ZombieBooth 2 LogoTitle: ZombieBooth 2
Cost: Free (for Lite version; Pro version costs $1.99)
Platform: iOS (an earlier version of the app is available for Android)

Just in time for Halloween, ZombieBooth 2 will give you the power to see what you or any of your friends (or even pets) would look like as a Zombie. Using an image from your device’s library, camera or even your Facebook account, this app will create a fully animated zombie. The results are actually surprisingly believable and slightly disturbing!

Once you have selected an image, you will be asked to line up the eyes and mouth with a prompt from the app. This helps the app to detect the location of key facial features and allows it to replace the eyes and mouth with animated, zombified features. The result is a moving image with bloodshot eyes, a gaping bloody mouth and a senseless, zombie moan. If you swipe your finger around on the screen, the eyes (and mouth) will follow you. If you make the mistake of getting your finger too close to the mouth, you might even have a bite taken out of you.

You can also edit the image to change the appearance of the mouth or eyes or to add additional facial wounds and accessories (such as a cleaver in the head or glass shards). You can also add filters to the image to change the look of the image. The resulting image is recognizable as the subject of the original photo but altered just enough to look like a zombie from your favorite zombie movie.

Once you are satisfied with your new zombie, you can take a picture or even capture of a video of it moving around to share on Facebook, Twitter or via email. Whether you are looking for a fun project for Halloween, need an app for use in a zombie program, or are just a zombie enthusiast, this app is well worth a try. Check it out in action in the video below.

For more app recommendations visit the YALSA App of the Week Archive. If you have an app you think we should review, let us know!

This was our third Annual Anime Fest. Our goal when planning this program was to expose the teens to aspects of Japanese culture featured in the manga and anime in our collection, as well as to get them talking about their favorite anime and manga. The teens are geektastic in their exuberance for anime and manga, but they often don’t have friends who share their passion. We bring these people together, and the results are so fun to witness. In previous years we’ve learned samurai moves from a kendo instructor, made mochi (a Japanese dessert), listened to Japanese pop music, and created kokeshi dolls.

713 Teen AnimeFest

Our event features several staple activities every year. They include eating with chopsticks, dressing in yukatas (summer kimonos), watching anime (this year we watched Legend of the Millennium Dragon), and playing Naruto Wii.


We then bring in a few new elements to keep it fresh. Read More →

MixBit LogoName: MixBit

Cost: Free

Platform: iOS (with Android coming soon)

Last week the creators of YouTube launched their latest project, MixBit. This new app, which is available for free for iOS and has an Android version on the way by the end of September, is focused on helping people to create, remix and share videos. At first, it might seem a bit like Vine, Cinemagram or the new Instagram video feature, but it offers some features that set it apart, such as the ability to record up to an hour worth of video and to combine multiple videos that you have created in the app, uploaded from your device or remixed from other MixBit users. As of now, some of this editing functionality is limited to the web-based version of the tool. For example, you can save content from other users and add it to your own projects only by finding it and selecting it on the web-based version of MixBit and you can currently only access the embed code for videos on the website as well. Read More →

Title: MoPho: Prints and Photo Gifts

Cost: Free (with exclusion to in-app purchases.)

Platform: Requires iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Compatible with iOS 4.3 or later.

In this day and age no one carries around an actual camera anymore, especially when the quality of our phone’s camera is just as good. Today we are all about simplifying things at our fingertips. We like that our smart phones are just that… smart and can handle more than just one function.

Everyone has tons of photos on their phones and especially teens, who constantly take “selfies” and pics of their “bffls.” There are, however, some circumstances where you would like to have an actual print copy of a photo that you love rather than risking it being deleted or lost in the god-forbid, sudden death of your phone. Enter, MoPho. MoPho is so simple and the user experience cannot be clearer. MoPho is an app that lets you print and develop your cell phone’s photo stream right from your phone! This app allows you to choose the photos you wish to print by drawing from your phone’s camera roll, Instagram, and Facebook pictures. Read More →

How far would you go to promote a book you really loved?’  Actor Matthew Lillard went to amazing lengths to share one of his favorite teen stories (which also happens to be a Printz Honor Book!):

“OK. So, I first stumbled across FAT KID RULES THE WORLD when I was hired to record the audio version of KL Going‘s award winning novel.’  The book blew me away. It was funny and true, and it told the story of a lost kid – Troy Billings, alienated and alone – who finds his purpose in life through the magic of punk rock music.’  The book rocked my world. ‘ It was crazy! ‘ It spoke to me, in a deep way because I had been my own version of Troy Billings in high school. I was lost and an outcast and didn’t really fit in anywhere… that is until I found acting, which pretty much changed my life forever. ‘ After I read the book I knew I had to tell THIS story. ‘ I made this movie for everyone who has ever felt like they just didn’t belong… the misfits, the outcasts. the kids that are lost… this movie is for you! ” Read More →

Title: Snapchat

Cost: Free

Platform: iPhone and iPod Touch requires iOS 5.0 or later.

I have to admit, I, like most teens, am a sucker for photography apps especially ones with social networking components. I enjoy sharing my pictures with friends and commenting on the ones they share with me. But what if you could send a picture that would self-destruct just moments after it is viewed? Enter Snapchat. ‘ Snapchat is a social network based on sharing photos with contacts whom you may choose, but only for a moment…or maybe two. Snapchat’s main function is just that! Take a photo of anything you like and select a friend from your phones’ contacts or Facebook friend with whom you would like to share it. Once you have selected the photo and it’s recipient you may then choose a time frame for how long you would like to allow the person to view it. You may choose between 1-10 second increments. When your friend receives the photo and downloads the picture the time will begin to tick and once the allotted time period has expired, the photo will vanish. Read More →

You know how, no matter how many hundred channels you have, there is nothing on TV? More and more, people are turning to webseries and vlogs for fresher kinds of humor and entertainment. So why not start a vlog series for your library website, or get a bunch of teens together to write a script for an original series? You could also take advantage of the short format of these videos and host a “festival” of screenings of the best series and vlogs out there. Now that so many computers come fully equipped with a basic webcam and editing software, this is an inexpensive way to get creative and to learn more about technology.

Here are some great vlogs and webisodes that should provide you with inspiration as they entertain you.

  • The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: This relatively new series transfers Jane Austen’s novel to the life of a grad student recording her angst. It’s funny and a great way to make classic literature applicable to our current times. If your patrons are having trouble getting ready for their AP English exam, use this to take off the stress. Read More →

This year, YALSA and ALSC are co-hosting their annual President Programs at the Annual Meeting. Sarah Flowers and Mary Fellows are wondering: what is the life of a tween or young teen like in this digital age? What are the particular challenges and opportunities they face online? And how do libraries help them?

Which is where YOU come in! How are you engaging with the digital lives of tweens and young teens at your library? We are calling for video submissions from librarians on the front line. We want to know: what have you done? What worked? What didn’t — and what did you learn as a result? What will you try next? Read More →

Audience Choice Awards in TechSoup’s Digital Story Telling contest are now open for voting through Sunday, March 11 at 11:59pm PDT! YALSA entered a video in the contest, and we need your help to win! Our thanks to Linda Braun, Wendy Stephens, and the teens at Buckhorn High School in New Market, Alabama!

Here’s how to vote:

  • Visit TSDigs.org
  • Select “Vote for Video”
  • Search for “Eve G.” (That’s our very own Eve Gaus!)
  • Vote!

Read More →