ALA President Roberta Stevens launched the Why I Need My Library video contest for teens earlier this year, in which teens can win up to $3,000 for their school or public library. In an interview at I Love Libraries, Stevens talks about why she chose to reach out to this age group:

Q:’  Tell us why you why you elected to focus on a contest for young people as part of your ALA Presidential Initiative efforts?

A:’  Building support for libraries is the focus of all three of my Presidential initiatives: “Our Authors, Our Advocates,” “Frontline Fundraising” and the “Why I Need My Library Contest.” Millions of young people use school and local public libraries every day. The contest is an opportunity to hear their powerful voices on the critical role libraries are playing in their communities.

Q:’  How and why do you feel social media, like YouTube, can be a powerful tool for library advocacy?

A:’  The reach of social media, and YouTube in particular, is immediate, inexpensive and effective.’  I thought it would be a way to unleash the creativity of teens and share their messages. Libraries can also take the videos and include them on their websites! I’d love to have the contest’s videos go viral and build nationwide support for libraries.

Read the entire interview, and find out how teens at your library can enter the contest, at

Welcome to the last day of Teens & Tech. I hope you enjoyed it. Sorry for the delay in getting this last post up. I was having, of all things, technology issues. Today’s topic was suggested by the Tech Integrator at my school, Allison Lundquist.


Thank you for all of the great suggestions. Here’s my problem. I’m totally blocked. I want to share awesome YouTube videos with my teachers, but YouTube is blocked. I want to create a Facebook page for my library, but Facebook is banned, too. Skype-An-Author? I’d love to, but Skype is verboten. How do I get around these filtering issues?

All Blocked Up

Dear ABU:

I feel your pain, I really do. Nothing is worse than seeing that SonicWall come up to stop you in your tracks.

Really this is an issue of intellectual freedom, the same as a book challenge. If we feel that a site has merit, we need to fight for it. The ALA office of Intellectual Freedom has a very useful page about filters and filtering.

Read More →

The title for this blog post, while it was borrowed from the name of a VOYA column, came to me when I was thinking about the tech program my colleague and I helped facilitate today with a special needs group of middle schoolers.
Read More →

Once again, I heard an item during the a.m. news that involves teens and a new trend.’  The trend is performing a smoking ritual with the candy known as Smarties.’  You take a plastic tube of Smarties, crush the candy up until it’s powdery, and pull on it with your mouth like it’s a cigarette.’  You don’t light the candy, and you’re not supposed to inhale.’  Users puff the candy out of their mouth and it looks like smoke.’  This hit the news because a number of teens have posted videos of themselves on Youtube teaching how to “smoke Smarties.”‘  In Frisco, Colorado, a middle school principal has made possession of Smarties a punishable offense. Read More →

To celebrate Teen Tech Week the Brewster Ladies Library partnered with the Lighthouse Charter School of Cape Cod for a Library 2.0 Community Night designed and staffed by teens. The project was conceived in December 2007 during a brainstorming session with a Language Arts teacher at the charter school. We wanted to encourage teens to come to the library and learn more about its resources and ultimately decided to offer a “Library 2.0” seminar for students. (Each semester, the charter school offers elective seminars in addition to the normal curriculum, covering topics of interest selected by the instructors.) We put together a course description and to our delight, the class filled immediately.

Beginning in January twelve students and their teacher came to the library on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for 90-minute sessions. Since this was a new undertaking, we decided to let the kids set the agenda-for the most part. Not surprisingly, they chose to pursue projects using social networking technologies. They picked some of their favorite applications and a few new ones and set out to become “experts.” Working with Blogger, Flickr,, LibraryThing, Project Playlist, and YouTube they mapped out the basics of each tool.

The teens created a blog called Interesting Teen Books to discuss their favorite reads, which will be linked to the teen section of our website. Each student learned how to use LibraryThing and created a personal page. They also made suggestions for the Library’s LibraryThing page of new teen titles. Using Project Playlist each teen created a playlist of songs for a favorite book and burned the songs onto CDs (after legally purchasing them). Our traditional list of links to homework help and cool websites is being retooled using The students mastered the site and can now make suggestions for adding additional links to our BLL Teens page. To spice up our website the kids wanted better pictures and decided Flickr was the way to go. The library’s new Teen Gallery will be available to the public on Flickr as soon as they all hand in their photo release formsJ You Tube was the biggest challenge since the group wanted to write, shoot, and edit their own PSA about using the library. Armed with two brand new video cameras, purchased with funds from our LSTA Serving Tweens and Teens grant, they shot footage in and around the library and downloaded it to the library’s new iMacs. Editing with iMovie, the teens are crafting their take what it means to use the library.

Everything came together on the final day of the seminar, which coincided with Teen Tech Week. The library opened its doors to community to let the kids show off their stuff. The library auditorium provided the venue for most of the “stations.” With laptops in hand, students acted as teachers and tour guides and helped family, friends, and community members set up their own accounts with various social networking tools. They had all practiced with a particular application and were ready to go. Videos rolled, CDs played, pictures snapped, and there was even a session of Guitar Hero on the library’s new Wii to keep the party going. Refreshments were donated by local merchants and the evening was a total success. The best part of all? The teens in the seminar asked if we could offer “Library 2.0, Part 2” next semester so they could continue with their projects!

Kathleen Mahoney, Youth Services, Brewster Ladies Library

This month, YouTube set up a hub for candidates here. According to the Charlotte Observer, “In this contest, Barack Obama leads handily. Obama, who was ahead of most of the competition by getting himself up on YouTube six months ago, had more than 627,400 views of his channel as of Tuesday. Several of his 21 videos have been watched by 100,000 plus.”

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Candidates have been using YouTube to announce that they are going to run, and have been put on YouTube many a times by others to point out embarassing moments. This short CNN video explains how YouTube is inviting the candidates to post their own video messages for free on their site. The video mentions author Thomas Hollihan’s 2001 book: Uncivil Wars: Political Campaigns in a Media Age. A lot has changed since then (Second Life wasn’t even out!) What do people think about the candidates using YouTube? What affect might it have? Do you notice teens using media in different ways when running for positions in school? What affect might it have not to be able to access the sites in schools or libraries if wanting to use the technology to help a campaign?

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Consider submitting a nomination for Information Today’s 2007 InfoTubey awards. “InfoTubies recognize those libraries or individuals who have created YouTube library-related productions that promote a library, or library services, or enhance the library’s value.” Deadline 2/14/07. Don’t forget about librarian Nancy Dowd’s blog on ‘Library videos-the best of. . . (

Check out the one minute YouTube video of the YALSA Gaming Discussion Group presence in Second Life during Midwinter by HVX Silverstar ( (there were more attendees in real life-promise-check out some of the pics from the YALSA Flickr page) but a showing of devoted librarians and friends.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki