a dictionary 🙂
Cerulean: or a teen
HS: focussing on the individual sounds
Lucy Theeuwes: I used NetLingo to get them.
BlueWings Hayek: a good brain
CU: language
Lucy Theeuwes: The thing is that I wanted to make sure to mention.
TS: I need a teen to turn mine into creative txt
Lucy Theeuwes: It takes an incredible amount of coding and decoding

Lucy Theeuwes: skills to understand what someone writes using tags or IM lingo
Lucy Theeuwes: We need to give teens credit for that.
CU: yes, real life literary skills
Lucy Theeuwes: Just as Cerulean was saying about teen behavior fits here too.
JJ: We received some feedback at our library but can’t figure out what it meant – SHJKLWX! Any guesses? I think it is good.
Lucy Theeuwes: When teens are devloping there are parts of the brain – Cerulean tell me which ones – that help with creativity
Lucy Theeuwes: This texting and taggins are creating writing activities
Cerulean: I think creativity is right brain
Cerulean: but really ALLL parts are developing

Cerulean: and this is where the Use it or Lose it concept comes in
Lucy Theeuwes: Exactly!
Lucy Theeuwes: Tell us more about that Cerulean
Cerulean: if you don’t “exercise” the synapses responsible for language or art or music
You: the cells actually die off
JJ: can you get them back?
Cerulean: imagine stepping on ice and watchiing it crack under your feet
Cerulean: little cracks branch off
Cerulean: and if you step more in one direction

Cerulean: more cracks appear
Cerulean: You can’t get them back
Cerulean: dead brain cells don’t ever rejuvenate
Cerulean: BUTyou can build new ones
Cerulean: just takes a LOT more work
Lucy Theeuwes: So we want to encourage teens to use this language as a way to be creative and to learn language skills.
Cerulean: that’s why it’s better to learn a new language at age 2 or age 12-15
You: not 40
You: 🙂

Lucy Theeuwes: We want to think of ways in the library to promote teen language growth
Lucy Theeuwes: no matter waht the language
Lucy Theeuwes: Check out the work of Eizabeth Birr Moje to find out more about teens and their need for language development
Lucy Theeuwes: even if it isn’t the language that libarians and other adults think is correct.
Lucy Theeuwes: OK, I too took too much time.
Lucy Theeuwes: Next up is BlueWinks
Lucy Theeuwes: Wings that is
TS: Thanks Lucy
BlueWings Hayek: Thank you Lucy

You: thanks!
CU: thanks
BlueWings Hayek: Okay-I wanted to talk a bit about the ‘third place’
BlueWings Hayek: in regards to youth
BlueWings Hayek: has anyone heard that term before?
CU: no
You: yes 🙂
TS: nope
JJ: yeah – we all want our library to be the third place, right?

BlueWings Hayek: yep
BlueWings Hayek: third places are often considered those between home and work
BlueWings Hayek: coffeeshops bookstores bars, etc
JJ: or home and school
BlueWings Hayek: often there are needs in these third spaces that are met
BlueWings Hayek: in ways that they aren’t at home or school
BlueWings Hayek: is this sounding a little more familiar
CU: yes
BlueWings Hayek: in terms of third spaces we might hang around in

BlueWings Hayek: there was a bookwritten in late 80’s on this topic
JJ: i always like the analogy of the cafe in Friends
BlueWings Hayek: yes 🙂
BlueWings Hayek: and the author feels that third spaces for youth
BlueWings Hayek: are declining
BlueWings Hayek: what do others think
CU: I agree
BlueWings Hayek: and in regards to libraries too
JJ: why are they declining?

JJ: because the spaces are not welcoming teens?
CU: no more hanging on the corner, too dangerous
BlueWings Hayek: book is called the Great Good Place
JJ: or because teens don’t want to identify a space, per se?
TS: If the library doesn’t keep up with teens then they don’t want to be there
BlueWings Hayek: one of the explanations is that spaces are created by adults so that they don’t have to be around the kids
BlueWings Hayek: they don’t want them in the way if that makes sense
BlueWings Hayek: in thinking about some of the things Lucy and Cerulean talked about
BlueWings Hayek: why do you think it might be important for third spaces

