In the spring on This American Life, host Ira Glass presented a 5 minute essay on The O.C. Glass talked about how over four years he developed a relationship with the characters on the TV show. He talked about how watching the program was a weekly event for he and his wife. He talked about how he cried during the show finale episode. The message was that while “just” a TV show, the people in this show meant something to he and his wife.

Ever since this essay from Glass I’ve been thinking about how teens build relationships with characters from fiction and real people. Teen readers of Gossip Girl (a bit of an east coast version of The O.C) have a relationship with Serena, Blair, and the others. Teens who watch American Idol have a relationship with the contestants on the show. Teens who listen to Fall Out Boy have a relationship with the musicians in that group. Teens who visit the library (either face-to-face or virtually) on a regular basis have a relationship with library staff.

These relationships aren’t something that happens quickly. Viewers of The O.C. had to find something to connect with in the first episode and then have a reason to return week after week for four years. There was something compelling to fans of the show that made them want to know what happened to Ryan, Taylor, Summer, Seth, Marissa, etc.

Library relationships don’t happen quickly either. Teens and library staff have to build a relationship over time. A teen’s first entry into the library world has to be one that provides a connection and a reason to return. I was reminded of this when someone I know told me about a recent experience she had in a branch of a public library. This is a woman in her early 20s. She went in to do some homework for graduate school and asked the librarian at the desk for some help. The librarian was gruff and unhelpful and overall just plain rude. The woman didn’t let this deter her in terms of getting her work done. She took books off of the shelf and worked at a table. While working she heard two of the librarians talking about her, not in kind or friendly terms.

Imagine if this were a teenager and not a woman in her early 20s. What would the message be to that teen? Would a teen be able to build a relationship with those librarians? Would those librarians demonstrate support as outlined in the 40 Developmental Assets?

I realize this young woman’s experience is not indicative of every library in the country. But hearing this story reminds me how much work we still have to do in order to guarantee that libraries around the country support teens in their need to build relationships with people real and imagined. (In books, movies, TV, and in real-life.)

I’ve been at my new job for about two months now, and already I’m learning many new things. Every new graduate has adjusting to do to their new work place, and the workplace also has to adjust to them. I like my new job, but here are some things that I wish I had learned in library school:

  • Remind Teens at least one day before you have a program
  • Make sure you have a computer
  • Participation is always the opposite of what you expect
  • If you say you’re not overwhelmed be prepared to get an influx of tasks
  • A screwdriver is a very handy tool for opening packages
  • You can put anything on display and it will be checked out
  • A book has to earn the right to be on your shelves
  • Success creates its own problems too
  • Most of the library is made up of para-professional staff, that add so much to the library environment. Don’t forget to get to know them too
  • The Library doesn’t exist in a vacuum, when you are at a movie, the grocery store, or in the community, the public will see you as a representative of the library. You can make meaningful connections if you are aware of this.

Library veterans or new grads, what are the things you wished you’d known?

I have a librarian friend new to social networking, but she gamely signed up for Facebook, just to see what it was all about. Last week she sent me this note: “Hey Beth– checking out your Facebook page (thanks for friending me 🙂 –btw) and noticed a message on your wall from KM. He was my son’s best friend in high school! I’m trying to guess your connection to him–perhaps comics? Neat guy!”

She was right on the money: comics, indeed. KM was a senior in high school when we met 5 years ago. When I was a YA librarian, he sent me an unsolicited email, asking me to be an advisor on his senior project on comic books — There was no MySpace or Facebook back then — he found me because I’d posted a webpage about my BWI/YALSA Collection Development Grant that I used to start a graphic novel collection. I learned as much about comics from him as he did from me. We’ve evolved from a mentor/mentee to peer relationship since, and usually go to a comic book spin-off movie once a year.

A couple of points:

  • It’s good to be accessible. I see a LOT of library homepages that don’t include the name or email address of the YA librarian.
  • Teens need adults that care about them to act as mentors and role models.
  • The YALSA/BWI Collection Development Grant is a great opportunity for materials growth and easy to apply for.
  • Applying for grants gets you more than just money.

Along the lines of this age thing, in my Pain in the Brain class, we’ve been having a really interesting discussion about RESPECT. It is assumed, or earned? Are people respected for their age, title, and status, or their experience, expertise, knowledge and skills? Someone mentioned the Internet as a great leveler — you don’t know someone’s age unless they volunteer it (or, you ask). It doesn’t feel strange to me to have friends that range from 24-54 — or to be friends with a mom, and someone who is the age of her child, as well. At ALA, in a session on millennials, I heard “They don’t want us in their space.” Do you agree, or disagree?

Someone on my Twitter friends asked, “Question for the folks in ALA – how do you get involved w committees. Help?” My expanded response follow.

Observe. If you can get to Annual or Midwinter conferences, sit in on the committee you want to volunteer with – most are open meetings; juries (award selection committees) are the exception. Go to the board meeting and watch the proceedings (don’t forget to introduce yourself!).

Do your homework. Know the commitment involved. Talk to a current member to inquire about the expectations and workload. The ALA directory you get in the mail lists committmee charges and members.

Go online. The YALSA Governance page is one-stop shopping, with links to committee descriptions and chairs and board members.

Be honest. Think about what you can realistically commit to. If you can’t go to conference, try for a virtual membership on a committee. And, don’t sign up for a selected list or jury if you can’t read at least a book a day.

Join an Interest Group. If you can’t attend conferences, consider an Interest Group. Unlike committee members, members of an interest group are not required to attend the Annual Conference or the Midwinter Meeting, and there is no limit on the number of virtual participants an interest group may have.

Introduce yourself. I’m convinced I got my first appointment by shaking Joel Shoemaker’s hand at a the YALSA member reception–I think I filled out my volunteer form on the spot. You could also write a note or email to whomever makes appointments – AND their replacement (ie, prez & prez-elect).

Contribute. Post frequently on division email lists, blogs or wikis to get your name noticed.

Fill out your paperwork. Every year, in fact, you need to complete a new volunteer form. I just did mine. Be specific, don’t just say, “I’ll do anything.” If you want to be on Best Books, make sure your credentials are reflected on the form.

Pay your dues!. You can’t participate if you aren’t a member! Join today, we’re the fastest growing division of the ALA (#4, w00t!). And, IMHO, the most fun. 🙂

Don’t forget about process committees. Initially, I felt I had to earn a spot on Best Books by sitting on Organization and Bylaws, but it turned out to be a really interesting committee that gave me a wonderful overview of how YALSA works, and I’ve enjoyed all my appointments so much that I haven’t even requested to be on Best Books in years.

Be creative. My first time to ALA was 9 years ago; I was just out of library school. I stayed for free with a friend on the subway line, lived on peanut butter sandwiches, apples, and water for 5 days, walked or took the shuttle bus everywhere, and had a fantastic time. I try to buy a meal — (or at least a round of drinks 😉 — for a student at every conference. Don’t forget that YALSA has a mentoring program, and a mentor may have some great advice, connect you to someone who needs a roommate, or have a transferrable invitation to a publisher luncheon.

If the committee you are interested in requires conference attendance and your library won’t pay for you to attend conference, ask the director to ask the Friends to cover it. Seek scholarships or jobs with stipends to attend conference. Sometimes, work will pay if you are presenting – submit a proposal to a committee to sponsor. Ask for membership dues or airfare vouchers as a holiday or birthday gift. Your conference expenses should be a tax deduction, but I always found I never made enough money (or had enough expenses) to count it.

Other tips? Please comment!

The 06-07 ALA Emerging Leaders project will conclude on Friday, June 22 with a poster session and the reception from 3-5 PM in theWashington Convention Center, Room 144 A. Please stop by and view the presentations, especially the YALSA sponsored ones: “Gurus and Greenhorns: Mentoring the Next Generation of School and Youth Services Librarians” and “A Marketing Plan for the New Odyssey Award.”
YALSA will sponsor one Emerging Leader for the 07-08 session. Applications will be available online July 1, 2007 at: . Deadline for submission will be August 15, 2007.

-Beth Yoke

What are YOU doing this summer? Make time to squeeze in at least one of these online workshop offerings from YALSA. Professional development (PD) is about staying current to keep at the top of your game; it’s also a fantastic networking opportunity. Space is limited, so register early! Details from Nichole Gilbert’s Press Release follow.

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest-growing division of the American Library Association (ALA), is offering four online courses this summer: “Making the Match: Finding the Right Book for the Right Teen at the Right Time,” “Pain in the Brain: Adolescent Development and Library Behavior,” “Power Programming for Teens,” and “Using Electronic Databases with Teens.” Classes will take place July 1 to July 30, except for “Making the Match,” which runs from July 1 through August 10. Registration opened on May 7, 2007.

“Making the Match: Finding the Right Book for the Right Teen at the Right Time” participants will become experts at connecting teens with books! In a recent survey by and YALSA, the majority of teen respondents said that they would read more if they knew about more good books to read. In this e-course, participants will learn how to make a successful match between library materials and teen library users. Course participants will explore adolescent development, learn about teen reading preferences and take part in an active discussion about specific books and library materials that meet the varied needs and interests of teens. Teri Lesesne will teach this course.

Teen brain development rivals that of the toddler years–maybe that explains the attitude and characteristics of this historically underserved age group. “Pain in the Brain” participants will find out exactly why teens act the way they do and learn how librarians can address patron behavior issues in a way that will develop relationships with young adults. Beth Gallaway will teach this course.

“Power Programming for Teens” will help participants attain a higher level of service to teens at their library or school. Designed for library staff who are beginning to find success with a few teen programs, participants will learn how to develop and implement more programming ideas that will work at their facility. Amy Alessio will teach this course.

“Using Electronic Databases with Teens” will review several electronic databases guided by an evaluation form that will be provided. Students will experiment with three databases and create a local tip sheet for use by teen patrons. Nancy Keane will teach this course.

Registration for the course is available online from May 7 through June 15 at The cost for each course is $135 for YALSA members, $175 for ALA members, and $195 for non members. The course is the equivalent of a one day face-to-face workshop. More tips on taking online courses can be found on the YALSA Web site at: .

For 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos, and audiobooks for teens. For more information about these awards or for additional lists of recommended reading, go to For more information about YALSA, please contact us via e-mail, ; or by phone at 1-800-545-2433 ext. 4390.

Nichole Gilbert
Young Adult Library Services Association
ph. 1-800-545-2433 ext.4387

Register for Teen Read Week!
October 14-20, 2007
LOL! @ your library

In January Kelly Czarnecki posted a blog about the story of the Freedom Writers. In that posting Kelly talks about the hope that Erin Gruwell, the high school English teacher that’s the focus of Freedom Writers, gives to the students with whom she works.

The movie is now out on DVD and if you haven’t seen it you should. You should also make sure that every teacher and librarian you know gets to see the movie. (Perhaps it’s an opportunity for a professional development or in-service program at your school or library.) Yes, this is another movie in the genre of To Sir With Love, Stand and Deliver, and many others. But, the themes of this movie may stand out more to teachers and librarians in the early 21st century.

The story of the Freedom Writers demonstrates the important role adults can have play in teen lives. It demonstrates how adults can help teens achieve the assets outlined in the Search Institutes’s 40 Developmental Assets for teens, it demonstrates how all teens (no matter what their background) can achieve if the adults around them truly listen and respect.

See the Freedom Writers today!

