Tag Archives: learning

DEV DEV – Summer of Code at the Chattanooga Public Library by TTW Contributor Justin Hoenke

During the month of July 2013, my colleagues, community partners, fifty teens, and I were stationed on The 2nd Floor of the Chattanooga Public Library for DEV DEV: Summer of Code.  It was, to be completely honest with you, the greatest single experience I have ever had in a public library.  Let me tell you why.

PARTNERS
Since the program happened on The 2nd Floor of the Chattanooga Public Library it would be easy for everyone to think that this all happened at the library and it was all the library and that was that.  But that’s not the case and I’d like to take this moment to tell you about our partners.  Without the support of Engage 3D, AIGA Chattanooga, and the Benwood Foundation, DEV DEV would not have happened. Their support (educational, funding, brainpower, design, etc) and dedication to the program and the community of Chattanooga is one of the key ingredients as to why this beta test run of this program was as successful as it was.

It really takes everyone in the community getting together to make amazing things happen.

SUPPORT
Without the support of EVERYONE at the Chattanooga Public Library, DEV DEV would not have worked.  Every day, the circulation staff would wait on the teens that came into the library at 9am, making them their white hot chocolates and letting them in the doors before the rest of the public could get in.  The rest of the staff smiled and welcomed the teens every day.  They knew how big this was for the teens attending DEV DEV and they made sure they had the times of their lives.

Photo by @chattlibrary  http://instagram.com/p/chi99IiWnz/
Photo by @chattlibrary
http://instagram.com/p/chi99IiWnz/

The parents brought it all together.  Not only did they drive the teens back and forth from the library, but on the last day of the program they came out to show their love and support.  It is in moments like this where you can just see teens gaining so much love and respect for their families.  Awesome.

TEENS
DEV DEV would not have happened were it not for the amazing talent and dedication of the teens involved in the program.  For four weeks, you gave your attention and hard work to learning how to build websites, make robots dance, and program video games.  You blew all of our minds.  For me personally, as I get older, I am happy to know that the world is in such good hands.  To borrow from southern lingo….Ya’ll are gonna do some amazing things.

SO WHAT’S NEXT?
DEV DEV was not meant to be a one shot program but instead an ongoing series, a library/community brand if you would like to call it that.  As with any program of this size and scope, some time is needed to rest, reflect, and accurately plan the next steps.  We’ll be doing that over the next few weeks at the Chattanooga Public Library.  I already had a great discussion today with Engage 3D Education Director James McNutt about online learning communities.  He is a brilliant dude and I can’t wait to see his ideas in motion.

For more on DEV DEV, please visit our site: http://devdev.chattlibrary.org

For the full DEV DEV: summer of code story, please visit: https://storify.com/JustinLibrarian

-Post by Justin Hoenke, Tame the Web Contributor

#TTW10 : Connecting With People (by TTW contributor Justin Hoenke)

Me, at the very beginning of my time in Library school.
Me, at the very beginning of my time in Library school.

I decided to be a librarian in late 2006 at the urging of my mother in law Jill.  She had been a librarian for many years and spoke of her work very passionately.  With a simple poke and a simple “you know, you’d be good at this library thing“, I was off to attend Clarion University of Pennsylvania in January 2007.

When I was a kid visited the Northland Public Library in Pittsburgh, PA on a weekly basis.  I remembered two things about my time there: they had rabbits in the children’s area and they had the best selection of books on whales in the whole wide world.  Oh yeah, and I thought it was a super fun and magical place.  To me, that’s what libraries needed to be.

My time in library school was good but I always fell out of place.  I wanted to have fun!  I wanted the library to be this amazing place full of wonder, joy, exploration, and full of heart!  Instead, I found myself writing out cataloging records by hand or presenting papers on teen literature.  I got something out of that but…there was another side.

Enter Tame The Web in early 2008.

Instead of talking about  what goes in the 250 field in a bib record , Tame The Web was talking about things I could relate to: What Kind of Conversations can you have?  My Library is…A Rock Show!  I could relate to this.  It was full of wonder, joy, and exploration!  This was real.  This was people connecting with people.

Since those days that’s been my focus with being a teen librarian.  In order to succeed and give the community what they want, I realized that connection had to come first.  All of those other things: collection development, cataloging records, and all of the other stuff I learned in library school were very important and had their place but first and foremost….IT’S ABOUT PEOPLE.  I feel like it has worked out pretty well for me and the communities that I’ve served.

This taught me something else that was somewhat unexpected: there is so much value in connecting with your professional community.  Through library blogs, Twitter, and other social networks, I have met a number of people that not only do I now call my friends but also who have given me so much professional advice and aided in my growth as a librarian and as a person.

All because of a blog that was started ten years ago.  I don’t know if Michael thought about these kinds of things when he started Tame The Web, but they happened.  And I thank him for that.  What may have seemed like a ripple at the time has now created a very positive and helpful tidal wave.

 

TTW10_hashtag

Librarian Identity (by TTW Contributor Justin Hoenke)

Early in my career, I made the mistake of mentioning in one of my one of my presentations that I was one of those librarians that didn’t read a lot but somehow got into libraries.  Since then, I don’t think I’ve been able to live that down.  To some, I’ve become “ that teen librarian  who doesn’t read” and to some extent I think that’s hurt me.  I was wrong in saying that I don’t read.  In fact, I read quite a bit:

  • I read the most on my phone (news, gaming, music, sports, RSS feeds)
  • I play video games, all of which either require at least some reading
  • I read two stories to my son every night
  • I currently have one book I am reading on my Kindle

My statement that “I don’t read” was said to grab audience attention.  Maybe it did that at the time, but as I look back at the ramifications of my statement and I wish I hadn’t said that at all.  People now ask me “how can you be an effective teen librarian if you don’t read?”.  The statement that “I don’t read” has also been questioned when it comes to my advocacy for video gaming as literacy.  Saying that “I don’t read” has diluted my message that gaming can be an effective form of literacy.  Why would someone want to listen to someone talk about how much reading is in video games when that someone is also saying “I don’t read” in the same sentence?

This has got me thinking about librarian identity and how we always have to be mindful of what we say and how we present ourselves.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve focused on creating an identity for yourself over a few years because, like the “I don’t read” example above, those little moments can really shape your identity.  Taking the road which shocks someone may get someone’s attention, but is that the kind of attention that you want to remain focused on you?

Recommended reading:
Professionalism Matters in Job Search by Michael Stephens
Piling On on the web by Stephen Abram

Post by Justin Hoenke, Tame the Web Contributor

King Middle School Expedition Learning TV

click on this image to watch King TV

At the request of the students, our class embarked on a geography themed expedition this year to study the beauty and mystery of this huge country. All the students in our class are new to the US. After researching they have became experts on one of the US Census regions. In addition, they developed a practical understanding of how the world is categorized into the 5 themes of geography.  -Catherine Paul 

I wanted to share this awesome project some of the teens who use my library just did at their school.  They came into the library today and were really excited to show me.  Great job by Abdi, Ahmed, Anas, Hafs, Musa, Nasteh, Princie, and Roukia!

UPDATE: Click here for even more videos about what the teens are learning at King Middle School!

Post by Justin Hoenke, Tame the Web Contributor

Participatory Culture and Teens

Teen Librarianship has a unique place within libraries.  It’s not quite a new idea for libraries to provide dedicated services to teens, yet it doesn’t still have the same kind of rich history we have with other populations.  This gives teen librarianship a unique place within libraries today; it allows the librarians that serve these groups the chance to experiment in regards to how we approach library services.  Teen librarians are not exactly bound by the same rules and programs which have held public libraries together for many years.  Librarians working with teens have the chance to fully embrace participatory culture and help build a community of patrons who participate just as much as they consume.
THE LIBRARY STAFF IS THE COLLECTION
Librarians can act as the teachers for guiding their community towards being more active in sharing.  This is one of the ways libraries in the 21st century can show their public value to their communities.  The role of the librarian is transformed when librarians help their communities create content instead of merely just consuming it.  We become teachers for our community, guides who help patrons learn and experience in new ways.  This also adds value to the library staff.  No longer are library staff just “there to help”, but they are there to help you experience.  This added value re purposes libraries; the staff has become as important as the collection.  Much like the reference book that helps you repair your car, the staff and their unique skills can help patrons navigate the 21st century.

LET’S BUILD SOMETHING
The use of technology has changed the way our community members can communicate with other.  Patrons are no longer restricted by geography, forms of communication, or channels to publish their communication.  Libraries now have a vast array of tools in our utility belt that we can call upon to engage patrons, build unique collections, and more.  For example, take Historypin, which allows users to upload photos and pin them to a Google Map.  With photos added, the true power of Historypin becomes clearer, as it creates a visual map of your community.  The best part about it?  It’s free to anyone that wants to contribute and share.  Our communities now assist in building collections, and librarians become the curators of those collections.  Better yet?  Teen are learning new ways of communication which will no doubt aid them in their own search for identity but also give back to the complex fabric of the community in which they live.

(check out this and this for examples on teens creating unique content for their local public libraries)
This post is a reflection/response to questions posed at the Salzburg Global Seminar program Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture, exploring the challenges, solutions and potential for participatory services within libraries and museums.

Special Thanks to the Salzburg Global Seminar  and IMLS for the invitation to participate in this event.

 

-Post by Justin Hoenke, Tame the Web Contributor