During October a small group of YALSA bloggers are posting ideas and information about positive uses of social networking tools in schools and libraries. Here’s positive use #13.

Second Life(SL) is a 3D virtual world for adults age 18 and over where one can create an avatar, interact with others, and design the world they want to live in. Over 100 universities and colleges are involved in SL to offer their students a learning experience through this world.

Teen Second Life is for teens, 13-17 and is separate from adults because of safety reasons. Teens can own land, run their own business, design clothes, create machinima, bring their favorite story scene to life through build and design skills, and learn about social issues such as child pornography and sex trafficking which was what GlobalKids did through their camp in Second Life this summer with teens. Schools such as Suffern Middle School in New York, is aligning curriculum standards for their 8th graders with Teen Second Life, and will have a presence to serve their students hopefully by next month.

The Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in NC and the Alliance Library System in IL have announced a partnership last week to collaborate on library services for teens through Teen Second Life. The project will involve a collaboration with libraries and other youth serving organizations to reach teens where they are at and keep the library relevant to their needs. To find out what libraries are already doing on Second Life with adults, check out: www.infoisland.org Many YALSA members are already involved in Second Life with incredible and tremendous talent and are involved with the teen library project as well. The Alternative Teen Services blog links to Second Life under their ‘connect’ list.

While background checks are required for any adult working with teens on Second Life, if DOPA in its current form, had passed, teens at public and school libraries that are offering Second Life as a program, might be unable to access it or at least the rich world of communication tools that surround the virtual world such as blogs and wikis that foster collaboration and information for projects.

Developmental needs such as community support, motivation to learn, and cultural competence are perfect combinations to build upon through Second Life.

For more information on the library project, or to get involved, check out www.infoisland.org. To find out what other educators are doing in Second Life, go to the SimTeach wiki at: www.simteach.com.

It’s not too late to participate in Info Island’s open house going on this weekend in Second Life. Create an avatar and join the fun! Audio presentations will be archived on OPAL

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

During October a small group of YALSA bloggers are posting ideas and information about positive uses of social networking tools in schools and libraries. Here’s positive use #11.

Many libraries are offering gaming programs for teens on a regular basis and have been for awhile. This year’s ‘Get Active @ Your Library’ theme for Teen Read Week provides a perfect fit for DDR, which many libraries are participating in during this week.

Librarians have also worked to build community around gaming programs through social networking tools.

  • The sheer number of comments from teens on the Ann Arbor District Library gaming blog is amazing.
  • Another site to check out is the Gamefest site from the Bloomington Public Library in Illinois which again builds community around gaming by using social networking tools such as Flickr and linking to local gaming conventions which use discussion boards and blogs to communicate their events.
  • Last year, during a DDR event at the Thomas Ford Memorial Library in Illinois, Aaron Schmidt wrote about ‘harvesting content while they were there.’ By making Audacity available, teens recorded materials reviews during the gaming event, including books, to later be posted to the library web site.
  • Many libraries are using MySpace pages or blogs to host videos, photos, and announcements for their gaming events. One teen created his own MySpace page, boasting how he would be the winner of my library’s summer gaming tournament.

Consider connecting with the social networking resources that are already in your community to let them know about your gaming events. Local gaming conventions, Teen Clubs that offer video gaming nights, DDR Freak allows people to post about their gaming events-and teens do check this board, and websites for specific games often have a place to post about upcoming tournaments and events through a discussion board.

If DOPA passes, opportunities to connect with millennials who are gamers with the library, will be very difficult.

Join the MacArthur Foundation discussion on gaming from October 16-November 3; Everywhere Now: Three Dialogues on Kids, Games, and Learning.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Often I have reference questions that are about current technology, and when I ask in IM reference chat for information on that top my university normally sends me to a wikipedia page and that’s it.

