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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Teens, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 379
1. Teens and the Networked World: Aspen Institute Task Force Report Recap

In September 2014, YALSA blogger Jaina Lewis began a series on the Aspen Institute Task Force on Learning and the Internet 2014 report entitled Learner at the Center of a Networked World. Lewis’ post focused on 24/7 learning and how libraries and librarians can help keep the learning going outside the walls of school.

As Lewis says, the report is comprehensive, clocking in at 116 pages. This report is full of excellent resources and websites to explore. The Aspen Institute feels that our youth today need to be fully connected. In order to do that, we need to rethink our current models of education and technology infrastructure so that we create an environment of connected learning.

I particularly liked the definition of connected learning the report gave saying that “connected learning...is socially embedded, interest driven and oriented toward educational, economic or political opportunity” (34). In this definition, not only are we making sure the learner is at the center, but we are also taking into account the various things that surround our learners. In order to prepare youth for being smart, savvy, and critical citizens in our digital age, we have to remember the influences, histories, and cultural values that shape our youth.

As I read through the report, I was most drawn to the section on cultivating literacy skills. While the infrastructure is important, I believe in using technology as a tool and that people come before the tech. Not only do we want our youth to be both consumers and producers of media, but we also want to make sure they are critical thinkers and that these skills stay with them throughout their entire life. Of course, then the question becomes, how do we as libraries help to cultivate these attitudes? And do we as libraries have those critical thinking skills to make sure good consumers and producers of media and users of technology? Because while the report is about the learner, the youth, they look to us for guidance and support. We also have to feel empowered and confident about using technology to help us do “projects that matter” (connected learning that is interest driven). When we invest in using technology as a tool, we share a purpose with the youth we work with even though they are not our peers.

The report talks about youth being in a “whitewater learning” environment (27). This means that they acquire skills and learn new knowledge in the middle of practicing these skills as the technology environment changes around them. This is a type of learning we as librarians can also take. We can dive in, helping to create new knowledge to share with other librarians and expand our learning network. I believe by doing this, we give ourselves the agency we need to help the youth to our best ability.

This is a report that I will continue to mull over. My first read got me thinking about my role as a librarian in helping ensure our learners are at the center of their network. I hope in a future reading, my focus shifts and I can expand on this initial blog post. If you have a chance to skim the report, I recommend it; just seeing the various ways in which institutions across the United States in helping create exciting environments that use technology as a tool was exciting. The report gives you a lot to think about and I think this will continue to be a report we look at in 2015!

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2. NYT Bestselling Author, Ally Carter's new book ALL FALL DOWN

Review by Reagan ALL FALL DOWNAn Embassy Row Novel #1by Ally CarterAge Range: 12 and up Grade Level: 7 and upSeries: Embassy Row (Book 1)Hardcover: 320 pagesPublisher: Scholastic Press; Signed edition (January 20, 2015) Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things: 1. She is not crazy. 2. Her mother was murdered. 3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay. As certain

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3. A Letter to CAPTIVE by Aimee Carter

Review by Becca  CAPTIVEby Aimee Carter Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion (Book 2)Hardcover: 304 pagesPublisher: Harlequin HQN (November 25, 2014)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon The truth can set her free For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, in a hostile meritocracy on the verge of revolution, Kitty sees

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4. The Beginnning of Everything by Robyn Schneider {Review}

Review by Kit THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING By Robyn Schneider Paperback: 352 pagesPublisher: Katherine Tegen Books Goodreads | Amazon Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver

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5. THE BOOK OF IVY {Book & Audiobook Review}

Review by Andye THE BOOK OF IVYThe Book of Ivy #1by Amy EngelAge Range: 12 - 18 yearsGrade Level: 7 - 12 Audiobook Publisher: Random House AudioPublisher: Entangled: Teen (November 11, 2014) Goodreads | Amazon | Audiobook What would you kill for? After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more

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6. ATLANTIA by Ally Condie {Review}

Review by Elisa ATLANTIAby Ally CondieAge Range: 12 and up Grade Level: 7 and upHardcover: 320 pagesPublisher: Dutton Juvenile (October 28, 2014) Goodreads | Amazon Can you hear Atlantia breathing? For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamed of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all Rio’s hopes for the future are shattered

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7. RITES OF PASSAGE by Joy N. Hensley {Book & Audiobook Review}

Review by Andye RITES OF PASSAGE Audiobook Rites of Passage UNABRIDGED By Joy N. Hensley Narrated By Khristine Hvam Whispersync for Voice-ready Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins Release Date: 09-09-14 Goodreads | Audible | Amazon Sam McKenna has never turned down a dare. And she's not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died. So Sam joins the first-ever class of

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My wonderful Grand-daughter Brittany
has just reminded me of what I once told her:

So what if Sunday, the first day of my Halloween giveaway, was a BUST--
I guess Facebook was not the right venue.

So today I am forging ahead with my
Halloween HOT SPOT Giveaway.

One FREE Kindle download to each day's WINNER
Oct27th through Oct 30th

EACH DAY I will give away
One Kindle download of

A young teen ghost mystery - chills and thrills galore!
 The FIRST PERSON to give the correct answer to
Oct 27th 

<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]-->

**To WIN Monday's KINDLE download of “The Revenge of Thelma Hill,”
answer this question correctly:


Answers go in the COMMENTS below.

Come Back Here
every day.


Books for Kids - FREE Skype Author Visits


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9. America After 3 PM: How Do Libraries Fit In?

From Open Clip Art

From Open Clip Art

The Afterschool Alliance just published a study regarding after school programs in the United States. This is the third study of its kind, following in the results from the 2004 and 2009 studies. The group wants to document where and how children spend their time between 3 and 6 PM. The previous studies, along with this one, show that there is a demand for after school programs.  However, more programming is needed to help reach the approximately 11.3 million children who are unsupervised after school.

The study is full of facts and figures. Such as: 18 percent (10.2 million) children participate in some after school program. This is an increase by nearly 2 million children when the study was conducted five years ago. We can only hope that number will continue to rise. Parents enroll their students in after school programs because it allows them to feel that their children are safe and also in an nurturing and creative environment. Parents that were polled were satisfied with their after school programs when the organization provided a snack, opportunity for physical activity, an environment to complete homework, and also a space for enrichment activities, such as STEM programs.

Income and ethnicity also played a role in the study; students from low-income families make up 45 percent of the students enrolled in after school programs and the most demand for after school programs is highest among African American families. This study confirmed that yes, we as a country are beginning to provide the after school programs our communities need, but a gap still exists.

So what does this mean for libraries and us as librarians? This is an opportunity to us to help out our community and potentially reach the population of people who feel underserved by after school programs. Of those 11.3 million children who are unsupervised, the majority are teens in middle and high school. For libraries, it can mean two things. The first is that we can either create some sort of informal (or formal) after school program or space for our teens to come to. If we foster an environment of learning and fun, we can help create a space the teens will flock to (at least, that’s what we hope). Our other option is reach out to after school programs in the area. We should ask ourselves, Where could the library fit in to their programming? Perhaps we could visit the program, or even just give them information about the library and events you offer. Regardless, establish some connection that says, “Hey, we’re the library and we are here for you.” If we can make our presence known, through establishing a place in our library or through outreach, we have the potential to make connections, ones that will last a long time. The study cited that students were more likely to continue the program into the summer. Hey, we do summer programming and wouldn’t it be great to get more kids involved? After school programs are our “in.” And in the process, we have the potential to do a lot of good.

So let’s get the conversation going. Are your libraries an after-school spot? What has worked for you? What has not? Since the study does not explicitly cite libraries as a spot for after-school program or programming, I’m curious to know what our librarians are already doing from that 3-6 PM time zone.

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10. COMPULSION by Martina Boone {Review}

Review by Andye COMPULSIONSeries: Heirs of Watson IslandHardcover: 448 pagesPublisher: Simon Pulse (October 28, 2014)Goodreads | Amazon Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse. All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lived with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a

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11. Talking About Life and Death

     by Sally Matheny
Talking About Life and Death

     We were seventeen years old and looking forward to graduation when it happened.

     Our friendship began only a year and a half earlier. Her family had recently moved to North Carolina from Ohio. The school year had already begun. She was the new kid without friends and she had cancer.

     Our Junior Civinettes club went to her house to welcome her to the neighborhood and to introduce ourselves as her new friends. We were nervous about going because we didn’t know anyone our age with cancer. I knew my boyfriend’s mother had survived Hodgkin’s.  That’s what this girl, Jan, had so she was probably going to be alright.

     Jan and I became good friends. We hung out at school and visited each other’s homes. We never talked about cancer or life and death. We didn’t talk about it when her sandy blonde hair began to fall out. She only asked if I’d help her brush off the loose hairs from her sweater.  I did.

     We didn’t talk about life and death when she came to school one day wearing a wig and people began to whisper. And stare. I just walked with her.   

     We didn’t talk about life and death when she grew weaker. She only asked if I’d help carry her books.  I did, and when I couldn’t, I enlisted others to help.  Jan had many friends. She always smiled and made conversation easy for those who dared to come close to her. A teen with cancer is a difficult thing to understand. I tried not to think about that. Jan was fun to be with and I knew she would get well.

A teen with cancer is a difficult thing to understand.

     So, we didn’t talk about life and death. Not when we had to stop and let her rest a lot when playing tennis, not when she missed school, not when I drove her to chemotherapy, not when she had to have a hysterectomy.

     I thought life and death were things people talked about when they got old.

     Except Jan did not get old. She died.

     Then, I panicked because Jan and I had not talked about life and death. As nice as she was, I didn’t know if my dear friend believed in Jesus Christ. And then, it was too late.

     Sure, I had considered talking to Jan before. But, I was afraid that if I talked about such things, she would think that I assumed she was going to die. I didn’t want her to think that because I didn’t think she was going to die.

     My heart grieved the loss of my friend and ached because I had failed her. The burden became too great. Before the funeral, I asked Jan’s mom. She assured me Jan was a Christian. Relief came, but not peace. I still failed my friend. I could have been more encouraging to her during her difficult journey by talking about the hope in Christ we shared. Why had I not prayed withher instead of just for her?

     I was given a bittersweet gift my senior year in high school—a glimpse of how quickly things pass— opportunities, friends, life. No one is guaranteed tomorrow. No one.

Life is fleeting.

Today is the day to talk about death and eternal life.


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12. SALT & STORM by Kendall Kulper {Review}

"Review my Books" Review by Valerie <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin-top:0in; margin-right:0in; margin-bottom:10.0pt;

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13. CAN'T LOOK AWAY by Donna Cooner

Review by Reagan (Andye's Daughter) Age Range: 12 and up Grade Level: 7 and upHardcover: 272 pagesPublisher: Point (August 26, 2014)Buy The Book: Amazon.com Torrey Grey is famous. At least, on the internet. Thousands of people watch her popular videos on fashion and beauty. But when Torrey's sister is killed in an accident -- maybe because of Torrey and her videos -- Torrey's perfect world

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14. ILLUSIVE {Book & Audiobook Review}

ILLUSIVEIllusive #1 by Emily Lloyd-Jones Audiobook Narrated By Caitlin Davies, Kirby Heyborne Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins Release Date: 07-15-14  Age Range: 12 and up Hardcover: 416 pagesPublisher: Hachette Audio & Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (July 15, 2014) Goodreads | Amazon | Audible The X-Men meets Ocean's Eleven in this edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure about a band of "

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"Review My Books" Review by Ryann Dannelly  A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT by Sandy Hall Genre: YA Contemporary, NA, Romance My Rating: 5/5 stars Goodreads | Amazon The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together.Lea and

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16. Youth and the new media: what next?

By Daniel Romer

Now that the Internet has been with us for over 25 years, what are we to make of all the concerns about how this new medium is affecting us, especially the young digital natives who know more about how to maneuver in this space than most adults?

Although it is true that various novel media platforms have invaded households in the United States, many researchers still focus on the harms that the “old” media of television and movies still have on youth. The effects of advertising on promoting the obesity epidemic highlight how so much of those messages are directed to children and adolescents. Jennifer Harris noted that children ages 2 to 11 get nearly 13 food and beverage ads every day while watching TV, and adolescents get even more. Needless to say, many of these ads promote high-calorie, low-nutrition foods. Beer is still heavily promoted on TV with little concern about who is watching, and sexual messages are rampant across both TV and movie screens. None of this is new, but the fact that these influences remain so dominant today despite the powerful presence of new media is testament enough that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

When it comes to the new media, researchers are more balanced. Sonia Livingston from the UK reported on a massive study done in Europe that found a lot of variation in how countries are dealing with the potential harms on children. But when all was said and done, she concluded that the risks there were no more prevalent than those that kids have confronted in their daily lives offline. What has changed there is the talk about the “risks,” without much delving into whether those risks actually materialize into harms. Many kids are exposed to hurtful content in this new digital space, but many also learned how to cope with them.

2013 E3 - XBOX ONE Killer Instinct B. Uploaded by - EMR -. CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr.

2013 E3 – XBOX ONE Killer Instinct B. Uploaded by – EMR -. CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr.

The perhaps most contentious of the new media influences is the emergence of video gaming, either via the Internet or on home consoles. The new DSM-5, which identifies mental disorders for psychiatrists, suggests that these gaming activities can become addictive. Research summarized by Sara Prot and colleagues suggests that about 8% of young people exhibit symptoms of this potential disorder. At the same time, we still don’t know whether gaming leads to the symptoms or is just a manifestation of other problems that would emerge anyway.

Aside from the potential addictive properties of video games, there is considerable concern about games that invite players to shoot and destroy imaginary attackers. Many young men play these violent video games and some of them are actually used by the military to prepare soldiers for battle. One could imagine that a young man with intense resentment toward others could see these games as a release or even worse as practice for potential harmdoing. The rise in school shootings in recent years only adds to the concern. The research reviewed by Prot is quite clear that playing the games can increase aggressive thoughts and behavior in laboratory settings. What remains contentious is how much influence this has on actual violence outside the lab.

On the positive side, other researchers have noted how much good both the old and new media can provide to educators and to health promoters. It is helpful to keep in mind that many of the concerns about the new media may merely reflect the age old wariness that adults have displayed regarding the role of media in their children’s behavior. In a recent review of the effects of Internet use on the brain, Kathryn Mills of University College London pointed out that even Socrates was skeptical of children learning to write because it would reduce their need to develop memory skills. Here again, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

Daniel Romer is the Director of the Adolescent Communication and Health Institutes of the Annenberg Public Policy Center. He directs research on the social and cognitive development of adolescents with particular focus on the promotion of mental and behavioral health. His research is currently funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He regularly serves on review panels for NIH and NSF and consults on federal panels regarding media guidelines for coverage of adolescent mental health problems, such as suicide and bullying. He is the author of Media and the Well-Being of Children and Adolescents.

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17. {Quick-Fire Review} The Memory of Before by Lenore Appelhans

THE MEMORY OF AFTER Previously Level2 Memory Chronicles #1 by Lenore Appelhans Hardcover: 288 pages Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (January 15, 2013) Buy the book:  Amazon Audio CD Publisher: Listening Library (Audio); Unabridged edition (January 22, 2013) Buy the audio: CD, Audible Mark on Goodreads In this gripping exploration of a futuristic afterlife, a teen

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18. OF METAL AND WISHES by Sarah Fine {Quick-Fire Review}

Review by Andye OF METAL AND WISHES by Sarah Fine Hardcover: 336 pages Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (August 5, 2014) Language: English Goodreads | Amazon This love story for the ages, set in a reimagined industrial Asia, is a little dark, a bit breathless, and completely compelling. Sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic, housed in a slaughterhouse staffed by

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19. THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE by Jennifer Mathieu {Review}

"Review My Books" review by Claudette Melanson THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE by Jennifer Mathieu Age Range: 12 - 18 years Grade Level: 7 and up Hardcover: 208 pages Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (June 3, 2014) Goodreads | Amazon Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party. When Healy High star quarterback, Brandon Fitzsimmons, dies in a car crash, it was because he was sexting with Alice.

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20. BURN OUT by Kristi Helvig {Review}

"Review my books" review by Dystopian Books BURN OUT by Kristi Helvig Release Date: April 8, 2014 Publisher: Egmont USA Page Count: 272 Format: ARC Genre: YA/Sci-Fi Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off of it. One of the last survivors in Earth's final years, Tora yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become

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21. In Case You Were Wondering . . .

This week I've done a lot of reading (for me), but with exception of ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER, they've all been books that either (1) I didn't finish, (2) ended a series, or (3) weren't Young Adult.  So I thought I'd catch you up on some things I liked, and one that I didn't. * * * IN THE END is the second book in the IN THE AFTER duology.  I really, really liked IN THE AFTER, so I

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22. IDOLS by Margaret Stohl {Review & Giveaway}

Welcome to today's stop in the IDOLS blog tour!  IDOLS is book 2 in the Icons series. About The Book By: Margaret Stohl Published by: Little Brown To Be Released on: July 8, 2014 Series: Icons #2 Add it to GoodReads Purchase it From: Find A Retailer/Book Story near you The Icons came from the sky. They belong to an inhuman enemy. They ended our civilization, and they can

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23. THE KISS OF DECEPTION by Mary E Pearson {Review}

Review by Elisa  THE KISS OF DECEPTIONby Mary E Pearson Series: Remnant Chronicles (Book 1)Hardcover: 496 pagesPublisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (July 8, 2014)Goodreads | Amazon In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a

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24. Khristine’s Mad Skillz (And a side review of the Audiobook for Dreams of Gods and Monsters)

Audiobook review by Elisa  DREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERSWritten by: Laini Taylor Narrated by: Khristine Hvam Length: 18 hrs and 11 mins Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Book 3 Format: Unabridged Release Date:04-08-14 Publisher: Hachette Audio Program Type: Audiobook Audible In this thrilling conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, Karou is still not ready to forgive Akiva

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25. 21c Library Takes the 21st Century by Storm


What better way to launch the library of the future than with Star Wars characters and a robot ribbon-cutter at the opening ceremony?

The aptly named 21st century Library recently made its grand debut in Colorado Springs on June 23rd. Nicknamed the “library of the future”, this contemporary athenaeum boasts sewing machines, 3D printers, and sophisticated computers. Not to disregard the written word, 21c Library has also laid claim to hundreds of fresh new books for curious minds—many more than the closed Briargate branch 21c was upgraded from. Having personally been inside the spacious new building, I can attest to the glowing modernization.

Though the project cost a staggering 10.7 million dollars—including purchasing the new location building, adding renovations to the 120,000 square foot area, and adding in cutting-edge technology—the library holds no debt in its dusty record books. Rather, the opening has led to the creation of 30 to 35 new jobs and has involved much of the Pikes Peak Library District’s administrative workers. Not to mention the generation of innovation and learning it will create.

Originally the small operating budget had forced library officials to consider constructing an entirely new building for the library—a decision that would have cost more money and, by consequence, have left less money for modern amenities at 21c. Fortunately, at the corner of Chapel Hills Street is a building—the once former home of MCI Communications Corp—that has lain dormant for nearly a decade, patiently waiting for PPLD to unload books into its empty halls.

Once the deal was closed and PPLD’s claim was laid, 21c Library was born. Within three short weeks, books, movies, CDs, magazines, and book tapes were loaded into boxes at the Briargate Branch and shipped off to their new home. Having gone to the tiny Briargate Branch for many years, walking into 21c for the first time was a huge shock: to my left was a business center filled with desks and new computers; to my right, a community room and theater seated for 400. There are two levels in the building. The top is geared towards new features less commonly associated with libraries (3D printer anyone?) while the bottom floor contains the usual (Kids Area, Teen Room, and books, books, books galore).

Once I adjusted to the size of 21c, it was really the technology that reeled me in. The 3-day check-outs have experienced an upgrade: rather than just plucking one off the shelf and checking it out manually, hot new DVDs are housed in a kiosk. This may not seem like groundbreaking technology—just like a vending machine for movies, right?—but the kiosk involves a more complicated programming algorithm than hitting a button and receiving the corresponding candy bar. When you first step up to the kiosk, the touchscreen prompts you to slide your library card—a move that inevitably means the kiosk is wired to the library’s vast database. Once you are checked in, there are a wide variety of fresh games, movies, and CDs to choose from. When one is selected, the machine will check it out for you—no other work required—and spit out an encased DVD for your viewing pleasures.

This is actually one of the less advanced parts of the library. There are the Biblioteca check-out stations, which lodge small spaces to put check-out items into. Forget tiredly holding the book’s bar-code in front of that blinking red light—put up to three items in this space and the check-out stations will not only find the bar codes for you, but scan them in as well. Not to mention the 3D printers (which I haven’t yet had a chance to investigate but am eager to do), sewing machines (need to stitch on an extra button?), and spanking new computers with wide, beautiful screens.


Computers are dotted all over the library for convenient use.

Beyond inspiring young minds—or minds of any age, really—to innovate through all the new technology installed, the library is inspiring the old-fashioned way: books. The main book display sitting on the lower level hosts books about technology leaders like Steve Jobs, books about making companies and businesses geared towards creativity and modernism, and just plain old books about technology. And sitting between all those stacks of pages is a computer motherboard (in case someone needed more inspiration). The annual summer reading program PPLD organizes for children is also geared towards the future; the theme—Fizz, Boom, Read!—centers on robotics and awards nifty prizes relating to the subject (robotic arm anyone?)

Speaking of robotics, guess what cut the ribbon to open this new library? That’s right: a robot. After Coronado high school’s student-designed ribbon-cutter opened the doors to hundreds of eager spectators, the team of students held demonstrations throughout the day about robotics and what their team does throughout the year. Though their presentation only lasted for the day, the library will be hosting plenty of contemporary activities year-round to take the ribbon-cutter’s place. There are web design classes in the HTML programming language for anyone interested in getting a website off the ground (eager to start a blog?), Teen Technology Tuesdays, and even a Computer Basics course.

In any case tomorrow’s leaders and today’s thinkers need a break, there are game rooms filled with all the new gaming technology to check out. Technology has been implemented to help advance us—but every advancer needs a break!

While at first I was upset to see my beloved Briargate Branch go, I am inspired every time I walk into 21c to go out and innovate for the future. Library of the future indeed.


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