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to attend a panel discussion at the Nassau Library System on GLBTQ books and library programs and services. The panelists were David Gale of Simon and Schuster, author Ellen Wittlinger, and authors Jack Martin (Jack’s a librarian too) and James Murdock. Here’s some of what was discussed:

  • David Gale covered the history, current state, and future of GLBTQ books for teens. He reminded the group that the first teen books with gay or lesbian characters focused on the angst and difficulty of growing up as a gay teen and in these books some terrible thing happened to at least one character – or even a pet. David reminded the group that in the past few years we’ve seen the literature grow and are seeing more and more books in which the gay character is just another teen character. Being gay doesn’t require some major trauma or angst different than what any teen might go through. David also provided examples of how publishers and authors are continuing to publish titles with GLBTQ themes that in the past might have been considered taboo. For example, Ellen Wittlinger’s just to be released book Parrotfish.
  • Ellen Wittlinger gave audience members a look at her new book by reading a couple of selections. The book chronicles the story of Grady, a teen girl, who decides during her teen years to transition to being a boy. She does this publicly in her family and in school. Ellen also talked about the GLBTQ themes she focuses on in some of her other books and recounted stories of being uninvited from schools and libraries when the community learned that she was going to talk about titles with GLBTQ themes. A main point Ellen made was that we may think that the world has come very far in the acceptance of GLBTQ teens and adults, however, acceptance is not universal and it’s important to recognize that fact and work to help to guarantee that materials with GLBTQ themes for teens are kept on library shelves.
  • The program ended with the presentation from Jack Martin and James Murdock who wrote the book, Serving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Quetioning Teens: A How-To-Do-It Manual. Martin and Murdock described how libraries can create safe spaces for teens where no matter what one’s sexual preference the library space is safe and welcoming. They discussed ways for providing programs that recognize the GLBTQ teens in the community and talked about how to help teens who might be looking for GLBTQ themed books find those books, even if the teen is afraid to ask. The suggestions included audio recording sessions in which teens get to talk about any issue in which they are interested and slipping a GLBTQ book into a stack a librarian might hand over a teen that asked for readers’ advisory.

Each of the presenters did a great job reminding audience members what we as librarians need to do in order to support GLBTQ teens in libraries. One day, if we as a society really embrace these teens we might not have to have programs like the one described here. If teens of any sexuality are just like any other teen in the library, than we won’t have to separate programs out in order to serve them successfully. When that day comes it will be a great thing.

You get a phone call from someone that tells you their son/daughter is skipping school and they want to know if they are at your library. You get a phone call from someone that claims they are the mother/father of a teen that ran away from home and they have a search warrant from an officer to prove it. Someone claiming to be a parent comes into your library and says, “I want to know if my son/daughter has been in your library today.”

How do you respond and why?

Do we automatically trust the person on the phone or that the person at the desk is indeed the parent of who they say they are? How much responsibility do we need to take on to determine that? We trust an adult who says who they are yet at the same time we often teach teens on social networking sites such as MySpace to not trust most anyone they meet online? What is it about someone that says they are the parent of a teen (if you really don’t know) that we believe them? Or is that not usually the case?

I look to the column series in VOYA, How can we help? Particularly Lynn Evarts, The School Library as Sanctuary, (, December 2006 where she talks about reaching out to teens that might seek the library as a place of comfort. If I hear about a teen running away, my automatic response in my head is that, maybe they left a bad situation, how can I as a librarian give them the tools to get them out of that situation? ‘Get them out’ not necessarily meaning they need to be in contact with the police, but ‘get them out’ in a way that gives them some choice and responsibility to take care of themselves. I think that by automatically trusting the adult that comes to us, negates any possible relationship we can build with a teen, even if it might only be for five minutes.

While I am not saying that librarians have some special connection with teens that security and police can never possibly have, I am saying that we do have a way we can connect with teens. What if we give them resources of local runaway shelters that may be able to work with them, because like with the police, and with library security, we have made a connection with people that work with teens? We know where those shelters are in town. Staff at the shelters know us by name when we call them because we have made it a point to visit them and explain why. What if that could make all the difference? What if that would make the job of a police person easier? What if we can do our jobs and fulfill our responsibilities at the same time and most important, give the teen back the control of their life that they probably need most right now?

This is why I think it is good for people to have an appreciation and maybe even an understanding of playing video games-especially those who make policy for our libraries. It’s about understanding there are other options. It’s about not being afraid to take risks if a risk for your organization might mean putting some muscle behind the core values of your library that you already have established and available on your web site.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

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…