BlueWings Hayek: especially for teens
BlueWings Hayek: any ideas
Lucy Theeuwes: So they have a place to be themselves
JJ: they are looking for a place that is just theirs – not their parents or teachers
CU: they need aplace to decompress that is not school or home
CU: to escape the pressure of both places
Cerulean: a place to act in developmentally appropriate ways without distrubing others
Lucy Theeuwes: They can manage their brain development in an environment that is welcoming and comfortable.
JJ: a MySpace that is just their own, so to speak

BlueWings Hayek: yep-and they can build what is often referred to as developmental assets in these spaces
BlueWings Hayek: assets that will help them become caring adults
BlueWings Hayek: learning to have healthy relationships with adults, peers, and being able to spend time constructively
BlueWings Hayek: are some of the things that are important for them to do in thse spaces
BlueWings Hayek: and interesting with MySpace which someone mentioned
BlueWings Hayek: is how it is being taken away from teens
BlueWings Hayek: by fear and laws and such
BlueWings Hayek: teens need virtual spaces as well
JJ: what does it mean when the third space for teens is virtual?

JJ: do they get the same developmental assets here as they would in a library or coffee shop or skate park?
BlueWings Hayek: good question 🙂
BlueWings Hayek: I would say there is less adult presence in most virtual spaces but the more it is regulated
Cerulean: Sounds like an EXCELLENT research project, JJ
BlueWings Hayek: the more that is taken away
BlueWings Hayek: yes
BlueWings Hayek: oh I have a little activity I forgot
BlueWings Hayek: I have hidden objects around the room
BlueWings Hayek: we have probably covered most of the discussion questions

BlueWings Hayek: on the notecards
Cerulean: i would vote YES… that they would get as much out of online socializing and identity building as in person
BlueWings Hayek: you will find when touching the objects
BlueWings Hayek: there are four
BlueWings Hayek: sorry-I didn’t mean to interrupt
BlueWings Hayek: I agree too
BlueWings Hayek: especially being with teens in second life
BlueWings Hayek: it’s very interesting to see dynamics
BlueWings Hayek: of this as a third space

BlueWings Hayek: even though I’m an adult
BlueWings Hayek: and still looking through adult eyes
BlueWings Hayek: it is very interesting
BlueWings Hayek: in how they take control of their virtual environment
BlueWings Hayek: and really enjoy being there
BlueWings Hayek: do people want to look for objects-there are just four and they aren’t hard to find
CU: ok
BlueWings Hayek: i tired to make use of the space 🙂
BlueWings Hayek: there is a decoy too

BlueWings Hayek: I didn’t mean to interrupt if people wanted to talk about virtual spaces
Cerulean: sure!
CU: yes I found that
BlueWings Hayek: there is a lot to talk about
BlueWings Hayek: another resource is this slj article
BlueWings Hayek: that talks a bit about virtual spaces
BlueWings Hayek: it’s short
BlueWings Hayek: but here is URL
BlueWings Hayek:
Lucy Theeuwes: I have a question that I’ll ask as people are hunting.
Cerulean: oh, I found one!
Cerulean: How worthwhile are your friends in a third space?
Lucy Theeuwes: Does third place also have something to do with being able to test on different personalities depending on where you are?
Cerulean: Lucy & BlueWings, I am posting your resources to the YALSA blog … 🙂 in the comments on the announcement for this workshop.
BlueWings Hayek: ty
Lucy Theeuwes: Thanks!

BlueWings Hayek: meaning like you respond differently depending on whatspace you are in?
BlueWings Hayek: hint-
BlueWings Hayek: objects are squares
BlueWings Hayek: nothing fancy
JJ: total novice here – no idea how to move around or do anything – sorry
BlueWings Hayek: np
BlueWings Hayek: arrows will allow you to walk forward or backwards
BlueWings Hayek: or turn from side to side
BlueWings Hayek: don’t worry about running into anything

Lucy Theeuwes: Foudn one – why do you think it’s important for youth to have third space?
BlueWings Hayek: I do that all the time
Cerulean: there are so many places where they are NOT wanted
Cerulean: no loitering signs abound
Cerulean: my local mall has a no unattended teen rule!
Cerulean: the MALL!
JJ: no skating signs too
Lucy Theeuwes: Or simply signs that says don’t…
Lucy Theeuwes: Theree are tons of those in libraries.

Cerulean: a local gas station: only 2 teens at a time
Lucy Theeuwes: Don’t talk on cell phones.
BlueWings Hayek: after being in school all day. . .
Lucy Theeuwes: Don’t use the computers.
Lucy Theeuwes: And so on….
Cerulean: oh, I take pictures of bad library signs and post them on my flickr acct *g*
Cerulean: limiting activities of ONE groupsmacks of agism, to me
Cerulean: no games
JJ: teens want places to hang out with friends – it is as simple as that

BlueWings Hayek: have any of you been able to help create a third space for youth
Cerulean: (it “destroys the bandwith”)
HS: i have just spent 5 days at disneyland etc on a band trip and was horrified how little respect parents have for teens… the language was so patronizing
Lucy Theeuwes: Yes but it was a long time ago.
BlueWings Hayek: ah -yes
Lucy Theeuwes: In terms of third space I also think safety is important
Lucy Theeuwes: I don’t mean safety in terms of guns and such.
JJ: yes
CU: yes emotional safety

Lucy Theeuwes: I mean safety in terms of not being made fun of, etc.
BlueWings Hayek: yes
BlueWings Hayek: that is all I have I think we covered most of the questions I hid around
Lucy Theeuwes: That was fun.
Cerulean: cyberbullying seems to be an increasing problem, if you listen to teh news at all…
JJ: if you build it, will they come? – for third spaces for teens?
Cerulean: but it seems to be a problem of middle schoolers, not high schooler
Lucy Theeuwes: But the news is all about the hype an dnot the truth
Cerulean: which makes sense to me, developmentally

BlueWings Hayek: I think bullying has alwaays been a problem
JJ: I think there is a problem of attracting teens to the spaces that exist.
Cerulean: fast to act slow to think through
BlueWings Hayek: technology is blamed unfairly
CU: Defining bullying so tightly is making it hard for kids to say anyhting
Lucy Theeuwes: JJ do you think that’s because they aren’t setup as third spaces really?
JJ: I heard of a pre-teen getting suspended for saying the word butt to a girl in his class – sexual harrassment
Cerulean: JJ I think they will come if they are part of the planning process
CU: yes, that’s what the government in the US seems to want

HS: A lot of spaces are set up by adults where the kids are not consulted.. I think that’s a problem in our town
HS: my kids think so
CU: control of every word
Lucy Theeuwes: Exactly.
Lucy Theeuwes: Adults don’t like giving up control because they can’t be sure what good ideas they”ll have to actually deal with.
CU: the adults are too big on control, no room to grow
Lucy Theeuwes: Sorry if that was harsh!
HS: yes, they don’t want more teachers, parents….. if it’s a third space they need a differrent kind of support….
Cerulean: librarians especially, Lucy

Lucy Theeuwes: 😉
Cerulean: (bibliographic control!)
Cerulean: we are all ABOUT control
HS: absolutely
Cerulean: but it extends to other areas
Cerulean: service, for instance
Lucy Theeuwes: No taggin!
CU: support that does not limit thought and growth
BlueWings Hayek: we can also have nice spaces for youth but if that control is still maintainted inappropriately

BlueWings Hayek: it doesn’t help anything
BlueWings Hayek: for teens
Lucy Theeuwes: I see lots of libraries that think if they have the space no one will notice that teens aren’t really being served.
Lucy Theeuwes: I actually see that all the time.
CU: control of the environment in ways that support, not limit social and mental creativity and experimentation
Lucy Theeuwes: Lots of money spent on space but not on getting the right staff.
Cerulean: i don’t even see spaces…
Cerulean: we are stuck in two shelves and a framed poster mode in many libraries
Cerulean: that I visit

Lucy Theeuwes: In some ways I think that’s better.
Cerulean: and the new spaces
Cerulean: are glass fishbowls
Lucy Theeuwes: It isn’t fake.
Lucy Theeuwes: It doesn’t send a false message.
JJ: Thanks – at our library we want a space for teens
JJ: our building is way too small
JJ: we don’t have enough places for anyone to sit
JJ: teens actually show up and hang out there

JJ: but we do have a nice set of teen books, next to graphic novels – in the center of the library where the computers and tables are
Cerulean: and how much of that is deliberate?
Cerulean: if there are no seats, they won’t come
Cerulean: or won
Cerulean: won’t stay
Cerulean: that’s greaat JJ
Cerulean: the concept of the teen space being the HEART of the library 🙂
CU: Yes, I think the idea is let them in but make sure they don’t hang around too long
HS: we have only 4 comfortable chairs in our library… for 24,000 undergrads…. 4

JJ: i guess – we really need more space and computers – but our job is to do the best with what we have
JJ: it is different for big libraries – but small ones have to make do
HS: i know that’s school… but had to say it…. obviously planned from the onset
CU: I got a great set of comfy chairs for my media center, Best thing I ever did
HS: If we are to be third places, then it would be good to have some of the money that used to go to other entities
BlueWings Hayek: the book I mentioned Great Good Place talks about how cities are constructed to corral people
BlueWings Hayek: not a new concept
BlueWings Hayek: but always interessting
BlueWings Hayek: I don’t always think about it

Cerulean: corral?
Cerulean: interesting…
Cerulean: that sounds like a control thing too
BlueWings Hayek: yes
BlueWings Hayek: corraling virtual spaces
BlueWings Hayek: within
HSr: what a concept
BlueWings Hayek: scary
HS: right

Cerulean : I need to get going… did anyone have brain questions or need the notecard?
HS: i read something on virtual london in a 3D magazine yesterday… how they have the city that they are renting to game developers… expensive… but it made me think how great it would be to have kids/teens be able to run free in citieswhere they could never do so in RL
Cerulean: you can click on the brain (bottom of the big blue lobe) to get the notes
Lucy Theeuwes: Got it Cerulean thanks.
TS: Thanks Cerulean
BlueWings Hayek: that does sound like a grat idea HVX
HS: Could I have the notecard, Cerulean?
BlueWings Hayek: thank you al lfor coming
CU: Yes thnks

Lucy Theeuwes: BlueWings you should let them know what’s happening in TSL.
BlueWings Hayek: yes HS and Cerulean are there
HS: Thank you
Cerulean: yes HS hang on
BlueWings Hayek: on the teen grid the teens are working to build their own space
BlueWings Hayek: and creating what they want as part of their community
HS: The next meeting is April 1… right? I’ll be there as I am now back home
BlueWings Hayek: library, cafe, art gallery, paintball, arcade, even a helipad
HS: So cool

BlueWings Hayek: they have amazing talent
BlueWings Hayek: if you are interested in helping out
BlueWings Hayek: we’re always happy to have volunteers
HS accepted your inventory offer.
CU: yes, I’ve submitted my backgorund stuff
BlueWings Hayek: ah yes-:)
CU: do you know how long the check takes
HS: I have emailed FRAPS to see if we can buy licences for machinima software for the kids at a reduced rate… i would be willing to buy 10 copies and give to students who can later be the instructors
BlueWings Hayek: depends but should be less than a week

BlueWings Hayek: ah yes
BlueWings Hayek: let me know what FRAPS says
HS: my check took about 3-4 weeks as i had lived in 3 countries in the last 10 years
BlueWings Hayek: teens want their own island for machinima
HS: they said it usually is quicker
BlueWings Hayek: standard is less than a week-but yes could take longer
HS: i will…SD also emailed them
CU: cool ,they can teach me about that
CU: It’s been about a week, so i should hear soon

HS: What do you think of this….
HS: for giving the initial machinima instruction.. then the teens can take over
HS: i was thinking of basing each lesson in a story or event of some sort… one idea for one class would be
BlueWings Hayek: yes-I think they would like that
HS: SL Idol
You: oh, fun!
Cerulean: esp with the new voice beta!
CU: that will be lots of fun
HS: we could invite peopel to participate (students)… and the judges will be the machinimaclass students… who have to create video as part of their role…. and upload it to an open source location on web for us all to share

HS: so we’ll have an open source video project that will grow
Lucy Theeuwes: That is so cool.
BlueWings Hayek: oh-that’d be great!
HS: yes,
HS: each lesson can have a different scenario… my daughter says it can’t be boring…

Letting teens take the lead on a project can be an act of radical trust, but it’s something we need to be fearless about. How? By not just asking teens for their opinions, but empowering them to implement them.

Three great examples of meaningful participation employing radical trust are the new public service announcements for the Collaborative Library Summer Program’s (CLSP) teen summer reading program, “YNK:You Never Know.” Teens at Imaginon (where else?) in Charlotte, NC adopted the mystery theme and created a video PSA, a radio PSA and a comic style poster in a film noir tone. Teens wrote the script, directed the recordings, edited to a final cut, and even composed the music and designed the lighting. Kudos to librarian Michele Gorman for living the YALSA creed by facilitating not just youth participation, but meaningful participation.

