Free Image Hosting at February 12, 2008 is the 5th annual Safer Internet Day, organized by Insafe, the European Internet Safety network. The United States is one of many participating countries. National hotline numbers as well as safety and the Internet is discussed in all its facets including gaming, mobile phones, and file sharing.

As a reminder, the Illinois Library Association and MySpace teemed up to create Internet safety bookmarks. In honor of Safer Internet Day, this might be a great time to purchase a set. YALSA also has resources for librarians about online social networking here.

Share your projects on helping to address safety and the Internet.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Free Image Hosting at Check out these video clips of attendees at YALSA’s Midwinter 2008 Gaming Extravaganza. The Flip video camera can capture up to sixty minutes of video. Still shots such as the one included in this post can be clipped from the videos. ‘Movie Mixes’ can be made such as this one, of YALSA office and board members, which combines the clips into one video. Teens will probably like that it uploads easily (flash drive attached) with YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, and more. A one time install of Flip’s software is required, though there may be a workaround-please share or we’ll keep you posted. Think about offering taking short videos of your teens as a program so they can upload to their favorite site. Creating tutorials and promoting programs are some other obvious uses that come to mind. Share your ideas and what your favorite games are.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

“A year ago YALSA launched the 30 days of positive uses of social networking project. Every day throughout October three YALSA bloggers posted ideas and information about using social networking in the school and public library. The postings were in response to the U.S. Congress Deleting Online Predators Act and the realization that librarians working with teens needed support and information on using social networking with teens.
Now, one year later, the same YALSA bloggers are each going to write an update post, during the month of October, about the world of social networking, teens, etc.”
At the beginning of this month, Linda Braun posted an up to date summary of where social networking is at on the radar of Congress and where it could be with libraries. A reader left a comment to the post that said in part, “I am still on the hunt for the example that directly engages kids in being media-savvy.”

Here is a list of sites that might help and that engage youth in fun and creative ways to be safe online. Videos of real teens, animated videos, audio clips, comics, and interactive spaces that work to get the message across of being safe online can be found here. This list is not meant to be comprehensive. Other examples are welcome, especially to the YALSA page and from your library!

-Links to other resources and teen friendly info. about safety

Building a Safer Internet
-Interesting concept for a ratings board. Something to keep your eye on-the blog has just started. Do we want our sites to be rated? By whom?

Common Sense Media
-What to watch for (and watch out for). Aimed toward parents but uses a layout and interactive games friendly for youth.

-Uses videos and comics with characters that have 3D personalities

Teen Angels
-Teens trained by law enforcement to spread the word through projects and presentations

My Pop Studio

-Especially the Digital Studio section, teens learn how to have safe online relationships

-While this is aimed at families and younger kids, I included it for the array of definitions about various aspects of online safety

Don’t Believe the Type
-Urges teens to think before they post and talks about safety information related to digital cameras, web cams, and microphones

Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens>
-A booklet by Nancy Willard to teens that provides helpful tips for readers and their peers

i-Safe, X-Block
-For and by teens. Contests, chatrooms, and peer mentoring regarding internet safety

-Computer games and scenarios for teens

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Free Image Hosting at Second Life’s first conference for Best Practices in Education was a great success. Presenters such as Kathy Schrock, Administrator for Technology in MA, (Kathy Drybaugh in sl) showed the audience some great places to support teaching and learning, Peg Sheehy, Instructional Technology Facilitator, in New York, (Maggie Marat in sl) shared examples of her island on the teen grid where over 400 eighth graders are involved in such projects as creating a mock trial after reading Of Mice and Men. Barry Joseph with Global Kids in New York, (globalKids Bixby in sl) talked about working with teens in real life and second life to raise awareness on global issues. The conference also had poster sessions, exhibit spaces for vendors and non-profits and a wide range of presenters using different paradigms of education to influence their work in second life. Archives of key presentations available here soon. Also, check out the blog or wiki.

Add your blog in the comments if you attended the conference. Great post here about Kathy Schrock and Lisa Perez, (Elaine Tulip in sl) with the Chicago Public Schools.

Also, The University of Illinois has partnered with the Alliance Second Life Library to offer Virtual World Librarianship courses which started last week.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

If legislation passes by the full Senate and the House, North Carolina could be the first state to place parental consent requirements for those under 18 to join MySpace and similar sites.
I wonder what this does for the kids who might not be telling the truth about their age online for good reasons. What if they’re in danger at home and being online is safer in some ways? Chances are, even if the parental consent law is passed, the relationship problems kids already have could be put more in jeopardy.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Over a week ago, my coworker pointed out this article about child abuse and Second Life. There has been a lot of discussion about it on the SL education listservs. Barry Joseph, director of the online leadership program for Global Kids, on Teen Second Life said in regards to questions of managing sex, gambling, and griefing (harassing other players) “it’s our burden as first users in a new mass media. Being the first means we have the obligation, pleasure, and pain of having to advocate for the new medium and be the frontline dispelling myths.” What does this have to do with Teen Second Life? Knowing that such behaviors have no tolerance and will result in banning and that the alleged behavior in the article occurred on the Main Grid. Knowing that there are so many positive projects and partnerships going on in the Teen Grid. It is another place where librarians and educators can be to work with teens in innovative ways.

I am reminded by this discussion, Just the Facts About Online Youth Victimization Researchers Present Facts and Debunk Myths with panelists, Dr. David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes against
Children Research Center, Dr. Michele Ybarra, president of Internet Solutions for Kids, Amanda Lenhart, senior research specialist with Pew Internet & American Life Project, and danah boyd, researcher at the University of California at Berkeley. The transcript is definitely worth reading or the video worth watching as the speakers go deeper than the bandaid approaches to protecting teens online.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Attorneys general from the following eight states have requested MySpace to provide information on how many sex offenders are using MySpace and where they live:

  • North Carolina
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania

May 29 was the deadline given for the requests to be responded to by News Corp., owners of MySpace.

Continuing to educate teens on using social networking sites responsibly was conveyed by a librarian that was interviewed on the news regarding this story. It is great that a library is seen as a source of information for social networking sites and how libraries are using social networking in positive ways.

What do people think of the attorneys general request of MySpace?

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

After Labor Day, twelve presidential candidates will be physically present at a college campus and accessible online through MySpace in interactive town halls reports USA Today. The discussion will be web casted so that MySpace members can submit their questions as well. Host a library program where teens can watch the web cast and participate as MySpace members to ask questions.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

You might want to consider using a Twitter widget on your library site/MySpace page to give updates for what materials teens at your library/you are reading/watching/viewing. It can be updated as often as you want. Good tie in for YKN @ Your Library for summer reading. Surprise readers with hints to events too. Might even want to surprise readers as to what librarians really do (on the job XD). 140 characters.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Check out these bookmarks

  • Dealing with Cyberbullies
  • Safe blogging: Tips for Teens
  • Social Networking: Tips for Parents

Can be downloaded from ILA’s site too:

Way to go ILA!

ILA has consistently stayed in the forefront of informing people about the positive values of social networking sites, thanks to the leadership of Robert Doyle, and the many librarians, educators, and teens and parents committed to staying safe online through education. Yet still, Illinois is one of the hardest hit states in regards to such legislation titled, ‘Social Networking Website Prohibition Act.’. What can we do to help?

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki