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1. In the Know: August 2014

I was having a serious Cady-with-a-d Mean Girls moment two weeks ago as I walked into my first day in a new Teen Librarian position. Would the teens like me? Would they pity laugh at my jokes like the kids at my old job did? Or would I be just another crusty shushing-machine to them? It’s the time of year when teens across the country make that same terrifying walk into new schools, new grades, and new hormone-fueled social challenges, so let’s give them some extra special love from the library this week.

As for me at my new job, I discovered that a level 50 in Skyrim and knowing the lyrics to “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” can get you a long way. Sometimes all you need is to know a little bit about one thing that interests a teen and you can spark a relationship. Learn a little more, and pretty soon they’ll be saying “hi” to you by name. Keep at it, and they might start liking you enough to actually take your reader’s advisory suggestions.

It’s good to be in the know. Here’s some stuff teens are talking about in August 2014.

The band Five Seconds of Summer, or 5SOS (pronounced “5 sauce”), is currently touring the U.S. with One Direction and gaining popularity. The band, comprised of 4 Australian teenage boys, is often compared to their British your-mates, though they seem to be attempting a more punk rock image. (Attempting is a key word here.) Their self-titled debut studio album was released in the U.S. on July 22, and hit number one on the Billboard 200. Learn more about them here.

The 2014 Teen Choice Awards aired on August 10. Big winners were The Fault in Our Stars, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and Divergent (films); Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort (actors); Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, and One Direction (musicians); Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries, and The Voice (TV). Selena Gomez received the Ultimate Choice Award. The show also introduced a new set of web awards honoring a new breed of YouTube and social media stars. See the full list of nominees and winners here.

By now you’re not going to impress any teens by knowing what the Ice Bucket Challenge is, but you might earn some cool points by pointing out a few of the best examples of the fad. Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch gets naked in his (don’t worry, it’s safe for library viewing). Oprah Winfrey’s will appeal to those who enjoy a little schadenfreude, and Bill Gates works some STEM into his challenge. The Old Spice Guy, Homer Simpson, and Tina Fey are other winners. My personal favorite is Kermit the Frog. According to their website, donations to the ALS Association are at $94.3 million as of August 27. Looking for a research opportunity? Ask kids to find out how the Ice Bucket Challenge started; there’s plenty of info available online from reputable news sources.

The eighth season of the rebooted Doctor Who premiered on August 23, and was the first full episode in the run of the new Twelfth Doctor played by Peter Capaldi. Despite being “really old” (56) and less crushable than Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith, most fans are optimistic about the well-respected actor’s prospects in the role. The jury’s still out on whether good acting will attract as much teen attention as good looks did.

On August 18 Taylor Swift premiered her new single “Shake It Off.” The song abandons her country roots in favor of a power pop piece about how “haters gonna hate.” (That’s an old web adage that means roughly, “People are going to criticize you no matter what, so just ignore them.”) Swift also announced a new album called 1989, set to release on October 27. You can view the video for “Shake It Off” here.

Two of the YA lit-inspired movies of the summer, If I Stay and The Giver, premiered this month, both to lukewarm reviews and box office numbers. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is the top movie of the month and has rocketed leading man Chris Pratt to fame (building on his recent success as Andy Dwyer on Parks & Recreation and as the voice of Emmet in The Lego Movie). Ninja Turtles is also going strong despite mostly bad reviews. Check out www.boxofficemojo.com for box office info.

Fans are gearing up for the release of The Sims 4 for the PC on September 2. The newest installment in the classic life simulation game comes 5 years after the release of the vanilla (that is, the original, expansion-free) version of The Sims 3. The new title will have to work hard to win over players, as there has already been outcry over the exclusion of several of the former titles’ features from the new game (most notably, toddlers and swimming pools). No OSX release date has been announced. Read more about the unhappy fans here.

Translation time: the slang of the month is “shade” or “throw shade” (verb), which means to criticize someone in an underhanded of passive-aggressive manner. This term has existed for a long time in LGBT communities but came into wider use apparently about a year ago (although I didn’t hear it until this month). It was recently added to Oxford Dictionaries (the online database, not the hoity-toity print version). For a list of recently-added words and, through it, a remarkably comprehensive overview of modern culture, check out this article.

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2. ALA Midwinter: YALSA Movie Night – “Fat Kid Rules the World”

How far would you go to promote a book you really loved?  Actor Matthew Lillard went to amazing lengths to share one of his favorite teen stories (which also happens to be a Printz Honor Book!):

“OK. So, I first stumbled across FAT KID RULES THE WORLD when I was hired to record the audio version of KL Going‘s award winning novel.  The book blew me away. It was funny and true, and it told the story of a lost kid – Troy Billings, alienated and alone – who finds his purpose in life through the magic of punk rock music.  The book rocked my world.  It was crazy!  It spoke to me, in a deep way because I had been my own version of Troy Billings in high school. I was lost and an outcast and didn’t really fit in anywhere… that is until I found acting, which pretty much changed my life forever.  After I read the book I knew I had to tell THIS story.  I made this movie for everyone who has ever felt like they just didn’t belong… the misfits, the outcasts. the kids that are lost… this movie is for you! “

He raised over $150,000 on Kickstarter to get this movie distributed.  Start to finish is is a true labor of love.  And thanks to the producers, we have a special screening of the just-released-this-week DVD just for YALSA members attending ALA in Seattle (where the movie was filmed!)

Join us at the wonderful Elliott Bay Book Company Sunday January 27th at 7pm to watch the movie I’ve been dying to see all year!   We also have door prizes: Listening Library is providing two CD sets of the audiobook; the movie producers are supplying bumperstickers; and Random House is sending some extra goodies for everyone who attends!  Please feel free to bring a snack or beverage to share.  But just like the public library, we need to clean up after ourselves, and be out before they close the store at 9pm!

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3. Vote for YALSA starting on Monday in TechSoup’s Digital Story Telling competition

YALSA entered a new video from YALSA Academy in TechSoup’s Digital Story Telling competition. You can vote for us starting Monday at http://forums.techsoup.org/cs/p/tsdigs-2012.aspx?cg=community! Voting ends March 9, so bookmark the link and get ready to vote for YALSA next week.

Watch the video we made on how YALSA helps teens. Thanks to Wendy Stephens and Linda Braun for their work on this project!

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4. Help YALSA win the 2012 Digital Story Telling video competition from TechSoup!

Audience Choice Awards in TechSoup’s Digital Story Telling contest are now open for voting through Sunday, March 11 at 11:59pm PDT! YALSA entered a video in the contest, and we need your help to win! Our thanks to Linda Braun, Wendy Stephens, and the teens at Buckhorn High School in New Market, Alabama!

Here’s how to vote:

  • Visit TSDigs.org
  • Select “Vote for Video”
  • Search for “Eve G.” (That’s our very own Eve Gaus!)
  • Vote!

(If you get an error message, simply click OK and you will still get through.)

You can vote Chicago-style in this, by which mean early and often. So vote for Eve G.’s video, featuring teens from Buckhorn High School in New Market, Alabama! We only have 39 votes right now, but with your help, we can get even more.

You can see all the entries in the TechSoup contest on their YouTube playlist. Thanks for voting for YALSA!

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5. Videos! Tweens and Teens! Libraries! Your experiences!

This year, YALSA and ALSC are co-hosting their annual President Programs at the Annual Meeting. Sarah Flowers and Mary Fellows are wondering: 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? And how do libraries help them?

Which is where YOU come in! How are you engaging with the digital lives of tweens and young teens at your library? We are calling for video submissions from librarians on the front line. We want to know: what have you done? What worked? What didn’t — and what did you learn as a result? What will you try next?

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. Here’s how to enter:

  • Post it on YouTube with the tag “youthprezprogram12”
  • Email co-chairs Tessa Michaelson Schmidt and Sarah Couri at tweenlibraryvideos at gmail dot com with the YouTube link and your contact information
  • Deadline for submissions: Monday, April 30, 2012 at midnight (coming up — but you still have time!!)

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?

And, if you would like more information about the 2012 Presidents’ Program: Michelle Poris (of Smartypants) and Stephen Abrams will be talking about tweens and young teens, exploring their use of technology, and asking the question “What should libraries be doing?” We hope to see you there!

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6. 30 Days of Innovation #30: Start Vlogging

You know how, no matter how many hundred channels you have, there is nothing on TV? More and more, people are turning to webseries and vlogs for fresher kinds of humor and entertainment. So why not start a vlog series for your library website, or get a bunch of teens together to write a script for an original series? You could also take advantage of the short format of these videos and host a “festival” of screenings of the best series and vlogs out there. Now that so many computers come fully equipped with a basic webcam and editing software, this is an inexpensive way to get creative and to learn more about technology.

Here are some great vlogs and webisodes that should provide you with inspiration as they entertain you.

  • The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: This relatively new series transfers Jane Austen’s novel to the life of a grad student recording her angst. It’s funny and a great way to make classic literature applicable to our current times. If your patrons are having trouble getting ready for their AP English exam, use this to take off the stress.
  • Everyone’s new favorite method of publicity is to film a book trailer, highlighting themes or great one-liners from upcoming books. But there’s no reason why you couldn’t get a group of teens to create their own trailer for a book that came out long ago. Pick a favorite, get a storyboard, and get filming!
  • There are tons of book bloggers out there doing innovative things to get readers to see them as the foremost hotspots for new releases. One popular feature is “in my mailbox” (cf. The Story Siren), when bloggers round up the week’s worth of purchases, galley receipts, and more to whet readers’ appetites. Other bloggers, like Loretta at Between the Pages, do this on video, showing off covers and taking readers on tours of local bookstores and libraries. Other bloggers use this as an opportunity to show off that week’s reading list or upcoming titles they’re coveting. What a great way that you could highlight new collections or underused materials!
  • For your incredibly crafty patrons, you can plan a great stop-motion video to learn about construction and design. Picturebook writer-illustrator David Hyde Costello has created videos of Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions made all out of paper and cardboard.
  • Homemade videos are a great vehicle for critique–of media, of culture, of politics, whatever. Teach your teens the art of a good analysis and create a well-edited video on a topic of their choice. Anita Sarkeesian of Freminist Frequency creates videos utilizing clips of commercials and movies to talk about feminist issues and stereotypes in the media. This is a great way to exercise your Creative Commons and fair use muscles and come up with an excellent, innovative teaching and creating experience.

What are you doing with video and media in your programming?

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7. App of the Week: Animoto

Title: Animoto
Platform: iPhone, iPad, iPod Requires iOS 4.1 or later.
Cost: App is free. Animoto has Lite, Plus, and Pro accounts.

Back in 2008, the YALSA blog raved about how Animoto could be used for libraries, and Animoto often gets highlighted during Teen Tech Week.  So it seemed only right to highlight a great feature of Animoto. There’s an app for it!

With the Animoto App, you can create Animoto videos directly from your iThing. All those pictures and videos of programs and displays you’ve taken with your iTouch or iPhone or iPad can now be easily added to an Animoto video.

With the Animoto App, you can create 30 second videos. If you have an Animoto account (a yearly subscription that ranges from $30 for Plus and $250 for Pro) you can create longer videos.

In addition, once logged in, you can sync your account, allowing you to continue editing a video you’ve created on your computer from the ease of your iThing. It also means any video created on the iThing will appear on your computer account as well. You can also share or download the video right from the app.

It also means you’ve got a portable way to show off your animated book trailers or annual reports (Prescott Annual Rpt 2010-2011) when meeting new librarians at ALA or at your next meeting with a supervisor. And it’s it great to share how technology is improving your library?

 

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8. Secrets and Conversations

I have a new addiction, it’s The Secret Life of the American Teen. Yes, I’ll admit it, it’s not a very good show. The characters are somewhat one-dimensional (at least some of the time) and the plots are often quite unbelievable, if not plain old stupid. But yet, once I realized it was on NetFlix streaming, I started watching and got hooked.

If you aren’t familiar with the plot line of this ABC Family series, the series began with the focus on Amy Jurgens, a 15 year-old who discovers, at the very beginning of the first episode, that she is pregnant. The first year follows Amy as she decides what to do with the baby – keep or adopt – and also as she deals with the father of the baby, her new boyfriend, her best girlfriends, the Christian good girl at her school, the school slut, teachers, parents, her sister, and so on.

I actually saw the first episode when it first aired in 2008 and couldn’t watch more than that first installment. I found it didactic and boring.

But yet, now I’m hooked, and I’ll tell you why. The Secret Life of the American Teen does a great job at showing how important it is for adults to be a part of teen lives and to have real and straightforward conversations with teens. In every episode there are lots of conversations between teens and adults and the adults talk with the teens directly about sex (the show really does revolve around sex), making good decisions, and personal responsibility. While at times the conversations seem forced and too didactic, they are conversations nonetheless. I love that!

The other thing that really draws me to the program is that the teens and adults talk about all different aspects of sex. Whether or not it should be fun. If oral sex is sex. If masturbation is a way to manage a teen’s sexual desires. Responsibilities of fathers and mothers to their children. And more. The topics covered are topics that teens are curious about and that adults should be talking about with teens.

As I watch I think about all the reasons why all adults aren’t having these types of conversations with the teens in their lives. The reasons include fear and risk. It’s a risk to have straightforward conversations with teens about these topics because it’s not clear where the conversation will lead. One might be fearful of having to give away a bit of their own experience and past when talking about difficult topics. Or fear that the conversation will lead a teen in a direction that isn’t what the adult would desire for the teen. But, really, the lack of conversation is more frightening and risky as teens could end up making decisions without the benefit of adult experience, wisdom, and support.

Of course conversation isn’t all that it takes to keep a teen safe and smart about the decisions he or she makes in life. Conversations however can go a long way to helping to guarantee that teens have the skills they need in order to make good decisions about life. Every teen has to have those conversations. Every teen should have the oppor

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9. 30 Days of How-To #7: Collection Development on the Fly

HOW TO: Collection Development on the Fly

It’s time for that little bit of money to be spent and quickly or it will be spent by someone else. You haven’t had any time to work on an order and you don’t want to make a mistake. Look to the lists below to help you find all kinds of exciting books, DVDs, and audio books that should be in your library.

Every title on every YA list will not be automatically suitable for your collection. To double-check yourself, when you add a title to your order list, you can quickly skim the reviews provided by your jobber to see if an item matches your needs. Look to the sections for older readers in the children’s lists for other titles, especially if you serve middle school age.

YALSA Best Books for Young Adults
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens
YALSA Printz Award and Honor Books
YALSA Amazing Audios for Young Adults
YALSA Fabulous Films for Young Adults
YALSA/ALSC Odyssey Award

ALSC Notable Children’s Books
ALSC Notable Children’s Videos
ALSC Notable Children’s Recordings
ALSC Newbery Award and Honor Books
ALSC Sibert Informational Book Medal and Honor Books

Projects of the Children’s Book Council in collaboration with ALA and other professional organizations:
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12

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10. App of the Week: Animation Creator

Name: Animation Creator 

Platform: iOS 3.0 and later iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad

Cost: $ .99

Animation Creator is perfect for teens who like to draw and are into graphic design. I know teens at my Library who read Manga and watch anime; most every library has these teen patrons. From time to time they can be found sketching out drawings on the sides of binders and notebooks rendering their favorite characters in some crazy action pose. This app is also equally appealing to anyone who enjoys illustrating their own comics or zines.
The app is very sleek and easy to use. Many apps require a one-time tutorial that I never follow unless I really get stuck. The teens I know are not going to sit there waiting patiently as an app shows them how to use it. They want to dive right in and experience it themselves! After all, if they can’t figure it out on their own they won’t be interested long enough to learn how to use it anyway. However, if you do need some extra help, there is a nifty demonstration you can follow.
So here is what you need to know: when you first launch the app, you will see a gray background with a simple animation of a walking stick figure. This is the demonstration animation. Feel free to watch it to get a feel for how your animation will eventually come to life. If you are ready to start, click on the “add” button in the top right hand corner to get started on your first graphic. A drop-down menu will appear; select “edit.”  Now you may create your first graphic. You are able to create a series of images or however many you see fit. In a way, it is similar to making a flip book. Once you have finished your first image layer, you can now hit the arrow on the bottom right that looks like this (>). Clicking the “add” button again will bring you to your next layer, where you can still see a faint image of your first drawing so that you can then trace or adjust the second graphic for mobility. This ability to see the previous layer is referred to as “onion skinning”.

Once you are satisfied with your drawings, it is time to animate! By selecting the “play” button, the screen flips over and up pops a tool bar where you can adjust the speed of the animations as well as the option to loop the animation to play over and over. In the drawing toolbar, you will find other options such as brush thickness, color changes, tool types, and uploading audio and photos.
The simplicity of the app initially appealed to me, but once I saw its potential I quickly realized the app could be so much more with just a few tweaks. Perhaps in a future upgrade, we will see some more depth with possible 3D capabilities. As a teen librarian, I look forward to incorporating it into a teen program in the near future.

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11. TTW Ideas: No Budget, No Time Book Adaptations

Teen Tech Week 2012 is still months away (March 4-10), but planning for it is well under way at my library, Niles Public, in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.  The deadline for finalizing spring programs at my library is January 9 (gulp) just a month from now.

Fortunately, the official Teen Tech Week website has a planning toolkit that includes ideas for events and activities, including one that I worked on over the summer that called “No Budget, No Time Book Adaptations.”   The goal is to create a short movie adaptation (2 minutes tops) of a favorite book. Pull out only the most important parts and write a 2-page script, draw stick-figure storyboards, and put together simple costumes and props from materials you have on hand. Shoot it in order and do just one take of each shot. Edit it using simple software like Windows MovieMaker or Apple iMovie, or upload your footage to youtube and edit it there (yes, youtube has some editing software built into their site, now).

The idea sprung from a project I worked on with the Niles Teen Advisory Board for James Kennedy’s 90-Second Newbery festival.  The TAB members chose to create a 90-second adaptation of The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle.  They did everything from writing the script to selecting royalty-free music for it.  I was there to serve as an adviser and help with the editing.

The end result is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6GJZZDNsWU.  Go watch it right now, then come back.  Here are a few things that I learned from working on that video:

1. More  Script = More Time
Umm, you probably noticed that it’s a little longer than 90 seconds.  The script the TAB-members came up with was about 5 pages; 3 pages too long if you figure that one page of script amounts to about 1 minute of screen time.  The dialog was really funny though, and when it came time to edit the finished video I didn’t have the heart to cut out all of those funny lines.  A longer script also means more time spent shooting and editing, so if you only have a few hours to work on a video then you’ll need to set a page limit and stick to it.

2. Let the Teens Do All the Work
Besides writing the script, they came up with costumes and props.  The locations we used were all in the library, and the teens were in charge of decorating the set.  One teen worked the camera while another one worked the microphone.  I did a lot during the editing process (more on that, later) but they were there with me, telling me what parts I could cut.  The teens have more fun when they are doing everything.  Give everyone a job, even if it is something deceptively simple like monitoring the set and props to make sure nothing is missing from shot to shot (this is an actual profession called “script supervising” that is perfect for people who like to pick movies and tv shows apart for continuity errors).

3. Don’t Skip Steps Like Storyboarding
We did, because the TAB members who like to draw were unavailable when we were in the planning stages.  I think the video suffered because of it.  Storyboards are basically a rough comic book version of what your video will look like when it’s done.  They show you what each scene should look like from the camera’s point of view, which makes deciding where to set the camera much easier. Storyboarding takes time in the beginning, but having that visual guide ends up saving time later, especially when you get to the editing stage.

4. Editing Can Be Tedious, Simple Software Can Make It Less So
The more time you spend trying to figure out how your editing software works, the more time editing your project is going to take.  My libra

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12. Photography: Capturing teens in a new light

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine this photo as approximately 18X24 in the teen space at your library. The photo is framed and hanging on a wall. Okay, you can open your eyes now. It’s a bit hard to describe because the size influences the effect it can have and posting it on a blog doesn’t necessarily do it justice. If I had to describe it in one word, I might choose the word ‘radiant’. As librarians, we’re constantly existing in worlds that might not seem all that real to others, so I’m confident that you’re quite on board with this and we’ll keep moving on.

We frequently have groups-everyone from public schools, homeschoolers, charter schools, summer camps (in the summer!), etc. visit a space in my library called Studio i. There are also individual teens that come and use the space. What they primarily do is make music by coming up with a beat using Garageband, write and record their lyrics in the sound booth (which is what this is a photo of) or make videos with various software available. They’ve been doing this since 2005.

Many people have their own perceptions about teens. Photos of teens that use the library space can be one way that might help convey a message about a teen. I chose this photo because it’s one that makes me take a second look. It tells a story that isn’t necessarily one that’s shared by the majority of people (including teens) that aren’t familiar with the depth and breadth of how the sound booth is used. Hopefully it invites other teens who can picture themselves stepping up to the microphone to try out their skills.

Your library might have very strict policies regarding photography and video in order to protect your patrons. While it can seem frustrating and a huge road block at times, it can also serve a purpose. To get this photo, we got permission from the teacher to obtain this since our goal was to put it in a frame. While we have a rather generous photo/video policy at my library, we wanted to cover our bases. We invited an employee of my library who is also a photographer, to take photos. And snap away she did. The teens felt comfortable focusing on their work, as the photographer helped reveal them in amazing ways. I anticipate these photos will be far reaching and in ways that will have the effect of forcing people to automatically take that second glance. “I never looked at a teen this way before.” “I always thought that teens. . . but now I realize. . . .” Those are some of the things viewers might think. Displaying photos can also help inject a sense of new life to a space that might feel tattered and worn out. What a great (and cheap!) way to renew your space for the new year!

How powerful a photograph can be.

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13. Be a Producer: A YALSA Academy Producer

Do you have dreams of producing a video that becomes the next big thing on YouTube?  Have you wanted to help others learn how to be successful in their work with teens? Do you have a skill or area of knowledge that you think would be useful to let others know about?  If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then being a YALSA Academy producer might be just right for you.  You can learn more by attending the YALSA Academy Be a Producer webinar on Tuesday, January 31, at 9PM Eastern. (The session will be held via Adobe Connect and you can enter the webinar room as a Guest.)

If you aren’t familiar with YALSA Academy, it’s the association’s new initiative that focuses on helping those that work with teens gain skills and knowledge. How? By making available a variety of videos on teen service related topics including collection development, social media, customer service, programming, and technology.  Each video is 3 to 7 minutes long. Technologies used to produce videos include Animoto, Xtranormal, iMovie or MovieMaker, and screencasting software such as Screenr.

See what’s already available by checking out the sample video below or visiting the YALSA Academy on YouTube.

Anyone with a skill, knowledge, or interest in service to teens is welcome to produce a video for YALSA Academy.  YALSA membership is not required.  You can learn more about what is required and what it takes to be a producer at the webinar on January 31.

Topics we’ll cover during the session include:

  • The what, why, and who of YALSA Academy. What it is, why it was started, and who it is for.
  • Video tools to use and how to select the best one for a particular purpose and producer.
  • Steps for creating a YALSA Academy video.
  • What happens when a video is produced.
  • Where to go to learn more.

You can get a sense of what it takes to get started producing for YALSA Academy in the video below.

During the webinar there will be time for attendees to ask questions and there will also be opportunities for more discussion about producing YALSA Academy videos on ALA Connect.

If you have questions about YALSA Academy or the webinar feel free to contact Eve Gaus or me. Hope to see you at the webinar.

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14. Teens, Tweens, and Technology – What Are You Doing?

They’re in our libraries, on our computers.

But what, specifically, is the life of a tween or young teen like in this digital age? What are the particular challenges and opportunities they face online? And how do libraries help them?

We will explore these questions at the 2012 Presidents’ Program at ALA in Anaheim. It will be a joint affair between ALSC and YALSA. Michelle Poris (of Smartypants) and Stephen Abrams will be talking about tweens and young teens, exploring their use of technology, and asking the question “What should libraries be doing?”

But the real point of this post: what are YOU doing? How are you engaging with the digital lives of tweens and young teens at your library? We are calling for video submissions from librarians on the front line. We want to know: what worked? What didn’t? What did you learn? What will you try next?

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. Here’s how to enter:

  • Post it on YouTube with the tag “youthprezprogram12”
  • Email co-chairs Tessa Michaelson Schmidt and Sarah Couri at tweenlibraryvideos at gmail dot com 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?

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15. Percy Jackson

I, like many others, saw Twilight over the weekend.  Actually, I will admit that I was at the midnight showing with my fellow co-workers.  But I wasn’t there for Edward and Bella.  I was there with my hopes high that there would be a new Percy Jackson and the Olympians trailer.  Luckily for me, that was the first trailer they showed.  I squealed loudly and my co-worker called out “read the book first” when the trailer finished. 

From what I’ve seen in the previews so far, I’m really looking forward to this movie.  I’ve read the books, and waited eagerly for the casting announcements.  The excitement from my teens on the other hand isn’t as apparent.  Many of them don’t even know that a movie based on the books is being released.  They all get excited when I tell them the movie will be out in February.  The Lightning Thief and Sea of Monsters won our state book award two years in a row, so I’m sure they’ll be racing to the theater to see it on the big screen. 

Maybe the movie just needs some more marketing to go with it.  It’s been relatively quite so far.  Do your teens know about the upcoming Percy Jackson movie and are they looking forward to it?

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16. Team U and You!

Posted on behalf of Team U.

Team U from the Emerging Leaders program is working on a project for YALSA to develop a job shadowing initiative for teens to promote teen librarianship (in school or public settings). Because of Skype and other wonderful technologies we can cheaply connect teens who cannot participate in in-person job shadowing to fabulous practicing librarians. We are working on a video that will be about a half hour long to show teens before they attend a Skype or video conference with a librarian. It would be a busting-myths-about-librarians-look at the activities of librarians who work with teens.

Are you willing to grab a video camera and get one of your kids/co-workers/significant other to film you showing us what your job is *really* like in a way that would appeal to teens and bust those bun-cat-shushing myths? Or do you already have something we could cull from (maybe on YouTube or something your TAB created)? Even 60 seconds worth of footage that shows teens what librarians really do on the job is appreciated and needed!

We will accept footage of any length. Please know we will be editing for time and relevance, but respecting content and context. We prefer AVI or MP3 or MP4 format, please.

We do not need anything slick & professional, already-edited or perfect. We are including statements from YA authors telling teens what is so great about libraries/librarians. Authors like Sydney Salter and LK Madigan have already given us footage taped from their Macs to use.

This is a great opportunity for you to promote the cool programs and other activities you do in your library. All participants and their libraries will be credited. And because we know we are asking you to do something during a busy time of year, the first five folks to send footage get a free signed book from Candlewick Press.

The rough draft will be shown at ALA Annual on June 25 from 3-5pm at the Emerging Leaders poster session. The aim is to create a final piece that can be used and posted on the YALSA web site.

Any questions/concerns/ideas? Email me! ezitron@carthage.edu

Deadline for me to receive footage is JUNE 10. How can you give me footage?

1. Burn on a CD and send to: Lizz Zitron, Hedberg Library, Carthage College, Kenosha, WI 53140

2. Email to: ezitron@carthage.edu

3. Put in an online dropbox (includes video tutorial for how to use.)

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17. ALA10: Lights! Camera! Booktrailers!

The Teens and Technology Interest Group organized a panel program on booktrailers and video on Saturday afternoon at Annual.  Here are some of the highlights and resources discussed by panelists.

New York Times best-selling author Simone Elkeles discussed two of her booktrailers: Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction, available at http://www.simoneelkeles.net). Elkeles wanted to make a booktrailer with music. She said she was a “child of the eighties” and wanted to make a booktrailer like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s opening credits — a rap book trailer. She felt that because teens are on the Internet that is where she needed to get them interested in her books. The edgy Perfect Chemistry was filmed on a green screen for about $5,000.

The booktrailer for Perfect Chemistry was very popular, but Elkeles felt that for her next book she needed to do something bigger. She thought maybe she could fool the teens into thinking her book was a movie, so she decided to do a movie trailer. The booktrailer for Rules of Attraction was filmed in Hollywood with a professional film crew. Simone wanted the hottest guy in Hollywood to play Alex. When asked, “If you could have anyone to play Alex, who would it be?” she answered, “The groom from Katy Perry’s ‘Hot and Cold‘ video.” Elkeles was able to get him to do the booktrailer. Simone hopes to keep setting the bar higher in her booktrailers. Elkeles said many guys have told her that they have gotten out of gangs because of reading her books.

Joy Millam, the District Library Coordinator/Teacher-Librarian at Valencia High School in CA, uses booktrailers in her library to get kids interested in reading books. She feels it is important to reach kids on portals that they are used to seeing. Teens today are very visual. Her first booktrailer was for Thirteen Reasons Why. She has a small monitor and a DVD player in the library to show book trailers. Millam has taught students and teachers to make booktrailers. Her students use Microsoft Powerpoint to save their slides as .jpegs and then put them into Windows Movie Maker to edit. She emphasizes to students that the right music can make all the difference in setting the mood for the trailer. She and her students use Freeplay Music for copyright-friendly music choices and Audacity for music editing. Millam has shared all her tutorials and staff training materials on the wiki, booktalksandmore. Millam encourages students to make about 12 slides of 5 seconds each, always starting with the book cover. Millam shared some student examples which are available on her wiki and she said they vary in quality. The hardest part of making a booktrailer is choosing the images. She encourages students not to get stuck looking for a certain image and said, “Be willing to change your idea and that may make your trailer even better.”

Jennifer Wooten created and runs the “Read-Flip-Win” contest at King County Library System. Since 43 branches participate in the progr

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18. Viewing: How It’s Done & What Do We Do

Yesterday The New York Times published a series of articles under the umbrella title, Sofa Wars. The focus of the series is on how people watch TV and what might be happening in the viewing/TV industry as more and more viewers move away from cable to other types of services.

Today I read through some comments on a New York Times blog post on the topic of cable vs. other forms of access – Hulu, Apple TV, NetFlix, and so on. I started to think, what does this change in TV access mean to teens? Do we know how teens prefer to watch TV? I know that some are definitely using Hulu and other web-based tools (we can’t forget YouTube) for content viewing. What are their favorite methods and how do these methods have an impact on library programs and services? And, of course, this isn’t really just about traditional TV types of content. NetFlix recently announced a deal which provides the company with the ability to stream a large number of feature films as a part of their Watch Now service.

Do librarians serving teens need to think about this and consider what it means for their collections for teens? Is it still necessary to collect TV of interest to teens on DVD? Or, do we expect that services like Hulu, Google TV, and Apple TV will take the place of DVDs? While I understand that some of these services have a price tag, is the price tag worth the cost in comparison to something like cable TV? Does the ease of access, not having to visit the library to pick up the DVD, outweigh that cost for a teen, or a group of teens who might chip in together in order to view content of their choosing? Does this take the place of going to the movies? Does it take the place of going to a movie at the library?

As I think about this, I wonder, what is the library’s role in providing access to movies and TV to teens? For those who show movies in the library, it’s probably at least in part related to the social experience of watching a movie with a group of people. That being the case, maybe the library needs to sell the viewing experience in that way. The library doesn’t make the fact that you can see the movie at the library the selling point, but instead focuses on the social experience, and perhaps in some cases the experience of watching on a high-quality large display.

Maybe it’s about the opportunities libaries provide teens before or after the viewing. The events a library might sponsor in order to give teens a chance to talk about what they saw, or are looking forward to seeing. Or, the video trailers librarians might have teens create that promote a new season of a TV show they are looking forward to.

The thing is, as viewing behaviors change for teens, and others, perhaps librarians need to think not just about access to the content but instead focus on connecting those interested in the content. It’s not a focus on checking-out content, but a focus on checking-in with teens about the viewing they do. Having discussions, providing outlets for expressing ideas about the content, and

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19. 30 Days of Back to School: Learning from OK Go

About 10 days ago the musical group OK Go premiered their newest video, White Knuckles.


That day Twitter was alive with praise for the video. If you haven’t seen it, the video is a lively dance/music routine with OK Go and a group of dogs. It’s definitely worth watching.

When I watched White Knuckles, and read a bit about it, I was reminded of other OK Go videos that I’d seen, including videos detailing the process they used in creating another very entertaining (and interesting) video, This Too Shall Pass.

What does this have to do with going back to school, learning, and librarianship? The process that OK Go uses to develop and produce projects is definitely something that librarians, teachers, and teens can learn from. OK Go’s videos demonstrate creativity, determination, and commitment to ideas, even if they are ideas that seem a little crazy, so that what doesn’t seem like it can work is proven to be possible. For example the This Too Shall Pass video has an odd but key character, a gigantic Rube Goldberg machine. Most of the dogs in White Knuckles are trained rescue dogs. How is it possible that a giant Rube Goldberg machine and these dogs could work so successfully in these videos? OK Go makes it work.

In our schools and libraries we want to give the teens with whom we work the skills required to think creatively, make decisions, and problem solve. We want to do this through the research and information literacy skills we teach and help them to understand. We want to do this with the programs we ask them to help us create and implement. We want to do this with the leisure and personal information materials we make available. And, we want to help them figure out how to determine when an idea is a good one and when an idea is maybe just a little bit too crazy. We want them to go out and be successful, as OK Go is, using skills that we as educators and librarians help them to develop and learn.

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20. YALSA’s Not So Silent Auction: Movie Themes
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By: Beth, on 10/20/2010
Blog: YALSA - Young Adult Library Services Association (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags:  Conference, Film & Video, YALSA Info., 2011 Midwinter Meeting, Add a tag

On Friday night, January 7, 2011 at the San Diego Midwinter Meeting, you have the opportunity to bid on several baskets which will help you enjoy an evening of DVDs. Two of these are:

Don’t forget you can see all of the items that will be up for bid at YALSA’s Not So Silent Auction on the YALSA Midwinter Wiki Not So Silent Auction signup page.

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21. Mix up your programming this March!
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By: Beth, on 2/10/2011
Blog: YALSA - Young Adult Library Services Association (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags:  Film & Video, Teen Services, Youth Participation, programming, Technology, Teen Tech Week, Add a tag



It’s time to get digital once again, as Teen Tech Week rolls around for 2011! This year’s theme is Mix and Match, encouraging teens to create content and share it with others across a broad network of users. It’s always an exciting time to encourage out of the box technology programming for teens, and a great opportunity to begin tech programs for teens if your library doesn’t have such programs set up.
First, let’s start with the basic Teen Tech Time. This is your opportunity to open up your library to computer based programs, with simple, self guided computer sessions. You reserve a bank of computers or laptops for a certain hour, and encourage teens to sign up with you. It’s important to note that these sessions are provided in addition to the teen’s regular internet appointment, rather than superseding it. Teens are able to use the additional time to hang out and mess around with the technology they are interested in, rather than having to choose to divide their single daily appointment between fun use and homework use. If you have have laptops and a programming space, Teen Tech Time can help you create a miniature teen space, one where they can be louder and more social around the computers than they could be on the main floor.
Once you’ve got Teen Tech Time set up and running smoothly, you can begin working with the teens to uncover websites and applications that suit their interest and encourage them to delve deeper into the technology available to them. In this case, let’s focus on video creation and editing.
The content is easy enough to create – cell phone cameras, Flip cameras, digital cameras – it should be easy to find one or two recording devices. So what sort of content can you create?
While booktalks have long been an effective marketing tool, it’s time to look to something new – book trailers! Blending together a fabulously crafted booktalk with images and a enticing soundtrack make the experience all the more awesome. A quick search on Google reveals contests of all types, and many many samples. Take a moment to browse through the results.
Or, create a tutorial for your library! Work with the teens to create a script, and record tips about using the library. Have them talk about the collection, such as where the graphic novels are located and how the manga series are arranged. Do a walking tour of the library, from circulation to reference to programming spaces. Have them select music and let them provide the insider scoop of the library.
Once the content is created, there’s probably going to be some editing work to be done.
If they’ve been an avid YouTube watcher, encourage them to take the next steps and start to create and edit their own videos with YouTube’s editing tools. Simply upload the video files and then go visit YouTube’s video editor, www.youtube.com/editor , where clips can be mashed together with various transitions, soundtracks added, and the results published. The tools are very basic, but it’s a great start.
For slightly more editing control, check out www.stroome.com . The Kaltura editor enambles users to cut sections of the video, insert transitions and soundtracks, select thumbnails, and complete projects. However, Stroome also has an amazing built in remix feature, where users can select clips from other projects that are online and add it into

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22. App of the Week: Splice
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By: Beth, on 3/2/2011
Blog: YALSA - Young Adult Library Services Association (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags:  Apps, Film & Video, Iphone, Splice, Video, Add a tag

Title: Splice
Platform: iPhone running iOS 4
Cost: Free or $1.99 Pro Version

Splice main screenWhen I first bought my iPhone, one of the things I was really looking forward to using was the iMovie app. But, once I got my iPhone I didn’t really use that app that much. It didn’t do what I hoped it would. But now, there’s Splice, an iPhone app that makes it possible to edit and enhance movies, and slideshows, on an iPhone. While the editing and enhancing isn’t always a snap with Splice, it is pretty easy. And, the features included with the software are pretty varied.

The first step in using Splice is to have video and/or photos on your phone that you want to edit together in some way. Or, even if you just have one movie on the phone, you can edit it with Splice, add music, sound effects, narration, titles, transitions, and more. But, let me get back to those first steps.

When you open Splice you add a new project and then set the basic options. Don’t worry, these options can be changed after you set them. Options include the quality of the video – HD or SD – the type of transitions you would like to use, and the border you want to add to the production. You can go without a border and transitions and add them later, or never, it’s up to you.

video editing in SpliceOnce your project is setup you can add photos and/or video. The photos and video come from the camera roll of your phone. Add one image or video at a time or add several all at once. Once the images are added you can edit them. Video can be trimmed and sound effects can be added.

One of the things I liked the best was the possibility of adding music. Music from an iTunes library can be added to a section of the movie or to the entire movie. (Of course you want to make sure you have the rights to include the music.) Or, you can use music that is a part of the basic Splice package. adding sound to Splice videoWhen the music is added you can have it fade in or out or both. It’s also possible to record audio in Splice. If you have photos or video that you want to add narration to, it’s not hard to do.

Transitions and title slides can be added anywhere in the production – not over video or a photo but in between photos and videos.

Splice has a store from which you can add components to the app. You can buy borders, sound effects, transitions, and music. While this is a nice feature, it’s not required.

Reviews of the app note that it can crash periodically, and it does, this isn’t too much of a problem as everything put together is auto-saved. Crashes do happen, but a quick re-opening of the app and it’s easy to start where you last left off.

Splice is really quite a full-featured movie editing app. Teens who use their phones to create movies, or who might simply have a selection of photos which they want to set to music and add titles to, will no doubt find a lot of options for being creative when using Splice. For libraries that do

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23. Marketing TTW after TTW
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By: Beth, on 3/3/2011
Blog: YALSA - Young Adult Library Services Association (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags:  Film & Video, Add a tag

You’ve already been promoting Teen Tech Week for a few weeks now in order to gain interest in your library’s upcoming programs, and things should be all set and ready to go next week!  But marketing shouldn’t stop here.  There will be many opportunities during these programs to capture rich details to promote the success online or even to promote TTW next year.  So consider recording your TTW programs by whatever means you have at-hand; digital camera, video camera, teen/staff testimonials, collecting program creations, etc.

For those with cameras (video or picture), you can ask a teen volunteer or other staff member to be a cameraperson to catch all activities while you run the program.  The cameraperson could take a passive role by simply recording the program, or a more active role by interacting with teens or setting up a “testimonial” booth for attendees to share their thoughts on prepared questions.

Pictures are easily marketable through slideshows and Facebook or Flickr accounts while videos can be compiled and edited using tools like Windows Movie Maker that comes with most PCs, iMovie that comes on most Macs, or a free online editor like YouTube Video Editor.  If possible, it would be ideal to find a tech-savvy teen in advance, or at the program, who might be willing to take this project on.

* If you do shoot video or take pictures, check with your administrators for media guidelines prior to your programs to ensure you are following rules and will be able to use your footage for future marketing purposes.

**One possibility to consider in order to cut down on the number of signatures you’d need to attain is to post signs at the entrance and throughout the space declaring “Your are entering a live public event area. By entering this area, you acknowledge that your voice, likeness or image may be recorded in audio, video, or photographic form, and you hereby consent to such recording.  Your further grant (your library and its affiliate organizations – Friends, Foundation, etc) the right to publish, broadcast, or otherwise utilize any such recordings of your voice, likeness or image in any manner for any purpose in any media without restriction, including for advertising and trade purposes.”  — or something of that nature.

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24. Flip Video Alternatives
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By: Beth, on 4/15/2011
Blog: YALSA - Young Adult Library Services Association (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags:  Film & Video, Technology, Add a tag



By now you know that the Flip Video is no more. The Flip has been a staple of the teen library program since its introduction in 2006. At its relatively low price point, a library could purchase multiple cameras and put them in teens’ hands. The argument here is that high-quality video is now available on most smart phones, rendering the Flip obsolete, but can we really hand out iPhones to our teens for them to make short films? Here are some options for librarians who still want to make video cameras available to their teens:

1. Buy up Flip cameras. They’re still for sale, and the software you need to upload the files to your computer and the Web are built into the cameras themselves. For a great breakdown of how to keep using Flips now that they’re discontinued, see Marguerite Reardon’s April 15th “Ask Maggie” post on CNET. She actually talked to the people at Flip to see what was going on.

2. Check out other inexpensive video recorders. Here’s a sampling:

3. The iPod Touch now offers HD video recording and can be used for a whole host of other things, like gaming, reading, texting, and research purposes. Check them out to teens in the libary when they’re not in use for filming, or have staff use them to work with teens in the stacks or offer text reference services. While I personally can’t imagine filming with the large iPad, they also allow for HD video recording.

Easily-portable and simple-to-use video cameras are pretty much indispensable for teen library programs (as well as school libraries and classrooms – I use mine all the time, to both record student progress and to put them in student hands). No matter what you decide on, it’s a great idea to have as many mini-video cameras around as you can afford.

Check out all of the posts on the YALSA blog about film and video here. If you have more suggestions for Flip alternatives, please post them in the comments!

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25. App of the Week: Hipstamatic
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By: Beth, on 4/20/2011
Blog: YALSA - Young Adult Library Services Association (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags:  Apps, Film & Video, Youth Participation, app of the week, photography, photos, Add a tag



Title: Hipstamatic

Platform: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch (4th generation), iPad 2 Wi-Fi, and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G. Requires iOS 3.1 or later

Cost: $1.99+  (several “hipstapaks” come with the initial cost, but additional ones cost extra & it can add up, so choose wisely.)

You know those cool pics you’ve been seeing on Flickr and Facebook lately? The square ones with the grainy edges or shiny middles? The ones that look like they may have been taken by rock star photographer with an old holga camera? Chances are those photos were taken with this app. Hipstamatic can turn even the most mundane images interesting.


For example, here are a few pictures I took of simple things: my glasses, an owl. Which, I think, makes them look even cooler than usual.  No additional touch ups were done to the photos.

Great for taking photos at book clubs, library events, and other occasions, Hipstamatic spruces up the simple iPhone picture into something eye-catching, stylized, and mood creating. At a recent event, I took hipstapics of my students, and they LOVED  how the photos matched the feel of the night.

Photos can sorted into stacks (max of 9 shots sadly) where they can then be sent to Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, or email. Photos can also be printed onto real live non-digital versions. For more info on their features, check their launch press release and this demo video: Hipstamatic User Interface Demo from Synthetic on Vimeo.

Do you use this app? How? Why not ask your teen advisory to use Hipstamatic to represent a book in one photo, since as they say a picture is worth a thousand words…

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