Check it out at

Thanks to Stephanie Stokes, Chair of the CSLP Marketing & PR Committee, for promoting this great project on the YAAC email distribution list.

I went to a local library last night for a final Teen Tech Week program. Have XBox, will travel! We couldn’t get the digital projector to work (fancy schmancy setup for audio, laptops, dvd, etc – no gaming), so we plugged the console into the TV and let the kids play Dance Dance Revolution on the small screen.

I brought along some card games (Set Game and Quiddler) and my Nintendo DS for between rounds, and the DS, loaded with Brain Age,, was passed from hand to hand.

“I want to do math!” cried one teen.

How often do you hear THAT? Brain Age, a mind calisthenics sort of program, makes math compelling.

As I was leaving, a parent inquired, “When are you going to do this again?” I hear it at EVERY video gaming program I do, and my traditional reply has become:

“This was a one time event, but ask for it! It would be great if the library had their own set up and could offer it frequently. Send a letter to the director, the paper, and the YA librarian about what a great program this was.”

This was so effective in one town, the Friends bought Red Octane pads, a PS2 and a handful of games for young adult programming. Such requests mean more coming from tax paying citizens than from wacky young adult librarians.

Gaming programs for teens are not just about sticking the loud crowd into one room or giving them something fun to do. These are entertaining events, sure, but there is reading involved, social rules to establish and practice, and stories that emerge.

I was dismayed by the recent Boston Globe article that implies gaming programs are only good to lure in teens so we can put books in their hands–thank the gods they are still reading books! (Come for the XBox, stay for the books, Boston Globe, March 11, 2007)

Teens today are platform agnostic, and games, film, blogs, photos and songs are vehicles for both storytelling and for delivering information that must be identified, analyzed and expressed. Stories and information, regardless of format, are the core of the library.

Gaming is not an activity to undertake “in an effort to lure teens and build a base of lifelong patrons;” it should be undertaken to contribute to teen development in the same way the children’s library contributes to children’s development. Rap, gaming, and myspace are meaningful to teen patrons RIGHT NOW, and we should support these pursuits not because teens will be taxpayers in ten years, but because their interests and their needs matter today.

In the last month, I’ve visited libraries in CA, MA, and WA in my workshop travels. Everywhere I go, I make a point of checking out the teen area. What does it mean when your teen area is located remotely–in the back corner, say–and there are no signs to indicate where is it?

At one library that is a unique public and academic building on the campus of a university, I looked on three floors for the YA area. Finally, I went to one of several information desks and asked (much like a regular patron, I hate to admit helplessness).

“Where is the young adult area?” I inquired.

“Oh, the teen area?” clarified the staff member behind the desk.
“Yes!” I said.
“Hm. I’m not sure…” responded the man. At my look of incredulity, the staff person explained that he was a university librarian.
“Maybe it says on the website?” he suggested, and opened the library’s homepage.

The fancy spin-around monitor revealed a link for teens on the webpage (note: if you don’t have a link to information about teen services on your webpage, this is another message that they don’t matter–your webspace is an extension of your facilities) but nothing about the space. I thanked him and went to the children’s room. Of course, the staff there knew where the teen area is. Once I found it, it was a nice space, if small (compared to the footprint of the whole library, and compared proportionally to the children’s room) and unstaffed. A sign indicated patrons should to go to the reference desk for assistance, which is fine, but again… another message that teens are not important enough to warrant a full time staff member – or even one dedicated to their space in the afterschool hours.

Do you have a YA space? How easy is it for teens to locate? Is there a web presence for teens?

Please share links to photos or websites in the comments field!

Some of you know that my Meebo is logged in all day – my office is experimenting with being available to members via IM, to encourage our libraries to try it.

This afternoon, around 5, I got a message from someone I didn’t know, on my old AIM account, and since I am kinda “out there” on the ‘net, and I do get messaged by librarians all the time, I feel comfortable disclosing my name:

[14:05] Stranger: hey

[14:05] me: [screen name]… do I know you? 🙂

[14:06] Stranger: I doubt it. How’s it goin’?

[14:06] me: ok… 🙂

[14:06] me: what’s up?

