I am sitting in a great session about adding 2.0 features to the Nashville Public Library Web presence. Take a look:
The majority of teens actively manage their online profiles to keep the information they believe is most sensitive away from the unwanted gaze of strangers, parents and other adults. While many teens post their first name and photos on their profiles, they rarely post information on public profiles they believe would help strangers actually locate them such as their full name, home phone number or cell phone number.
At the same time, nearly two-thirds of teens with profiles (63%) believe that a motivated person could eventually identify them from the information they publicly provide on their profiles.
This would be a great report for a staff meeting discussion.
George from http://archdale.blogspot.com writes:
Michael, Just wanted to point you to the video editing contest that our Teen Corner is having for National Library Week. We just debuted a Teen area with furniture, shelving and 4 computers with video editing software and dvd burners.
Thanks George! I also see that the library had a “Make a Movie Night” presented by the teen advisory board. This is good on many levels:
The library has technologies the teens may want to use to create content (remember those Pew numbers?) and a space just for them.
The TAB is actively working to educate their library user peers about what the can create with the technologies.
The librarians have created a space – physical and online where creativity and collaboration can play out.
I’ll be using this example at my talk at ALA Annual “Using Technology to Market to Young Adults” with Kimberly Bolan. Hey George – tell us more? What kind of set up? What kind of financial investment?
Ross writes: There’s lots more about the Teen Corner project (including the live band made up of local high school students that we hosted on the kickoff day) starting here on our Flickr pages:
We combined funding from an LSTA marketing grant with funding and other support from our library foundation, the Friends of the Library, an endowment and the plain old library budget to pull this all together.
Then George responds: Ross is being a little modest. There was a lot of community involvement: a local Friend helped with all of the interior decorating and color choices, a comic book artist (www.gravyboy.com) did our graphics and a local furniture company stepped in to help with furniture.
We designed a new Teen Library Card and started offering monthly programs with our TAB spearheading most everything.
We have been shocked and very pleasantly surprised that the Teens are raving over the space, the Teen Card and the new computers.
We took the attitude that we were doing this for the teens and let them dictate a lot of what we have done. Especially with the new pc’s. They asked for video editing software and we got it.
We can wait to see what happens next!
Emphasis in bold mine? Teen departments..YA librarians… what are your teens asking for? Are you listening?
One of my students shared this URL with our class: http://www.lapl.org/ya/. Take a look. It’s engaging and entertaining. I like the iPod earbuds and cell phone with images graphics. Dig a little deeper for discussion, book reviews and links out to some refreshingly frank and useful sites.
A few more clicks led me too http://games.lapl.org/ — maybe I’ve missed coverage of this but it was new to me. In the tradition of The DaVinci Code, it’s a library adventure game! Here’s a shot:
Well done LAPL!
I’ve had fun following some libraries that did innovative programs and such for Teen Tech Week. If you didn’t put it on your schedule, plan ahead for next year. Gaming, explorations of technology, recording podcasts or videocasts are all fun things to do to engage young people.
And just look at those smiling PLCMCV staff!
New from Pew:
Libraries are the living, breathing internet that existed long before the digital network that we know today. They are the connected nodes of information and community exchange that we have relied on to communicate, collaborate, share resources and preserve knowledge in our societies for centuries.
But there are concerns about the future of physical libraries, given that so many of us have easy access to virtual libraries of information on our computers at home. Recent Pew Internet Project research examines technology use by teenagers and suggests how the behavior and expectations of young internet users might shape the libraries of the future.
Please download and take a look. Maybe share the PPT amongst staff or devote time to it at your next staff meeting.
Brian Kenney, editor of SLJ, urges public libraries to provide more activities, tools and tech for young people. Most librarians get it..but:
It’s the public library directors who need to listen. Staff members need better tools and skills, while their youth need more space, materials, and computers. As Gómez says, “We cannot view out-of-school-time programming and services as an adjunct to core library services.”
For that to be true, a lot of public library directors will need to take a hard look at their library’s resources and how they’re spent. Maybe it’s time to stop moaning about that seldom-visited reference desk (now quiet because adults are using the Internet) and hire more staff that can serve your major clients: children and teens. Maybe it’s time to take your materials and programming funds and actually align them to your usage statistics.
Do you have a teen department? A teen librarian? How about a gaming librarian? It’s time to look closely at staffing models (yes, especially at the reference desk) and at the silos in some PLs and think about inviting spaces and welcoming faces. Just sayin’.