If you’re involved in any way with teens using the Internet, you probably will want to take a look at this new survey conducted by Pew Internet & American Life Project on the future of the Internet in 2020. 742 respondents were asked to agree or disagree with a set of eight scenarios. Top leaders, activists and commentators were chosen to participate in this web-based survey.

While each of the eight scenarios could impact the next generation, the one about virtual reality peeked my interest. Participants were asked to respond to whether vr will lead to more productivity or serious addiction problems.

The respondents reactions were interesting-especially on p.55 about concerns toward youth culture and vr:

“take a close look at finding ways to provide guidance to young
people as they create their alternate, online personalities.”


“Addiction to chat rooms and online gaming worlds is already emerging as an issue. Recent research has highlighted for example, how teenagers’ ability to learn during school hours is being impacted by a lack of sleep – caused by late-night SMS/chat sessions. There is a real risk that some people will become ‘lost’ to virtual worlds.”

Discussions of what vr even is, and comparisons to books, television, and film are also made. A KidZone/Teachers guide regarding the future and history of information sharing can be found here.

What do we think of these predictions? Should we be concerned?

Here are two other recent articles on the addiction of video games. From Business Week Online: It’s Addictive! Or is It? and a preview from the New Scientist; Hooked, Why Your Brain is Primed for Addiction.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

SirsiDynix Web Seminar
Tuesday, October 10, 8am Pacific Time

“Attempting to mold young library users into miniature librarians is an unfair and often futile goal. To meet their needs and ensure our institutions are supported in the future, we must listen to them! Join Aaron Schmidt and Sarah Houghton as they discuss ways to serve teens on their own turf, by creating a teen-friendly environment in your physical library and in your library’s eBranch, and by providing the resources and services teens want, when and where they want them. Other topics discusses will be MySpace, iPods, and weblogs.”

Sarah and Aaron are excellent-don’t miss this one if you don’t have to but SirsiDynix’s seminar’s are recorded if you’re not able to make this one live.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Last Tuesday, there was a Senate Committee Hearing on “Online Child Pornography,” through the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. Testimonies of those at the hearing are available here.

Those testifying were the CEO from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Assistant Attorney General from the U.S. Department of Justice, a Sheriff from Virginia, and an Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics from UNC-Chapel Hill.

There were some suggestions in their testimonies related to libraries and online content such as:

“A recommendation for family intervention in the prevention of child sexual exploitation would include mandates that federally funded public libraries provide one-on-one tutoring and assistance for any person requesting instruction on how to implement parental controls on their home computers, as well as information regarding filtering, blocking, and tracking software.”

“Pursue efforts to insure that taxpayer dollars are never used to fund
Internet access without appropriate transactional logging to allow the
location of individuals that use that access in the exploitation of
children. How can we in good conscience demand that corporate Internet service providers log transactions if our own government, be it municipal, state, federal, or educational institutions fail to do the same”

“Child pornography is distributed over the Internet in a variety of ways, including: online groups or communities, file servers, Internet Relay Chat, e-mail, peer-to-peer networks, and commercial web sites. The Department of Justice investigates and prosecutes offenses involving each of these technologies.”

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

What are some ways you find out and work with your teens to build a library collection they want?

My supervisor organized a meeting with the library’s collection development team to meet face to face with a group of teen library users. We spent an hour talking about what they like (music got the nod but could use more underground-especially from this recommended site), what they want to see more of (adult books and with more controversial themes, foreign films, political comics, contemporary biographies, car and computer magazines, video game soundtracks, anime soundtracks) and what they didn’t even know existed (new fiction, new movies, Cliff Notes).

These teens created lists of titles after the meeting and were encouraged to talk with their friends and get their feedback on the collection. Surveys were created and made available online to get teen input as well (albeit-more passive, but some responded they were interested in being part of a teen driven focus group-and a few agreed but only if paid).

Youth participation is so fundamental to this process. Aside from just exchanging titles and general feedback, listening to their experiences (never finding new movies on the shelf because they are always on hold and not knowing things can be held, buying books instead of wanting to wait for the ordering and processing time, wanting more representation for various religions in materials and not finding them) means we’ve got some work to do. Today was a great start.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

In support of Jami’s recent post on the blog regarding web phones and teens, online wireless retailer LetsTalk has published the results of an August 2006 survey of over 1,200 US teenagers, ages 10-18, on their use of cell phones. Texting ranked the highest feature of the cell phone(above camera and video).

