On a typical day of walking around the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Teen space, only one computer activity reigns alongside social networking: watching videos. Therefore, it was no surprise when I read the new Nielson study shows that teens are the #1 consumers of streaming online video. According to the report, teens mostly use online video for music videos, tv shows and anime, and to connect socially by sharing amateur videos with their friends.

They’re also turning to online video as a resource for information, from how to beat levels in video games to explanations of vector mathematics. With these trends, it’s likely that online video is going to play an increasingly important role in delivering information, as they can literally see the information play out before their eyes without missing a beat in any of their other online activities. Of course, this means online video will play an increasingly important role in your library.

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Are you passionate about music? Or are you interested in sitting in on discussion from some of YALSA’s most music-focused librarians? Finally, are you going to ALA Annual? If so, YALSA’s Teen Music Media Interest Group has a few things planned for you.

First will be the YALSA Music Interest Group social event on Sunday, June 29 from 7-10pm at The Grove in Anaheim. Official “National Rock & Roll Library Tour” band The High Strung will be playing

The YALSA Music Interest Group’s official meeting will take place Monday the 30th from 4-5:30 PM. It is taking place in the Hyatt’s Imperial room and will consist of interest group business mixed with lively discussion about teens, music, and how they matter to your library.

~Joseph Wilk
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Teen

The way music can be made or listened to’ may soon go through some radical changes.’  What might today’s teens have in store for their musical landscape?

South Korean engineers at the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) have developed a new audio format, MT9, in which listeners can exercise greater control over their music.’  Is the guitar too much?’  Turn it down.’  More drums?’  Turn it up.’  Want to’ mute the vocals and do it karaoke-style?’  Sure thing.’  That’s because, unlike MP3s, MT9 files are comprised of six audio tracks that can be mixed independently by the user.’  For teens who grew up in the age of mash-ups and Guitar Hero, this is a logical progression.’  It will be interesting to see how long it takes before this concept’ becomes more widespread in how music is distributed.
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A recent news article demonstrated how video games are fast becoming an international platform for musicians to showcase their work. If your library is using free software like Game Maker or the RPG Toolkit to develop games with teens, consider partnering them up with teen artists to develop the soundtrack.

Teens have access to a number of resources to help them understand where video game music comes from and what makes it successful. Read More →

How often are teens criticized for not engaging in “proper reading”? According to a recent study by the UK’s National Year of Reading consortium, 45% of teen readers have been told off for their reading habits.

The researchers, through their “Read Up, Fed Up” report of British 11-14 year olds, also found the following:

  • There is an explosion of digital reading, with four out of ten top teen reads being online
  • Teens also love reading film scripts and song lyrics
  • Traditional literature is by no means lost, with Anne Frank’s Diary ranking just one place below Harry Potter nearly 60 years after it was written
  • A massive 80% of teens have actually written their own story, film, play or song

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A recent press release clued me into the mission of the Hip Hop Chronicle, a newsletter designed to bring teens and literacy together through hip hop. Along with hip hop news, reviews, and some exclusive interviews, The Hip Hop Chronicle presents teens with intriguing information life, literature, and other important topics that will carry teens through to adulthood.

When I noticed that The Hip Hop Chronicle was available for free to partnering public schools, I called to ask if libraries also could tap into this new resource. In response, founder DeNea R. Conner developed a set of partnership guidelines by which you can make The Hip Hop Chronicle available at your library.

A sample issue is available at this link. If you like what you see, you can download the Hip Hop Chronicle Library Partnership Form and fax the completed form to DeNea Conner at 1-866-810-8524. The Hip Hop Chronicle is a quarterly publication, with the next issue coming out this month.

Remember Footloose? While getting recent news about high schools banning certain types of dancing at prom, I was reminded of Kevin Bacon’s struggle against the town’s ban on rock ‘n roll music and dancing. Banning dancing–or certain kinds of dancing–has long been a way to control “undesirable elements” within public space, long before Elvis Presley’s gyrating hips were censored for the good of teen girls all over America (not to discount teens of any other gender who might have found Elvis’s pelvis alluring). Read More →

I’ve recently been fortunate to give a variety of presentations about teens, music, and what that relationship means for your library. As Kelly mentioned in the last YALSA post, I’ll be live broadcasting an online stream for the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County‘s teen retreat. For anyone interested in tuning in (see Kelly’s post for details), here are the presentation materials I’ll be using.

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Long before the book (and way longer than cell phones), information was shared through music. Chuck D’s now-famous statement that hip hop is the “CNN of the streets” takes its cue from ancient texts like the Samaveda and the epics of Homer.

A recent New York Times story showcased how teens are carrying this forward at the annual convention for the Organization of American Historians. Teens used dance and singing to communicate the history of their communities, as well as their place within that history. Another recent story featured the teens at the Howland Public Library, who engaged in “creative conversation” through a teen drumming circle.

When libraries sponsor drum circles, online music collaboration (through sites such as eJamming, Kompoz, and Indaba), or showcases where teens have an opportunity to perform songs about their favorite book, they give teens the tools to carry the creative conversation into song–a place where public knowledge has existed for millennia.