Check out Michelle Glatt’s site where she is starting a Guys Read program at her school library at the end of this month which will involve themed booktalks, guest speakers, blogging, and podcasting. Michelle is a School Media Specialist at Chiddix Junior High School in Normal, Illinois (yes, Normal-whose name was taken from a ‘normal school’ whose purpose was to teach standards or norms). She has a great presence on the front page of Chiddix’s web site, has a huge following for her booktalk program in partnership with the local public library and has integrated such tools as Flickr, and WordPress into the school web site.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

The purpose of the Matrix Project is to “use mobile technology and electronic games to make learning relevant and addictive.”

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, small technologies such as iPods, PDAs, and digital video and techniques from electronic games will be used to capture the interest of middle schoolers and improve math and reading achievement. Schools and community centers with after school programs in Ohio, Kansas, New Mexico, and California are the initial participants.

Thinking in terms of this project in relation to teens and the public library, here are a few things:

1. The design principles for this project reflect a similarity to the developmental asset model many librarians already use to guide their work–except in a framework that is more exploratory and allows for more constant and purposeful change of the participant.

2. Matrix partners are “educators and researchers, software and game developers, and curriculum designers” who are concerned about the lack of interest in middle schoolers in math.
–What about dialoguing with game developers for using strategies to capture interest of library users?

3. “Researchers and observant teachers are beginning to ask how the learning opportunities offered by mobile technologies and electronic games might be used to support children’s formal learning.”
–Check out this upcoming audio conference on September 20, 1-2:30pm sponsored by the Urban Libraries Council which will address in part how techniques from electronic games such as information gathering, building expertise in subject areas, and encouraging group work apply to libraries. Presentations for this audio conference will be given by Jenny Levine, and Beth Gallaway.

4. –How can we/how are we already using mobile technologies more as libraries?

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

The National Coalition Against Censorship, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and ALA, produced an “informational booklet offering background and reference material about the graphic novel category.” The booklet can be found on the NCAC site as well as ALA. The article with this information can be found here.

Are any libraries highlighting particular graphic novels for Banned Books Week? Any libraries combining information on DOPA with BBW?

Any recently discovered online resources for graphic novels and libraries to share? I like Getting Graphic!which also has a great list of links related to graphic novels and libraries.

Published by Kelly Czarnecki

I ran across an article the other day about teen magazines being a dying breed (as we know them). Some of the reasons for this, the article explains are:

  • they lost touch with what youth wanted
  • magazines were unable to adapt to changes in society
  • they are going digital because that’s where the teens are
  • teens can get this information in so many other places
  • ‘adult’ magazines are more popular with teens

What do others think?

A few questions I have:

  • Is this article being alarmist or challenging us to continually find ways to stay relevant with teens?
  • How is the article defining what is a teen magazine? What about gaming magazines?
  • Is this following a similar trend in books as far as ‘adult content’ being more appealing to many teen readers and in that case, we should adjust to how we think about what a teen magazine is?
  • If teens are getting similar information from other places, how can libraries help with that and what are we already doing to help with that?
  • Many teens are finding and creating their own content online. They are defining what is important to them. Again, how can we help with that?

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

ddr pad

My free DDR pad came in the mail today from. . . . yes, you guessed it. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese! Order one yourself while supplies last. (*Pinecone(s) not included-they are just for scale).

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

My colleague recently shared this videocast (14 minutes) from a professor at Syracuse that demonstrates various board games that many people might not be familiar with.

While I liked the video, the host of the program starts off by saying, “Back in the day, families got together to play any variety of games at home, but in this day and age of electronics, it’s tough to unplug and get together.”

We recently had a family gaming night with console games such as Super Monkey Ball, Madden ’06, and DDR, board games such as chess and Monopoly, and retro games on the PC such as Pacman, Donkey Kong, and Tetris. Do other libraries have stories to share with family gaming nights at the library?

As James Paul Gee says in the following article in regards to computer and video-“that games are more a social pastime than an antisocial one.”

Don’t Bother Me Mom-I’m Learning! by Prensky talks a lot about the interaction that can take place with families and video gaming.

I think family gaming nights with video and board games can be valuable for libraries and teens-especially to help create those situations where teen participation can take place to figure out how such an event might run.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

After Wikipedia banned Stephen Colbert from editing or adding comments to their site because he was making erroneous additions, CNET teen intern writes about some of the pitfalls of Wikipedia. What do others think? Do you try to steer library users away from Wikipedia or find the opportunity for a ‘teaching moment’?

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

In a May 2006 interview on DOPA and MySpace with Henry Jenkins and danah boyd, Jenkins states that, “Parents face serious challenges in helping their children negotiate through these new online environments. They receive very little advice about how to build a constructive relationship with media within their families or how to help their offspring make ethical choices as participants in these online worlds.”
At my library, my colleagues are offering a ‘MySpace for Parents‘ class where they teach parents how to set up their own MySpace account, and what to look for when their teens set up their own page. They also include resources in the workshop for further reading and information on other social networking sites the library uses.

What are other libraries doing to help parents help their teens ‘negotiate these online environments’? Or any ideas of what else we could be doing? Even if DOPA passes, parents will still need to know this information.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

I’m curious in what ways librarians relax and why. Sometimes I think it is important to talk about who we are and what we do when we’re not librarians, gamers, fighting/educating about DOPA, promoting literacy, TABs, going to meetings, etc. Yeah, right. I’m not one to speak. My coworkers might get emails at midnight. They might get them at 6am and ask me, what in the world? I grew up with a father who was his job first (a policeman) and father secondary-maybe that’s where I get some of my work ethic from (not always admirable).

When Michael Stephens presented last week at my library, he asked the audience if they are able to play at work. How many are able to? Maybe I’m looking for answers. I don’t think I can ever stop loving what I do and feel my work is finished.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I’m volunteering 11 hours at a local literary festival. Nikki Giovanni, Omar Tyree and over eighty other authors will be there. Teen volunteers and other colleagues will be helping me to promote the library. Part of me feels where else do I want to be? The other part-I found an outdoor labyrinth to walk in the town that I live. The first one I ever walked was in was San Francisco. That’s where I’ll be after the festival. I know I’ll be smiling.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki