A brief look at ‘grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

Libraries are all about literacy and following the pattern of time, media literacy is now on the forefront. How do we, as librarians from many different backgrounds, educations, and communities make sure that we are doing the most we can with media literacy? How do you steer them with social, print, or any other kind of media literacy? You can start with using the devices your teens already have. As shocking as it may seem, there are always things they can learn on their devices. Play and Learn. Are you a system that has devices that you can use in a program and let them use in a petting zoo fashion? Allow teens to experience new technology if your system has access. If your library doesn’t have the means, take a look at teaching a class about how to analyse messages. We know all too often we misinterpret messages and this is a good way to steer them in a direction of thinking in a different manner. Don’t let the word “media” scare you. There’s an aspect that we all can dabble in. Media literacy is also in print fashion, so look into research and paper writing. Also try a workshop where teens look at their social media and see if some of their past posts could have had multiple interpretations. These are just a few of the ways that media literacy can be a part of your library. More steps and tips are outlined in The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action How do you use media literacy in your library? Comment below.

A brief look at ‘grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

What makes library programs a success? Is it the statistics, the approval of your manager, or is it the smiles and laughter you hear coming from the room? Take a glimpse at the ‘grams below to see how we show our success. How do you measure success at your library? What programs or ideas can you share that you think might be a success at other libraries? Comment below with your story.

For other articles on measuring success: ALA Success

A brief look at ‘grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

How do you network? The American Library Association’s Annual Conference is a great place to network. I went for the first time this year and it is “survival of the fittest”. The ‘grams you will see below show you a glimpse into the weekend where thousands of librarians were able to participate in hundreds of workshops, lectures, social events, culture, and exhibits. Networking as defined by Merriam Webster; the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically : the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business, is an important and integral part of a librarians career. At ALA, there is every opportunity to give your business cards out like candy. You get to network with authors, vendors, committee members, librarians, etc. Workshops are a great place to network as you are in a room full of those interested in the same thing you are. The real question is, how do you network with other librarians outside of going to ALA or other conferences? Do you follow librarians on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform? Comment below with your networking tips that are outside of the realm of conferences.

It’s time for the Week of Making! Last year on June 18th President Obama hosted the first-ever White House Maker Faire. Maker-related events and activities can inspire more people to pursue careers in design, advanced manufacturing, and the related fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and possibly take their creations to the next level and become entrepreneurs (www.whitehouse.gov).

For today’s post we are looking at Library MakerSpaces. These are popping up everywhere and of all different sizes. From the Idea Box, to the Lib Lab, there are multiple opportunities for your own makerspace. Don’t think that you have to start big with the 3D printers, even though they are really cool. Start small with sewing tools, etc. Anything to spark creativity! Take a look at some things to think about from www.whitehouse.gov.

•Individuals can volunteer to mentor and share their skills by hosting workshops or classes in areas of their community that have fewer opportunities for designing, developing, and prototyping projects.
•K-12 school districts can create opportunities for interactive, hands-on STEM learning in and outside of the classroom. Schools can also establish maker spaces to empower students to design and build, and solve real-world problems.
•Colleges and universities can establish on-campus spaces that are accessible to students, faculty and the broader local community to tinker, design, build, and invent. They can share best practices with other educational institutions through networks and communities of practice.
•Companies can encourage making in their community through design and engineering and help designers, inventors, and other aspiring entrepreneurs create American jobs by navigating the transition from prototyping to manufacturing.
•Mayors can join the Mayors Maker Challenge and encourage companies, foundations, non-profits, schools, libraries, and museums to get involved with product development and manufacturing. Local leaders can also back initiatives that make it easier for entrepreneurs to manufacture their products locally.

Take a look at the ‘grams below and spark your inner maker! Comment below with your tips to making a great makerspace!

A brief look at ‘grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

With the summer reading theme of “superheroes” and the upswing of Graphic Novels and Manga gaining readers attention, it’s almost a no brainer that we now start having our own comic cons. We have seen an increase in the fascination with comics and we couldn’t be happier. We used to see that in earlier years comic books were slightly frowned upon. A mere misinterpretation in my mind. Once we fully open up to the idea of comics, we are immersed into a world of stories told by outstanding art. Librarians have been delving into the comic world for years and the momentum keeps building. This year we saw many libraries having their own versions of comic cons. Full on with free comics, photo booths, costumes, characters, and more. Not sure how to create your own LibraryCon? Take a look at the ‘grams below and see how fantastic these “LibraryCons” are. Remember, when you weed those old comics, put them in your pile to giveaway at your event!

Have some tips you’d like to share with others about your LibraryCon? Comment below!
Remember, if you want us to come across your instagram pics to create your hashtags!

Teen book clubs seem to be a tough thing to get started. What do we read? How do I get teens in? How do I keep them coming? Could it be online and in person? Here are some tips on how to make a great teen book club…

1. Take a survey to see what teens in your area are reading, when they visit the library, and how often they visit.
2. Teens have busy schedules, one meeting a month is usually plenty.
3. Have snacks (If you can). I know we don’t want this to be the main focus, but it lures them in!
4. Have them chose their books instead of you choosing for them.
5. Have an online forum for them to discuss their books in case they couldn’t make it to the meeting. Or, have an all online book club!
6. Do a fun art project based around the book you’re reading.

Do you have a successful teen book club? Do you have tips you would like to share? Please comment below and tell us all about it! And take a look at the ‘grams below to see what others are doing for their book clubs.

Are you preparing for Summer Reading?

A brief look at ‘grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

Where has the time gone? Is it really almost time for summer reading again? Didn’t we just finish last years summer reading? Well let’s get our super powers charge up and talk about how we are preparing for teen summer reading.

This year’s theme is UnMask! How fun is this going to be?! The ‘grams below are just a taste of what we can do to prepare. From awesome displays to getting in to full superhero character to creating great PR materials. Teens are going to love this theme this summer and by using your imagination you can draw in there attention! Maybe have a wall that is a depiction of Gotham City, or use old boxes and make Superman’s telephone booth. Dress like your favorite character or keep it simple and wear a superhero tie or fun headband. No matter how small or big you go, you are bound to hit it out of the park this year!

Comment below and let us know some of what you plan to do this summer!

How do You Celebrate Cultures?

A brief look at ‘grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

During the year there are many celebrations to participate in. This month, Holi, a Hindu celebration of colors, was one that we wanted to celebrate at our library. Below you will see ‘grams that picture what Holi is and also how we celebrated it, but looking in to celebrating cultures many factors can take play. How do you decide what cultures to celebrate? What happens if you leave one out? Will you have time to incorporate them all? Will you offend someone if you offer or don’t offer a program? If you have any tried and true methods, please feel free to comment and let us know how you go about having cultural programs. We have quite a large system, so I must say we are lucky in the fact that if my location isn’t doing a certain program, chances are another one is. Also, what great cultural programs have you implemented and how did you make it library friendly? For our Holi program, we were not about to let the teens throw the powder on each other and then track it all through the library later so we let them use the powder as another way to “tye dye” t-shirts.

Teen Tech Week is right around the corner and we all know that it takes a ton of planning to make this short week awesome. We also know that not all of our teens geek out with the techy stuff. How do you geek out for teen tech week when your teens aren’t really interested? Comment below and let us know.

How do you plan your teen tech week? Where do you get your ideas? Take a look at the cool instagram posts below and see what has been done. For some other ideas that Charlotte Mecklenburg will be using, try floppy disk notebooks, or the game Charades that can be played from a smart phone. Also, 3Doodlers are a huge hit and also making music remixes. What are some successes and fails that you’ve had? We all have things that work out great and some that just fall flat. Comment below and tell us your story.

We hear a lot about television marathons, running marathons and sometimes dance marathons but what about reading marathons? Well, we now have National Readathon Day. On January 24th, people from all over will be reading from noon to 4pm. Have you jumped on the chance to use this as a program? If so, comment below and let us know. There is also another readathon called Bout of Books. These are week long marathons that occur multiple times a year. If you have tried a reading marathon, what works for you? Do you read the same books or do your teens choose their own books? Comment below with your answers. Set goals, for example tell yourself that your going to read 345 pages in 4 hours or that you are going to read 4 books during the week of your marathon. Are there any other reading marathons or library related marathons you’d like to share?