[14:07] Stranger: Nothing really. Who are you? You’re on my buddy list for some reason…

[14:07] me: *lol*

[14:07] me: Beth Gallaway, gamer librarian

[14:07] Stranger: Gamer Librarian?

So, at this point, I am still thinking I am talking to another librarian. Then her buddy icon resolves itself, and it is a photo of a teenaged Asian girl.

[14:08] me: i’m a librarian, working as a trainer and consultant to libraries now

[14:08] me: and I am writing a book on games and libraries

[14:08] me: 🙂

[14:08] me: ring any bells?

[14:09] me: I teach classes in library topics for Simmons, CT state library, and talk at a lot of library conferences.

[14:09] me: and I used to work in [Town], and sometimes gave out this AIM there to library patrons 🙂

[14:09] me: who are YOU? *g*
[14:09] Stranger: Nope. I live in [Town, State].
[14:10] Stranger: I am [First name, Last name] possibly the best person you’ve ever met.
[14:10] me: most definitely.
[14:10] Stranger: Not to sound cocky.

So. Within 5 minutes, this young person gave me their town and full name. We shook virtual hands, and I just knew it had to be a kid… a bit later, after explaining what I do, I asked what do you do, work, school… she replied, “school” and that she had the day off due to the extremely cold weather.

We exchanged some game links (I gave her Set Game and she sent me to Flash Flash Revolution). And I suggested Teen Second Life and she immediately set up an account and gave me her screen name THERE. I gave her my account name and told her to visit the Eye4You Alliance Island.

Before logging off, I couldn’t let go of the fact that she gave personal information to a complete stranger within five minutes of talking for the first time

[14:29] me: just a sidenote:

[14:29] me: you gave me your full name and location within 5 minutes of meeting me…

[14:29] me: and i am totally legit *g*

[14:29] me: 32 yr old female librarian

[14:29] me: BUT

[14:29] Stranger: Ooh. Wow. Yeah.

[14:29] me: i would be remiss not to slap you on teh wrists!

[14:30] me: bad girl

[14:30] me: my myspace is informationgoddess29

[14:30] me: and if you DO get into second life, look me up

[14:30] Stranger: okay

[14:30] me: and keep sending game links 🙂

[14:30] me: take care!

[14:30] Stranger: I will

[14:30] Stranger: lol

[14:30] Stranger: you too

[14:30] me: 🙂

Should I have asked why? If she did it all the time? What her parents would think? Should I have tried to google her name and location, or looked her up on Facebook or MySpace to further prove my point? What do you all think?

I still have no clue how I got on her buddy list. Maybe we can play six degrees of separation if she messages me again.

This is why we need more young people on ALA council.

I just got an email from a young rep, and a YALSA person, no less, asking my opinion on two pending ALA resolutions re: the War in Iraq: Is it ALA’s mission to support or denounce it?

My response was we all think war is bad (some may argue the ends justify the means), and we don’t need an ALA resolution to announce that opinion. ALA should stick to resolutions about issues and legislation the affect us directly, like DOPA and the Patriot Act. Do you agree, or disagree? How are the councillors who represent YOU voting?

Anyway, it was refreshing and EXCITING to be able to take part in ALA without even having to be there!

Go, Heidi! (Quiddle at

Nearly all YALSA meetings are open meetings (quiz: What are the exceptions? Leave your answer in the comments!). You don’t need to be a committee member to attend, and observers are encouraged.

I went to the YALSA 50th anniversary task force meeting Sunday afternoon. There are two things I took away from this session:

  1. We have an amazing–AMAZING!–year ahead of us celebrating YALSA’s 50th
  2. It will be even more amazing if you–YOU! Yes, you!–pitch in! Volunteers are needed for the following:

    • Staffing the YALSA booth
    • Tagging Flickr photos in the YALSA Flickr group
    • Wrangling authors for the LIVE! readings on Monday
    • Annotating some of the “50” lists
    • Being a presence at other conferences like ACRL (February), PLA Symposium (April), AASL (October), NCTE (November)
    • Sew a quilt square (details coming soon)

Contact chairs of the 50th anniversary task force to help by visiting

If you are in Seattle on Monday night, don’t miss the AASL/ASLC/YALSA Membership Reception–you’ll be able to get more details about the calendar of events slated for 2007, and the first fifty to people to contribute a YALSA trivia quiz will get a prize! The reception is from 6-7:30 PM at the Red Lion Hotel’s Emerald Ballroom.