This reminds me of an article I’ve mentioned before- Linda Braun’s VOYA 2005 article on Playing Keep Up with Emerging Technologies which talks about text messaging in libraries.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Next month, many community organizations will have educational programs, ceremonies, and other outreach efforts to observe domestic violence (dv). While Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention week isn’t until February, there will be many awareness programs for teens next month experiencing dv. Finding out what a local dv organization is doing is a good fit for the ‘Get Active at Your Library’ theme for Teen Read Week.

At my library, a production of ‘Twist and Shout’ is performed by teen actors who tour the local schools to put on a gritty play on dating violence and then have a conversation with the student viewers along with representatives from a dv organization.

There is a great article and bibliography written this month by Tom Reynolds of Sno-Isle Regional Library in Washington available on NoveList, entitled, “Inexcusable: Rape and Dating Violence in Teen Fiction”

I had a program last year for teens where we watched the movie Speak, and then participated in a teen led discussion in partnership with a local sexual assault organization. Males and females alike, benefitted and the teens were phenomenal in guiding the talk afterward.

Wired for Youth has a bibliography and webliography for ‘Teens, Dating, and Emotional and Physical Abuse.’ They also participated in the Choose Respect Campaign launched by the CDC and National Center for Injury Prevention and Control for teens to create a music video on healthy relationships.

Check out NY’s State Office for the Prevention of DV Teen Dating Violence Media Project last year.

Share your stories of working with organizations to bring awareness to domestic violence.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, announced yesterday their plan to make available over 75 full length films online through the company’s iTunes store and be able to view them on an iPod, computer screen, or stream them to a tv. The iTV which is due out in 2007 will sell for about $300 will allow people to watch movies purchased online and other digital content stored on a computer. Video game downloads will also be available through the iTunes store.

Also last week, Amazon announced their ‘Unboxed’ movie download service where movies will be sold for $8-$15 (comparable to Apple).

What do people think? What are we already doing as libraries in relation to the availability of movies online? How can we as libraries tap into iTunes and what are we already doing?

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

In the workroom in my library, we keep ongoing lists to generate ideas for programs. It’s kind of a catch all for those moments we think, wouldn’t that be great if. . . .but we can’t do it right now. Instead of just sending the idea away to never be heard from again, we keep it alive by writing it down (and of course with the ladder of youth participation underneath the lists). While this might not be very web 2.0, it works for us right now. What about sharing a list of ideas for social networking programs at your library-especially for teens to teach? Even if you’ve just read about a new software you want to try out but haven’t been able to, sometimes putting it on the list of programs to do, will encourage one to learn how to use the technology. Generating program ideas about connecting people can be a bit contagious. . .and fun. 🙂

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Lonelygirl15 calls herself ‘Bree’ and has been leaving posts on YouTube since May to share different things about her life with viewers such as complaining about her parents or talking about her relationship with Daniel. Recently, tracking software set up by fans of lonelygirl15 found that the posts might have been part of a marketing campaign and ‘Bree’ wasn’t really who she pretended to be.

Turns out the marketing campaign was really a group of friends that wanted to tell a story-“A story that could only be told using the medium of video blogs and the distribution power of the Internet. A story that is interactive and constantly evolving with the audience.”

What about promoting programs through YouTube in a way that is a lead-in to something that might not be expected at your library? Keep them guessing and intrigued. Have teens create short videos to post on YouTube and create an interest in story telling and encourage interaction. What might that look like? Music in lonelygirl15’s videos alerted viewers of a local band that happened to be in town or ‘Bree’ would respond to viewers posts by making cookies they suggested. Great potential for promoting Teen Read Week or Teen Tech Week this way. Or even promoting storytelling and interactivity.

These ideas remind me of the article written by Erin Helmrich of Ann Arbor Public Library-
“What Teens Want: What Libraries Can Learn From MTV”, Young Adult Library Services (Spring 2004): 11-13 which is about learning how to integrate pop culture into publicity and promotions to teens.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki