Category Archives: Teens & Libraries

Librarians: Act Like a Native to Navigate Our Changing Landscape

David Warlick speaks to teachers, it fits for our profession as well:

But I believe that it is time that we stop hiding behind our immigrant status, and start acting like natives. We need to stop making excuses and start leading. We are teachers, after all. It’s our job to lead, not follow. Sure, we’ll never be able to keep up with our kids in lots of ways. They have the luxury of time and their brain cells are fresher. But it is our job to look into the future and then plan and lead the way for our children. You may say, “but who’s going to teach me to do that?” That’s an immigrant question. Natives teach themselves. They work with each other to grow their knowledge and skills. We’ve got to figure this out!

Battle of the Bands & Rock the Shelves

Oak Park Public Library Battle of the Bands

Rock the Shelves

In class on Sunday, we were discussing what we liked about different library Web sites to pave the way for my students designing their own small library-related Web site. We happened upon Oak Park Public Library’s Teen Page, which featured “Battle of the Bands.” It was nice synchronicity because I had just shown them slides of “Rock the Shelves” at flickr. ( I love turning the students on to flickr and we’ll do more at our next weekend.)

Oak Park shares photos on their own page while “Rock the Shelves” was thrown into the great pool. I think both are viable, and should we go even farther? How effective would it be to put links to galleries like this on local teen spaces? Or what if OPPL had a teen blog to share the photos and get comments back from those that participated as well as teens that might not have been there.

What’s the best way to be found? The best way to share?

Here are some off the cuff tips for sharing images like this to promote the library, its services and its presence:

Use flickr for sure and Tag Tag Tag!

Explore the spaces folks are using. Some librarians are investigating myspace. Others are calling for the creation of teen-friendly, safe spaces in library space.

Look for the spots teens (or any of your users) are gathering online and see if you can establish a presence, share images or links.

Post pictures such as this in the library as well. Let your traffic see the cool stuff you are doing. Make teens feel welcome. (OMG, you say, what if they are loud or come on skateboards?? Puhlease!)

What else? What’s worked for you, dear readers?

Abram on Teens & Skateboards

We need to ask ourselves which of our policies really are not working for us and which one’s need to be made positive and friendly. Let’s make sure we don’t extend our authority control issues with information to authoritarian control foci with users. Not good.

Then let’s run our policies through a discussion with our teen advisors. Adventurous and visionary libraries know the value of this through experience.