Tweens, young teens, and technology

Tessa Michaelson Schmidt has announced an exciting opportunity for those of us serving tweens and young teens in our libraries. Read on for details about how your library can be part of the 2012 Presidents’ Program at ALA in Anaheim (a joint affair between ALSC and YALSA.)

How are you handling the digital lives of tweens and young teens at your library? At the 2012 Presidents’ Program at ALA in Anaheim we will be talking about tweens and young teens and exploring their use of technology. What is the life of a tween or young teen like in this digital age? What are the particular challenges and opportunities they face online? What should libraries be doing? Show us in a video!

  • Videos should be 2-3 minutes in length and created by librarians, for librarians.  Show and tell us about an experience or project dealing with tweens and young teens and technology at your library.  What worked?  What didn’t?   What did you learn?
  • Post it on YouTube with the tag “youthprezprogram12”.
  • Email co-chairs Tessa Michaelson Schmidt and Sarah Couri at with the YouTube link and your contact information.
  • Deadline for submissions: Monday, April 30, 2012 at midnight.

All video entrants will be eligible to win a $100 Amazon gift card.   Selected videos will be shown at the 2012 ALSC and YALSA Joint Presidents’ Program in Anaheim! Speak up and speak out: how are you working with technologically active tweens and young teens?

Youth Media Awards: What You May and (May Not) Know

All year long, select members of the American Library Association serve on book and media award committees. These ALSC and YALSA members are examining the best of what is published and produced for children and young adults in the current year (for the 2012 awards, they’ll be considering what was published in 2011). Some of these members have been elected by their fellow division members, and some have been appointed by the division president.

In a few short weeks at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, the award committees meet, discuss, re-discuss, and vote on the winners. Award-winning authors, illustrators, and publishers are called early in the morning on the Monday of Midwinter. The life-changing news is given in strict confidence (watch a short video montage of the phone calls from the 2009 Midwinter meeting). At 7:45am CT, ALA division presidents will announce the top awards in children’s and young adult literature at a large press conference. The ALSC president, Mary Fellows, will announce winners for the Newbery, Caldecott, Carnegie, Arbuthnot Lecture, Sibert, Geisel, Batchelder, Odyssey (with YALSA), and Pura Belpré (with REFORMA) awards. The YALSA and ALA presidents will announce their awards as well, such as the Printz and the Schneider Family Book Award, respectively.

Even if you won’t be in Dallas on the morning of January 23, 2012, you still have an opportunity to take part in the excitement by attending the Mock Newbery Discussion at SCLS next Tuesday morning. Or, follow @alayma on Twitter, and watch the live webcast of the press conference on your computer. Virtual seating for the webcast will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so it’s best to “arrive” early. If you will be in Dallas, try to attend the joint youth division reception on Monday night in addition to the press conference. The reception, co-sponsored by ALSC, AASL and YALSA, will begin at 6 pm CT.

Barbara Moon is serving on this year’s Odyssey Award Committee, and Renee McGrath of the Nassau Library System is serving on the Newbery Committee. Are you or someone you work with on an award committee that will pick their winners in Dallas?

Kerrilynn Hits the Road

Kerrilynn Hurley, a Teen Services Librarian at the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library (MMSCL), presented at the ALA Annual Conference as part of a YALSA panel on Trends in YA Services: Using Mobile Devices to Serve Teens. Joining Kerrilynn on the panel was Jack Martin, New York Public Library, Jennifer Valesquez, San Antonio Public Library, Patrick F. Taylor Sci & Tech Academy students Enjoli Gilbert and Courtney Beamer, and Renee McGrath, Nassau Library System.

Kerrilynn spoke about a number of initiatives at MMSCL. In 2009, the library was awarded a grant to purchase 25 iPod Touches to use with the community. While their parents attended ESL classes, 15 high school students learned to use a variety of apps. At the end of the year party, each student demonstrated an app for an audience of their parents and peers.

A graduate of the School of Library and Information Studies at Queens College and a part-time librarian at Hampton Bays Public Library, Kerrilynn also wears another hat: Librarian on the Beach. She takes advantage of MMSCL’s proximity to the beach by bringing mobile devices and promotional material to Smith Point Beach. At a table on the boardwalk, Kerrilynn shows teens how to register online for programs, use the library catalog, and contact a librarian via text message. This summer, MMSCL will be sending a library van full of books, DVDs, laptops and library staff to the beach as part of the On the Road program. If you’ll be at the beach this summer, be sure to look for Kerrilynn!

To read more about the YALSA presentation on serving teens with mobile devices, take a look at moderator Linda Braun’s detailed post on the YALSA blog, which includes links to program handouts.