Wikipedia is not the only wiki out there. In fact wiki’s are easy to create, ALA has several: http://teentechweek.wikispaces.com/ http://wikis.ala.org/iwa/index.php/Main_Page http://wikis.ala.org/midwinter2007/index.php/Main_Page

You see a wiki allows participants to share information and add to what previous people have said. If for example we had this discussion group as a wiki instead of a listserv people could add titles to lists requested, discuss issues on the discussion pages, and be able to find the information easier than locating the subject of a specific thread. Wikis can contain more information that a normal website as well, because more people can work on it. Imagine if instead of a vertical file in a room, your library set up a local history wiki on pbwiki. Community members could upload pictures to share, The older citizens could work with the teens to share what they know about the community. It would be a way for the whole community to participate in their story.

Expand that concept to a community on the Internet for example web comics. There are a few websites about the different comics: http://www.thewebcomiclist.com/ is considered the best. They are updated by the webmasers who depending on the community could be overworked and understaffed, or could pull in “expert” fans. Another site about webcomics is http://www.comixpedia.org/index.php/Main_Page. Its a wiki started by a site that focused on webcomic news. This allows fans, the creators themselves, and others to upload information. The job of the webmaster changes, because now they fill in the blanks of what people started, and delete the necessary spam, but more information is able to be shared through this venue.

Did you know that the number of attacks on wikipedia increase whenever their is an article about how easy it is to place false information. In a way we all know that even the information in our encyclopedias and books can be wrong due to date, or inaccuracies by the author. Generally that is what we examine when reviewing books, so it is understandable that librarians would be leery of wiki’s but I believe that they have a valuable purpose and place in our information rich lives. One great use is understanding pop culture and technology, but also it adds to the feeling that the teens are valued experts on something when they can post a message about a show, game, or other thing they know about from reading books and from experience.

In my mind I treat Wiki’s like encyclopedias. We can have encyclopedias of reviews, conference information, best practices, anime, webcomics, video games, and more, but you have to take the first step of faith to see what a wiki really can do well. which is enrich communities

Friday October 6, 2006 beginning at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 3:00 Central, 2:00 Mountain, 1:00 Pacific, and 8:00 p.m. GMT:

Meet the Millennials: Risk Takers and Rule Makers

Like the generations before them, millennials are defined by their experiences. They grew up with video games, cell phones, the Internet, and online communities. Know teens and college students, learn how they use the Internet, and what library services can meet their needs. Presented by millennial Jami Schwarzwalder.

Sponsor: TAP Information Services
Location: OPAL Auditorium

One fourth of YALSA members are library science students or new librarians. I am proud to be one of them. Last Feburary on top of my SLIS classes I signed up for a YALSA class, and there I was able to meet librarians from all of the United States. After the class ended I was invited to blog on the YALSA blog, and got involved in YALSA’s committees. The best experience I had was volunteering to represent YALSA for an hour at a conference I was already attending.

Getting involved while still in school was was a great way to become a professional, and now YALSA wants to do the same for you. Do you have a hobby or a special skill that relates to new technology, or teen culture? Have you worked with teens and young adults whether college freshman or a sixth grade boy/girl scout troupe? While in library school you should explore what area of librarianship that interests you, but also gain experience by volunteering when possible.

If you would like to learn more about being a professional librarian, connect with future colleagues, or get information pertinent to students, consider participating in the Student Interest Group. You must be a member of YALSA to serve on committees and access archives of web casts interviews with professionals.

The first web cast we will have is open to all students and new librarians. Join us Sunday October 29th at 6pm EST with Lori Bell of the Alliance Library System and Second Life Library. This innovative individual will be available to talk with participants about getting involved when you have little experience. Details about accessing this presentation will be provided later. Leave a comment if you are interested.

Please stay tuned and give us feedback about anything you would like to see offered from this group. I am just one, and it is up to you to make this group a success.

I hope to see you in the future at a conference or online. In the mean time take some time to explore the social software featured on the YALSA blog for the next month. Maybe start a professional blog and write your own comments on it.

18th Months ago the community of Bon Air Regional Libarary in Louisville, experienced a radical change in demographics. Now every afternoon they have dozens of teens at their library, teens they didn’t know how to serve.

So Geneva Huttenlocher took the incentive and started a series of programs held every Tuesday afternoon. She pooled on the resources of the other staff members and on members of the community bringing in Police Officers, Chefs, Artists, and more. They worked with the local school to start a basketball tournament. The librarians at the library took risks and developed a rapport with the teens that helped to lessen problems at the library, but also serve as role models.

This library is an inspiration, and as stated at their presentation at the Kentucky Library Association “they took a bad situation and turned it into a wonderful opportunity”

My friend Kelly sent me an article on teen brain development last week; a British scientist just did a study on teen brain in areas such as empathy and decision-making. And today I got an email from a psych student who found some old handouts of mine and had questions about behavior and brain development.

What is the link? It turns out that even though those tall gangly young adults LOOK grown up, teen brain development rivals that of the toddler years, and the activity creates a lot of “noise” in their heads. Recall the terrible twos: temper tantrums, challenging authority, sleep deprivation derived crankiness…

Are these concepts intriguing to you? Space is still available in Pain in the Brain: Adolescent Development and Library Behavior, a YALSA online CE workshop that runs from Oct 2-30, 2006. 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. By the end of this class, participants will:
1) Understand the physical development of the adolescent brain and how it manifests into physical and emotional behaviors,
2) Examine the developmental needs and assets of adolescents, and the role libraries must play in helping teens grow into healthy adults,
3) Discuss how to apply newly acquired knowledge and techniques to improve library services to teens in ways that meet developmental needs and build developmental assets.

Ok, that was blatant and shamless self-promotion – I’m the facilitator. But YALSA delivers LOTS of great CE right to your desktop! Several other additional courses will be offered in October, including a re-run of the very popular New Technologies and New Literacies for Teens with Linda Braun, and OutReaching Teens with Angela Pfiel.

To be a successful student in a YALSA Online CE course, you need:
* Regular unlimited access to a computer (Pentium II-based PC or a G3 PowerMac machine, using Netscape 4.7 or higher, Internet Explorer 5 or higher, or current versions of Mozilla or Opera)
*Reliable Internet connection (high-speed Internet access like cable, DSL, or LAN-networked T1 lines preferred)

I personally recommend 2 hours a week to dedicate to readings, activities, and responses.

Registration for YALSA’s fall session of e-courses runs through Sept. 25. The courses are meant to be the equivalent of a full day workshop.

The cost is $135 for YALSA members, $175 for ALA members, and $195 for non members. Register online today!

Hayao Miyazaki is an amazing storyteller and anime directors. In the eighties he swept Japan by storm with Nausicaä and the Valley of the wind, forming his own Animation Studio with Isao Takahata: Studio Ghibli. Since its creation Miyazaki and Takahata have alternated directed films and also investing in the future animators on projects such as The Cat Returns.

I learned all of this by watching the special features on many Studio Ghibli films I have been watching since I finished my Library Science classes. I didn’t know much about Japanese Anime before I started watching the Studio Ghibli films, but by watching the special features I not only learned more about the voice acting but also about Japanese Animation.

I would highly recommend watching the Studio Ghibli films and special features which each contain a special feature “Behind the Microphone.” If you are unfamiliar with Japanese Anime I would recommend staring with Whisper of the Heart.

The idea of watching movies and special features expands past Japanses Anime. An easy way to immerse yourself into teen culture is to watch what they are watching. Take time while in school to explore how a library might focus on special hobby of yours. Look at the Search Institue’s 40 Developmental Assets and see if the program might be beneficial to teens. Explore how resources for developing a collection on this topic, and e-mail professionals who have similar interests. You may even be able to approach a local library, implement your program, and write an article about the exciting things you are doing before you graduate.

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

A free online course for librarians about social software and how to use it in their libraries is being developed and will take place February 12–March 17, 2007. The organizers welcome proposals for live presentations and course content on blogs, wikis, RSS, and similar topics. For more information go here.
Posted by Beth Yoke