Even though Teen Tech Week was in March, our library used that time to promote something new (for us, anyway) – a teen video contest. One of the challenges we face as a medium-sized library system is keeping our programming lean and focused, so we combined two ideas to make this program work:

1) our Central Library wanted to have a teen video contest this spring

2) we needed high school involvement to fulfill a Big Read grant in April/May

The combination of the programming was great, as it allowed us to use contacts we’d made with Kansas City Public Television and TimeWarner Cable. We were also able to reach out to school districts in a different way through broadcast media classes. In addition to giving the contest a tight focus, we were also able to encourage teens to experience The Maltese Falcon, our Big Read pick.

We’re nearly ready to announce the winner – and we’ve had a lot of fun with this initiative. Check out the demo video that the KCPT interns made for us below, and try a video contest yourself – you won’t regret it!

The Teen Read Week Committee is happy to finally congratulateLibrarian Elizabeth Kahn of the Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy as the winner of the Teen Read Week Win a Visit With Tiffany Trent Contest! To read the full press release on the ALA website, click here.

Author Trent will be visiting the Academy of 285 students (grades 6-11) during Teen Tech Week on March 7th, just a week away. Trent is the creator and author of the popular Hallowmere book series for teens. The contest judged over 20 creative and inspiring entries of Teen Read Week programs from school and public libraries across the nation.

Kahn’s Teen Read Week efforts included a program entitled LOL @ PFTSTA and included daily email blasts to all students, joke contests and other contests with cool prizes. Kahn’s entry stressed the importance of “develop[ing] a school culture where students see the library as an exciting destination”. Students also received copies of books “Zipped” and “The Boyfriend List”.

Way to go, Librarian Kahn!

Teen Read Week 2008 will take place October 12-18. This year’s theme will be “Books With Bite”.

Do you know any teens that make their own music? Perhaps they like to sing or have their own band? Now is the time to let them shine! Give teens an opportunity to showcase their talent in YALSA’s Teen Tech Week Promotional Song Contest.

The purpose of the contest is for teens to create a song that promotes libraries and their many technology resources to teens. Judges will be looking for content that promotes library technology and Teen Tech Week, well-written and audible lyrics, creative approach, and clear-sounding production quality.

Teens may begin working on the contest immediately. Every entry will be acknowledged with a certificate. Each of the five finalists will receive a free book and the winner(s) will also receive a $50 gift certificate from a major bookstore, and will be interviewed for a YALS article and press release.

Teen Tech Week will be held during March 2 – 8, 2008. All contest materials are due on March 8, 2008 at midnight.

Visit the Teen Tech Web site at www.ala.org/teentechweek to download the official rules and entry form.

Hop Tip: Want to know how to setup a recording studio for teens so they can make music in the library? Then read one of YALSA’s Teen Tech guides on making music with teens.

Download a PDF of Making Music with Teens here:

YALSA Is Giving It All Away. Well, maybe not everything. But YALSA is giving out cash, materials and more to its members this winter—all you have to do enter a couple contests.

  • Cash! Got a great idea for Teen Tech Week? We’ll give you $450 in cold, hard cash (thanks to 2008 Teen Tech Week Corporate Sponsor Dungeons & Dragons)plus $50 worth of Teen Tech Week products (courtesy Teen Tech Week Promotional Partner ALA Graphics) to put on your program or offer special resources and services @ your library. Just download the info on the Teen Tech Week Mini Grants from our Teen Tech Week Contests page.
  • Books and a Prize Pack from Simon & Schuster! Not a YALSA member? (You know who you are.) Here’s a good incentive to join up: if you join through our Teen Read Week website, you could win free books or a prize pack from Friend of Teen Read Week Simon & Schuster. Check out the Teen Read Week website to learn more.

Midwinter Update!

While advanced registration has ended, YALSA still has slots open for its Pre-Midwinter Institute (Taking Teen Services to the Next Level) and its third annual Gaming Extravaganza! Find details at the YALSA Midwinter Page. (Already registered? Add these ticketed events at this secure ordering page.)

YALSA is hosting a booth on the Exhibits floor at ALA Midwinter Meeting! Stop by Booth #435 anytime exhibits are open to learn more about Teen Tech Week, and you can enter to win a goodie basket of Teen Tech Week products from ALA Graphics. In addition, Dungeons & Dragons will be meeting and greeting interested librarians from 1-2 p.m. on Saturday, January 12. Make sure to check out a demo of their new Gleemax community for gamers and enjoy some snacks.

Check back to the YALSA Blog every Thursday for a rundown of news and updates from the YALSA Office. Send your questions and comments to Stevie Kuenn, YALSA Communications Specialist, at skuenn@ala.org.

YALSA is really pleased to announce a new contest…Create Your Own Avatar. The contest is open all YALSA members or registered attendees of YALSA’s Gaming Festival. Voting will take place during the Friday evening Midwinter Gaming Festival with the finalists and the winner(s) announced that evening.


All avatar entries must be an original work and librarians are encouraged to team up with their TAG members or other teens in creating an award winning avatar. There is no fee for submitting the entry. Entry forms must be submitted to YALSA, yalsa@ala.org, by midnight on January 4, 2008. Avatars must be accessible online by midnigt on January 4, 2008. Direct any questions about the contest to Nichole Gilbert, ngilbert@ala.org.

What do you win?

All entries will be acknowledged with a certificate…yeah! Links to the finalists’ avatars will appear on YALSA’s website. The winning avatar may be used by YALSA in all marketing and promotional materials related to technology. The winner(s) will receive $100 worth of books, and will be interviewed for a YALSA article and press release.

Complete rules (including THE fine print) and Entry Form (in .pdf) are available on the YALSA website.

Meez and Zwinky are two sites that you can check out for help in learning how to create an avatar.

Brainstorm with your teens and create an avatar that really reflects how you see yourself interacting with teens @ the library, or how they see you. Most of all have fun!

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us MTV is hosting a create your own video contest in their virtual world with video/audio editing software and MTV$ as the prize. What a great program to offer teens! Using collaboration, story/script writing, film techniques, and music interpretation-it’s chock full of a set of literacy skills to give teens the opportunity to communicate in multi-media formats. Official rules are here which is also a good model for being safe on the Internet: No depictions of gratuitous violence, personally identifiable information, hard liquor, illegal drugs or alcohol. There’s a helpful list of tools for shooting machinima. Great preparation for the YALSA Gaming Extravaganza at Midwinter! Check out more links to machinima on YALSA’s del.icio.us page here.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki