I’m in the middle of a three session workshop on teaching photography skills to inmates at a local jail. The library is partnering with Silent Images, a local humanitarian photography organization. One of the stories David Johnson with S.I. told was that in a country he visited, a camera was more powerful than a gun. Why? Because a bullet only travels so far. A photograph can be shared infinite ways. Read More →
They’re in our libraries, on our computers.
But what, specifically, 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?
We will explore these questions at the 2012 Presidents’ Program at ALA in Anaheim. It will be a joint affair between ALSC and YALSA. Michelle Poris (of Smartypants) and Stephen Abrams will be talking about tweens and young teens, exploring their use of technology, and asking the question “What should libraries be doing?”
But the real point of this post: what are YOU doing? Read More →
Do you have dreams of producing a video that becomes the next big thing on YouTube? ‘ Have you wanted to help others learn how to be successful in their work with teens? Do you have a skill or area of knowledge that you think would be useful to let others know about? ‘ If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then being a YALSA Academy producer might be just right for you. ‘ You can learn more by attending the YALSA Academy Be a Producer webinar on Tuesday, January 31, at 9PM Eastern. If you plan on attending register by contacting Eve Gaus (The session will be held via Adobe Connect and you can enter the webinar room as a Guest.)
If you aren’t familiar with YALSA Academy, it’s the association’s new initiative that focuses on helping those that work with teens gain skills and knowledge. How? By making available a variety of videos on teen service related topics including collection development, social media, customer service, programming, and technology. ‘ Each video is 3 to 7 minutes long. Technologies used to produce videos include Animoto, Xtranormal, iMovie or MovieMaker, and screencasting software such as Screenr.
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine this photo as approximately 18X24 in the teen space at your library.The photo is framed and hanging on a wall. Okay, you can open your eyes now. It’s a bit hard to describe because the size influences the effect it can have and posting it on a blog doesn’t necessarily do it justice. If I had to describe it in one word, I might choose the word ‘radiant’. As librarians, we’re constantly existing in worlds that might not seem all that real to others, so I’m confident that you’re quite on board with this and we’ll keep moving on. Read More →
Teen Tech Week 2012 is still months away (March 4-10), but planning for it is well under way at my library, Niles Public, in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.’ The deadline for’ finalizing spring programs at my library is January 9 (gulp) just a month from now.
Fortunately, the official Teen Tech Week website has a planning toolkit that includes ideas for events and activities, including one that I worked on over the summer that called “No Budget, No Time Book Adaptations.”‘ ‘ The goal is to create a short movie adaptation (2 minutes tops) of a favorite book. Pull out only the most important parts and write a 2-page script, draw stick-figure storyboards, and put together simple costumes and props from materials you have on hand. Shoot it in order and do just one take of each shot. Edit it using simple software like Windows MovieMaker or Apple iMovie, or upload your footage to youtube and edit it there (yes, youtube has some editing software built into their site, now).
The idea sprung from a project I worked on with the Niles Teen Advisory Board for James Kennedy’s 90-Second Newbery festival.’ The TAB members chose to create a 90-second adaptation of The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle.’ They did everything from writing the script to selecting royalty-free music for it.’ I was there to serve as an adviser and help with the editing.
The end result is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6GJZZDNsWU.‘ Go watch it right now, then come back.’ Here are a few things that I learned from working on that video:
1. More’ Script = More Time
Umm, you probably noticed that it’s a little longer than 90 seconds.’ The script the TAB-members came up with was about 5 pages; 3 pages too long if you figure that one page of script amounts to about 1 minute of screen time.’ The dialog was really funny though, and when it came time to edit the finished video I didn’t have the heart to cut out all of those funny lines.’ ‘ A longer script also means’ more time spent shooting and editing, so if you only have a few hours to work on a video’ then you’ll need to set a page limit and stick to it.
2. Let the Teens Do All the Work
Besides writing the script, they came up with costumes and props.’ The locations we used were all in the library, and the teens were in charge of decorating the set.’ One teen worked the camera while another one worked the microphone.’ I did a lot during the editing process (more on that, later) but they were there with me, telling me what parts I could cut.’ The teens have more fun when they are doing everything.’ Give everyone a job, even if it is something deceptively simple like monitoring the set and props to make sure nothing is missing from shot to shot (this is an actual profession called “script supervising” that’ is’ perfect for’ people who like to pick movies and tv shows apart for continuity errors).
3. Don’t Skip Steps Like Storyboarding
We did, because the’ TAB members’ who like to draw were unavailable when we were in the planning stages.’ I think the video suffered because of it.’ Storyboards are basically a rough comic’ book version’ of what your video will look like when it’s done.’ ‘ They show you what each scene should look like’ from the camera’s point of view,’ which makes deciding where to set the camera much easier.’ Storyboarding’ takes time in the beginning, but having that visual guide’ ends up saving time later, especially when you get to the editing stage.
4. Editing Can Be Tedious, Simple Software Can Make It Less So
The more time you spend trying to figure out how your editing software works, the more time editing your project is going to take.’ My library has Sony Vegas editing software.’ It’s great software, and can do some cool things like speeding up and slowing down the video footage.’ It’s also not software that many teens (including our TAB members) are familiar with, and not the most intuitive software available.’ In my opinion, both Apple’s iMovie and Windows MovieMaker are easier to use.’ I had the teens help me, and their extra sets of eyes were a great help in figuring out how to do things like speeding up some sections of the video footage.’ If we’d had iMovie, they could have edited the whole thing themselves, and I would only be there to step in if they had a question.
5. Have Fun
The teens were a little disappointed that their no-budget video didn’t look professional.’ They were embarrassed to watch themselves on screen, even though they’d had fun when they were acting in front of the camera.’ To make them feel better, I showed them a bunch of the other crude-looking, badly acted 90-Second Newbery videos on youtube.’ Making a video with your teens should be fun.’ Try to inject some professionalism into it by using storyboards and a designating a script supervisor, but remember to laugh at your funny costumes, line flubs and’ flimsy set (part of ours fell down during the shoot) along the way.
I recently held a program for teens called “Library of the Living Dead” at Grafton-Midview Public Library, located in Grafton, OH.’ I had the idea for the program a few months ago; I wanted to teach the teens Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” dance.’ I had learned the dance myself on a cruise and had so much fun I thought the teens would love it too!’ I decided to tie it in with Halloween since the music video features zombies.’ I found a local professional makeup artist that works at the haunted houses in the Cleveland area to come and do zombie makeup on the teens as well.
I ended up having 31 teens at the program, which is a great turnout for our Library.’ Not only did they love getting bloody gore and makeup on their face, they absolutely loved learning the dance!’ It was hard to teach the dance in only an hour, but by the end I think they really got the hang of it.’ We recorded it on a FlipCam and posted it on the Library’s Facebook page for everyone to see.’ I highly recommend this program for other librarians working with teens.’ It is easy to find instructional videos to learn the “Thriller” dance on YouTube, and also to find a local person to come do the zombie makeup.’ It was fairly low-cost, and the turnout was incredible!’ I will definitely try repeating this program again next year after the feedback I received from my teens!
Posted on behalf of Lesley Lard, Teen Services Librarian
Name: Animation Creator’
Platform: iOS 3.0 and later iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad
Cost: $ .99
Animation Creator is perfect for teens who like to draw and are into graphic design. I know teens at my Library who read Manga and watch anime; most every library has these teen patrons. From time to time they can be found sketching out drawings on the sides of binders and notebooks rendering their favorite characters in some crazy action pose. This app is also equally appealing to anyone who enjoys illustrating their own comics or zines. Read More →
HOW TO: Collection Development on the Fly
It’s time for that little bit of money to be spent and quickly or it will be spent by someone else. You haven’t had any time to work on an order and you don’t want to make a mistake. Look to the lists below to help you find all kinds of exciting books, DVDs, and audio books that should be in your library.
Every title on every YA list will not be automatically suitable for your collection. To double-check yourself, when you add a title to your order list, you can quickly skim the reviews provided by your jobber to see if an item matches your needs. Look to the sections for older readers in the children’s lists for other titles, especially if you serve middle school age.
YALSA Best Books for Young Adults
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens
YALSA Printz Award and Honor Books
YALSA Amazing Audios for Young Adults
YALSA Fabulous Films for Young Adults
YALSA/ALSC Odyssey Award
Projects of the Children’s Book Council in collaboration with ALA and other professional organizations:
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12
I have a new addiction, it’s The Secret Life of the American Teen. Yes, I’ll admit it, it’s not a very good show. The characters are somewhat one-dimensional (at least some of the time) and the plots are often quite unbelievable, if not plain old stupid. But yet, once I realized it was on NetFlix streaming, I started watching and got hooked.
If you aren’t familiar with the plot line of this ABC Family series, the series began with the focus on Amy Jurgens, a 15 year-old who discovers, at the very beginning of the first episode, that she is pregnant. The first year follows Amy as she decides what to do with the baby – keep or adopt – and also as she deals with the father of the baby, her new boyfriend, her best girlfriends, the Christian good girl at her school, the school slut, teachers, parents, her sister, and so on.
Back in 2008, the YALSA blog raved about how Animoto could be used for libraries, and Animoto often gets highlighted during Teen Tech Week. ‘ So it seemed only right to highlight a great feature of Animoto. There’s an app for it!
With the Animoto App, you can create Animoto videos directly from your iThing. All those pictures and videos of programs and displays you’ve taken with your iTouch or iPhone or iPad can now be easily added to an Animoto video.
With the Animoto App, you can create 30 second videos. If you have an Animoto account (a yearly subscription that ranges from $30 for Plus and $250 for Pro) you can create longer videos.
In addition, once logged in, you can sync your account, allowing you to continue editing a video you’ve created on your computer from the ease of your iThing. It also means any video created on the iThing will appear on your computer account as well. You can also share or download the video right from the app.
It also means you’ve got a portable way to show off your animated book trailers or annual reports (Prescott Annual Rpt 2010-2011)’ when meeting new librarians at ALA or at your next meeting with a supervisor. And it’s it great to share how technology is improving your library?